HAF CASTE REPORT & UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
21st February 2011
The first question ("atha")is "why the report?" and the last question ("iti") is "can the Hindu Americans and/or Hindus in India live without such report?" These are two questions that need immediate answers. These questions were raised and never answered by HAF.
Radhaji Rajan clearly pointed out that this report has no value to Hindus in India. Not a single person from India has so far indicated that such report is necessary for survival or reform of the Hindu society in India. Ashok Chowgule ji defended the report but never clarified his rationale. The silent supporters of the report also have the reponsibility to articulate their rationale for their support so the critics can understand that they have more reasons for extending their support than their blind faith in HAF and their loyalty to it.
Do the Hindu Americans have any rationale for supporting the HAF report and its raison d'etre other than the rhetoric that HAF should not be criticized to avoid the divided house of Hindus in the US? This is not a freedom of speech issue because HAF and its critics both have freedom of speech.
1. What were HAF’s gains by writing this controversial report which has put Hindus against Hindus? Were the benefits worth the divide amongst Hindus?
2. Why the process of writing the original report and its revisions are done in utmost secrecy with no transparency if this report is given by an advocacy group to better represent its constituency?
3. Why Hindu community is being kept in the dark about the names of the authors, reviewers, and table of content of the revised report?
4. IF HAF board of directors, members, and authors of the report are American citizens, what authority do they have over domestic policy issues of India? Is HAF expanding its jurisdiction?
5. Has HAF been quietly analyzed why this report (as part of its advocacy) is generating questions instead of promptly answering them honestly to its constituency?
6. Why HAF is not complying with the request of DharmAchAryas and maThAdhipathis like swAmiji DayAnanda Saraswati, Sri PraNava PAndya of Gayathri pariwar, Sri Puthige Swamiji, Sri Pejawar Swamji of Udupi, and Swamiji Ramdev?
7. What are the verified and verifiable sources of information in this report?
8. What is the purpose of the report and its target audience? The real and convincing information was requested, not the one available on the FAQ on the website.
9. Why is HAF taking up the social issues of India in International forums?
10. Are Indian government and the constitution not dealing with the issues there or are not aware of crime in India?
11. Why a report on Caste? Why not do a report on impacts of affirmative action in India on Caste?
12. What is the intent of HAF for bringing out this issue in American media (Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Hinduism Today) before giving opportunity for Hindu community in USA to review its report? After all HAF is representing Hindu Americans is it not?
13. Why HAF report does not talk about caste in present tense? Why everything is in the past tense?
Is HAF imitating another organization that is obsessed with the past Hindu society and its “shastras”?
14. Why does HAF have to define Varna and Jaati the way anti-Hindus and non-Hindus have erroneously done so?
15. What is HAF’s definition of Human Rights violation? Human Rights violation is generally meant if the government of the country is targeting/ discriminating against a specific citizen or group of its citizens without respecting their fundamental rights.
16. What about the reverse caste discrimination?
17. The term “Scheduled Caste” became part of English lexicon in 1935. There was no entity/ individuals/group known as SC before 1935. Then why HAF is going backward in time in using these terms without clarifying the history? What was the name for these groups before 1935?
18. Is HAF planning to go to UN or US Congress with this report? Is HAF acknowledging no intent or any possibility of its doing so directly or indirectly through another agency taking this report in its entirety or in part to UN or US Congress? How can HAF stop anyone from quoting such report to these entities or these entities from quoting from this or any HAF report?
19. What does HAF expect from them? Advocacy should always want something in return for its constituency (Hindus) if any political body is requesting HAF to produce such report.
Authors and Endorsers
20. Who are the real authors? (Hard to believe that Mihir, Pawan and Swaminathan wrote it, considering their extremely busy schedules).
21. Why take help/endorsement from groups like Navya Shastra? What was the reason for approaching such groups?
22. Why use reference cases from Dalit Freedom Network and Indian Social Institute to prove human right violations? Are these organizations considered sympathetic or friendly to Hindu advocacy groups and truly objective in their assessments of the social reality in an unbiased
23. Why not take facts and figures currently available in the statistics on crime from the government departments and report total crime rate?
24. Did the people who endorsed the report see the entire report for a few days to comprehend it before they wrote the endorsement?
25. Why HAF let Kalavai go?
26. Is Krishnan Ramaswamy still involved with re-writing the report?
27. What is the official position/responsibility of Vishal in HAF? He is not listed as one of the authors but answers majority of the questions as if he is the de facto spokesperson for HAF to defend the HAF report.
28. Why is it impossible for HAF to share the names of the authors and table of contents for the revised/rewritten report?
29. Why scholars like Dr. N. S. Rajaram withdrew their endorsement of the report, once the report was available publicly?
Rejection and Reanalysis of Scriptures
30. Advocacy means supporting the core constituencies’ beliefs and not attacking them. Why HAF is advocating reanalysis and rejection of scriptures?
31. Does HAF want to replace ancient time tested Dharmshastras with Navyashastras?
32. Why not listen to the Acharyas? Acharyas represents the institutions, defying them means defying the basic foundation on which Hinduism is built.
33. Why defend Ramesh Rao after he insulted Ramayana? Individuals have the right to express their opinions. But HAF, being a Hindu advocacy organization, shouldn’t defend the act of insulting Ramayana is a revered epic of the Hindus.
34. When crimes and Human Rights violations entirely undefined by HAF report are taking place now as alleged by HAF report, then what is the point of rejecting scriptures of antiquity? Should it not be the Constitution of India and the government of India that needs to be held responsible? That is what Pathmarajah Nagalingam is doing. Is HAF aligned with his views? The reason to raise this question is: Despite private and public communication with HAF officers, HAF has not publicly and openly distanced itself from Pathmarajah Nagalingam of Navyashastra.
Negative Impact on Future Generations
35. What kind of requirement analysis or consequence analysis was performed by HAF?
36. What negative impacts can be expected on Hindus and Hinduism in India, UK, and USA as a result of HAF report? Students will feel guilty about their religious identity and negative public display about their beliefs and traditions. Does this what HAF want? Even if the Dedication is completely removed, the total impact of the report will devastate and overwhelm Hindu students who are already being mocked and caricatured. Does HAF want them to be persecuted or humiliated in the presence of their peers?
37. Why HAF is spending resources on a topic like this which has no relevance in USA? There are plenty of other important issues facing Hindus in USA e.g. textbooks, SOLS, CFS , discrimination in jobs, etc.
38. Why HAF did not agree for Subash Razdan to lead the dialogue between HAF and critics of report? (Subash offered, Critics accepted his leadership, HAF did not accept his help)
39. Why HAF is seeking survey only from select people? Why people on HAF’s bulletin distribution list, members, donors, fundraisers and supporters are not asked to respond to the survey?
40. Why is HAF treating HAF report like a political campaign? Why is HAF asking people who may potentially review or rewrite the report to sign/agree to a non-disclosure clause with some legal language and verbiage?
41. Will HAF provide, before its final publication, the entire revised report to Acharyas’ and others (scholars, critics) for constructive comments?
42. Why is HAF allowing initiation of discussion on its report at RISA through Ramdas Lamb especially when it is amply clear that it is not acceptable and approvable to its constituency that has studied and comprehended the report and understood its ill-advised nature and potential dangers? What kind of advocacy is that when RISA has not been historically in tune with Hinduism and indeed can be viewed as generally anti-Hindu.
43. Why not a Human Rights violation report about Kashmiri Pandits? Why not report terrorist acts leading to victimization of Hindus in their own country and the government inaction. Is this not human rights violation as broadly interpreted by HAF?
44. Why HAF report is silent on discrimination by Govt. of India taking control over Hindu temples only? Other religions are free to practice and maintain their worship places. Freedom of religion is a fundamental right which encompasses maintaining government interference free worship- workplaces too. Is it not gross discrimination when individuals of other religions can be allowed to manage Hindu temples and temple finances while Churches, Mosques and worship places of other religions than those of Hindus are totally free from such government interference in India.
45. What actions HAF took when American visa was denied to Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi? If not, why not? Was that not advocacy for Hindus in USA?
46. If HAF is membership driven organization then why members are not informed about any elections or to seek for nominations?
47. Why HAF does not send audited annual financial report to its current and potential members, donors, fund raisers, …..? Why not place such information on HAF web site to be truly transparent?
48. What is the constitution and by-laws of HAF at the time of registration? When and what changes were made and why? How can a Hindu American access such information?
49. After this HAF report on Caste what will be the next issue?- Indian political system? Where does HAF’s responsibility begin and end? Has HAF defined its scope of activity? Is it expanding its scope of activity and jurisdiction?
50. Why would an advocacy group fight with its own base (Hindu community)and refrain from holding a civil dialogue as is expected in democracy with the provision to have a freedom to
disagree without becoming disagreeable?
51. What will happen to Hindus if HAF does not finalize and produce this report on caste?