Congressman Ro Khanna: Stop promoting racist anti-Indian, anti-Hindu bigots

Congressman Ro Khanna: Stop promoting racist anti-Indian, anti-Hindu bigots

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Nikhil Kaale started this petition to Congressman Ro Khanna

(As a resident of district 17 and a concerned parent, I appeal to you to help me send a strong message to Congressman Ro Khanna by doing the following:

1)Sign the petition below so that voices like ours are heard. If you are a resident of district 17, kindly mention it in your comment while signing.

2) Please share this petition widely on social media and send it to your friends and family. Ask them to act.

3) Contact Congressman Ro Khanna and urge him to listen to our concerns. Politely yet firmly ask him to publicly apologize for promoting and endorsing anti-India, anti-Hindu racists and extremist groups who have been abusing our children. 

Reach him in any and all possible ways 

1) Twitter: @RoKhanna @RepRoKhanna @RoKhannaUSA
2) Facebook: @RoKhanna @RepRoKhanna @RoKhannaUSA
3) Call Congressman Ro Khanna’s Office (408-436-2720)
4) Send the Petition and your views directly to Congressman Ro Khanna’s office. https://khanna.house.gov/contact)

The recent actions of Congressman Ro Khanna have been thoroughly disappointing and harmful to the community. I, like many Indian-Americans living in Fremont, California, was excited when I learned that a member of our community was trying to become our representative in the US Congress. It was great to know that we would finally have a voice on various issues, like the racial stereotyping of our community in school textbooks or the bullying of our children. Ro Khanna, the candidate, would talk about Gandhi and about his own grandfather’s association with Indian freedom fighters in India’s independence movement - something that struck a chord with all of us. We campaigned for him through his election bids till he finally became our Congressman. Through his win, we hoped that the Indian-American community would finally find a voice.

Unfortunately, our excitement has been short-lived, and our hopes. Congressman Ro Khanna has left no stone unturned to disappoint us and make us feel that our support has been taken for granted. For petty political gains, he has been closely affiliating with racist anti-Hindu, anti-Indian bigots and has failed to take a stand on issues important to the community. 

On August 29, 2019, Congressman Ro Khanna tweeted an endorsement of the views of the anti-Hindu bigot Pieter Friedrich and his organization, OFMI, who have been at the forefront of the movement to erase Hindu and Indian history and icons from public space. Many of its members and allies mocked and verbally harassed Hindu children for speaking up against bullying and religious discrimination at the California Department of Education. Friedrich and OFMI have been running hate campaigns against Indian Civil Rights leader Mohandas Gandhi, calling the leader a “sex offender” and a “child molester” and seeking the removal of his statue at Davis and other places across California. It is ironic that Congressman Ro Khanna who never tires of talking about Gandhi is today standing with the very individuals who are bent upon abusing Gandhi and erasing his legacy. An individual of Friedrich ’s organization has also been investigated by the US Customs Services for trying to acquire weapons with an aim to create unrest. 

The fact that a US Congressman should endorse the views of a bigot like Friedrich and give a platform to such individuals and organizations rather than calling out their hatred and racism is appalling. This is a blatant disregard not only to the sentiments of the people who have been his supporters even before he was a Congressman and helped get him elected but also to the values of equality and non-discrimination that are enshrined in our constitution and are at the core to who we are as Americans.  

Secondly, Congressman Ro Khanna recently joined the Congressional Pakistan Caucus and was seen hobnobbing with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. This is a complete betrayal of the Indian-American community, many of who have faced violence at the hands of terrorists sponsored by Pakistan. The US State Department in its report has recently labeled Pakistan as a Country of Particular Concern for its “systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom” against minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, and Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims”. Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis had declared Pakistan as the most dangerous country in the world. Rather than questioning Pakistan and its Prime Minister on any of these concerns, Congressman Ro Khanna seems to have been socializing with the person at the head of it all: Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. 

It was the sweat and hard work of the Indian-American people not only in the San Francisco Bay Area, but across the country, who went door to door campaigning for Ro Khanna, holding fundraisers for him, and, above all, donating their hard-earned money to him. By his association with anti-Hindu, anti-Indian racist bigots and his lack of concrete action on causes that are important to the community, Ro has taken the community that stood by him even after his initial failed bid for Congress, for granted. We cannot take it anymore. 

Congressman Ro Khanna will have to choose between addressing the concerns of a community that has supported him extensively or supporting racist bigots like Friedrich and OFMI. And if Mr. Khanna indeed wishes to stand with the community, it is important that he publicly and unequivocally apologize and distance himself from the racist bigots that have consistently encouraged hatred and violence. He should also take concrete actions to forcefully address Pakistan’s use of terrorism and violence to undermine peace and stability in India and in the rest of the world, instead of just making meaningless statements in the media.  

Congressman Khanna should demonstrate that he stands for the values of equality and non-discrimination and that he will not sacrifice these values at the altar of political expediency.

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