April 21, 2007

Hindu Students Council Denounces Inaccurate, Misleading Propaganda By Anonymous Group

Hindu Students Council

Press Release – For Immediate Release

April 20, 2007

Contact: Rishi Bhutada at 832-797-5147 (vp-outreach@hscnet.org)

Nikunj Trivedi at 732-599-1561 (president@hscnet.org)

Hindu Students Council Denounces Inaccurate, Misleading Propaganda By Anonymous Group

New Jersey, USA, April 20, 2007 – The Hindu Students Council (HSC) denounces the recently released report by anonymous writers on the Internet under the name of the “Campaign to Stop Funding Hate”. The report, which has no claims of authorship or organizational sponsorship, makes the erroneous claim that HSC has been deceiving its members about its activities. The true deception is in the report itself, which attempts to present itself as a reputable source of information about HSC while actually being a mix of outdated information (some of which is 15 years old and presented as currently accurate) and inaccurate claims published by anonymous authors concealing their true motivations for initiating this misleading attack.

HSC has always been open about its activities. These activities are primarily at the chapter level on various college campuses. They include hosting speakers, performing community service, holding poojas, celebrating festivals, and participating in interfaith discussions. On the regional and national level, HSC aims to provide resources to chapters and create opportunities via camps, regional and national meetings, and retreats enabling members to learn more about their heritage, engage in personal and leadership development, and make lifelong friends. In pursuing HSC’s mission of learning about Hindu culture and heritage and developing awareness about issues affecting Hindus, HSC members are encouraged to reach out to a wide variety of organizations in the United States that share an interest in promoting a stronger, more educated Hindu community. Such organizations include the Art of Living, BAPS, Chinmaya Mission, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, the Gayatri Parivar, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, International Society of Krishna Consciousness, the Vedanta Society, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, and various Hindu temples and ashrams. The fact that HSC shares many values with all of these organizations and believes that Hindus must be unified and strong does not mean HSC is responsible for any of the actions of those groups or their affiliates. Neither does it indicate that HSC is being secretly (or not so secretly) run by any of those organizations.

HSC is outraged that when HSC has been occupied in trying to support its Virginia Tech members, these anonymous writers have decided to push this propaganda. This insensitivity and disregard for the Virginia Tech community only shows that the so-called “Campaign to Stop Funding Hate” is actually pushing hate with its anti-Hindu stance taking precedence over any reasonable person's concerns. In essence, the report appears to be yet another example of a trend of smear attacks on Hindu organizations by groups that wish to prevent the development of a Hindu community in the West. HSC and other organizations play an important role in inspiring young Hindus to help disadvantaged people in India and other parts of the world as well as serve their fellow Americans. These smear attacks show that the anonymous instigators behind this report do not hold the universal values of inclusion and tolerance, but instead peddle discrimination and defamation.

The report’s claim of a secret, deceptive side to HSC should be seen for the farce of true investigative reporting that it is. The Hindu Students Council is a tolerant, inclusive, and independent organization, open about its identity and activities. One can find out the true facts about HSC at our website (http://www.hscnet.org/fact.php). This report, on the other hand, is both deceptive and deceitful, using anonymous writing, murky organizational sponsorship, and inaccurate claims. Those who read the report need to be aware of its inaccuracies, blatant disregard for the truth, and the questionable motivation of its authors.

HSC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) youth organization with chapters at over 80 universities around the world. Established in 1990, HSC is an international forum providing opportunities on college campuses to learn about Hindu heritage and culture; foster awareness of issues affecting Hindus; and provide seva (service) to the community. HSC presents many opportunities for spiritual, professional, and personal development through campus study groups, seminars, lectures, workshops, conferences, and camps. For more information on HSC, write to hsc@hscnet.org or visit the HSC website at http://www.hscnet.org.

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