Richa Gautam details how she effectively countered the many misconceptions being spread on CAA in US

The fake narrative peddling about CAA has started in US schools from middle school (7th grade on) and by the time the Indian American child reaches High School, they are thoroughly confused. In this engaging conversation, Richa Gautam details how she has put together data and facts that when presented before councils, convinced the authorities of the errors and they have in fact accepted them and corrected them.


India abrogated Article 370 in August 2019 followed by Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019, this is where it all started, it is said that from November 2019, the Islamic activists have been spreading counterfeit messages across the world. When Article 370 was abrogated they spread the message that it is unfair on part of Kashmiris that special rights have been taken away and so on. Then, when CAA was passed, the rumours were that it’s against human rights and it is against the Muslim community in particular, whereas for the matter of fact, neither Abrogation of 370 nor CAA has anything to do with such rumours.

Now, what exactly happened and where?

Basically, the Islamist activists around the world are trying to spread the wrong message that India is suppressing the minority, however, it is the other way around, in reality. Indian govt has always given more benefits to minority, but, these messages send wrong signals.

To defend such false statements and messages, Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNa) is one of the groups which has come forward to clear the air.

It is a wakeup call for all the Indians and especially Hindus, in the USA, the activists have started penetrating educational institutions, and more shocking to hear that they have started penetrating middle schools as well.

Dealing with anti-CAA activists in a subtle but effective manner

Here is a story of a group of activists who are consciously working towards the benefit of India, showing the actual side of the story to people in the US.

CoHNA – Coalition of Hindus of North America – an organization dedicated to improving the understanding of Hinduism among North Americans has taken up this cause. They provide verified information to schools with facts on CAA, Abrogation of article 370, ground reality in Kashmir and bring a stop to anti-India events at schools.

They argue that most of the times the teachers don’t have in-depth knowledge on these topics and mainly rely on the information provided the media. They have been quite successful in their endeavour.  One of the things, which is puzzling is, how such political agendas have made their way into campuses/school premises, even if it is through the medium of organizing events.

In one of the instances, the Chicago Tribune had published an article on a 17 -year old student activist Aminah Ahmed, who had been at the forefront in rallying against CAA [1]. CoHNA activists consulted the Additional Solicitor General and many other sources and collected all the information and shared it with Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Tribune then retracted all the elements from the article with regards to CAA, although they have retained the activist story of Aminah Ahmed.

Chicago Tribune retraction
Fig 1. Chicago Tribune retraction

Another very divisive instance took place in Maryland, where an India awareness day was organized around August 15th. In this event, children were asked to dress either in Saffron or Green. The western audiences are not aware of the significances of these colours, however, anti-CAA supporters were supposed to wear Green and the children wearing Saffron were to be side-lined. But, some of the parents were strong enough to take up this issue and got this up with CoHNA members – Swapna Raina and Sudha Jagannathan. Members of CoHNA and Parents together pulled down the entire program after talking to the Principal and teachers.

Swapna Raina
Fig 2. Swapna Raina
Sudha Jagannathan
Fig 3. Sudha Jagannathan

So, all in all, we can say that more and more countries should have such proactive groups like CoHNA who can show people the realistic picture of India, especially in sensitive issues like CAA, Abrogation of Article 370 or the Farm laws. CoHNA is taking care of the USA for now, they should think of connecting with other countries to create awareness.

References:
[1] Hinsdale Central teenager looks to change the world, starting with her parents’ native countryNov 15, 2020, Chicago Tribune

1 COMMENT

  1. You are doing great work Richa.

    Your YouTube channel needs more views because you have some great content. Get some of the stalwarts with a large social media following to invite you so you can get more visitors. This is important information for our kids.

    Thanks PGurus for giving a voice to these dharmic warrriors we would never have known.

    Future Topic: can you both do an episode on 529 college funding? Why should I use my money for colleges that has anti dharma South Asia programs?

    I’m all for gender studies if EVERY religious text get examined.

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