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Rights

‘Disastrous Impact on Minorities’ Safety’: South Asian Diaspora on Canada’s ‘Hinduphobia’ Petition

'Claims of Hinduphobia have been used to persecute, hound, delegitimise and silence the fight against casteism and the oppression of minorities in India,' said the South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network, Canada.

New Delhi: The South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network (SADAN), Canada, on September 10, raised serious concerns regarding petition e-4507, which aims to introduce “Hinduphobia” in the Human Rights Code.

SADAN says that it stands in solidarity with all racialised communities who face prejudice and discrimination. It acknowledges that people of the South Asian origin do experience forms of racism. However, it says that “the campaign for the Hinduphobia Bill is part of larger efforts to
suppress discussion about the human rights violations in India and in Canada using the Hindu religion as a shield.”

“The campaign to recognise Hinduphobia is spearheaded by the dominant caste privileged South Asian diaspora who aim to obfuscate any discussion about the violence against Dalits (formerly untouchables), Adivasis (Indigenous communities and tribes), Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians in India. Claims of Hinduphobia have been used to persecute, hound, delegitimise and silence the fight against casteism and the oppression of minorities in India.”

“We caution you that supporting this petition will have a disastrous impact on the safety of religious minorities, caste-oppressed communities and human rights defenders in Canada, India and beyond,” said SADAN, in a press release.

“We have requested all the elected representatives to oppose the petition as a step towards ensuring that some of the most fundamental rights of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians, in Canada and globally, remain protected,” said SADAN.

The petition was initiated by the Canadian Organization for Hindu Heritage Education, calling upon the House to recognise “Hinduphobia” as a term in the glossary of terms in the Human Rights Code. The term aims to recognise anti-Hindu prejudice and discrimination.

According to the petition, “Hinduphobia” is defined as the denial, negation, prejudice or vilification against Hindus, Hinduism, or “Hinduness”. The petition aims to raise awareness and address systemic and institutional “Hinduphobia”.