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California Civil Rights Report: Hinduphobia is real & kicking!

California Civil Rights Report: Hinduphobia is real & kicking!

Civil Rights Department (CDR) of California recently put together a report outlining frequency in cases relating to religious hatred in the California state, USA. As per the report, incidences of anti-Hindu hate crimes accounted for 23.3 per cent of all religious hate crimes reported to Department’s Anti-Hate Hotline in one year. Almost one-quarter of all reported religious hate crimes were directed at Hindu community. The rise in such crimes is a serious concern and necessitates a closer look at the underlying reasons, ramifications and possible remedies to stop this worrying trend.

Among the states with most diversity in terms of culture and religion in the US is California. Hindus make up a sizable chunk of the state’s population; they are mostly Indian Americans who enrich the social, cultural and economic fabric of the region. This diversity notwithstanding and the ideals of acceptance, reports of religious hatred and intolerance persist. Verbal abuse, physical assaults, vandalism of places of worship, harassment and other types of hate speech or discrimination against Hindu persons or groups are examples of anti-Hindu hate incidents. Substantive absolute number of incidents suggests that the larger problem of religious intolerance is anti-Hindu hostility.

 (Author is head of operations at Centre for Integrated and Holistic Studies, a non-partisan think tank based in New Delhi)

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