Hindu American Leaders Applaud Rep. Perry's Withdrawal of Support for Anti-Hindu Resolution
Washington, D.C. (February 18, 2014) - Last week, Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) became the second Congressional cosponsor of House Resolution 417 to withdraw his cosponsorship. The resolution has been under fire for calling on India to create parallel minority religious courts, spotlighting Hindus for perpetrating communal violence, and for continuing an American visa ban against India's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi. The move came after Rep. Perry met with several constituents at a meeting with several Indian American leaders in his district.
"This decision by Congressman Perry reflects the emerging consensus among lawmakers that H.Res. 417 is a flawed and inaccurate resolution that simultaneously damages U.S.-India relations while doing nothing to protect Indian minorities," said Jay Kansara, HAF's Director of Government Relations, who joined Perry's constituents in Harrisburg. "The central Pennsylvania Indian American community has set an example of how communities can organize and educate their congressional leaders that the time for myopic resolutions motivated by special interest groups targeting India and Hindus is over."
H.Res. 417 has been widely criticized, evidenced by a congressional letter spearheaded by HAF that garnered over 100 Hindu and Indian American organizational signatures from across the U.S.
"Relations between the United States and India are in a state of flux, given the U.S. Ambassador to India's meeting this week with Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gujarat, and a House resolution targeting India's potential next prime minister is uniquely ill-timed," said Kansara. "We applaud Rep. Perry for recognizing that H.Res. 417 will do more harm than good to the bilateral relationship."
Perry joins the growing ranks of U.S. lawmakers who have publicly opposed H.Res. 417. Besides Chabot's withdrawal, some of the House's most respected foreign policy voices, including Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS), the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, have voiced strong opposition to H.Res. 417. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) released a statement asking her congressional colleagues to not support the resolution, and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) also wrote to HAF affirming India's religious pluralism as a reason why he would not to sign H. Res. 417.
A few Indian American organizations, calling themselves a Coalition Against Genocide, hired a lobbying firm to push H.Res. 417, but with limited success thus far. HAF recently published a report detailing the political and ideological ties of this coalition's key players.