Some media have criticized the text as an “answer” to the so-called “Seattle Caste Law.” But the campaign for the Resolution had started before the Seattle controversies.
by Massimo Introvigne
On March 31, the American State of Georgia became the first in the U.S. to pass a resolution against Hinduphobia. The resolution was sponsored by Republican State legislators Lauren McDonald and Todd Jones. They represent Forsyth County, which has a substantial Hindu presence.
The Resolution notes that, “Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest and largest religions with more than 1.2 billion followers in over 100 countries. It is a religion which encompasses an array of belief systems and diverse traditions with values of acceptance, mutual respect and peace.” It also praises the multiple contribution of American Hindus to U.S. culture, science, medicine, food, sport, and the arts.
The Resolution defines Hinduphobia as “a set of antagonistic, destructive, and derogatory attitudes and behaviors towards Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Hindus that may manifest as prejudice, fear, or hatred.”
The Resolution cites both documented hate crimes against Hindus, and an anti-Hindu bias in the media and some academic circles. It was passed thanks to the efforts of
the Atlanta chapter of the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA), which organized a Hindu Advocacy Day on March 22 at the Georgia State Capitol.
Some media have criticized the resolution as an “answer” to the February ordinance by the City of Seattle who denounced and banned caste, in addition to gender, as a reason for discrimination, and was criticized by some American Hindu circles.
In fact, however, the campaign for the Georgia anti-Hinduphobia resolution had started before the so-called “Seattle caste law” was first introduced. It relied in particular on a 2022 report by Rutgers University, “Anti-Hindu Disinformation: A Case Study of Hinduphobia on Social Media.” The report noted that hate speech on social media easily degenerated into the crimes and actual violence against American Hindus.