August 12, 2022
HinduPACT Responds to Attack on Hindu Temple in Queen, New York
WASHINGTON, D.C – HinduPACT condemns the vandalization of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Shri Tulsi Mandir temple in Queens, New York last Wednesday. An unidentified individual knocked the statue over and left it face down on the ground with its arm cracked and hand broken into pieces.
Utsav Chakrabarti, Executive Director of HinduPACT, said, “This is the fourth attempt at destroying a Gandhi statue across North America and the fifth attack on a Hindu temple in the past year. There is a concerted campaign at spreading anti-Hindu hate in major urban centers across the country. The rise in anti-Hindu attacks over the last few years has been carried out by the same groups and individuals that target Jews and spread anti-Semitism.”
Ajay Shah, the President of World Hindu Council of America and Convenor of HinduPACT and American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) said, “This represents not just a hate crime against American Hindus but also a deep rooted insecurity of hate mongers. We believe that the targeting of the Hindu mandir and specifically vandalism of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue is an act against the core Hindu ideals of peace, coexistence, respect for diverse religious beliefs and the promotion of diversity and equality among all human beings.”
Tejal Amit Shah, Convener of Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC), said, “This act of vandalism took place during the holy month of Shravan (9th month of Hindu Calendar), when Hindus are engaged in traditional worships, fasting, and, religious and spiritual practices.” She added, “This is very upsetting for the Hindu community in general. It is a sign of hate crime and Hinduphobia. We strongly condemn this. HMEC thanks NY State Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar for holding the press conference and providing support to the local community. HMEC also appeals to law enforcement to get to the root cause and bring a lawful close to this unfortunate incident.”
HMEC, AHAD and HinduPACT are initiatives of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)