Rebuttal to Surinder Malhotra”s letter to NYTimes
We received a copy of the letter sent to you by the Indian National Overseas Congress President Surinder Malhotra dated Oct 10, 2007 in response to the Ad placed in New York Times by Forum for Preserving Gandhi Heritage on Oct 6, 2007 (page 11). We were surprised at the tone and the accusations Mr. Malhotra made in his letter which lacked any meaningful content. In hisobsession to protect his leader he seems to have lost rationale in his accusations of the organizers without any proof and his questioning of the integrity of an esteemed paper like New York Times. Forums Advertisement passed through both Acceptability and Legal Departments of New York Times based on the detailed proofs and documents provided by the Forum for each point mentioned in the Ad.
‘Mr. Malhotra calls the organizers a fringe group of extreme Hindu nationalists. Mr. Malhotra can hardly name the organizers involved leave alone their background. His statements clearly shows the contempt he and his party holds against Hindus.
Mr. Malhotra calls the advertisement a bunch of falsehoods and without a political dialogue. The advertisement clearly identified the reasons for organizers opposition to Ms. Sonia Gandhi”s representation with detailed references in the advertisement and extensive documentation at the http://gandhihertiage.org website. Instead of engaging in any debate on the issues the Forum raised, Mr. Malhotra attacks the organizers by name calling. Throughout his letter there is no mention of rebuttal to Forum claims which shows the hollowness of his argument.
Mr. Malhotra claims to speak for all Indian Americans when he is mainly speaking for a political organization based on the Congress party of India. The fact that about 500 people came on a weekday to protest in front of UN and people from all across the country have come to participate in the fasting/prayers on Oct 1st and the protest on Oct 2nd shows that his claims are false. It is also worth noting that members of Mahatma Gandhis extended family also participated in the protest.
Forum has provided extensive proof which includes news paper articles, court documents, books most of which is readily available for last 3 years. While living in a truly democratic society such as USA, Mr. Malhotra refuses to learn that people in power are subject to scrutiny and it is first amendment right of every citizen of this country to express their views. It is more so imperative to scrutinize when someone claim to represent Mahatma Gandhi on behalf of one billion people in front of the world community.
Mr. Malhotra makes senseless accusations on organizations such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad and RSS and their funding some communal agenda in India without providing any proof. Many of the organizers of the protest were successful entrepreneurs, doctors and engineers from elite Institutions who have settled in USA for 20 to 45 years and some have not even heard or were part of the organizations he claims they belong. Mr. Malhotra cannot even name the organizers to make such statements. He is indulging in McCarthyism in branding as dangerous and extremist, the highly respected Mahatma Gandhi Center in Wayne, New Jersey that is providing great service for more than two decades to the Indian American community.
His argument that his party stands for communal peace is hollow given that his party burnt alive 3000 Sikhs in India and Ms. Sonia Gandhi rewarded the prime instigator of such atrocity with a key position in the central cabinet. His argument that RSS is fundamentalist because a RSS member killed Mahatma Gandhi sounds like the arguments such as Jewish holocaust is justified because a Jewish ruler crucified Jesus.
Mr. Malhotra claim that the Forum”s real issue is because Sonia Gandhi is a foreigner is baseless. Forum have repeatedly stated that the reasons for the protest is because the policies and actions Ms. Sonia Gandhi pursued is totally opposite to what Mahatma Gandhi stood for his entire life. Forum advertisement spoke for itself. Also, the Ad never mentioned that Ms. Sonia Gandhi claimed to be related to Mahatma Gandhi, but it provided public clarification that there is no relationship between them.
Instead of engaging in name-calling and accusations, Mr. Malhotra and his organization should render a public apology to all Indian American community for selection of Ms. Sonia Gandhi to represent values of Mahatma Gandhi on behalf of one billion Indians in front of World Community at United Nations.
We are confident that New York Times will stand for truth and expose the so called leaders who rob and divide their nations for power, wealth and dynasty.
Forum for Gandhi Heritage.