Petition text opposing the nomination of Preet Bansal and names of Hindu leaders who have endorsed USHA campaign








Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Office of Governor of New York
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224.


Dear Mr. Governor,


We the undersigned oppose the nomination of Preeta D. Bansal, Esq. to the New York Court of Appeals.  A judge on the State of New York’s highest court must be rational, have sound judgment and demonstrate an ability to assess facts in a non-prejudicial manner without presumption.  We believe that, based on past actions and decisions taken and made by Ms. Bansal, her possession of the foregoing characteristics is questionable.  


Specifically, in 2005 when Ms. Bansal served as the Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) she and the Commission she led recommended that the United States Department of State deny Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, a diplomatic visa pursuant Section 212(a)(2)(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Agreement.  That Section makes any foreign government official that directly carried out particularly severe violations of religious freedom ineligible for a visa to enter the United States.  The basis for Ms. Bansal and the USCIRF’s recommendation was the alleged involvement of Mr. Modi in religious riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002.  


Several independent judicial and investigative tribunals in India including those of India’s highest judicial body, the Supreme Court of India, have investigated Mr. Modi’s alleged involvement in the Gujarat riots and Mr. Modi has been cleared of any involvement in every instance. Despite this, in urging the State Department to deny Mr. Modi’s application for a visa to enter the United States, Ms. Bansal said “The [USCIRF] communicated with the State Department about the matter some time ago. We urge the department to act with appropriate Indian officials to forestall or prevent the planned visit [by Narendra Modi.]”


Ms. Bansal and the USCIRF’s recommendation were gravely irrational, irresponsible, prejudicial and presumptive.  Ms. Bansal’s leadership role in adopting such a position clearly makes her unqualified for public service generally and judicial service on a state’s highest court in particular.  In May of this year, Mr. Modi was elected Prime Minster of India with the first majority government in India in thirty years in what was the largest exercise of democratic rights of franchise the world has ever witnessed and this past week countless U.S. government leaders (including yourself) warmly welcomed Mr. Modi to the United States demonstrating that the decisions and actions taken by the USCIRF under Ms. Bansal’s leadership were inappropriate.


For the foregoing reasons, we respectfully urge you not to propose Ms. Bansal for confirmation to the New York Court of Appeals.






Ankur Vaidya 

President of FIA TriState, this is the largest umbrella organization of Indian American groups in the whole country with about 104 constituent members


Dr. Mahesh Mehta 

President of various organizations such as GIBV, Convener of the Overseas Friends of BJP, International Vice President, World Hindu Council


Dr. Sudhir Parikh 

Former President of FIA New York and Publisher of News India Times


Anjleeben Pandya 

Senior leader, World Hindu Council


Chandrakant Patel 

Former Chairman, Asian American Hotel Owners Association and Treasurer of NFIA


Umesh Shukla 

Convener, Hindu Mandir Executives Conference, largest gathering of Hindu temple executives in North America


Nikunj Trivedi 

Chariman, Board of Trustees, Hindu Students Council, the largest Hindu student organization outside India


Vinod Jhunjhunwala 

President, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation – USA


Dr. Vinod Prakash – President, India Development and Relief Fund


Subash Razdan 

Former President and Chairman, NFIA, the umbrella organization of Indian organizations in US


Vishal Aggarwal 

Author and Hindu Scholar


Kanchan Banerjee 

Publisher of New Global Indian and Convener of Global Indian 


Dr. Basant Tariyal

Scientist, Former VP, Lucent Technologies and Founding Global President of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation


Sant Gupta 

Former President of Durga Temple, Interfaith leader of Metro Washington and HMEC Leader


Jyotish Parekh 

Former President, World Hindu Council – USA


Ramdas Lamb 

Hindu Scholar and former advisor to Hindu American Foundation


Abhinav Dwivedi 

Founding member and Vice President, Hindu University of America


Suddhatma Chaitanya 

General Manager of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam


Dr. Krishna Mudal 

President, AIM for Seva, USA


Dr. GNR Tripathi 

Prominent Academician, Hindu Scholar and nominee for the Nobel Prize in Physics



Manhar Rama 

Former Chairman, Asian American Hotel Owners Association


Dr. Dinesh Aggarwal 

Former President, Overseas Friends of BJP


Ram Gehani 

Former President, HSS, Washington DC


Dr. Ram Prakash Aggarwal 

President HSS, Miami, Florida


Dr. Manohar Shinde 

President, Dharma Civilization Foundation and prominent Hindu leader


Dr. Krishan Aggarwal 

Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, AAPI


Dr. Deen Chandora 

Founder, Vedic Temple of Atlanta and Cofounder of WAVES


Prasad Yelamanchi 

President, Global Hindu Heritage Foundation


Aditi Banerjee, Esq. 

Author and Hindu Scholar


Dr. Sujatha Reddy 

Physician and well known humanitarian


Dr. Nagendra Rao 

Global Management Strategist, Hindu Scholar and former Advisor to Hindu American Foundation


Indrani Rampersaud 

Prominent leader of Caribean Hindus


Dhiru Shah 

Prolific writer and President of India Awareness Forum


Bhikhubhai Patel 

Founding member and Director, Shree Shakti Mandir, Atlanta


Kalyan Vishwanathan 

Founder and President, Sanatana Dharma Foundation and Senior Executive, TCS


Satya Dosapati 

Human Rights Activist


Dr. Yashpal Lakra 

Former President, World Hindu Council – USA


Swadesh Katoch 

Director, Bhutaneese Refugee Project, Sewa International


J P Rama 

Former Chairman, Asian American Hotel Owners Association


Dileepbhai Patel 

Chairman, Best Western International and former Chairman, Asian American Hotel Owners Association


Dr. Avinash Rangra 

Mayor, Alpine, Texas





Source: USHA