The following statement was issued by the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)
A recent news item on Al Jazeera misrepresents the COVID-19 related loans and grants received by several Hindu organizations, including VHPA.
Commenting on this news item, Ajay Shah, President, VHPA said:
The Al Jazeera news item “Hindu right-wing groups in US got $833,000 of federal COVID fund” is an attempt by Al Jazeera to malign legitimate American Hindu seva oriented organizations. The report is full of innuendos about impropriety of the usage of COVID-19 related loans and grants where none exists.
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), wants to emphasize that we are an independent American 501(c)3 organization, and not a branch of any other organization. We have a fifty-year record of following the US laws, and submitting audited financial reports every year. We have received $150,000 in COVID-19 related loans, which will be used as per the letter of the law and will be paid back with interest as stipulated by the law. The $20,430 described in the Al Jazeera report is not received by VHPA, it is an assigned proportional risk to the government for the loan made. The remaining $1000 is a grant, which will be used as stipulated by the law.
The not too subtle placement of the images related to violence etc. in Al Jazeera report, interviews of those with political agenda against Hindus demonstrates clear Hinduphobic agenda. This is the type of biased reporting which has likely led to the ban on this so-called news outlet in some countries.
Amitabh Mittal, General Secretary of VHPA commented:
It’s a hit job indeed! Numbers are all incorrect and while sum total of grant given to VHPA is $1000 Article falsely claims $171,430 given as grant to VHPA, even after providing detailed information, Writer chose to mislead the readers. This is truly low-level journalism.
Utsav Chakrabarty, Director of Awareness, Advocacy and Public Relations stated:
The Al Jazeera article is a shallow and tenuous attempt to malign Hindu organizations in the US. Luckily, most observers are aware of Al Jazeera’s reputation as a mouthpiece of violent Islamists. This is also why the US, and many other countries, including Islamic countries like UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were forced to shut shown their offices.
About World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) is the most prominent organization of Hindus in the USA. Founded in 1970, it has chapters across the country. VHPA runs educational programs for Hindu children and youth in addition to community service (Seva) activities like Support-A-Child supporting 3000 children, and initiatives such as Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC), Hindu Priests Conference, Hindu Womens’ Network, and American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) and Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective (HinduPACT)