WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) responded to allegations of being a front organization for Hindu extremist groups by sending cease and desist notices to five organizations and individuals ranging from Qatari state-owned media network Al Jazeera to Rutgers-Newark University Associate Professor Audrey Truschke. 

The Washington DC-based Hindu advocacy organization in a statement alleged the plaintiffs exhibited “reckless disregard of the truth…fully meeting the definition of libel under US law.”

Al Jazeera reported in April 2021 that five ‘Hindu supremacist’ groups received a total of $833,000 in federal aid through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance (EIDLA), Disaster Assistance Loan (DAL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — with the majority going to HAF. 

Al Jazeera went on to link HAF to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organization affiliated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India, through HAF corporate officers, donors, and board members associated with RSS chapters in the United States.

Described by Al Jazeera as a group that “lobbies to deflect any criticism of Modi government’s policies on Capitol Hill,” HAF has long faced allegations from within the South Asian community of being a proxy for right wing Hindu groups.

Hindus for Human Rights co-founder Sunita Vishvanath was quoted saying the five Hindu groups were “sympathetic to the Hindu supremacist ideology and parent (sic) organisations continue to spread hatred in Hindu communities towards Muslims and Christians.” Vishvanath also received a cease and desist notice.

Professor Audrey Truschke, who is a frequent target of online criticism due to her views on South Asian history and politics, has also been a vocal critic of HAF, accusing the group of using intimidation and “acting on behalf of a foreign government that is silencing American voices at home.”


”HAF is highly visible and often subject to harassment and abuse,” said HAF’s Executive Director Suhag Shukla. In a statement, HAF said its “leadership strongly rejected insinuations of dual loyalty to India, associations with foreign organizations or Islamophobia, and expressed a determination to fight these accusations in US courts.” 

In addition to Al Jazeera, Truschke and Vishwanath, HAF also sent notices to Hindus for Human Rights co-founder Raju Rajgopal, Rasheed Ahmed of the Indian American Muslim Council, John Prabhudoss of the Federation of Indian American Christians, and Al Jazeera reporter Raqib Hameed Naik, demanding they retract their statements and issue apologies within 24 hours.