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The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) is a Hindu far-right organization and the US offshoot of India’s own Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

VHPA has been designated as a “militant religious organization” by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for a number of years.

The VHP is the cultural wing of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu supremacist paramilitary organization and the ideological parent of India’s ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government — and played a central role in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition.

VHPA’s leaders have a history of making anti-Muslim remarks and are responsible for platforming far-right Hindu nationalists. These leaders also target American Muslim politicians and rights organizations who call attention to the persecution of Muslims and rising Hindu nationalism in India.

With 21 chapters across the country, the VHPA operates as a hydra-headed infrastructure like VHP in India with more than 20 different organizations, projects, and programs mainly operating in the realm of temple relations, advocacy, students, and youth outreach. 

Prominent organizations and projects of VHPA include the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, Hindu Students Council, HinduPact, American Hindus Against Defamation, Hindu Mandir Executives Conference, and the Hindu University of America. It also runs a network of children’s schools (Bal Vihars) and organizes youth camps and conferences.

Over the decades, VHPA leaders have promoted various conspiracy theories that generate fear, suspicion, and hatred toward Muslims, including that Muslim men are paid money to entrap Hindu women; they are producing more children to overtake the Hindu population; Muslim women have no real status in Islam; and they are less patriotic and raise the bogey of “Muslim appeasement.” 

The VHPA has also sent millions of dollars to support various projects run by multiple Hindu far-right organizations in India — including the VHP Foundation, the Vishwa Hindu Jankalyan Parishad, the Bharthi Seva Samithi, and the Bhartiya Jan Sewa Sansthan. A major chunk of the money flows through Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (EVF) USA, a non-profit established by VHPA in 2002 to support the RSS-backed Ekal Vidyalaya single teacher-run schools in India. According to the 990 tax documents, EVF has raised more than $60 million over the past decade.