Enabling Genocide: Real-World Consequences of Atul Keshap’s RSS Meet

On 10 October 2021, I joined members of the Indian-American diaspora in Canton, Michigan to protest US Ambassador Atul Keshap’s recent meeting with the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an Indian paramilitary. This was the second protest against Keshap in a month; the first was in Sacramento, CA. Here’s what I had to say in Canton:

Picture for a moment that the year is 1933 — the year that Hitler rose to power — and the place is Germany. It is the city of Nuremberg, the heartland of the Nazi movement, where mass rallies are held every year to fan the flames of hatred that are spreading across the land.

Imagine that the US Ambassador to Nazi Germany had attended the 1933 Nuremberg rally to meet, chat with, and pose for photos with Nazi leadership — even as the shadow of the coming Holocaust loomed large.

Thank God, that did NOT happen in 1933.

And yet, this year, just last month, that’s essentially what happened in the Indian city of Nagpur when America’s then Acting Ambassador to India, Atul Keshap, embraced those who took up the torch of fascism — the RSS.

Keshap’s meeting stamped America’s approval on the world’s oldest, largest, fastest growing, and most dangerous fascist movement and sent a message to the RSS and its millions of foot-soldiers that — despite full-knowledge of the grotesque violence perpetrated by that paramilitary and its auxiliaries — the US will not only turn a blind eye to the looming genocide in India, but actually shake hands with the perpetrators of the coming Holocaust.

We didn’t have to wait long at all to witness the real-world consequences of Keshap’s meeting.

In the four weeks since Keshap posed for pictures with the RSS, India has witnessed an explosion of RSS-linked violence across the entire country — today, the RSS’s stormtroopers are marching through the streets of India openly raising calls for genocide against Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and others.

The great Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warned: “We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” What then will we remember when those who we thought were our friends do not merely remain silent but actually EMBRACE our enemies? The Biden administration must give an answer, and swiftly, for the RSS is bringing genocide to India this very day.

Hey hey, ho ho, the RSS has got to go. Hey hey, ho ho, Keshap has got to go.

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