Hunger-Striking to Protest Twitter’s Donation to RSS Affiliate
Saying #TakeItBackJack after $2.5 million donation to Sewa International USA
Hi. This is Pieter Friedrich, and I’m going on a hunger-strike to protest Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s donation of $2.5 million to Sewa International USA.
Sewa USA is connected to Sewa International, in India, which is itself affiliated with Sewa Bharati, which is the social service wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist paramilitary that is implicated in countless incidents of violence against minorities, including pogroms.
Over the past 20 years, reports have repeatedly exposed how donations made for disaster relief purposes to chapters of Sewa International have been given to organizations in India which are connected to the RSS and possibly even directly linked to RSS-sponsored anti-minority violence.
Sewa USA itself is run by top leadership of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (or HSS-USA, which is the American wing of the RSS), as well as by others who have actually served as full-time workers for the paramilitary in India.
The chairperson of Sewa USA is Ramesh Bhutada. As the Vice-President of HSS-USA and, essentially, the RSS’s number two person in the United States, he has a long track record of political campaign work to support the election and promotion of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Narendra Modi despite Modi’s involvement in an anti-Muslim pogrom in 2002.
Where we send our money matters. As it has been said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Mr. Dorsey meant well by giving millions to a group that claims to be working to provide relief for a nation that is currently being ravaged by COVID-19, but he didn’t do his due diligence to verify the credentials of the organization to which he gave.
Thus, Twitter has put itself in the position of providing massive financing to an organization that is linked to the ruling party of India, linked to a prime minister who is accused of causing the current COVID crisis, linked to a violent Hindu nationalist paramilitary, and linked to groups that are implicated in the murder of minorities in India.
So, for now, I’m on hunger-strike to protest and declare, “Take It Back, Jack.”
I’ll provide you with updates as I go, and I hope you stand with me as we work — with eyes wide open — for a free, peaceful, and prosperous India.
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