How a fake story was planted to strain India – US ties, days after Biden swearing-in

| SamvadaWorld Staff
  • New items claiming that the new US President Joe Biden had excluded two Democrats with RSS-BJP links from his team went viral
  • The story claimed that the decision was taken after several letters were written to the Biden team demanding that the two Hindus not be given prominent roles for their ties with the RSS and the BJP
  • Executive Director of Hindu American Foundation Suhag Shukla revealed the plot to tarnish the image of the Hindu Democrats and India
  • As per Shukla, the plot was hatched by the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and its minions on the internet

Last week a new item claiming that the new US President Joe Biden had excluded two Democrats with RSS-BJP links started to be shared on social media. Soon, the claim with very similar sources and words began to make it to the several newspapers and online news outlets.

The story went viral and many on social media opined that this was the beginning of the straining of the relationships between India and US after the new POTUS came into the White House. The story claimed that the decision was taken after several letters were written to the Biden team demanding that the two Hindus not be given prominent roles for their ties with the RSS and the BJP, the ruling party in India.

There was no clarification or confirmation from any official sources in the Democratic party or the Biden administration over the claims made. However, it has now emerged that the seeds of the story, planting it in social media and news outlets was an elaborate ploy of dubious pro-Islamic organisations based in the US and beyond.

Executive Director of Hindu American Foundation Suhag Shukla revealed the plot to tarnish the image of the Hindu Democrats and India in a series of tweets on Jan 24th. Suhag Shukla exposed how the fake story that two Hindu Americans holding senior roles in the Biden campaign are not being given jobs in the Administration because of ties to “RSS/BJP” was part of a plot hatched by the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC). AS per Shukla, the IAMC got a few internet handles to write an open letter demanding those two Hindus not be given prominent roles.

Then, Pieter Friedrich, a so-called “South Asia expert” funded by an IAMC co-founder, highlighted the IAMC letter in a Medium piece, implying that Joe Biden had ‘delivered a stinging rebuke to BJP/RSS’ by excluding anyone with ties to them. Suhag highlights that this was a story that was tempting for few media outlets, who are the usual suspects in running anti-Hindu new stories.

Shukla notes that The Wire and The Tribune ran the story with no sourcing or confirmation. The story quickly spread among Indian opposition party mouthpieces like the National Herald. “The @WhiteHouse seems to have tried to quash the false story & legit journalists determined it was fake. But it was too late”, she notes. The fake story made it into vernacular press and more importantly into WhatsApp/Signal chat groups, Shukla writes.

All Americans must strongly oppose any targeting of Hindu & Indian Americans on charges of dual loyalty, amplified by anti-Hindu activists and peddled by fake news outlets, writes Shukla in her thread. In conclusion, Suhag Shukla lists several anti-Hindu hate groups who were part of the plot to tarnish the two Hindu democrats and strain India-US relationships.

The following is a compilation of her tweets:

Hasn’t been a week, but @POTUS  has a diplomatic headache. A #FakeNews story that 2 Hindu Americans holding senior roles in the Biden campaign are not being given jobs in the Administration because of ties to “RSS/BJP” is causing outrage. How did this happen? Let’s unpack!

First, the Indian American Muslim Council teamed w/ a few internet handles to write a hypocritical open letter demanding those 2 Hindus not be given prominent roles. Why hypocritical? No mention at all of a nominee with ties to the shadowy separatist Stand With Kashmir front. Not to mention that the claim is false & horribly mean-spirited. The 2 Hindu Americans being targeted have never had ties to Indian politics. The claim is that their fathers were friends with some Indian leaders–but the father of one of those targeted passed away years ago.

Then Pieter Friedrich, the gadfly “South Asia expert” funded by an IAMC co-founder, highlighted the IAMC letter in a Medium piece, implying that @JoeBiden had delivered a stinging rebuke to BJP/RSS by excluding anyone with ties to them. This was too tempting a story for some.

The @thewire_in & @thetribunechd ran this story with no sourcing or confirmation. The story quickly spread among Indian opposition party mouthpieces like @NH_India. the @WhiteHouse seems to have tried to quash the false story & legit journalists determined it was fake.

But it was too late. The fake story made it into vernacular press–and more important into WhatsApp/Signal chat groups. Folks in India are incredulous. And now the Biden team has a headache to deal with and will be forced to allay outrage among sections of India’s government.

There will be many efforts to pressure the Biden Administration on India. The Indian govt. can deal w/ that. But all Americans must strongly oppose any targeting of Hindu & Indian Ams on charges of dual loyalty, amplified by anti-Hindu activists and peddled by fake news outlets.

Addendum: Have received many questions about the bonafides of those who signed the “open letter” that Friedrich and irresponsible sections of Indian media amplified. Several anti-Hindu hate groups among them. Here you go: 

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