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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Gautham Rao
(201)674 2065 (USA)
navyashastra@shastras.org
(www.shastras.org)

International Hindu Group Protests Attacks on Dalits in Harayana

Troy, Michigan--September 9, 2005--Navya Shastra, the international organization of scholars, activists, priests and laypeople dedicated to fostering the spiritual equality of all Hindus, has condemned the recent upper-caste initiated atrocities directed against the Dalit community in Gohana, Harayana. Navya Shastra confirmed that the incident--which allegedly started after the Jat community accused the Dalits of murdering one of their community members--left scores of Dalit houses burned to the ground and rendered hundreds homeless.

"Most disturbing of all," said Jaishree Gopal, Navya Shastra Co-Chairman, "not a single Hindu religious leader offered their assistance in the days after the attack. Their absolute indifference, callousness really, demonstrates that Hinduism is bereft of any moral authority in the northern parts of India." The organization called on individuals--especially non-resident Indians--to donate generously to the rebuilding of the Dalit homes. "This attack has all the hatred of a 1950s style Ku Klux Klan lynching and the disaster--for Dalit families--of Hurricane Katrina. This is an important time for Hindus to demonstrate that we are capable of facilitating social justice, or our religion risks its long-term relevance," said Vikram Masson, Navya Shastra Co-Chairman.