Sadhana is an anti-Hindu, anti-India organisation operating from the United States headed by Sunita Viswanathan, who also heads Hindus for Human Rights. Sadhana is not a Hindu organisation nor does it work for Hindu causes. Sadhana has been a staunch supporter of anti-India forces and has participated in anti-CAA protests along with Islamic fundamentalist organisations, Christian evangelical churches and communist led organisations. They have never argued in favour of religious persecution of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh. They support Kashmir separatism and have again never spoken about Kashmiri Hindu genocide. Sadhana’s co-founders along with Sunita Viswanath are Aminta Khilawan-Nariane and Rohan Nariane.
Sunita Viswanathan herself is a communist who associates herself with FOIL (Forum of Inquilabi Leftists) and in September appointed as Hindu Religious Life Advisor by Columbia University. Sadhana’s donors and partners are Fellowship in Prayer, Citizens Committee for NYC, The Sister Fund, Auburn Theological Seminary First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn. Three out of the four are Christian churches or organisations working to promote and spread Christianity. Other Executive Board members include Nikhil Mandalaparthy, Gautham Reddy, Davanie Singharoy, Udit Thakur, Samir Durvasula, Hari Venkatachalam, and Helen Lundstrom Erwin.
Their Advisory Committee includes Anantanand Rambachan who is a communist is portrayed as a Hindu pandit and a scholar. In their Hindutva Primer 101 Rambachan says “The rise of populist nationalism, and especially those versions that clothe themselves in religious colors, requires a critique from the same religious traditions.” Other advisory members are Aminta Kilawna-Narine, wife of Sadhana co-founder Rohan Narine, Rajni Bakshi, a author and “Gandhian”, Vijah Ramjattan, who runs United Madarssi Committee (UMA) for Tamils converted to Christianity. In her blog Aminta Kilawan-Narine on Vijah Ramjattan, she makes a distinction between Sanatana Dharma and “progressive Hindusim” , John Thatamanil, who is Assistant Professor of Theology and World Religions at World Theological Seminary and Ravina Natasha Vibart-Jadubans. The man who prominently figures in picture gallery of Sadhana is Tahil Sharma who serves as Director of the Hindu Student Organisation at the University of Southern California. He is also Tahil one of three Interfaith Ministers in Residence for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and as the Los Angeles Coordinator for Sadhana: A Coalition of Progressive Hindus
Cashing in on Hindu Sampradaya
They cash in on the genuine good name of Chinmaya Missions’s almost-iconic Balavihar classes which most Hindus would have attended in their childhood, and who would want to inculcate good Hindu values in their American-based offspring. Sadhana website says they “follow” Chinmaya’s Missions’ programme. However when SHHAN emailed Chinmayananda who have categorically stated that they are not connected to Sadhana and run their own Balavihar classes in New York. So by using the signature name of Balavihar, Sadhana is practicing deception.
Genuine seekers of Hinduism should please note that Chinmaya Balavihar has two locations -Uptown and Downtown Manhattan. Since COVID, they have gone virtual. Even a cursory look into their website mentions Vedanta, the rich essence of Hinduism which is nowhere mentioned by Sadhana.So Sadhana is indoctrinating Hindu children to produce toxic citizens rather than true, socially conscious and environmentally friendly Hindus.
Progressive Hindu Priests Network
Sadhana runs a network of “progressive” priests, that officiates amongst other events marriages of same sex, inter-religion or inter-race. While such matters are private and no a matter of anyone’s judgements, there is no mention of the normal Hindu, heterosexual marriage. The new movement of intellectuals is to please the minority at the expense of the majority. Thus outlier
marriages are normalised as progressive, making normal, heterosexual sex or within-religion marriages as regressive. This disease of normalising uncommon or outlier populations at the cost of the majority is not just of Sadhana.
Hinduism is the only religion that believes in a live and let live principle, not just for fellow humans but for all life. Hindutva has always been the equivalent of Hinduism. And yet it is claimed to be a political ideology originated from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an organisation that translates to mean National Self-Service Group. It has played a key role in helping people in times of need much like the Western Concept of the Salvation Army. If it is predominantly Hindu, it is because the population of India was predominantly Hindu about a century ago. RSS has members of all religious and caste dominations. Yet, RSS is being targeted as a political entity and said to be the brand leader of Hindutva nationalism. Once again, note the irony, the only religion not to have a national home state is being accused of nationalism. It is accused of fascism, being inspired by Nazi ideology. It is in fact a grassroots organisation that helps all Indians in times of national calamities.
While demonstrating a thin veneer of Hinduism, Sadhana takes every opportunity to malign Hindus and Hinduism by branding it as the hated Hindutva. Repeating a lie a thousand times appears to make it a truth according to Sadhana. They have a title, “Hindutva is an American problem too”. And note the problem: The hosting by the President Donald Trump of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a 50,000 strong event of all Indians in Texas. The event is described to have been hosted by Hindutva political activists, when in fact they were just normal Indians, who were not even necessarily Hindu, let alone “Hindutva”. Instead of acknowledging Modi as India’s PM and leader of world’s largest democracy, he is described as leader of India’s largest Hindu nationalist group. As for the word nationalist, note the purposeful vilification of the term. Somehow looking out for your country, your patriotism has become an undesirable trait. Sadhana is also unduly trying to influence and polarise American politics, something Hindu religious organisations abstain from. Yet, Sadhana clearly admires some politicians and vilifies others especially Ms Tulsi Gabbard, just because she is a practising Hindu. Yet, Sadhana promotes itself as a “coalition of progressive Hindu” organisation.
Mis-interprets Hindu texts
In their Hindutva Primer-101 they have mis- defined Hindusim as oneness and non-violence. In another part of their Primer they say “No ancient Hindu texts or traditions call us to the service of a nation.” They seek to strip Hinduism of its spirituality and make it hollow to be usurped by other Abrahamic faiths. They call themselves Progressive Hindus and anyone who doesn’t fit this definition is instantly labeled as Hindutva. In another paragraph they say “Our highest calling is not identity with a nation, but identity with fellow beings in joy and suffering.” But nowhere on the website they make a point of highlighting the persecution of Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, nor do they mention persecution of Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir.
Some of the core teachings of Hindu scriptures include ekatva (oneness) and ahimsa (nonviolence). Hindutva promotes division and exploitation on the basis of religion. In a country where one fifth of the population is not Hindu, Hindutva advocates argue that India should be a country that privileges Hindus and openly incite violence against minorities, particularly Muslims and Christians. This is a majoritarian vision no different from the ugliness of white nationalism or conservative politicians who argue that the United States is a Christian country.Hindutva Primer 101 – http://www.sadhana.org