Angana Chatterji

Angana P. Chatterji is a member of FOIL (Forum of Inquilabi Leftists), Coalition Against Communalism (CAC), and Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) and Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (CSFH). She was a Professor of anthropologist, currently is an activist and feminist historian. Chatterji is also known for associating with Friends of South Asia (FOSA). FOIL and FOSA both are known to have extended support to violent and banned terror organisations.

Another organisation that Chatterji associates with is Federation of Tamil Sangams in North America (FeTNA) . FeTNA is said to be the front of now-defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). She is a citizen of India and Permanent Resident of the United States. She supports “freedom” for Kashmir and has fabricated many reports, some in connivance with international human rights agencies, accusing Indian government and Indian army of sexual violence on Kashmiri women. Interestingly FetNA’s Ex-director, Nachimutu Socrates was caught by FBI under charges of “attempt and conspire to bribe purported US State Department Officials to remove LTTE from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organisation list”.

Previously Angana Chatterji worked in Indian Social Institute (ISI) , an organisation founded and run by Fr.Jerome D’Souza, a Jesuit priest. She has also worked as Research Anthropologist and Founding Co-chair, Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Initiative at the Center for Race and Gender at University of California, Berkeley and Founding Co-chair of the precursor, Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Initiative at the Center for Social Sector Leadership. Chatterji has served on the board of directors of International Rivers Network and Earth Island Institute, Director Research, Asia Forest Network and the Advisory Board of the Kashmir Initiative at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is also a founding member of the South Asia Feminist Conference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has served on human rights commissions and has offered testimony against India at the United Nations, European Parliament, United Kingdom Parliament, and United States Congress and serves on the editorial board of Journal of Peace and Democracy in South Asia.

In 2011 Angana Chatterji and her husband Richard Shapiro were suspended and later dismissed from California Institute of Integral Studies after students complained against them. They were found guilty of “failure to perform academic duties and violation of professional ethics. Angana Chatterji was also accused of harassing students”. Incidentally, in November 2010, Shapiro was denied entry indefinitely by Immigration Authorities at New Delhi. Both have accused Indian government of “harassment” due to their work on “human rights” in India.

According to Rajeev Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan, authors of Breaking India, “Chatterji offered ‘critical assistance’ of a highly libelous and unsubstantiated report that damned a US-based Indian charity organization, India Development Relief Fund (IDRF), alleging that it was funding hatred and atrocities against Indian minorities.” Angana Chatterji has also sought US’s help to interfere in India’s affairs via USCRIF Chatterji testified before the United States Congressional Task Force on International Religious Freedom on “violence in Orissa”, chaired by Congressmen Trent Franks and Joseph R. Pitts, both with strong right-wing evangelical connections. Malhotra and Neelakandan further state that “while she finds US intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan to be a violation of those countries’ civil rights…she still wants US intervention in India’s affairs, for example, through the US Commission on International Religious Freedom”.

In an article titled Rule of the Majority Shaikh Mujibur Rehman, while reviewing a book for Frontline magazine, Majoritarian State: How Hindu Nationalism is Changing India co-authored by Angana Chatterji, Thoams Bloom Hansen and Christophe Jaffrelot says “Angana Chatterji has examined the process of the making of a Hindu nation by investigating the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. Sixty-three people died and 93 were injured in the violence. Women were gang-raped, and close to 50,000 people were displaced. Her paper, written before results of the 2019 parliamentary election were known, offers interesting insights into how the Hindu Right operates. She has expressed concerns regarding the possibility of a Hindu nation.”

California Textbook Controversy

Angana Chatterji played a crucial role in 2005 California Textbook controversy. Under the banner of CSFH, she launched an attack on Hindu organisations who objected to insertion of ‘caste system intrinsically to Hinduism’. In an article Now, Hindu Nationalists Rewriting California Textbooks Chatterji asserted that Hindu groups belong ‘militant Hindu nationalist ideology’. She calls Indian history ‘nationalistic and mythic’, proclaims the now debunked Aryan Invasion Theory as correct history, supports history that says Hinduism was created by Aryans from Central Asia, and accuses Hindus of subjugating adivasis and indigenous people.

.....the World Association for Vedic Studies, a Hindu nationalist organization, assert a nationalistic and mythic history of India as 'social fact'. Contrary to reputable scholarship, the revisions refute the migration of Aryans, associated by historians with the emergence of Hinduism, from Central Asia into India. The revisions posit Hinduism as indigenous to India and ascribed with its origins, rendering mute the histories of adivasis (tribal, first peoples) and their subjugation by Hindus. 

Angana Chatterji, Now,Hindu Nationalists Rewriting California Textbooks, 8th January 2006, Countercurrents.org 

Chatterji also supports racist and bigoted Professors Michael Witzell, James Heitzman, and Stanley Wolpert who suggested changes to include caste system instead of varna saying “These scholars reviewed the edits proposed by Hindu nationalists and suggested responsible changes premised on credible histories.” In short, Chatterji wants to continue using racist, colonialist, oppressive, White and Christian supremacist definition of Hinduism that defines Hinduism, as heathens, savages, uncouth, casteist, regressive, mythological and superstitious.

Odisha

Angana Chatterji was very active in Odisha from 2000-2010. She has authored several articles accusing Hindus of violence who resist aggressive conversion from Christian missionaries. In every article she authored she has segregated Hindus as Brahmins and others. According to her, Hindusim=Brahminism, dalits, and adivasis are removed from the Hindu fold. Chatterji testified against Hindu groups at the Panigrahi Commission instated after violence broke out between Hindus-Christian in Odisha, December 2007, and has written many articles against Hindus even after the murder of Swami Lakshmanananda in August 2008 by Christians. Rajeev Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan in theri book Breaking India further accuse Chatterji of “sending unsolicited testimony on Odisha to the Government of India”. She is said to have backed-up her arguments with data from the report by the All Indian Christian Council which ignored some well-established facts like aggressive evangelism and the nexus between Christian evangelists and Maoists in the state of Odisha . She also stands accused of describing the social services done by Hindu organisations, as ‘conscription into Hindu activism’, even as she praises the same kind of social work in ‘health care, education and employment offered by Christian missionaries.

In an article on website sabrang.com titled Orissa: A Gujarat in the making Chatterji accuses uppercaste Hindus of being militant “Western Orissa, dominated by upper caste landholders and traders, is a hotbed for the promulgation of Hindu militancy, while Adivasi areas are besieged with aggressive Hinduisation through conversion.” While in another article Hindu Nationalism and Orissa: Minorities As Other Chatterji blamed Hindu organisations, groups and RSS of ‘converting’ dalits, Christian and adivasis to “brahmanical social order”. In Learning In Saffron: RSS Schools Orissa, Chatterji says, RSS is saffronising education in Odisha that demonises minorities, learning Sanskrit erases minority languages, and transforms classrooms into Hindutva.

Adivasi and dalit self determination exists in opposition to the state. Adivasis and dalits, within politicised contexts, do not identify as Hindus and resist their incorporation into the Brahminical (and elite) social order. In a Hindu majority state in India, Brahminism enforces the supremacy of 'Hinduness', and defines norms, values, ethics and morality. Ethnic, minority and marginalised groups are subject to the political and economic violence of Brahminism via which they are forced to frame their political and cultural aspirations.

The Sangh Parivar converts minorities to dominant Hinduism without distinguishing between forcible conversions and the right to proselytise, and uses the converted for sadistic ends. The Sangh does not acknowledge that tribal and dalit conversions to Christianity are rarely coercive and occur in response to oppressive and entrenched caste inequities, gender violence, and chronic poverty.

Angana Chatterji, Orissa:A Gujarat in the making, October 2003, sabrang.com
The violence that accompanies Hinduism is not new. Hindutva is its variant. 

Angana Chatterji, Hindu Nationalism and Orissa: Minorities As Other, 9th March 2004, Dissidentvoice.org
The vigorous assertion of Sanskrit provides for the erasure and Hinduisation of minority languages. History, science, geography, literature, religious texts are interpreted into Hindutva. These texts, written in Oriya, are taught in schools and available in bookstores. The texts weave disparaging and malevolent fictions about minority groups, inciting Hindus to revenge history. 

Angana Chatterji, Learning In Saffron:RSS Schools Orissa, 12th November 2003, Countercurrents.org

Kashmir

Angana Chatterji now works for separation of Kashmir from India. She is known to be closely associated with ISI-operative Ghulam Nabi Fai. Fai was convicted by United States for bribing officials and lawmakers money channelled via Pakistan’s ISI for raking up Kashmir issue. Fai was member of Kashmir American Council. Sandeep Balakrishnan in The Deadly Jihadi Network of “Mary” Angana Chatterji mentions that Chatterji was codenamed ‘Mary’ who was to meet the then Pakistan’s ISI’s Security Directorate Major General Mumtaz Ahmad Bajwa.

In her testimony to US House of Representatives on 22nd October 2019 on Human Rights in South Asia:Focus on Kashmir, Chatterji has called India “authoritarian, Hindu majority state where non-Hindus are seen as adversary”. She also went to say

The legacy of Brahmanism organizes the supremacy of Hindus and Hinduness in India. Ethnic, minority, and marginalized groups have been subject to the social and economic violence of Brahminism through which they are forced to frame their political and cultural aspirations within the dominant imagination of the nation-state. India is rendered synonymous with Hindutva (Hindu principles), as nationalist Hinduism casts Hindus as a race. 

Angana Chatterji, testimony to US House of Representatives, 22nd October 2019

She lied in the testimony that Article 370 granted ‘autonomy’ to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, when in truth the Article was always a temporary provision. In the 31-page testimony Chatterji mentioned Kashmiri Pandits in only one paragraph of six lines.

Angana Chatteji testimony TO US house of Representatives, 22nd October 2019 on Kashmir. Source: Friends of Kashmir YouTube Channel

Chatterji was invited to a conference on Kashmir, organized by the Pakistani Students Association at George Washington University, the Embassy of Pakistan, and Pakistan’s Minister of Kashmir Affairs, where she spoke of the “growing concern among civil society groups about human rights crisis in Indian-occupied Kashmir in the areas of social, political, cultural, religious and economic rights. She accused India of ‘continued occupation of [certain areas of] Kashmir.’”

In her article on 9th March 2020 on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) titled Citizenship Laws and Nazification of India published by Georgetown university’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Angana Chatterji resorted to lies, innuendoes, and outright name-calling to accuse Hindus of being intolerant. In the article Chatterji questions Hindus automatic acceptance of Kashmir as integral to India, terms Ayodhya judgement as “manipulation in favour of Hindus”, fails to mention Archaeological Survey of India’s findings of existence of a prior non-Islamic structure underneath the broken structure, deliberately fails to mention Article 370 as “temporary” as specified in Indian Constitution, fails to back-up with evidence accusations of “human rights violations” in the Kashmir, accuses Hindus of anti-Muslim violence in Delhi 2020, when the Courts in the country have been presented with overwhelming evidence of how Muslims systemically planned and launched an attack on Hindus among others. She further goes on to state in the same article,

Inherently Brahmanical, hetero-patriarchal, this illiberal new order incorporates four features : populism, nationalism, authoritarianism and majoritarianism (Majoritarian State). This dispensation evidences a disregard for social facts, democratic debate and reasoned dissent, secular institutions, and the rule of law. Assertions that internal and external enemies are an imminent danger to the nation, the targeting of dissent as “anti-national,” and Islamophobia erode an already conflicted democracy. Seizing land rights of the targeted Other, occupying spaces significant to them, intensifying social and economic boycott of minorities, and enacting violence are primary practices of majoritarian nationalists. Corresponding actions inflicted on minority/marginalized communities, enacted by government, judiciary, state forces, and mobs fracture identity and community, material culture, psychosocial well-being, livelihood, and belonging.

Angana Chatterji, Citizenship Laws and Nazification of India, 9th March 2020, Berkley Centre for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetwon Univeristy.

In another article on Kashmir tilted Kashmir: A Place without Rights, Chatterji makes no mention of Pakistan trained and funded terrorists who committed genocide of Hindus which led to their exodus on 19th January 1990. While accusing the Indian government of ‘majoritarianism’, Chatterji again fails to mention Article 370 as a ‘temporary’ one as specified in the Indian Constitution. Furthermore, in the article, Chatterji supports ‘self-determination’ of Kashmiris, and supports Article 35A which prevented Indians from other parts of the country from owning and purchasing property in Kashmir. She says “Article 35A ensured access to and control over land, fundamental to preserving a people’s cultural identity, economic sanctity, and political standing”. This is without the historical Hindu identity since Hindus were driven out of their land. Angana Chatterji supports and promotes Islamic state of Kashmir.

Demographic reconstruction stands to diminish the integrity of Kashmiris as a people. It imperils their rights to place and language. This endangers their claims to internal self-determination, and in turn, claims of external self-determination from alien exploitation and subjugation.

Angana Chatterji,  Kashmir: A Place Without Rights, 5th August 2019, JustSecurity.org

Writing for an American left magazine, Against the Current, Angana Chatterji wrote an article for their November-December 2010 issue titled Kashmir: A Time for Freedom. In this article she writes that “misogynist” groups such as Al-Qaeda, Taliban or Lakshar-e-Toiba are not successful in Kashmir because the locals do not favour them and not because the Indian military was successful in controlling them. She further says “an armed mobilization by Kashmiris would include an even stronger mass movement than that which occurred between 1990 and 2004/2007, led by youth whose lives have been shaped by the two-decade long violence of militarization.” While supporting stone-pelting in Kashmir, Chatterji writes “Stone pelting does not seek to kill, and has not resulted in death.” Chatterji gave a clean chit to Kashmiris who received arms-training in Pakistan says “…..while Kashmiris did travel to Pakistan to seek arms training, such activity was largely confined to the early days of the armed militancy, circa late 1980s through the mid-1990s.”

Whether dissent in Kashmir turns into organized armed struggle or continues as mass-based peaceful resistance is dependent upon India’s political decisions. If India’s subjugation persists, it is conceivable that the movement for nonviolent dissent, mobilized since 2004, will erode. Signs indicate that it is already slightly threadbare. It is conceivable that India’s brutality will induce Kashmiri youth to close the distance between stones and petrol bombs, or more.

If India fails to act, if Pakistan acts only in its self-interest, and if the international community does not insist on an equitable resolution to the Kashmir dispute, it is conceivable, that, forsaken by the world, Kashmiris will be compelled to take up arms again.

Angana Chatterji, Kashmir: A Time for Freedom, November-December 2010, Against the Current Issue 149

In the same article she refers to Ananatnag as Islamabad, ” In undertaking the work of the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir, I have travelled across Kashmir’s cities and countryside, from Srinagar to Kupwara, through Shopian and Islamabad (Anantnag), with Parvez Imroz, Zahir-Ud-Din, and Khurram Parvez.” The article consists of fabricated lies by Chaterjji and team to defame, demonise, and dehumanise the Indian army. None of the accusations of sexual violence has been backed up by evidence, or facts. She describes Indian army as ” Disenfranchised caste and other groups, Assamese, Nagas, Sikhs, Dalits (erstwhile “untouchable” peoples), and Muslims from Kashmir, are being used to combat Kashmiris.” This is perfect for Indian Army to file defamation suits against such accusations.

Chatterji advocates for a “soft-border” between India and Paksitan “agreements on an immediate “soft border” policy between Kashmir, India and Pakistan, to enable the resurgence of Kashmir’s economy; agreements to non-interference in the exercise of civil liberties of Kashmiris, including the right to civil disobedience, and freedom of speech, assembly, religion, movement and travel.” Chatterji wants “a plan for installing a Truth and Justice Commission for calculating loss and for political and psychosocial reparation”. While Chatterji advocates for plebiscite in Kashmir, she fails to mention the requirements needed to be met by Pakistan for a successful plebiscite. She further supports Maoists taking to arms because “the systematic brutalisation of peoples in the tribal belt that led to a call to arms.” Moreover, Chatterji asks the Hindu Kashmiri community “must refuse the Indian state’s hyper-nationalist strategy in using the Pandit community to create opposition between Muslims and Hindus in Kashmir, as part of its strategy to religionize the issue and govern through communalization.” Accusing Indians of Islamophobia Chatterji says “Kashmir’s claims are historically unique and bona fide. “

Gender studies

In a April 2016 Angana Chatterji co-authored a paper titled Access to Justice for Women: India’s Response to Sexual Violence in Conflict and Social Upheaval alongwith Roxanna Altholz, Laurel E. Fletcher and Mallika Kaur, all Professors in University of California Berkley. In the paper Chatterji and her co-authors have accused Hindu men and Indian military of being rapists.

Below are some of Angana Chatterji’s social meia posts.