Raja Joseph Swamy

Raja Joesph Swamy, also known as Raja Harish Swami or Raja Joseph Jara, is a member of FOIL (Forum of Inquilabi Leftists), radical group of Indian origin leftists. He is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). Earlier he was an Assistant Professor in University of Arkansas. He is spokesperson of India Civil watch, another radical-left organisation that works against India and Hindus, key leader of Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), and Coalition for the Defence of the Constitution (CDCD) along with fellow FOIL member Angana Chatterji. He is also an anti-Semite as reported by Canary Mission.

Raja Joseph along with fellow-FOIL member Biju Matthew and Shabnam Hashmi started a website called Pheku.in. The now defunct website was started and run by Swamy and the domain name was registered to him. The website’s main purpose was to defame and demonise PM Modi and continue with their oft-repeated lies of Gujarat 2002 riots. Shabnam Hashmi is sister of communist playwright and director Safadr Hashmi and Sohail Hashmi. She also runs an organisation called ANHAD – Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) which works closely with Angana Chatterji run Campaign Against Genocide (CAG).

Raja Joseph belongs to an organisation called CDCD – Coalition for the Defense of the Constitution and Democracy. CDCD along with CAG, CSFH, FOIL and other organisations launched an attack on World Hindu Forum in 2018, actively involved in California textbook case and in getting Modi visa issue. All these groups are interrelated and members have close alliances with violent Islamic and radical left terror groups, Kashmir separatist. Swamy and his ultra-left friends came together and fomed AJA- Alliance for Justice and Accountability. The have been very effectively spreading the ‘Hindutva’ and ‘toxic Hinduism’ bogey in the West. Another group Raja Joseph is involved with is India Civil Watch (now India Civil Watch International) who describe themselves as ‘a non-sectarian left diasporic membership-based organization that represents the diversity of India’s people and anchors a transnational network to building radical democracy in India.’ India Civil Watch is now working vigorously for repeal of UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).

Vilification of RSS, glorifying Christian missionaries efforts during Tsunami 2004

In his Doctoral dissertation presented at University of Texas, Austin in May 2011, Swamy looks into the relief efforts n Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu of some national and international groups after the disastrous and destructive Tsunami of 2004. His dissertation was titled, DISASTER CAPITALISM:TSUNAMI RECONSTRUCTION AND NEOLIBERALISM IN
. In the Acknowledgement part, he tanks his fellow FOIL members, Biju Matthew, Ra, Ravishankar, Balmurali Natrajan, Shalini Ghera, Ashwini Rao among others. The dissertation compares World Vision, Christian Evangelical organisation, Mata Amritanandamayee Mutt, Sewa Bharati, and Roman Catholic Diocese of Thanjavur. In page 178-179 of the dissertation, Swamy says about Sewa Bharati,

What sets Sewa Bharati apart from the above organizations however is its moorings in the politics of Hindu nationalism, through its structural and ideological ties to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). As part of the RSS's “Sangh Parivar” (family), Sewa Bharati actively promotes Hindutva (Hindu supremacist ideology primarily represented by the RSS). Sewa Bharati's function within the RSS family is to intervene among communities in the margins of caste Hindu society, instilling a new politicized Hindu identity constructed in antagonism to Muslims and Christians. Crucially Sewa Bharati's activities include the institution of Brahmanical Hindu rituals and cultural practices, replacing a plurality of practices that may often include syncretic elements shared across communities. Strategically, Sewa Bharati creates the groundwork for the transformation of communities hitherto marginalized by Brahmanical Hinduism into electoral 'vote banks' as part of the RSS's expanded efforts to improve its fortunes. 

While Raja Joseph is fine with Christian evangelical organisations who are known to convert people especially during disasters, he has a problem with Sewa Bharati since it promotes Hinduism and Hindu way of life. The entire dissertation reads like a one-sided monolgue on the evils of the world because of Hinduism. The dissertation supposedly discusses relief efforts of various organisations, but reads more and more like bragging of achievements of Christian organisations while putting down the efforts of Hindu organisations.

In page 184 Swamy quotes a report from Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (CSFH). CSFH is a group run by himself and FOIL veterans and Swamy’s friends, Biju Mathew, Angana Chatterji, Shalini Gera, Vinay Lal, Balmurli Natrajan, Ra Ravishankar, Ashwini Rao, Ali Mir, and Samip Mallick. He uses CSFH report to state that Sewa Bharati collected funds during Gujarat earthquake and channelised them into anti-Muslim activities.While no Court in India, not for lack of lawsuits filed against RSS, have found a shred of evidence against RSS, yet Swamy quotes a book written by two researchers of School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Researchers Edward Simpson and Stuart Corbridge in their 2006 book The Geography of Things That May Become Memories: The 2001 Earthquake in Kachchh-Gujarat and the Politics of Rehabilitation in Prememorial Era accuse RSS via Sewa Bharati of 2002 anti-Hindu riots in Godhra, Gujarat. They write and Swamy quotes

The Sangh's engineering of the 2002 genocide in Gujarat was aided immensely by
the groundwork prepared by organizations like Sewa Bharati among others, in 2001
(Simpson and Corbridge 2006). 

Edward Simpson and Stuart Corbridge, 2006,The Geography of Things That May Become Memories: The 2001 Earthquake in Kachchh-Gujarat and the Politics of Rehabilitation in Prememorial Era. Raja Harish Swamy quotes them in his PhD dissertation.

Hindu hatred and glorifying barbaric Mughal invasions

In an article penned by Raja Joseph titled White, Zionist, and Hindu Racism: The Durban Question, published on September 3, 2001 goes on a hate filled rant against Jews and Hindus – the two most historically persecuted religions. All the claims against Hindus is neither backed up by evidence nor facts, dismisses history that doesn’t suit his anti-Hindu narrative and ignores Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist genocide at the hands of Islamic invaders.

In the article Raja Joseph writes that Hinduism is a religion of violence and inherently oppressive and violent. He also adds Hinduism ‘has no religious requirements’, and that ‘Hindu civilisation’ is a ‘historical myth making project tied to imperialism and subjugation the masses’. It has to be noted here, Muslims and Christians in India receive caste based reservation. In 2011 Government of India carved out 4.5% quota within 27% reservation to OBC’s (Other Backward Castes). This sub-quota includes religious minorities like Sikh, Jains, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians. Under SC/ST quota, Dalits converting to Islam and Christianity cannot claim reservation as Islam and Christianity are ‘caste-free’.

Sabrang India, a radical left website carried an article on 23rd August 2017 titled Why Should Dalit Christians not get Reservations as Scheduled Castes, Notice to Centre: SC which talks about a plea submitted in Indian Supreme Court on why ‘Dalit Christians’ are not awarded reservations. Many opposition political parties in India like Samajwadi Party have always made a plea for reservations for ‘Dalit Muslims and Christians’. In January 2020 National Council of Dalit Christians’ (NCDC) submitted a petition to include Dalit Christian and Dalit Muslims into SC/ST for reservation because as per Indian Constitution’s Paragraph of 3 Scheduled Caste Order, it clearly mentions that only Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists will be considered to be a Dalit. NCDC even further went to say that “caste based discrimination on birth is practised every where in South Asia.”

So its not just Hindus who have a ‘caste’ problem but so do Muslims and Christians, but Western based academic and alleged human rights groups only allude to Hinduism when it comes to caste. Which proves these groups and academics are Hindu haters suing the shield of ‘human rights’ to fire against Hindus.

Hindu ‘dharma’ is caste based; Hinduism is casteism; to be Hindu means to belong to a caste, and not as it is in most religions, to merely subscribe to a set body of beliefs. Hinduism has no universal religious requirements; therefore it is sufficiently open to interpretation along lines that are outrageously oppressive.  

......... they engage in flights of fancy with the full help of western myth makers by extolling the alleged ‘greatness’ of ‘Hindu civilization,’ a historical myth making project lock stock and barrel tied to imperialism and the subjugation of the subcontinent’s masses.

Raja Joseph describes how Hinduism as a religion came about. British colonisers categorised “Hindus” as those who did not belong to Islam or Christianity and that upper caste Brahminical religious system became standard for Hindu society.

The problem with the notion of Hindu “supremacy” is the revealing fact that the world Hindu used exclusively a a religious identifier gained greatest currency when the British colonizers wanted to differentiate those great numbers of Indians who were neither Muslim or Christian; they lumped them all into the category “Hindu,” and decided that the upper caste Brahmin elites’ religious system was the standard for the “Hindu” society.  This made the Brahmin elites quite contented and hence the nationalist movement particularly around the Congress, fashioned themselves as a “moderate” managerial stop-gap measure for the British.

The modern day Hindu fascists are the arrogant upper caste elites who subscribe to a mythical narrative of a “great Hindu past,” something not substantiated by history. 

The majority of the adherents of Buddhism and Jainism were from the oppressed castes, and these two movements particularly Buddhism was a major force in checking the power of Brahminism throughout India.

Raja Joseph also goes onto dismiss Hindu kingdoms strong reign in Akhanad Bharat (United India) as “not comparable in terms of duration and continuity to the Buddhist and Muslim periods.” As per record, Chola dynasty from southern part of India is one of the longest ruling dynasties in World history. Raja Joseph classifies Indian historical periods as Buddhist from 6th century BCE to 10th century BCE and 11th century as Muslim period. He completely ignores history before 6th century. He also claims without any historical evidence that Hindu ” Vishanava and Shaiva Kings oversaw the slaughter of thousands of Buddhists throughout India, and many great Buddhist institutions were laid waste to while Vaishnava and Shaiva shrines took their place.” Indian historians have already established that in recorded history there has been no conflict of Hindus with Jains and Buddhists. In the same article he also writes:

Hindu ‘dharma’ is caste-based; Hinduism is casteism; to be Hindu means to belong to a caste, and not as it is in most religions, to merely subscribe to a set body of beliefs.  Hinduism has no universal religious requirements; therefore it is sufficiently open to interpretation along lines that are outrageously oppressive.

While singing paeans of Turkish Sultanate and Islam, Raja Joseph says “To millions of Indians, Islam provided an egalitarian alternative to the terrible oppression of Hinduism” and that Islam “saved” the lives of millions from the “oppression of Hinduism. This is in complete contravention to established history how Islamic invaders destroyed Hindu temples, raped Hindu women and took them as sex slaves, murdered and slaughtered Hindus who refused to forcibly convert to Islam. All this is mentioned in a book put together by Prof. A.V.Williams Jackson in 1907 titled History of India consisting of nine volumes where Sir H.M.Elliot wrote Volume 5 called The Mohammedan period as described by its own historians, has written in detailed Taimur Lang’s own account of his invasion of India and sack of Delhi. An excerpt on the plunder and loot of Delhi from the book is given below:

For these various reasons a great number of fierce Turkish troops were in the city. When the soldiers proceeded to apprehend the Hindus and infidels who had fled to Delhi, many of them drew their swords and offered resistance. The flames of strife thus lighted spread through the entire city from Jahan-panah and Siri to Old Delhi, consuming all they reached. The savage Turks fell to killing and plundering, while the Hindus set fire to their houses with their own hands, burned their wives and children in them, and rushed into the fight and were killed. The Hindus and infidels of the city showed much alacrity and boldness in fighting. The amirs who were in charge of the gates prevented any more soldiers from entering Delhi, but the flames of war had risen too high for this precaution to be of any avail in extinguishing them. 

All day Thursday and throughout the night, nearly fifteen thousand Turks were engaged in slaying, plundering, and destroying. 

When Friday morning dawned, my entire army, no longer under control, went off to the city and thought of nothing but killing, plundering, and making prisoners. The sack was general during the whole day, and continued throughout the following day, Saturday, the seventeenth (Dec. 27), the spoil being so great that each man secured from fifty to a hundred prisoners, men, women, and children, while no soldier took less than twenty. There was likewise an immense booty in rubies, diamonds, garnets, pearls, and other gems; jewels of gold and silver; gold and silver money of the celebrated Alai coinage; vessels of gold and silver; and brocades and silks of great value. Gold and silver ornaments of the Hindu women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all account. Excepting the quarter of the Sayyids, the scholars, and the other Mussulmans, the whole city was sacked. The pen of fate had written down this destiny for the people of this city, and although I was desirous of sparing them, I could not succeed, for it was the will of God that this calamity should befall the city.

After spending fifteen days at Delhi, passing my time in pleasure and enjoyment, and in holding royal courts and giving great feasts, I reflected that I had come to Hindustan to war against infidels, and that my enterprise had been so blessed that wherever I had gone I had been victorious. I had triumphed over my adversaries, I had put to death hundreds of thousands of infidels and idolaters, I had dyed my proselyting sword with the blood of the enemies of the Faith, and now that I had gained this crowning victory, I felt that I ought not to indulge in ease, but rather to exert myself still further in warring against the infidels of Hindustan. Having made these reflections, on the twenty-second of Rabi’-al-akhir, 800 A.H. (Jan. 1,Page 222 1399 A.D.), 

I again drew my sword to wage a religious war.

The above account completely demolishes the argument of Islamists and radical leftist that Islam came peacefully in India as a respite for “evils and oppression by Brahminical Hinduism”. Throughout the article he calls Hindus evil, fascists, casteist, and Brahminical oppressors, he calls Hindu history “mythical mythical ‘ancient glory’ that never was”.

Brahmins are outsiders, only adivasis and Islam are indigenous to India

In a paper written in 2004 THE DISCRETE CHARMS OF SELF-ESTRANGEMENT: HISTORICAL MATERIALISM AND POWER for Michigan State University, Raja Joseph quotes Gail Omvedt, Prachi Patankar’s mother’s interpretation of what B.R. Ambedkar said about Hinduism in her book Dalits and the Democratic Revolution. It paragraph essentially states Brahmins were barbaric, Magadh-Maurya empire was Buddhist which ‘civilised’ Indians, and Hinduism was born later which was casteist, patriarchal and oppressed working class.

Ambedkar saw the history of ancient India as consisting of three phases: Brahmanism, the early ‘barbaric’ phase, followed by Buddhism, the period of the Magadha-Maurya empires, representing a Buddhist ‘revolution’ and an associated rise of civilization, and finally, ‘Hinduism,’ a counter-revolution, marking the resurgence of reactionary caste ideology, and the subjugation of women and the toiling classes.

In the same article, Raja Joseph goes on a rant about how RSS is ‘indoctrinating’ forest dwellers – Vanavasi. He calls Vanavasi as adivasai implying they are the original inhabitants of India, others have come from outside giving to mcuh credence to the much debunked Aryan Invasion Theory/ aryan Migration Theory. Campaign to Stop Funding Hate of which Raja Joseph is one of the founding member came out with a ‘report’ called The Foreign Exchange of Hate devote an entire section to how RSS is ‘Hindusising’ the tribals of India. Right from Ramayan to Mahabharata vanvasis have always been treated with respect and accepted as a part of Hinduism.

The transformation from Adivasi to Vanavasi is described in the Hindu supremacist literature as a ‘return home,’ a supposed rebirth of a people long “separated” from the supposedly benign Hindu order. However, over the last two decades, two important forces that the Adivasis of central India have had to contend with point to the material interests served by “Hinduization.” 

The term Adivasi, which literally means ‘original people,’ is used by India’s indigenous people as a self-identifier, but the Hinduization program imposes an alternative term, Vanavasi, which literally means “forest dweller,” a signifier that subtly promotes both a Brahmanical ideal akin to the ‘noble savage,’ and simultaneously negates the claims of Adivasis as indigenous inhabitants of their lands.

Raja Joseph goes on to describe what Hinduism is – that it is founded on Hindu victimhood by ignoring history of caste discrimination, it is mythical anti-history, Islam is inherent to India, it is a lie that Hindus pursue spiritual matters rather then materialistic matters, Hinduism=Brahmanism, Muslims in South Asia are demonised.

The Hindu supremacist movement’s idea of “Hindu” is founded on a curious inversion of history. It proclaims a unique sense of Hindu victimhood that obscures and ignores the history of caste discrimination, but insists that the presence of Muslims in India represents some sort of “fallen condition.” Discounting, the rich and varied history of India’s diverse peoples, the Hindu supremacists believe in a mythical anti-history, which merges historical and mythological characters. Hindutva builds on Orientalist conceits like the notion that India’s Islamic heritage is something alien to India, and that Indians, particularly Hindus, are more interested in matters of spirit than they are in the material world. Additionally, this transformation to a new “Hindu” identity politics legitimates the Brahmanical social order and promotes the ritual-based social power of Brahmanism and its symbols. The oppressors of the pre-capitalist social order, which still exists alongside globalized capitalism, are merely recast as defenders of an embattled culture, against the now intensely demonized Muslims of South Asia.

Raja Joseph further goes on to say, Hinduism is reactionary practice, appropriates discourse of resistance to oppression and because of this appropriation it is ‘outright fascistic tryanny’.

........... we will conclude this consideration of Hindutva, by seeing it in terms of a reactionary praxis, one which proposes an alternative “self-understanding” that appropriates the discourse of resistance to oppression, and through this appropriation consolidates and intensifies oppression to the point of outright fascistic tyranny.

Raja Joseph doesn’t have any known active social media presence below are some screenshots of his articles.