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For Immediate Press Release:
"Stop hatred and Let India Develop Campaign" receives global support
December 25, 2002

In an outpouring of spontaneous support from well-wishers of India from all walks of life and from all across the globe, the "Stop hatred and Let India Develop" campaign http://www.letindiadevelop.org has already received more than 5400 signatures. This campaign was started in direct response to an organized hate movement initiated by Mumbai-based Sabrang Communications Private Limited (Sabrang), the worldwide Forum of Indian Leftists (FOIL), France-based "South Asia Citizens' Web" (SACW) and California-based "Friends of South Asia" (FOSA) against the US based Non Profit organization, India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF: www.idrf.org). 

We at LetIndiaDevelop are humbled and deeply gratified by this support. For fifteen years, IDRF has been raising funds and supporting developmental and disaster relief projects in India through several organizations regardless of their political, religious or parochial affiliations. Like all citizens of free democracies, volunteers and office bearers of IDRF have their personal religious and political inclinations.  These only strengthen their determination to continue helping Indians regardless of such preferences. The record of the organizations that perform IDRF-funded work is available to the public. That record is very different from the distorted picture painted by the malicious propaganda of the Sabrang/FOIL/SACW hate campaign. 

In contrast, the groups campaigning against IDRF, having failed in their five-year effort to find anything wrong with IDRF's efforts, have falsely tried to blame IDRF for the communal violence in India. Sabrang/FOIL/SACW have done little to help India's needy people, other than seeking funds to pay themselves for agitations and propaganda.  While posing as concerned Indians, these people are trying to divide the Indian-American community based on religion, class and caste. 

The Sabrang/FOIL/SACW Report may be over 91 pages long, but its contents demonstrate only the mentality and philosophy of Left-anarchist-fundamentalists. They appear to assume that none of us can read or think. 

We list below some of the errors contained in their report as well as the devious strategies adopted by the fabricators of the Sabrang/FOIL/SACW report:

1. The Sabrang/FOIL/SACW report categorizes Miraj Medical Center as "RSS-Affiliated", and they count IDRF support to this Medical Center in the "83 percent" of IDRF funds which they claim goes to the "RSS". The Miraj Medical Center is affiliated with the Church of North India. The Presbyterian Church, USA supports it as well.

2. According to Sabrang/FOIL/SACW, Jnana Prabodhini, Maharashtra, is "RSS-affiliated" and its primary activity is "Hinduization". Again, IDRF funding to this organization is counted in FOIL's "83%" claim. This fine institution is also funded by the Government of India, industry, and welfare organizations including Asha and AID in the US.

3. Citizen outrage has finally forced Sabrang Communications to remove the offensive truncated map of India on their website after five years. In other words, when Pakistani invaders were murdering Indians in Kargil in 1999, Sabrang was displaying a map of India with  Jammu-Kashmir and the entire Northeast missing, and dominated by a larger Pakistan with all of J&K and parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan included. Readers summarily rejected their "explanation" for this outrage.

4. As their Petition lost in the popular vote, Sabrang/FOIL/FOSA attempted a Cyber-Flimflam.  Sabrang/FOIL/FOSA plagiarized the "Let India Develop campaign's" web address (www.letindiadevelop.org) with a ".com" extension instead of ".org" to mislead people by redirecting them to their website. Public outrage convinced the Internet service provider to remove their "anonymous" registration and expose their identity to the world. This shows the extent to which these groups are willing to manipulate truth.

5. Drubbed by popular opinion, Sabrang/FOIL/FOSA now reveals its contempt for democracy and the Indian-American community. Their website brags the support of some "South Asia academics". We respectfully submit that one does not require a PhD in South Asia Studies to read the Sabrang/FOIL/SACW report and form one's own informed judgement regarding the report's claims and motivations.

We trust that US Corporations and Indian-Americans can see what we see: that someone who calls the Miraj Medical Center an RSS-affiliate, just to manufacture data to support their false conclusion, is simply expressing blind prejudice and bigotry, whatever their education, title or rank.

Most importantly, IDRF, a US Government-approved Non Profit Organization, is funding Indian Government-approved Non-Governmental Organizations to help Indian people who need help the most. IDRF's records are open to the public and available on the Internet.  We note that IDRF's detractors have been rushing to remove several of their past writings and pronouncements from the public view as questions mount regarding their affiliations and motives. Last but certainly not the least, support for IDRF from concerned individuals continues in spite of the Sabrang/FOIL/SACW defamation campaign.  For instance, we have just learned that one small group of dedicated individuals is making a year end contribution of $10,000 to support IDRF's efforts to help fight terrorism, and as a challenge to counter the Sabrang/FOIL/SACW's hate campaign.

The Let India Develop campaign thanks you for your support. We request the US and Indian governments, public institutions, corporations and individuals to continue their support of IDRF.  It is imperative that all of us work together to stop the anti-social and hateful campaigns of  Sabrang/FOIL/SACW.

(For "Friends of India" / "Stop Hatred and Let India Develop Campaign")

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