New Delhi, Democratic US presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard has alleged that she had become a victim of “religious bigotry” and some media outlets were targeting her and accusing her supporters, who have Hindu names, of being Hindu nationalists.Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the US Congress, wrote an op-ed for the Religious News Services on Sunday, describing the campaign against her, supporters and donors as “profiling and targeting of Hindu Americans and ascribing to them motives without any basis”.
The 37-year-old had on January 11 announced that she would be running for the White House in 2020.In the hard-hitting piece, Gabbard pointed out to the accusation against her of being a Hindu nationalist. “Tomorrow will it be Muslim or Jewish Americans? Japanese, Hispanic or African Americans?” she asked.
“My meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s democratically elected leader, have been highlighted as ‘proof’ of this and portrayed as somehow being out of the ordinary or somehow suspect, even though President (Barack) Obama, Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, President (Donald) Trump and many of my colleagues in Congress have met with and worked with him,” Gabbard said.”I am proud to be the first Hindu-American to have been elected to Congress, and now, the first Hindu-American to run for president,” the four-term Democratic lawmaker from Hawaii said.”And, while the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first, maybe even informed Americans at large about the world’s third-largest religion, some have instead fomented suspicion, fear and religious bigotry about not only me but also my supporters,” Gabbard said.Gabbard said India was one of America’s closest allies in Asia and is a country of growing importance in a critical region of the world.