This year’s World Hindu Congress in Chicago is marked by violence. The international meeting of Hindus took place from September 7 to 9, and was attended by several controversial nationalist groups and Indian vice president Venkaiah Naidu.
On the first day, a group of six protesters infiltrated the room where the conference was being held, shouting “RSS turn around, we don’t want you in this town.” The “RSS” referred to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu nationalist organization that is accused of encouraging harsh policies and violence against India’s religious minorities. One of the speakers on the panel in the room was RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat.
Immediately, hundreds of conference attendees swarmed the six activists, mostly young South Asian woman. The protesters were members of the Chicago South Asians for Justice and a coalition of South Asian American organizations called the Alliance for Justice and Accountability.
Dozens began to kick, spit, curse and choke them in a surprising bout of violence.