Stop Further Damage to US - India Relations: Oppose H.Res. 417

Please Tell Your Representative Not to Support an Anti-India Resolution

I write to you as a constituent to express my opposition to H.Res. 417. I and many in the Indian American community believe this will further damage U.S.-India relations due to its inaccuracies, blatant omissions, and flawed recommendations. It is oversimplified, and by placing the bulk of the blame for religious violence in India on the country?s Hindu majority, it fails to take into account India?s complex historical, political, religious, and socio-economic ground realities. H. Res. 417 is a step back, rather than a step towards engaging India as a key ally in America's strategic Pivot to Asia.

I would also like to point out that I am very concerned as an American about the resolution?s call for the creation of religious minority courts to conduct trials and appeals. Never has such a suggestion been made by our government to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or Malaysia, where religious minority communities undergo systemic discrimination, nor would we as Americans tolerate such a call in our own secular democracy.

Please also strongly consider actions taken by many of your esteemed colleagues:

- Chairman Edward Royce of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs stated: "H.Res. 417 weakens, rather than strengthens, the friendship between the United States and India. The resolution runs counter to all the hard work that the American people, particularly those in the Indian American community, have done to improve the relationship."

-- Ranking Member Eni Faleomavaega of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific noted: "[H.Res. 417] does little to praise India or strengthen U.S.-India relations."

-- Representative Tulsi Gabbard, another member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and the first Hindu representative in Congress, said, "It is critically important that we focus on strengthening the ties between the two nations, and I do not believe that H.Res. 417 accomplishes this. Throughout history, India as a nation has been home to many religions, and has protected many as well, including Tibetan Buddhists, Jews, Christians, and Muslims."

-- Furthermore, Chairman Steve Chabot of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific withdrew his co-sponsorship of H.Res. 417 due to the concerns raised by Indian and Hindu Americans.

Accordingly, I request you withdraw your sponsorship (or not sponsor) H. Res. 417.

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