Sadhvi Ritambhara.
(Photo: Namita Chauhan/The Quint)


Hindu nationalist ideologue Sadhvi Ritambara, whose fundraising event at the Old Paramus Reformed Church in the United States (New Jersey) was canceled a few days ago, had a similar experience in the United Kingdom earlier this week.

The Param Shakti Peeth of the United Kingdom, of which Rithambara is apparently the founder, had organised a tour for her from 20-24 September. The events were supposed to be held in Birmingham, Nottingham, Coventry, Ilford, and London.

After a collective effort by academics and activists, her whole tour got cancelled. In an interview with news agency ANI, Rithambara said, “There were some people who could not see India’s development and tried to fuel fear within the Hindu community. They try to create a situation, run the campaign, and even assert pressure on the political leader.”

“The vigorous campaign to expose her was led by two Members of Parliament, Sam Tarry and Yasmin Qureshi, who called for her to be banned from the UK, clearly unnerving her,” Amrit Wilson, a writer, journalist, and activist who covers issues of race, gender, and South Asian life in Britain, told The Quint.

“As a result, she decided to cancel her trip claiming that she was ill. A variety of people had been involved in the campaign. A number of groups such as the Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), together with smaller community-based organisations, were involved and had urged people to write to their MPs to take action,” he added.

‘Did Not Wish to Face Similar Humiliation’

Wilson, who has won the Martin Luther King Award for her book Finding a Voice: Asian Women in Britain, told The Quint that Sadhvi Rithambara is a “rabid hate-monger,” who along with the other senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, was allegedly involved in instigating violence and is responsible for the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid.

“This is why progressive people in the UK were deeply disturbed that she had been invited to speak in this country. She was due to speak in temples in Birmingham, Bolton, Coventry, and Nottingham, in a trip which had been organised by a charity set up by her. However just prior to her planned visit to the UK, she was disinvited from speaking in a church in the US, thanks to the campaigning by progressive groups in America. She obviously did not wish to face a similarly humiliating situation in the UK.”
Amrit Wilson

The church event that Wilson refers to was scheduled to be held on 10 September at the Old Paramus Reformed Church in New Jersey. It got canceled after the head of the church, Reverend Robert Miller, reportedly received a flood of messages opposing Rithambara’s appearance, including more than 1,000 emails and 100 phone calls from across the United States.

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