RSS-affiliated charitable groups spent about Rs 1,231.6 cr on Hindutva influence peddling in US, India: Report | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack

The Bhutada Family Foundation reportedly gave over Rs 13.8 crore ($1.7 million) to Sangh-affiliated charities from 2006 to 2018. It is run by Indian-American from Texas and national vice president of HSS, Ramesh Bhutada, who is also the board chairperson at Sewa International. Bhutada is an electrical engineer and the founder and CEO of Texas-based Star Pipe Products, an iron products company that employs nearly 400 people. His son Rishi Bhutada is the vice president of finance at Star Pipes and on the board of the HAF.

The Puran Devi Aggarwal Family Foundation, whose directors include Braham Aggarwal, Suresh K Gupta and Avanish M Aggarwal, reportedly gave over Rs 2.11 crore ($272,000) to Sangh-affiliated charities from 2008 and 2018. Braham Aggarwal founded the Hindu University of America, the education wing of the VHPA, in 1985 and was also the former director of the HSS South East America. The Aggarwals and Gupta are owners of an Orlando-based housing company Park Square Homes.

In April 2021, Al Jazeera reported that five US-based Hindu nationalist groups—Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA, HAF, Infinity Foundation, Sewa International, and VHPA—received approximately Rs 6.5 crore ($833,000) of US federal COVID-19-related funds. The Infinity Foundation is headed by American Hindutva activist and author Rajiv Malhotra.

The research also showcased possible financial irregularities through government filings, including possible electioneering work by Global Indians for Bharat Vikas, a series of land and money transfers between Vivek Welfare and Education Foundation and other groups, and some multi-million-dollar loans from non-profit groups like the India Development and Relief Fund and Bhutada Family Foundation to other entities. HAF has also appeared to provide material aid to Pakistan Hindu Refugee Relief Program (PHRRP), a VHP-affiliated channel of funds to India whose website states it is not a tax-exempt organisation.

The report observed that the Sangh’s proliferating network of groups have influenced multitudes of social sectors across India, the US and other parts of the world.

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