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India lobbies to control messaging in U.S. Congress

Authors: Rashmee Kumar, Akela Lacy

Affiliation: The Intercept

Organization/Publisher: The Intercept

Date/Place: March 16, 2020/ U.S.

Type of Literature: Report

Word Count: 5000


Keywords: U.S., India, Kashmir, Lobbyism, U.S. Congress, Anti-Muslim Violence



The Intercept journalists Rashmee Kumar and Akela Lacy detail the rising influence of India on US lawmakers, who are increasingly influenced by the Hindu Lobby and uncritically accepting talking points from the Indian government. Such lobbyist influence comes to the fore after a bipartisan resolution condemning Indian actions in Indian-administered Kashmir was grounded even before being taken up for discussion in the US Congress. The development comes after multiple interventions by the Indian embassy in Washington, which met US lawmakers and sent mass emails with misleading information regarding Kashmir, which has been under military lockdown since August 5, 2019 when India re-annexed the region by scrapping the region’s special status guaranteed in its constitution. The meticulous work done by the journalists looks at the role of the Hindu American Foundation in magnifying the role of Indian officials posted in America. The group is known for unruly intimidation and spreading disinformation to counter the advocacy work by Kashmiri-Americans and other bipartisan groups. It also looks at the US Congress’ hearings on Kashmir held last year and how India employs various ways to suppress the truth from coming out in the open.  The authors detail how Indian officials keep track of advocacy campaigns run in favour of Kashmir, as well as those who are affected by India’s new citizenship law which excludes Muslims who risk statelessness if implemented fully. The report identifies that the Indian embassy meets or contacts everyone whom activists and lobbyists inform regarding Kashmir or India’s divisive laws. It shows how despite Capitol Hill and its recipe of different cuisines from South Asia with a differing Diaspora from different communities, lately there has been a vertical division among the people.  Hindu hardliners have taken radical positions and have even triggered backlash against US lawmakers who have been critical of Indian actions especially in Kashmir. 


By: Ruby Clayton, CIGA Research Assistant



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