Vandalization of a business of Indianapolis Hindu family condemned

September 22, 2017 04:13 AM

Indianapolis, September 21, 2017:  The Hindu Temple of Central Indiana (HTCI) Board of Trustees, Indiana India Business Council and other interfaith organizations as well as known leaders of different communities have expressed deep shock over the incident of vandalization of a business run by an Indian family in Indianapolis.
HTCI Board of Trustees is "deeply disturbed and saddened to learn of the recent religiously-targeted vandalism at the place of business of a Hindu family in Indianapolis, including extensive graffiti and an attempt to set a destructive fire.
" We condemn these hateful and cowardly acts targeting the family's faith and ethnicity. We stand with this innocent family, and all families in Indianapolis, regardless of faith, who seek tolerance, dialogue and understanding," said a statement issued by the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana (HTCI) Board of Trustees.
"The Hindu community in Central Indiana is 50,000 strong. We are mothers, fathers, teachers, students, doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents and more. Some of us were born and raised in Indiana; others migrated from other states and countries to make Indiana our home. We know that the extremist individuals who perpetrated this act of hatred do not represent the good people of Central Indiana. We are grateful for the care and assistance that Hoosier friends and neighbors have provided this family as they seek to clean up the vandalism, restore their place of business and move forward in spite of this disturbing act,: said HTCI Board of Trustees 
"Hinduism is an ancient faith rooted in non-violence, tolerance and pluralism - principles that are increasingly important in troubled times. We know that law enforcement is working to bring these individuals to justice, and we hope that these misguided souls can find their way to greater understanding and peaceful co-existence. In addition, we support efforts in our state to bring hate crimes legislation to Indiana to appropriately address acts such as these.
"The Hindu community looks forward to working with those of all faiths and backgrounds to make our beloved city, state and country stronger," concluded HTCI Board of Trustees 
Indiana India Business Council founder and president Raju Chinthala in a separate statement termed it as "alarming incident of vandalization of a business run by an Indian family in Indianapolis."
The Patnaik family is well known in the community. They have been peaceful, productive and vibrant small business owners in Indianapolis for years. Their storefront being spray-pained with hateful messages is not a true reflection of the Indianapolis we live in,' said Raju Chinthala. "We are proud of the harmonious, multicultural community in Central Indiana. For this reason and many more, Indiana is a great place to do business and we are proud of all business owners who call it home."
"The prejudice towards shown in the graffiti toward this Indian family's Hindu faith seems to be a personally directed attack. Such prejudice about Hinduism, the ancient and predominant religion in India, can only be a misconception of either a troubled or an uninformed mind. There is no space of hate, fear or intimidation in our community and we'll be pleased to work with others towardes this goal." Raju further said in his press release.
Winner of the Interfaith Ambassador Award and world known artist and community leader KP Singh, Asian American Alliance Board member Rupal Thakker Thanawala, Manzil Kohli and Beenu Sikand were among a large number of persons who have expressed dismay over the incident.

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