Indian-American Panel on Fighting Hate Crimes

Dr. Sudhir Parikh (center) speaks on the role of the media in helping reduce hate crimes, as Arjun Rampal looks on, along with other panel members. From left: moderator Dr. Kavita Gupta, Hirsh Vardhan Singh, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Rampal, Dr. Parikh, Dia Mathews and Woodbridge Council member Viru Patel.

Following recent shootings against Indians, two of them fatal, in Kansas, Washington state, and South Carolina, community leaders came together March 11 for a panel discussion at the TV Asia studios in Edison, New Jersey. The speakers – among them politicians, a physician, an immigration attorney, an actor and the publisher of Desi Talk – pushed for educating the public and speaking up against hate attacks, particularly those targeted at Indians and South Asians, reports Bhargavi Kulkarn for News India Times.

Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal says the best way to beat the negative around us is through love and not through hate. “By keeping quiet about hate crimes or discrimination, we are giving victory to the terrorists and the hate mongers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of Desi Talk and News India Times, said, “Education is the most important factor in creating awareness,” and called the shootings against Indian Americans a “combination of ignorance and bigotry.” Panelists pointed out that such incidents did not often occur in the tri-state area, “because of the assimilation, the Midwest is another ball game.”

Communities there need to be reached out to and their education should be a priority, the panel concluded.

For more from the panel discussion, go to News India Times.

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