By: Vivek J
April 14 2023
The resolution denounced Hinduphobia citing the cultural values of Hinduism and did not call it the best or most tolerant religion.
On March 27, 2023, the assembly of the State of Georgia in the U.S., passed a resolution condemning Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu bigotry. This resolution was brought forward by Rep. Lauren McDonald and Todd Jones of Forsyth County of the suburbs of Atlanta, the capital of Georgia. Once news outlets reported the passing of this resolution in the Georgian assembly, several social media posts claiming that Georgia passed a resolution claiming Hinduism is the best and most tolerant religion in the world started surfacing.
There were hundreds of such posts across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Koo, and even on WhatsApp. These posts were predominantly shared by affiliates of pro-right outfits. However, the context in which these claims glorifying the content of the resolution passed in the Georgian assembly are misrepresented.
The House Resolution 701, as seen on the Georgian Legislative Assembly website, begins with the note “Condemning Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu bigotry; and for other purposes.” This resolution refers to Hinduism also known as “Sanatan Dharma” as “one the world's largest and oldest religions with over 1.2 billion adherents in over 100 countries and which encompasses an array of diverse traditions and belief systems with values of acceptance, mutual respect, and peace.” Sanatan Dharma which translates to “the natural and eternal way of life,” is an endonym used to refer to Hinduism.
The resolution further highlights the importance of the contribution made by the Hindu community in the U.S. in various sectors like medicine, science and engineering, information technology, hospitality, finance, academia, manufacturing, energy, and retail trade, among others. It further noted the contribution of the Hindu community to introducing Yoga, Ayurveda, meditation, food, music, and arts which have been widely accepted in the American society.
The Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) in a Twitter post dated March 31, 2023, noted that it received queries on who was behind this historic County resolution. The post further thanked CoHNA’s Atalanta chapter for closely working with the lawmakers on drafting the language of this resolution and getting it passed. This Partisan resolution was supported by five Republican lawmakers.
It is worth noting that the resolution makes no mention of Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma being referred to as the “best religion” or the “most tolerant religion”. It instead lays out facts that it was one of the oldest and largest religions in the world with over 1.2 billion followers with an array of diverse traditions.
The resolution cited a Rutgers study from July 2022 titled “Anti-Hindu Disinformation: A Case Study of Hinduphobia on Social Media,” which detailed how hate messages on social media translated into real-life threats to the followers of the Hindu faith.
The resolution passed by the Georgian legislature has condemned Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu bigotry. However, it has not referred to Hinduism as “the best” or “the most tolerant” religion in the world. Social media users have amplified the resolution’s content and misrepresented it online. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.