Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston: Reject Hate!


  • Nitesh A. Banker, President, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston
  • Ashok T. Bhambhani, Director, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston
  • Dhirendra Kotak, Chief Trustee, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston
  • Virat K. Mehta, Director, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston
  • Bhamar C. Trivedi, Secretary, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston
  • Vinay Y. Vakil, Treasurer, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston

Dear Mr. Banker, Mr. Bhambhani, Mr. Kotak, Mr. Mehta, Mr. Trivedi, and Mr. Vakil:

We are writing to you as fellow Hindus who are horrified to see the Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston hosting a rally in support of “Yogi” Adityanath, the chief minister of India’s Uttar Pradesh state.

This car rally, titled “Howdy Yogi,” has been planned for the morning of Saturday, February 26, 2022. Organizers include groups such as the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and individuals including Ramesh Bhutada (Vice-President of HSS), Bangar Reddy Aaloori, and Vijay Varma.

Since 2017, Adityanath has served as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state. Under his rule, we have seen rising attacks on Muslims, Dalits, and other marginalized communities. For years, he has made countless statements vilifying India’s Muslim minority, as well as Christians, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals:

  • “I will not stop till I turn Uttar Pradesh and India into a Hindu rashtra (Hindu state).” (source)

  • “Hinduism is a different culture, Islam is a different culture, the two cannot coexist. Two cultures can never live together in harmony.” (source)

  • “If they [Muslims] kill one Hindu man, then we will kill 100 Muslim men.” (source)

  • “If men acquire women-like qualities, they become gods but when women acquire men-like qualities, they become demon-like.” (source)

  • “If given a chance, we will install statues of Goddess Gauri, Ganesh and Nandi in every mosque.” (source)

  • “Mother Teresa was part of a conspiracy to Christianize India.” (source)

  • “Rohingyas from Myanmar in India are not refugees, they are the intruders.” (source)

It is unacceptable to see a Hindu temple in the United States endorsing such vile hatred. The hateful rhetoric spoken by Adityanath and other members of his political party clearly violate the teachings of karuna (compassion), ahimsa (nonviolence), and satya (truth) that lie at the heart of our Hindu traditions.

In the Ramcharitmanas, Tulsidas quotes Lord Shiva as saying “It is love alone that reveals God, even as friction reveals fire.” The Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, a devotee of Kali and Durga, describes the Goddess as such: “She loves everyone in the three worlds; her heart cries for all.” As a temple dedicated to Shiva and Shakti, we hope you will choose the path of love over that of hate.

We call on you to formally disassociate the Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir from the “Howdy Yogi” rally and issue an apology to your Muslim neighbors.


Hindus for Human Rights

Sponsored by
Washington, DC