Pieter Friedrich: Jack Dorsey meant well by giving millions to a group that claims to be working to provide relief for a nation that is currently being ravaged by COVID-19, but he didn’t do his due diligence to verify the credentials of the organization to which he gave.
The hashtag #TakeItBackJack emerged on Twitter two weeks ago. Led by US-based activist Pieter Friedrich, several Twitter users joined in and asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to take back his donation of $2.5 million to Sewa International USA. In addition, a petition was launched to reach out to Jack Dorsey and currently has close to 2,500 signatures.
But Pieter is not done yet. Following the social media campaign to expose Sewa International, Pieter is now going on a hunger strike to raise awareness against the pro-RSS organization.
Sewa USA is connected to Sewa International in India, which is itself affiliated with Sewa Bharati, which is the social service wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist paramilitary that is implicated in countless incidents of violence against minorities, including pogroms.
Sharing details of his intent to go on a hunger strike, Pieter said that over the past 20 years, reports have repeatedly exposed how donations made for disaster relief purposes to chapters of Sewa International have been given to organizations in India that are connected to the RSS and possibly even directly linked to RSS-sponsored anti-minority violence.
“Sewa USA itself is run by the top leadership of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (or HSS-USA, which is the American wing of the RSS), as well as by others who have actually served as full-time workers for the paramilitary in India,” a press statement by Pieter added.
“The chairperson of Sewa USA is Ramesh Bhutada. As the Vice-President of HSS-USA and, essentially, the RSS’s number two person in the United States, he has a long track record of political campaign work to support the election and promotion of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Narendra Modi despite Modi’s involvement in an anti-Muslim pogrom in 2002.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced a $2.5 million donation to Sewa International on May 10. His announcement came just days before Modi led BJP Government launched series of raids on Twitter offices in India. Police conducted raids at the offices of Twitter India in Delhi and Gurgaon on Monday as part of an investigation into why some tweets by Indian Officials were labelled as ‘manipulated media’.
Our readers can sign the petition to Jack Dorsey here.