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2008 Faculty & Staff News

Dr. Ramesh Rao recently presented a briefing at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. on discrimination against Hindus in Malaysia

January 7, 2008

Dr. Ramesh Rao, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre, recently presented a briefing at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., on discrimination against Hindus in Malaysia. Dr. Rao and the policy director of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), to which Dr. Rao belongs, met Dec. 4 with two people from the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and with a Malaysia desk officer for the State Department. “We expressed our concerns about the demolition of Hindu temples which is a government program and has gotten worse in recent years; the use of brute police force against unarmed demonstrators; and the marginalization of Hindu laborers, more than 50 percent of whom live below the poverty level,” Dr. Rao said. Malaysia, a self-proclaimed Islamic republic, is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious state in which Indians (who constitute 8 percent of the population) face “increased discrimination and intimidation,” according to the HAF’s 2006 human rights report, of which Dr. Rao was the principal author.