IMPACT: The Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) is a Frisco, Texas-based Hindu non-profit organization. GHHF supports Hindu nationalist ideology and regularly publishes discriminatory, inflammatory, and intolerant content about Islam and Christianity. The group promotes anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, has raised funds to aid the demolition of Churches in India, and supports the Hindu nationalist mission of making India a Hindu-only nation.
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) was founded in 2006 with the mission to “protect, preserve, promote, and maintain Hindu culture, Hindu temples, mutts, peethams, endowments, Trusts and other institutions globally.”
Since its inception, GHHF has engaged in Islamophobic and anti-Christian rhetoric, supported discriminatory measures passed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, raised funds to aid the demolition of Churches in India, routinely promoted anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, and publicly advocated that “India should declare itself to be a Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu state).
According to a 2017 version of Prakasarao Velagapudi’s CV, GHHF “was started in 2006 by a group of highly professional people in the USA with the sole objective of freeing the Hindu Temples from government control by challenging the Endowment Act in the court of law.” The CV notes that Velagapudi has served as the President of GHHF since its inception. Velagapudi previously served as the Chairman of the combined Department of Sociology and Criminology at Mississippi State University before retiring. Seven out of its 16 board of directors are Indian-American physicians.
GHHF supports Hindu nationalist ideology and openly admires the India-based Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). A March 2023 letter from GHHS expressed its “appreciation to RSS for its selfless service in preserving and protecting Sanatana dharma…to remind us about the glorious past…and advocate the need to establish Hindu Rashtra.”
In September 2021, GHHF released a statement condemning the Dismantling Global Hindutva conference, a three-day event co-sponsored by departments and centers from over 40 American and international universities. GHHF stated the conference was depicting Hindus as “fundamentalists, terrorists, and extremists in order to whitewash the bloodiest, brutal, and barbaric rule of Muslims in India,” and argued that the conference is “being organized only to mask the true nature of Islam.” The statement goes on to speak of the positives of Hindutva, claiming that “with increased education, the people are realizing the true nature of barbarism of Islam and the true nature of the Hindutva values.”
GHHF has collaborated with other India-based Hindu militant organizations like Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). In January 2023, GHHF along with VHP and Bajrang Dal organized a joint protest against alleged desecration of an idol in Kakinada city of Andhra Pradesh by a drunken Hindu man. In its list of “pro-Hindu Activists Organizations,” the group mentions right-wing groups like Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), Hindu American Foundation and Hindu Jana Jagruti Samiti. In September 2022, GHHF President Velagapudi was one of the keynote speakers at a Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) conference.
The group has hosted leaders of India’s ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the RSS. In March 2023, GHHF hosted SG Suryah, a BJP youth leader from India’s Tamil Nadu state, in Dallas, where he spoke “about the chances of BJP in Tamil Nadu and the achievements of [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi government.” In May 2022, the GHHF president held a meeting with Ram Madhav, a senior BJP leader and the National Executive member of the RSS in Dallas, Texas, to brief him about the group’s activities in India. HSS, the US offshoot of RSS, organized the event. In January 2022, GHHF organized an event in Frisco, Texas, to launch a book praising Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu militant monk and current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state. The group has also organized multiple US tours for Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a senior BJP leader known for his anti-Muslim bigotry.
GHHF’s website is replete with prejudicial and intolerant comments about Islam and Christianity. The group describes Islam as “the enemy of the humanity,” incompatible with “democracy and humanity,” the “root of terrorism,” and alleges that the Quran promotes “violence, terror, torture, beheading, and killing.” In a June 2013 blogpost, GHHF wrote, “Islam is born in terror, killings, rapes, slavery, destruction, demolitions, devastations, annihilations, and eliminations. Islamic terror is spreading like wild fires engulfing the entire globe. Through out human history, Islam has been championing the philosophy of exclusivity to the extent of annihilations of entire human race. Muslims want to dominate the world by the SWORD.” It falsely claims that “more than 560 verses in Quran that espouse violence, terrorism and outright killing, the most heinous way.”
In regards to Christianity, GHHF claims that Christianity spread “through deception, force, killings, rapes, torture, stoning, insulting other faiths, attacking other religious God images and Places of worship” and that the “Bible is filled with Hateful Statements.” In September 2022, the group posted an article on its website claiming Jesus created “division, enmity and hatred” and was a “vicious, detestable, despicable, angry, wrathful, hateful, and a killer.”
GHHF has repeatedly published content that indulges in fear-mongering towards Muslims and Christians in India. In a June 2022 article, it claimed that Muslims in India are planning a “Hindu genocide” and want to “recapture India through violent means.” In another June 2023 article, the group falsely claimed that Muslims are “talking about wiping out Hinduism in India,” “implementing Shariah law,” establishing “an Islamic Nation,” and calling for establishing a dictatorship in India. The article further said, “Europe is becoming another heaven for Muslims who are determined to establish Caliphate.”
In India, GHHF operates directly and through its sister organization called Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti, which it states was setup in December 2006 “to help protect the Temple lands and revenues across Andhra Pradesh by taking necessary peaceful methods.” The group claims it mainly works under the guidance of Swami Paripoornananda Saraswathi, who has been described by Indian political theorist and Dalit rights activist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd as, “stealthily promoting a communal agenda, pitting Hindus against Muslims in Telangana and Hindus against Christians in Andhra Pradesh.” In July 2018, Paripoornananda Saraswathi was banned by the state government for six months for making provocative statements. He later joined India’s ruling BJP. Earlier in 2014, GHHF hosted Paripoornananda Saraswathi for a nationwide tour in the US.
Over the years, GHHF has expanded its operations in India and runs dozens of children schools called “Bala Samskar Kendras”, where it teaches about Hindu nationalist ideologues like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the architect of modern Hindutva who justified weaponizing rape as a political tool against Muslim women.
It has hired pracharks (full-time workers) in various Indian states and runs a Ghar Wapsi (homecoming) project, converting Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. Considered as the creation of Hindu paramilitary groups like RSS and VHP, Ghar Wapsi has been described by Manjari Katju, a Professor at the University of Hyderabad as “intrinsically violent affair and is linked to the notion of India being a homeland only of Hindus.”
GHHF heavily promotes anti-Muslim conspiracy theories like “love jihad” in India and the Indian-American diaspora. According to Time Magazine, “love jihad” is a “baseless conspiracy theory” that claims Muslim men are trapping Hindu women in love to convert them to Islam. The term has been used by Hindu nationalists in India to police, incite, and commit violence against Muslim men in interfaith relationships. In a July 2023 post, GHHF wrote, “As we all know that Muslim youth are groomed to act like Hindu, dress like Hindu, look like Hindu, adopt Hindu name and spend liberally to attract the Hindu Girls. Lot of money is pledged to the Muslim youth to trap and marry and convert to Islam.”
In March 2022, GHHF distributed booklets on “love jihad” in Cachar City in the Indian state of Assam. In May 2023, GHHF sponsored movie tickets for 600 Hindu girls to watch the Bollywood film “The Kerala Story,” which promotes the “love jihad” theory and has been described by critics as “propaganda aimed to stoke religious disharmony and Islamophobia.” The film’s release has also led to deadly violence in the country. GHHF also claims that the 17th-century iconic Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, is a Hindu temple, which is another conspiracy theory promoted by the Hindu far-right.
In 2020, GHHF President Velagapudi spread disinformation online by claiming Muslims were spreading COVID-19 in different Indian states. In May 2020, he wrote an editorial for the Hindu rightwing portal PGURUS, calling India’s Muslim citizens a “menace.” While blaming the members of Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim missionary group, he wrote, “They met in thousands and traveled to different states for conversion activities. When the government tried to identify them to quarantine, they hid and spread the virus in different states.”
In April 2020, GHHF wrote a letter to the administrator of Chittoor District in India’s Andhra Pradesh expressing its strong opposition to allowing Muslims to quarantine in temple guesthouses, designated as quarantine centers by the government. “It is like harboring an enemy in our house,” the group wrote.
GHHF engages in rhetoric and activities that promote fear, hatred, and discrimination against religious minorities. In January 2020, the group wrote a letter to a hospital in Andhra Pradesh state to “investigate” the faith of its Christian employees and “terminate them immediately if they are practicing Christianity.” In December 2020, it ran a campaign that resulted in the removal of 13 Muslim vendors from outside a temple in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh.
In January 2022, it wrote a memorandum to local authorities in Assam’s Cachar City to ban the recitation of the azan (Muslim call to prayers) from mosque loudspeakers. A month later, it passed a resolution at the Sanatan Hindu Dharma Sabha event in Cachar, calling for a ban on the sale of properties to non-Hindus (Muslims and Christians).
In May 2022, the group wrote a letter to authorities in Assam calling on them to shut down meat businesses and animal slaughterhouses run by Muslims. The same month, it organized an “awareness campaign” in Andhra Pradesh state’s Anantapur district and convinced members of a village to put up sign boards that read “[Christian] missionaries are forbidden in the village.”
In September 2022, GHHF wrote a letter to authorities in Telangana state calling on them to exclude Muslims and Christians in public auctions to lease shops around the temple area and threatened mass protests if allowed. In November 2022, GHHF workers organized a meeting with nurses working in hospitals across Hyderabad city to “talk about the deceptive tactics Christian nurses employ to convert vulnerable Hindu patients.” The group promotes hostility against Christian missionaries. “If they are coming to convert our Hindus, we should drive them away. We should not even allow them to talk about their religion,” GHHF told a group of Hindus in Andhra Pradesh state.
The group is also involved in cow vigilante activities in some Indian states, which include policing of sale, transportation, or consumption of beef. In August 2020, GHHF’s team in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, forcefully stopped two Muslim-owned trucks over the suspicion of transporting beef and handed them over to police. It supports Hindu militant groups’ calls for declaring “war against cow butchers.”
In November 2022, GHHF organized an event in Frisco, Texas, to fundraise for the “demolition of illegal churches” in Andhra Pradesh. The event resulted in widespread condemnation from American civil rights and interfaith groups, who sought an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation and revocation of its non-profit status. In March 2023, Velagapudi wrote a letter to Hindu temples in the United States seeking support to turn India into a Hindu nation.
This factsheet was produced in collaboration with Raqib Hameed Naik, US-based Kashmiri journalist who covers human rights, religious minorities, and Hindu nationalism.