New York: New York-based Indian National Overseas Congress Inc (INOC) has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for $100 million against three prominent Hindu activists Narain Kataria, Arish Sahani and Bharat Barai for allegedly defaming UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi by releasing a full page advertisement in The New York Times during her October visit to the US.
The plaintiff Dr Surinder Malhotra, Chief Executive Officer of INOC states in the complaint in New York Supreme court that false statements had been made in the advertisement about his boss Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi in The New York Times dated October 6. INOC has hired a law firm which had represented Ariel Sharon of Israel against Time magazine.
To fight this lawsuit, Narain Kataria and Arish Sahani have retained the law firm of Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard, LLP which is known for excellence and caliber to represent them. Bharat Barai has claimed that he is not involved in anyway with the advertisement and is independently fighting against the lawsuit.
One of the defendants Dr Bharat Barai has decided to counter the defamation suit against the Indian National Overseas Congress for adding his name. He says he has nothing to do with the advertisement nor he had designed and paid for it and termed it as frivolous. His name does not figure in the list of contacts given in the advertisement.
“It is unfortunate that the Malhotra and Sonia coterie do not recognize that the freedom of expression is the First Amendment right of every US citizen. What could be the motive behind this lawsuit? All the material in the advertisement is available in the public domain and has been published in several media for long time. It is incomprehensible as to why this lawsuit has been filed on frivolous grounds,” says Hindu leaders who have rallied behind the three. Kataria and Sahani are also leaders of Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party in the US besides running the Indian American Intellectuals Forum. They also founded the Forum for Saving Gandhi's Heritage before the arrival of Sonia Gandhi to United Nations last year.
Says a prominent Hindu leader of New York, “This lawsuit is not just against a few individuals, but against the entire NRI community. The sinister motive behind the lawsuit is to demoralise Hindu leaders in this country, gag their voice, make them financially bankrupt, harass them and frighten them into submission. One more reason for this insidious attempt could be to muzzle the dissenting voices against Sonia dynasty outside India where freedom of expression is guaranteed under the Constitution.”
Narain Kataria and Arish Sahani have been fighting for Hindu causes for decades and say that they will not succumb to such pressure tactics. Narain Kataria, 78, a retired man of indomitable spirit, unshakeable courage and resolute determination said that he would pursue this case even if he has to withdraw his Pension funds.
The motive is to put down Kataria and others who are raising their voice against Hindus. In recent years, Kataria has emerged as the most prominent Hindu leader in North America by organising protest rallies against Sonia Gandhi in front of United Nations, MF Hussain for depicting Hindu gods in nude and has been a champion fighting the oppression of Hindus.