Building Bridges of Understanding Coalition (BB)

BB is yet another example of the deceptive strategies deployed by the CAG to fool the regulators, media and the general public. In essence, BB is just another coalition of members and organizations of the CAG and not another independent organization as the CAG claims.

To illustrate this, the December 2003 newsletter on the website of the CSFH (an affiliate of FOIL, discussed here), calls its readers’ attention to a new initiative “…which celebrate[s] pluralism, promote[s] understanding between communities and engender[s] participatory forms of democracy.”[1] The CSFH reports:

On November 8, 2003, more than 40 people from all over Chicago, representing a variety of organizations, met in Darien, Illinois, to begin the process of ‘building bridges’ among different communities to promote pluralism, secularism, democracy and communal harmony. This meeting was sponsored by six groups active in the Chicago metropolitan area — Coalition for Secular and Democratic India (CSDI), South Asian Progressive Action Collective (SAPAC), South Asia Group for Action and Reflection (SAGAR), Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA), World Tamil Organization (WTO) and Sikh American Heritage Organization (SAHO) [emphasis added]. The aim of the meeting was to develop a common understanding of shared goals, and to determine what efforts should be undertaken in order to effectively achieve these ends. By the end of the meeting, a whole host of objectives, action plans and structures were defined — both in India and in North America — including activities on the internet, future meetings and workshops, dialogues to further understanding, rapid mobilization to react to events, and raising awareness. The group has tentatively adopted the name ‘Building Bridges’ [emphasis added], and invites anyone who agrees with the spirit of the meeting to join them in this effort.[2]

The contacts listed for Building Bridges in the CSFH Newsletter include: Imtiaz Uddin (CSDI)…Harinder Lamba (SAGAR)…Rasheed Ahmed (IMC-USA)…Shashi Menon (SAPAC).[3]

Thus, at least five CAG member-bodies are part of this organization, as shown above.

In yet another example, on February 24, 2004, Imtiaz Uddin sent an invitation to a lecture by Ram Puniyani, whose views are discussed at several places in this website. In this email, Imtiaz Uddin admits: “…CSDI as an integral constituent of ‘Building Bridges’ forum in Metropolitan Chicago has invited him to meet with us and share his views on promotion of communal harmony in India…”[4]

All the above amply demonstrates that BB is yet another dubious organization created by the same people in the CAG. CAG lies blatantly and puts BB’s name as a signatory on its list of ‘broad’ organizations.


[1] “Saffron Dollar December 2003”, December 17, 2003, The Campaign to Stop Funding Hate,$/Dec2003.htm. Accessed January 16, 2014

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] See email titled “Fwd: Mark your Calendars for Dr. Puniyani in Chicago on April 4 (Sunday)”, forwarded by Shashi Menon on SAPAC’s list at  Accessed January 16, 2014