Fremont, California resident Krishnan Iyer was subjected to a tirade of anti-Hindu hate speech as he waited for his order at Taco Bell. (Photo courtesy of Krishnan Iyer)

FREMONT, California — A Taco Bell patron was the target of an 8-minute long anti-Hindu tirade Aug. 21, as he waited to pick up his order.

“You dirty mother fuckers. You shower in cow urine. Nobody likes you. That’s why you get robbed daily,” said the perpetrator, who has not been named by Fremont police. “You dirty Hindu, you fucking Oriental,” he yelled, as he ordered his own meal, emphasizing that he was going to eat beef. Later in the tirade, the perpetrator shouted: “Fuck Indira Gandhi.”

“When the East India Company came, you were the first to kneel down and lick their boots,” said the perpetrator, displaying a high level of knowledge about Indian history. His ethnicity is unknown.

“I was waiting for my food when this guy approached me. Initially, I thought he was trying to be helpful,” Krishnan Iyer, the founder of a tech start-up in the Silicon Valley, told India Currents.

Racist Slurs

“But then he started shouting: ‘You don’t eat beef. Your bean burrito is just cow dung.’ I realized he was out for confrontation,” said Iyer, who captured the perpetrator’s rant on his cell phone. The full verbal assault can be viewed here.

YouTube video
Video via Krishnan Iyer, who was verbally attacked in an anti-Hindu tirade.

“He tried spitting on me, but it landed on the counter. The servers still continued to serve food on that counter,” said Iyer, noting that staff paid no attention to the tirade. The avid cricket fan tried to call police after the perpetrator spat at him, but then saw that a supervisor was calling, so continued to film the attack.

Was A Crime Committed?

Police arrived at the scene, but no arrests were made. Iyer noted that a member of the Fremont Police Department came to his home Aug. 24 to take a police report, but allegedly told him that no crime was committed.

Iyer thinks otherwise. “If some racially abuses you, that is a crime. If you go to a restaurant and someone spits on you, that is a crime.”

“I have lived in Fremont for 17 years and never faced anything like this. Fremont is such a diverse place,” said Iyer. He noted that his 13-year-old son has been overwhelmed by the incident, and fears going to school.

‘Despicable Incident’

Fremont Vice Mayor Raj Salwan echoed Iyer’s characterization of Fremont as a diverse city, which is home to the largest population of Indians in the U.S.

“This is a despicable incident,” Salwan told this publication, adding that he spoke with Fremont Police Chief Sean Washington Aug. 24 to apprise him of the severity of the issue. Washington told him that he has dedicated additional resources to the active investigation.

Fremont Police Deputy Chief Lance Brede told this publication that no arrests were made on the night of the incident. “There was limited information at the time. More information has surfaced. We are actively working with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether charges can be filed.”

“We take such incidents very seriously,” said Brede, confirming that the suspect has been identified, but is not being named during the active investigation.

Salwan said he has also reached out to the Alameda County District Attorney’s office.

“Even in 2022, we are still dealing with the issue of racism. Fremont is the home base of the Indian community in America. We don’t want any of our residents or visitors to feel unwelcome here,” said the Vice Mayor.

This resource is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

Sunita Sohrabji is the Health Editor at Ethnic Media Services.