Re: "A bad choice for Obama transition team," Thursday:

That former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum has an ax to grind with the incoming Obama administration comes as no surprise. But that he would employ character assassination in the process to defame Sonal Shah defines a new low for an out-of-office politician.

Santorum ludicrously ascribes Hindu extremist sympathies upon an Indian American woman whose entire career, as a director of Google's philanthropic arm and founder of Indicorps, is defined by her commitment to the global uplifting of women and children without regard to their religious affiliation. Although Shah raised funds for victims of India's devastating earthquake in 2001, Santorum shamelessly impugns her work with the World Hindu Council (VHP) America, a registered nonprofit that is the only Hindu social organization in the United States supporting service projects in India.

By Santorum's McCarthyesque measure, thousands of Hindu American professionals and students are equally suspect.

Sheetal D. Shah

Director of development

Hindu American Foundation

Kensington, Md.