Western Academia Progresses From Hinduphobia To Hindumisia — Hindu Hatred
This commentary was first published on August 16 in Swarajya Magazine, and is republished with the kind permission of the author, R. Jagannathan, and the publishers of Swarajya Magazine.
Western academia has moved on from indirect Hinduphobia to open Hindumisia — full-blown Hindu hatred. As long as Hindu hatred was restricted to some academics like Audrey Truschke, who has called Sri Rama a “chauvinist pig” and the Bhagavat Gita a manual for mass slaughter, one could ignore the rants. But now this hatred has taken on a new dimension with over 40 universities supporting a conference whose literature and publicity visual says it all: “Dismantling Global Hindutva”. It is no longer about opposing Hindutva as a political ideology, but about “dismantling” it.
Among the contributing and supporting sponsors of this conference are blue-blooded universities like Northwestern, Harvard, UPenn, Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, UC Berkeley and Emory, apart from Rutgers, Trushcke’s own university, where she recently faced a blowback from Hindu students upset over her denigration of their religious icons and identity.
Apparently, dismantling Hindutva is fine and non-Hinduphobic, when none of these universities would dare hold similar conferences titled “Dismantling Islamism” or “Dismantling Born Again Christianity & Evangelism”, both of which constitute huge threats to peace in the parts of the world that are not majority Muslim or Christian.
Equally clearly, political Islam, political Christianity and political Buddhism is fine, but not political Hinduism, which is what Hindutva broadly is. It is about unifying Hindus to defend their common interests even while reducing caste-based discrimination and divisiveness. But then you can’t dismantle Hindutva without dividing Hindus.
The visual material for the conference (see here), scheduled for 10-12 September, shows its real intent. It shows a row of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) figures being forcibly removed like nails from woodwork, using the reverse side of a hammer. This is not about opposing the RSS’s ideology, but about targeting them just as Jews were targeted by Hitler.
It is interesting that at a Kerala procession of the Popular Front of India (PFI), an Islamist organisation, two individuals dressed in RSS uniforms we paraded in chains. ‘Fact-checkers’ quickly got into the act to absolve the PFI of any hateful ideas, and said that these characters were merely role-playing RSS workers and not actual Sanghis (read here, here, here).
This assumes that the attempt to dehumanise an entire organisation as worthy of being chained in not hateful enough. A pliant mainstream media converted the story from being about hateful depiction of a group to one of victimhood, where the PFI was wrongly accused of chaining actual RSS members.
Those ill-disposed to the Sangh will get the message: the Sangh and all its supporters are fair game for intimidatory tactics, and even violence. Consider what would have been the reaction if the reverse was the case: PFI members being shown in chains in an RSS procession.
Despite formally differentiating between Hinduism and Hindutva, an unholy alliance of evangelical groups, woke liberals and Islamists is trying to label all those standing up for Hindu rights as Hindutva activists and Islamophobes.
This is how anti-Semitism begins, by de-humanising people and imagining the worst about them. The end-result is often ethnic cleansing and genocide, as we saw in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and even inside India in Kashmir Valley. All efforts to help discriminated Hindus get labelled as Islamophobia, as we saw with the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.
The targeting of Hindu organisations began quite soon after Hindu students at Rutgers sought action against Audrey Truschke, but the university administration did nothing of the kind. Instead, it offered some mealy-mouthed words of concern for Hindus without condemning Truschke in any way. Soon after, the Hindu American Foundation was targeted, and the latter has sued its accusers for libel in American courts, including Islamist TV channel Al Jazeera.
The speakers at the September Hindumisic conference include known Hindu haters, RSS-baiters and self-loathing Hindus and Muslims — with no speaker giving any different viewpoint. The speakers include Anand Patwardhan, Ayesha Kidwai, Christophe Jaffrelot, Kavita Krishnan, Mohammad Junaid, Nandini Sundar, Neha Dixit and Meena Kandasamy. Two of the writers are unabashed supporters of the murderous Maoists, who apparently do not deserve to be “dismantled”.
This open warfare and targeting of Hindus under the guise of “dismantling Hindutva” is yet another wake-up call to Hindus. Two things need to happen.
First, Hindus need to realise that Hindumisic forces, and academic dhimmis who whitewash every Islamist crime, are now openly gunning for them. They have no other option but to organise themselves and take the ideological war into the enemy camp.
Second, the Narendra Modi government should realise that this is not just about political opposition to it, but a wholesale assault on Hindus abroad which will soon extend to India. The massive electoral victories of three Hinduphobic forces — in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal — has given global Hindumisics new enthusiasm.
The government should now actively discourage Indians from seeking admissions in universities where Hindus will be targeted by issuing an advisory in this regard. The government must seek specific guarantees from universities about fighting Hindumisia before endorsing them as safe for Hindu students to study there.
If the government does not do even this, it does not deserve to be called Hindu nationalist.