CoHNA (Coalition of Hindus of North America) has urged universities and their departments to condemn open bigotry against Hindus in the Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference. This article provides evidence of Hinduphobia and hate speech against Hindu Dharma during the said conference. CoHNA has asked the Hindu community and its allies to take action now!
Day1 Session3: Dr. Gajendran Ayyathurai of Uni Göttingen dangerously and falsely declared that Hindu Dharma inspired Nazism, opening Hindus up for hatred, gaslighting and harassment.
Day 1 Session 3: Dr. Ayyathurai called Hindus “violent malignant Brahmins.” He targeted 5 Hindu last names as those with a history of extreme violence, quoting that they are “…violent advocates of…malignant Brahmanism,” thus singling out groups and encouraging violence, bullying.
Note that on Sept. 10th, Prof. Audrey Truschke openly endorsed Dr. Ayyathurai’s words and commended him for “speaking the truth,” thus amplifying the hate and Hinduphobia even further.
Day 2 Session 1, P. Sivakami declared that Hindu Dharma is a “danger to independence, equality and brotherhood” and against democratic values. This directly contributes to existing corpus of xenophobia directed at Hindus, conveying that we are “incompatible with democracy.”
Several speakers at Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference openly stated that Hindu Dharma and “Hindutva” are one and the same and essentially called for dismantling of Hinduism. Some examples follow.
Day 1 Session 3, Dr. Meena Dhanda, of University of Wolverhampton clearly stated that Hindu Dharma and “Hindutva” are inextricably linked. She disparaged some of the most iconic Hindu leaders such as Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Mahatma Gandhi and essentially declared them as “Hindutva ideologues.”
To quote Dr. Dhanda: “I take Hindutva as political Hinduism, not a distortion of some inherently benign religion, but a historical expression of it, with continuities in the works of Dayananda Saraswati, Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Savarkar,…even Gandhi…”
Day 3 Session 2, Dr. Shana Sippy of Carleton College and of @/auntylectuals (Twitter handle) openly called for dismantling Hindu Dharma by declaring “…there is no Hindutva without Hinduism…Hindutva is inextricably linked to and is a form of Hinduism and we do not think there is any way to understand Hindutva if you disaggregate it from [Hinduism]… and there is absolutely no way to dismantle it…if you are going to…ignore the Hinduism of it.”
Day 2 Session 1, Dr. Akanksha Mehta of Goldsmiths, University of London, declared that “…without hesitation, that Hindutva is indeed inseparable from Hinduism, and arguments of Hindutva is not Hinduism are deeply dangerous, Brahminical and laced with erasure and violence. They will not take us to the future we aspire…”
D3 Sess. 2, Dr. Balmurli Natrajan of William Paterson University stated that “I did not at least hear anyone, definitely myself, deny the fact that Hinduism is deeply imbricated with Hindutva…nobody on this panel has been denying it…”
These are just a few examples of the vitriol that was spewed by Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference and by the organizers. Clearly illustrate an overt agenda to dismantle Hindu Dharma not Hindutva as the organizers & the academics who supported them originally alleged.
The organizers, speakers and their academic supporters used their privileged positions to falsify information about Hinduism and Hindus, failed to exercise appropriate restraint and openly violated the ethical spirit of academic integrity and robust dialogue.
In doing so, they have endangered practicing Hindus on college campuses across the United States, Canada, and the world.
The universities have a moral obligation to vehemently denounce such bigotry, protect the civil rights of their Hindu students and faculty members and ensure that they feel safe and included on campus.
They must be held accountable for providing institutional support to a conference that targeted and called for a dismantling of minority faith in America.
Finally, our downloadable infographic lays out the above information to share with university administrators, lawmakers and the general public, along with a call to action for students, parents, alumni and community members.
(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of @CoHNAOfficial with minor changes to improve readability)