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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Rutgers University acknowledges Hindu concerns after students repeatedly call out Truschke’s Hindumisia

In what could turn out to be a great first step, concerns raised by Hindu students have been acknowledged by Rutgers University which had earlier brushed aside pleas of Hindu students against Hindumisic professor Audrey Truschke. Even though it is miles away from initiating action against Truschke, Hindu students have scored a small victory in that the university is at least forced to acknowledge and address their concerns instead of outright dismissing them.

Rutgers Hindu YUVA and Hindu Students Council issued a statement after several groups held a meeting with the university authorities on March 12 to apprise the authorities of rising Hindumisic attacks faced by the students which they said have been facilitated by the continuous Hindumisic remarks in class and on social media made by an Associate Professor.

They stated that the administration members sympathized with the Hindu students and promised to look into their concerns in addition to assuring them they would work with Hindu students to create a safer space on campus. On their part, the associations would be pursuing the following points of action with the administration:

1) Define and recognize Hinduphobia (Hindumisia) as a distinct category of bigotry and discrimination which includes recognizing Hindus as an ethnic and religious minority.

2) Employ a practicing Hindu professor who specializes in Bharatiya history and/or Hindu Dharma whose scholarship pushes against the dominant perspective that is currently in place.

The associations have said in their statement that they would be working with the administration as well as several organizations that have supported their cause. Organizations such as CoHNA (Coalition of Hindus of North America) have also lent their support to the initiative and called upon the University to address the concerns of Hindu students.

An initiative known as Hindu on Campus also issued a statement supporting Hindu students asking for equitable treatment. This is an initiative launched by Hindu community members who are concerned about the rise in anti-Hindu bigotry on campuses. They have also put out a video explaining the current situation and also exposing Audrey Truschke’s Hindumisic nature.

They have highlighted how her deep-rooted Hindumisia makes her a threat to Hindu students who are genuinely fearing threat to themselves from Truschke. They have also spearheaded an open letter to Rutgers University asking them to clarify whether they approve of Truschke’s defense of genocidal ruler Aurangzeb or her bigoted comments towards Hindus and Hindu deities.

Not surprisingly, elite “South Asian” faculty associated with Rutgers and other universities have come out in support of Truschke. It must be mentioned here that anything associated with “South Asian” is a cause for concern and one to be treated with skepticism as it is often dominated by Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Communist elements harboring hatred for Bharat and Hindu Dharma.

In view of this, it is even more important for the University to take a clear stand and take action against Truschke if they are genuinely concerned about addressing Hindumisia on their campus. A Hindu IU student has pointed out how Islamic Studies Program at IU came out in support of Truschke by tweeting in her defense on March 8 and 9 under the pretext of academic freedom.

Her opinion piece published by IDS News says:

The Islamic Studies Program at IU tweeted in support of her March 8 and 9, defending her comments against my religion through the guise of “academic freedom.”

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Robert Crouch, the interim director of the IU Islamic Studies Program, called the concerns of Hindu students “lazy” and “immoral,” explicitly stating that the program stands with Truschke and RU.

Using the Twitter account of a program that represents a religious minority in the U.S. to shut down the concerns of students who belong to a different religious minority is incredibly appalling.

As a Hindu IU student, I am fed up.

She also quotes a fellow Hindu student who has been equally disturbed with Crouch supporting Truschke rather than condemning her behavior. They further said that Hindu students standing up for themselves when they are being unjustly treated doesn’t amount to being lazy or immoral as insinuated by Crouch.

The article also points out:

Compared to words used to describe other forms of systemic oppression, the term “Hinduphobia” is one of the least searched forms of oppression on Google as of 2020. Despite being the third largest religion in the world, we are failing to bring the issue of Hinduphobia into the mainstream conversation of anti-minority sentiment.

…In a country that has constantly appropriated my religion, whether that be non-Hindus who practice yoga or people who use my Gods as “aesthetic” wallpaper or doormats, I would at least expect someone to be an ally to us. I wish people loved Hindus as much as they love using our culture.

In the midst of escalating Hinduphobia, I encourage all Hindus to stand up for themselves when they know something is not right. We have been tolerant of anti-Hindu bigotry for too long, and it is important we recognize our silence on these issues is compliance to deepening our oppression.

It is now for Rutgers University to address the genuine concern of Hindu students and initiate concrete action against Truschke so as to instil confidence among Hindu students that the University is serious about the issues Hindus face as a minority.

(Featured Image Source: Rutgers University)


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