The south asian scholar activist collective has also described the term as a distraction “in the west to silence critiques of casteism, islamophobia, sexism, anti-semitism, racism, and other forms of supremacist ideologies at the heart of hindutva,” the letter read. In a section labelled as “letter of support” on its website, apparently written by scholars of “genocide, mass violence, and human rights”, the conference sought to clarify its position vis-a-vis allegations of hinduphobia levelled against it. However, instead of assuring that its platform won’t be used in furthering anti-hindu sentiments, the conference went on to dismiss the notion of hinduphobia, asserting that it is just a “distraction”, meant to deflect critiques of other “supremacist ideologies”. Yet, the “Genocide scholars” of dismantling global hindutva believe that threats of their persecution are unfounded and that hinduphobia is a figment of imagination, created with the express purpose to divert attention from other issues. “the campaign of intimidation carried out by hindutva affiliates cannot be allowed to take root in the academy in the us, europe, or around the world. Ohio state senator and republican politician niraj antani also issued a statement, condemning the conference and calling it “racism and bigotry against the hindus”.
Some us-based hindu groups have been aggressively campaigning and pressurising the participating universities to pull out of the conference, saying it promotes “hinduphobia and anti-hindu hatred”, a charge denied by the organisers. hinduphobia The organisers insist the conference only aims to discuss the global implications of hindutva and develop resources for an anti-hindutva pedagogy in the academy. Over the past three weeks, the organisers and speakers of the conference have been on a receiving end of harassment and intimidation by various hindu right-wing groups and individuals staunchly opposing the conference, calling it a “hinduphobic gathering”. [newline]in an article titled ‘dismantling global hindutva event an academic assault on hinduism’, david frawley has written for firstpost, while news18 has published an article titled ‘how the ‘dismantling global hindutva’ conference in the us dehumanises hindus everywhere’. Over the past few weeks, people affiliated with the conference have attracted the ire of hindu right wing groups, who have classified the virtual event as a ‘hinduphobic gathering’, theprint reported. In october 2018, it was reported that conservative party candidate for the mayor of london shaun bailey had written a pamphlet, entitled no man’s land, for the centre for policy studies.
The emphasis on japan in asia society and various universities’ japan chairs was largely corporate-funded. Academicians are uncomfortable acknowledging that their institutions are not entirely driven by “academic freedom” but are powered more by the strategic interests of the american polity and also by the financial clout of a given nation in international economics. Aren’t these scholars who are supposedly leftist/liberal, anti-imperial, anti-colonial etc., operating with double standards? For removal of doubt, I wish to clarify that I am not troubled by ms. Flueckiger or anyone else being a christian fundamentalist or about mr. Prashad being a communist.
(neither side asked me to be included, so I was never present, even though I was told that both sides cited my writings on sulekha.) unfortunately, mr. Vedantam’s article did not reflect that debate at all. Government corruption in countries like india is often the result of a concentration of power over the control of commerce. Analogously, channels of knowledge distribution around the world are often controlled by vested interests, and I have highlighted this extensively in the case of knowledge about india and especially about hinduism. A small subset of western-controlled knowledge producers about india control the academic journals, conferences, grants, phds, appointments and award committees. If a similar control existed over commercial distribution channels, it would be grounds for anti-trust action against the monopolists. As shown below, the post bungled up this opportunity by regurgitating the narratives supplied to it by the establishment of india studies.
The support of the pnm government to christian afro-trinidadian and tobagonian and creole art forms such as carnival and christmas, while their public rejection and ridicule of indian and hindu art forms, was a particular source of contention for the hindus. During the general elections of 1986, the absence of the bhagavad gita and the quran at polling stations for required oath-taking was interpreted as a gross insult to hindus and muslims. The absence of any hindu religious texts at the official residence of the president of trinidad and tobago during the swearing in of the new government in 1986 was perceived as another insult to the minority communities since they were represented in the government. The national education system and curriculum have been repeatedly accused of such majority-oriented symbolism. The use of discernibly oriented prayers at government schools, the non-representation of hinduism in approved school textbooks, and the lack of emphasis on hindu religious observance evoked deep resentment from the hindu community.
Each of these ideologies has many positive things in it, while I disagree with many other aspects. In fact, I have been involved in an internet debate with vijay prashad, during the course of which I have gained an appreciation for many of his positions and activities. We agreed to avoid personally labeling each other and to debate only the issues and positions on a stand-alone basis. I do not wish to pry into any scholar’s private life and all the facts given here are from public sources on the internet.