Post On:April 12, 2021
Post On:April 1, 2021
Faculty of a select list of Universities of Canada received this mail:
I hope this email finds you well. We take great pleasure in reaching out to you as you are one of the few academicians in Canada who chose Hinduism as your area of research and teaching. Our motivation behind writing to intellectuals like yourself is the series of events happening in North American Universities i.e., University of Toronto.
Historically there is a general sense of interest in Hinduism, due to its vast diversity and rich texts that go into the realm of philosophy, Vedanta. Intrinsically Hindus of Canada, like Hindus worldwide, do not claim strong ownership of their rich legacy and that open up the doors for others to take supervisory control. It is welcomed as more people get to learn the theological validity of Hinduism. However, the very nature of its richness, seem to trigger insecurity among non-Hindu theologians and academicians, who then bring in distortions or make attempts to undermine its richness under the canopy of academic freedom.
From Wendy Doniger to Audrey Hushkey, there seems to be an evolving list of current and aspiring academicians who in our opinion subscribe to this school of thought. For example, In Toronto, there is a lot of buzz around Mr. Ajay Rao. The authority of the faculty on deciding student’s future, can potentially stifles freedom of expression by students.
While academic freedom is the foundation of free thinking, it is imperative that interpretations of Hindu texts remain true to the core significance of those rich writings. Since Hinduism is key to your academic research, we invite you to share your views on this subject.
Our goal is to ensure that Universities of Canada remain one of the best in the world that encourage top class academic work and also provide the best learning environment for students of Hindu studies. We believe academicians can play a pivotal role in sharing their learnings from rich Hindu texts in right spirit so that we can all work towards making this world a better place and a close family, something Hinduism stands for.
Signed The Dwarapalaka Team
Post On:March 28, 2021
By Avinash Kumar & The Dwarapalaka Team
On the 17th of March, a letter addressed to Rutgers University, caught our attention. The letter was written by an ‘army’ of academicians in support of Audrey Truschke, in her crusade against Hindu students of Rutgers.
Below, we take the effort and time to decipher the letter for the benefit of the reader and hope, that he/she also sees through this irony of claims made in their letter. We start off by assuring the Hindu Students of Rutgers that, we fully support you and you are welcome to reach out to us anytime.
The Letter: We write, as faculty of South Asian origin at Rutgers, with colleagues at other universities co-signing, to add our voices to that of Rutgers administrators in unreserved support of our colleague Dr. Audrey Truschke. We are encouraged by their defense of the principle of academic freedom and the practice of critical inquiry, which are essential to the work that we do both as scholars and teachers and should be guarded against political pressure.
Analysis: It sounds like the faculty is rushing headlong to defend one of their own, without the slightest consideration for the religious sensitivities and faith of their students. We applaud Rutgers University administration for resisting the political pressure exerted by faculty themselves and for showing a willingness to listen and understand the perspective of Hindu students.
The Letter: We also echo their call for the threats against Dr.Truschke and her family and the attacks that have targeted her on the basis of race and gender, often viciously and hatefully, to stop. As scholars from a wide range of faith backgrounds, including Hinduism, we understand in deep and personal ways what it means to occupy the position of minority in the United States. Many of us are also immigrants or the children of immigrants as well as racialized minorities.
Analysis: The signatories to the letter, are attempting to generate sympathy and are drawing attention to only the hatred directed against Truschke by internet trolls. Ironically they chose to ignore completely, the Hinduphobic attacks on Hindu students on Rutgers campus, a result of Truschke’s vitriol against Hinduism . The signatories are fully aware, that Truschke has stepped out of line to campaign against the faith of her students, those students who still have the reverence for the faith of their ancestors. We condemn any form of threat and abuse against Audrey Truschke, as well as the emotional trauma inflicted upon the Hindu students, who are defending their right to practice their faith without prejudice.
The Letter: We will fight staunchly for safe spaces for all of our students to express their faiths and identities. It is part of our calling. It is also part of our calling to examine critically the social and political forces shaping our globe and to provide students with the analytical tools to do the same, as they see fit. The two missions are reconcilable: students can be safe and supported in their identities and intellectually challenged at the same time.
Analysis: This is quite interesting. How is the faculty fighting for safe spaces for Hindu students by discounting the students’ pain? When Truschke calls Shri Rama, “a misogynist pig”, is she examining sociopolitical factors or forcing her ill-formed opinions down students’ throats? It is more like Truschke was experimenting in her Hinduphobic laboratory on unsuspecting Hindu students. Hindu students do not agree with the faculty on the efficacy of the so-called analytical tools. Nor do they agree with the reconcilability of the faculty’s call of duty and the safe practice of Hinduism on campus.
Hinduphobia, Hindu studies & safe practice of Hinduism are not reconcilable. It is conflict driven approach. And the resultant flare up compelled Rutgers administration involvement and apology. This letter by the diverse faculty is pushing the conflict agenda as it gives the impression that the faculty are ganging up against students. That is a fall in the direction of disgrace and sounds like its designed to intimidate the freedom of expression of Hindu students on potential future issues.
The irony of contradiction is hilarious. While the signatories seem to be issuing veiled threats to the Rutgers administration, they want us to believe, that they will work for the safety of students. As ludicrous as it sounds, what they are saying though is, If the Hindu students peddle the faculty narrative, reeking of Hindu hatred, they are safe. And like icing on irony, to this narrative, the faculty, ascribe a noble and higher calling.
The Letter: We insist that a critical examination of Hindutva, a political ideology, is not the same thing as Hindu-phobia. Dr. Truschke’s critique of the former rests on its majoritarian expression in India, in ways that threaten the safety, security, and equality of Muslims and other minorities. Her public scholarship resists the use of history and religious texts to accomplish those ends.
Analysis:While we encourage critical examination, we insist that it should encompass a neutral and comprehensive interpretation of history. The expression of Hindu faith has both, in history and in present times, stood for the safety, security and equality of the minorities, even when it was detrimental to the interests of the Hindu faith.Their differentiation of Hindutva and Hinduphobia needs deeper research.
This is more a battle of Hindu self-respect and the expression of Hinduism. And We call upon the faculty to cast aside colonial perspectives on Hinduism and look at it from the fresh perspective of a native immersive practice. We condemn any mechanism that restricts the freedom of expression of students.
The Letter:This pursuit points to a desire to uphold the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have every confidence in Dr. Truschke’s respect for Hindus and Hinduism and its compatibility with a critique of Hindu nationalism as a social and political enterprise. We applaud Rutgers leadership in their defense of Dr. Truschke and their commitment to diversity and offer our solidarity in their steadfast support of both.
Analysis: We question the academic honesty of the signatories below, on this section. Because Audrey Truschke in her work and speech has acted in malefic and insidiousness towards the Hindu students of Rutgers and the Hindu community. Her statements and actions have resulted in unsafe spaces for Hindus on university campuses. In fact Trushke should be held accountable for creating a hostile and negative environment at Rutgers.
The faculty’s letter of support, points to a desire to uphold their narrative of Hindutva as a smoke screen to their Hinduphobia. Audrey Truschke must do a lot more to demonstrate that she indeed respects Hindus and Hinduism. Congratulations to Rutgers administration. We hope your spirit of good faith will motivate generations of Hindu students.
We understand the balance of power card on campuses. Most of these signatories think that they are on the pay roll of colonial thinking. We understand their fragile mind that is barely recovering from colonial subjugation. We understand their yearning to be re-colonized, But Rutgers by their apology have proven to the world the white mind is perhaps moving away from their colonial habits.
Hence It’s a opportunity for the signatories to discard psychological colonial shackles and imbibe values of the Guru-Shishya traditions which is the only way of objectively studying Hindu theological, cultural, and historical concepts.Being honest to themselves and embracing the Guru-Shishya traditions, will bring them true intellectual respect, that they yearn for.
Thanks to their letter we now know our “friends” of Hindu students!
From Rutgers – Newark:
Gaiutra Bahadur, Manu Samriti Chander, Sadia Abbas, Akil Kumarasamy,
Johan Mathew, Karishma Desai, Mukti Lakhi Mangharam, Anand Sarwate,
Jasbir Puar, Anjali Nerlekar, Preetha Mani,Deepa Kumar, Sarada Balagopalan,
From Other Universities:
Rajmohan Gandhi: University of Illinois
Partha Chatterjee: Columbia University Sheld
Akeel Bilgrami & Sidney Morgenbesser : Columbia University
John Stratton Hawley: Barnard College
Gyan Prakash, Dayton: Princeton University
David Lelyveld: William Paterson University
David Ludden: New York University
Dina Siddiqi, Clinical Associate Professor,
Romila Thapar: Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Siddhartha Deb: The New School for Social Research
Amitava Kumar: Vassar College
Suketu Mehta: New York University
Vijay Iyer: Harvard University
Sunil Amrith,Renu and Anand Dhawan: Yale University
Maya Jasanoff, X.D. and Nancy Yang: Harvard University
Yogita Goyal: UCLA
Sana Aiyar: MIT
Rohit De: Yale University
Zahid R. Chaudhary: Princeton University
Sangeeta Kamat: UMASS Amherst
Biju Mathew: Rider University, NJ
Purnima Dhavan: University of Washington
Supriya Gandhi: Yale University
Chinnaiah Jangam: Carleton University, Canada
Rajeev Kinra: North Western University
Dheepa Sundaram: University of Denver
Ajay Rao: University of Toronto
Vinayak Chaturvedi: University of California at Irvine
Dohra Ahmad: St. John’s University
Bhakti Shringarpure: University of Connecticut (Storrs)
Ashwini Tambe: University of Maryland
Angana Chatterji: University of California, Berkeley
Marina Budhos: William Paterson University
Rupal Oza: Hunter College
Manan Desai: University of Michigan
Raza Rumi: Ithaca College
Divya Cherian: Princeton University
Rupa Pillai: University of Pennsylvania
Raza Mir: William Paterson University
Prasad Tadepalli: Oregon State University
V.V. Ganeshananthan: Minnesota
Inderpal Grewal: Yale University
Monisha Bajaj: University of San Francisco
Sharmila Sen: Harvard University Press
Sumita Chakraborty: University of Michigan
Sangeeta Ray: University of Maryland
Neilesh Bose: University of Victoria
Roopika Risam: Salem State University
Nilanjana Bhattacharjya: Arizona State University
Neha Vora: Lafayette College
Ambereen Dadabhoy: Harvey Mudd College
Sruti Bala: University of Amsterdam
Kiran Asher: University of Massachusettsat
Ritty Lukose: New York University-GallatinSchool
Paula Chakravartty: New York University
Tejaswini Ganti: New York University
Jinee Lokaneeta: Drew University
Arjun Appadurai: New York University
Twitter release 1:
” 72 Academicians, mostly of Indian origin, working at North American Universities, write a letter in support of a white academician who has a fetish for hurting Indian sentiments” Deja Vu voluntary drift towards academic colonialism.
Twitter release 2:
” The message she is giving out is, that only whites have the right of scholarship on Ancient cultures. Hindus should have gone extinct, but they haven’t and are challenging the white scholarship. So she will use any means at her disposal to discredit Hindus.”
 References to Audrey Truschcke’s Work!!
Post On:February 14, 2021
Canadian academic centres offer a freedom of expression and a platform for healthy communication. But like is many democratic institutions of the world as vocal minority takes over the placid majority. And the information thus presented is passed off a the voice of the majority. The fact is majority is peace loving, and that is being challenged. Presenting another such example of vocal minority altering facts to suit their convenience by bullying the concept of “freedom of expression” However there was a very balanced and mature response by Hindu students at the campus who addressed this issue. Congrats to the young Hindu students for a very professional response.
Post On:January 30, 2021
Department of South Asian studies has been active and in collaboration with Munk school released this. Sounds like intense work and needs hours of study to decipher the core message. We do have pointers though, Mr.Reid Locklin of Munk school proudly claims the badge of a evangelist and Mr.Christoph Emmrich, has “organized” good number of Hindu / India related events, if you know what we mean.
Post On:January 29, 2021
Something is happening at Toronto University. It seems to present just one side of “every story” it chooses to blend into academics. The content sounds more like a poster of rebellion, and misleading. Wonder what are the protocols that UT follows before approving events under its banner! “UPRISING”? Surprisingly naïve! UFT currently still has the reputation of the Top universities of the world. Hope it stays that way.
Post On:January 15, 2021
Review and report on the e-meet on 14th Jan, about Caste, meritocracy & social life / IIT Chennai: Organized by University of Toronto, Centre for south Asian studies. Poralis is a Tamil term referring to rebels and fighters: On the streets of Tamilnadu, & in today’s world it also means anarchist.”
By Gopala Krishna.
Bhavani Raman opened the meet by greeting all viewers a happy Pongal, the first festival of India which is celebrated across India in various names. It was announced that they are going to talk about IIT Chennai. Ajantha Subramaniam set the tone by reading out from the suicide note of Mr. Rohit Vemula, who committed suicide on a totally different campus that was 625 Kilometers apart.
And she got it started. “Brahmin bashing” how Brahmins occupied the centres of learning using a variety of tools of intellect. Traced a few examples to fit into her narrative agenda. Blended it with Dravidian politics. It was tirade of anti-Brahmanism with sprinkling of occasional academic terminology, but her intent and direction of conversation was not lost on anyone.
Then jumped in the Moderator Mr. Chinniah Jangam. He was as excited as a kid tasting the first candy of his life. It sounded like that he discovered in Ajantha Subramaniam a academic ally, who echoes his thought process. In his excitement, he lost track of his role as a moderator and time, and all the themed vocabulary came gushing out in a torrent. Hindu Fascism, The treachery of Brahmins & the related complete package of words.
Let us now move to our analysis:
– Made us wonder if these Indian academicians had any inkling of thought on how their talk and action will impact on the Image of India in western academic world. Its too early to say if academicians of other nations like Europe, Arabic, Chinese who practice in Toronto university, get equally excited to bad mouth the educational practices of their respective nations,
– The excitement of these IA’s to self bash Indian image seems to fit into the narrative of Indian history. Indian history is complete with examples of how people aided invaders / Aliens to quench their little bubbles of thirst,
– From their tone it sounded that since their ancestors were “denied” educational privileges by Brahmins in India, these IA’s are teaming up with White academicians to deny the platform of education to Indian students by classifying NA Indian students into Upper and lower castes,
– It was a bit humorous that the IA’s here were seeking justice on their story of educational persecution in India, at the doors of those whose minds echo the thought process of Mr. Macaulay.
– The central theme seems to replace Brahmanical supremacy in Education at IIT Chennai and replace it Christian supremacy. Those Indian Christian academicians of Chennai could be shadow controlled by western white academician
Conclusion: I did a video on “Brahmin hate entertainment “in Tamil Cinema last year. https://youtu.be/lkWCCuTlW-Y.
Out of 400 + comments, a cool 300 were abuses. Those abuses were by lay men of Tamilnadu who were blinded by hate against Brahmins. What was interesting was that the content of those abuses were in sync with the language used by the Academicians in this zoom meet. But to their credit, delivery and was different. Those from the streets of Chennai who indulged in such abuses are called “Poralis”. We can safely dub these IA’s as Academic Poralis.
Also noticed a deep sense of hurt in them. They feel perhaps their pain has not been acknowledged by Brahmins.Perhaps that hurt has to be addressed. The hurt that is currently being nurtured by India “friendly” forces. The term Brahmin must have been used at-least 50 times in the meet. Wonder what is their almost fatalistic obsession with Brahmins. This seems to be a challenge to their intellect. This coming from Academicians of Harvard & Toronto University? जन्मना जायते शुद्र: संस्कारात् द्विज् उच्यते|
There was a time when words like Harvard and Toronto University were hallowed for their quality of excellence, but this one was a disappointment. There was little of academics in tone, tenor, or analytical substance. In my 30 years of experience in discussions in India, USA & Canada, had such quality conversations with professors of various disciplines and I know what quality discussion is. One can notice a element of class and dignity emanating from the deep communication with knowledge, when one chats with a true academician.
However very little of that was observed in these Porali IA’s. This zoom meet was pure hate, Brahmin hate, given a coating of academic activity. While the front end was a totally Brown affair, thanks was duly expressed by the IA’s to mission chief Christoph Emmrich in absentia.
For those north Indians who dismiss this as a south Indian thing, please remember that South India is a testing laboratory for western experiments, that are backed by academic evangelical mindset. Once the outcome is evaluated, an appropriate strategy will be formulated for implementation in other IIT’s of India.
The irony of this meet can explained with a example. In 2015 Iran organized a conference in Tehran on the subject of “police brutality in USA. 20 “academicians” from USA flew to that conference. That is Academic activity with a political agenda! (https://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-hosts-conference-on-police-brutality-against-blacks-in-america/)
We predict that the kind of academic activity this zoom meet did, is designed to trigger and cause strife on the streets where the end victims are poor and innocent of India.
Post On:January 10, 2021
This seems to be a favorite subject of interest of Toronto University. This time they are trying to connect Caste of India and Race of & as practiced by western colonial powers. You can notice a interesting trend. The academic white mind at UT, seems eager to paste its colonial white guilt on Indian upper caste by equating its own atrocities on race with Upper caste atrocities in India. Perhaps it feels it can absolves itself of its atrocious past. While that can be a exercise in activity we are not sure if it qualifies as academic activity.The atrocities of caste in India, pales in comparison to atrocities by Race done by colonial minds. For Information of the academicians of University of Toronto, The Hindu mind never demonstrated colonial ambitions or actions! We at Dwarapalakas are sure that they are academic enough to comprehend this!
Post On:January 6, 2021
Another conference by Munk school Toronto. On face of it, it sounds laudable, but the key objective seems to rob Higher education in India of its excellence, but introducing caste blended with social equality. Caste is a favorite subject for western academicians with many Indian academicians working along with them. The concern here is most western interventions are designed to weak Indian progress.
Post On:January 6, 2021
Kindly study above content. The conference was cancelled due to public protests in India. We spoke with the University of Toronto on this issue and questioned the disruptive characteristic of such a conference.Our correspondence went back and forth and it remains inconclusive.
Post On:September 21, 2020
Mr.Ramachandra Guha is a regular. He regales western academics with his version of India. Not sure if western academics demand that of him or he offers it voluntarily. Like L.K.Advani of BJP address to Indian media during the emergency rule of Mrs.Indira Gandhi, “You were asked only to bend, but you crawled”. This time the topic was, “Four fault lines of Indian Republic”
Our team presented a brief video report on his presentation.
Christoph Emmrich, Associate professor was there. He seems to “love” things India. One interesting observation was the presence of Mr.Haroon Siddique of Toronto star. He hugged Mr. Guha like long lost friends. To the best of our knowledge Mr.Haroon has not demonstrated any favorable news reports about India. Wonder what is common between these two “friends”
On return to India, Mr.Guha was quite vehement on his anti CAA protests, but when police man-handled him at Banglore, he switched loyalty and blamed Gandhi dynasty at a meet in Trivandrum. The police effect seems to have waned off, and now he is back to what he does best. & you all know what it is!
There was a silent consensus at Dwarapalakas, that this police detaining was an arrangement to win him more admirers in the west! And the Joke was perhaps Mr.Guha could qualify as the 5th fault line!
Post On:April 25, 2019
Christian Lee Novetzke is a College of Arts and Sciences Term Professor in the South Asia Program, the Comparative Religion Program, and the International Studies Program at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies
Christoph Emmrich (PhD University of Heidelberg, 2004) is a associate professor at University of Toronto, Department for study of Religion.
Sunila S.Kale is Associate professor, at University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies.
Washington choose Toronto to present a discussion on their forthcoming book as above. We at Dwarapalakas exchanged a series of letters with all three above and this is our summary,
” There is no doubt that there is a fascination about Hindu studies given the rich legacy of texts. There also seems to be a strong desire to provide a new interpretation of ancient Hindu texts. This meet in our opinion sounded like a testing session. To evaluate public response to their initiative.”
When we raised a few queries, they sounded not equipped to answer our queries. Further the book release was cancelled.
We at Dwarapalakas felt amused that the 56 Inch chest of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Modi was discussed at the meet. Quite academic.
In our email with Prof Christian Lee Novetzke he promised us to meet Dwarapalaka team on his next visit, over “Chai and chercha” .