US academic conference on ‘Hindutva’ targeted by Hindu groups: ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ organisers and speakers face harassment and intimidation by Hindu right-wing groups in the US and India.
Death threats sent to participants of US conference on Hindu nationalism: Threats force several scholars to withdraw as ‘far-right fringe groups’ accuse event of being ‘anti-Hindu’
9 Sep 2021: “An academic conference in the US addressing Hindu nationalism is being targeted by rightwing Hindu groups, which have sent death threats to participants and forced several scholars to withdraw. The conference, titled Dismantling Global Hindutva, which is co-sponsored by more than 53 universities including Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Columbia, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers, has” [read more…]
अमेरिका में हिंदुत्व के ख़िलाफ़ हुए सम्मेलन पर क्यों बरपा है इतना हंगामा?: अमेरिका में हिंदुत्व को लेकर हुआ एक वर्चुअल सम्मेलन विवादों के बीच समाप्त हो गया है.
13 सितंबर 2021: “सोशल मीडिया पर समर्थन और विरोध में चले अभियानों के बीच ‘डिस्मेंटलिंग ग्लोबल हिंदुत्व’ नाम से हुई इस वर्चुअल कॉन्फ्रेंस में हिंदुत्व को नफ़रत से प्रेरित विचारधारा बताया गया और इस पर सवाल खड़े किए गए. सम्मेलन के आयोजकों का कहना है कि इसका विरोध करने वालों ने उनकी आवाज़ को दबाने और पैनल में शामिल अकादमिक जगत के लोगों को डराने की कोशिश की.” [read more…]
September 4, 2021
The organizers of the Dismantling Global Hindutva conference are proud to announce that, despite a massive campaign of disinformation, support for this timely conference on Hindutva ideology has only grown. When the attack began, the conference was backed by 45+ departments and centers from 41 universities. Now, we have the support of 70+ cosponsoring entities from 53 universities. More cosponsors are expected to join. For a list of all cosponsors see: www.dismantlinghindutva.com.
Unfortunately, malicious and totally unwarranted speculations about the conference have been spread by irresponsible sections of the press, with the help of motivated political actors. Such speculations put speakers, organizers, and cosponsors at risk. Trolls belonging to extremist groups have openly threatened violence against speakers and their families. We unilaterally condemn all such efforts to intimidate and harass individuals.
Given that so much misinformation has been spread, we want to reiterate:
- No speaker is being paid to take part in the conference. Speakers have been invited on the strength of their scholarly research or their work as public intellectuals. All speakers are experts on South Asia. Within that framework, the conference program covers a range of topics and questions, as can be seen on our website.
- This conference is an entirely academic endeavor, organized by professors who study India and are based at the various North American and European universities listed on our website. You can see a full list of the organizing committee at www.dismantlinghindutva.com/organizers. Contact info for members of the press and other interested parties is listed below.
- In addition, the following senior professors are willing to speak on the subject of the conference, Hindutva attacks on the conference, and academic freedom: Vinay Lal (UCLA), Martha Nussbaum (UChicago), and David Ludden (NYU). Members of the press can reach out to all these experts via the conference email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The conference aims to examine the beliefs and actions that constitute Hindutva, a political ideology that originated in the early twentieth century. Hindutva seeks to reduce the myriad practices of Hinduism to a singular notion of Hindu power in a putatively Hindu motherland. The conference will highlight the transnational and global implications of Hindutva, including its growing reach in the Indian diaspora. Panels (listed on our website) will explore a variety of interlinked topics that address the phenomenon of Hindutva. Scholars, journalists, and activists will examine the historical development of Hindutva, the fascist dimensions of the ideology, its alignment with other supremacist movements, and its stakes across a range of political, socio-cultural, and economic issues. The conference will also examine histories of dissent against Hindutva. Dalit and Feminist traditions have long resisted the singular narrative of Hinduism adopted by Hindutva ideologues. A broader coalition of activists from progressive communities have mobilized to enable both material and ideological divestment from Hindutva. Drawing inspiration from such collectivities, we expect to discuss resources for anti-Hindutva pedagogy.
- We condemn attacks on the conference on the grounds of Hinduphobia. Critiques of Hindutva pose no danger to Hinduism. To the contrary, the fascist ideology of Hindutva might, in the long run, turn out to be Hinduism’s greatest enemy. As we make clear on our website, Hindutva and Hinduism are two different things: Hindutva is a hundred-year-old political ideology inspired by German and Italian fascism, while Hinduism is a pluralistic, diverse, and ancient faith. The disingenuous conflation of the two is one hallmark of Hindutva extremism, i.e. the very subject of this conference.
- In the face of continued attacks, the conference has received support and solidarity from hundreds of prominent academics and intellectuals around the world, both those who work on India and others. Nearly 1,000 academics and intellectuals have declared their support for the conference, including Partha Chatterjee, Thomas Blom Hansen, Veena Das, Arjun Appadurai, Sheldon Pollock, Judith Butler, Angela Davis, Cornel West, and Arundhati Roy. The conference has also received letters of support from over 40 community organizations in the global Indian diaspora, as well as letters of support from scholars of genocide, mass violence, and human rights. All letters of support are available on the conference website. Not a single serious scholar has opposed the conference, or indeed supported the canard that Hinduism is under attack.
Members of the press can reach out to the email@example.com for questions about the conference.