‘Was denied entry to Audrey Truschke’s event as I was wearing Shivaji t-shirt and dhoti’, man claims

Controversy has erupted over pro-Aurangzeb racist ‘historian’ Audrey Truschke’s event at the Indian Habitat Center, New Delhi when Twitter user Mohit Bharadwaj, founder of Vaidika Bharata, claimed that people were not allowed inside to attend the scholar’s lecture and only a select few people were let in.

In the above video, a lady can be heard saying that there were many empty seats available (but still entry was barred). She can be heard saying that the main objective of the lecture was to sell Audrey’s book. It was also claimed that people were ready to stand in the “supposedly houseful auditorium” despite waiting for more than an hour but yet, only a select few were let in and others were denied entry.

While many stood waiting outside denied entry, select people, however, were let in even though they came late to the ‘open’ event.

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Finally, one lady came to the conclusion that the authorities do not want them to watch Audrey’s lecture. And others appeared to agree with the conclusion she had reached.

Talking to OpIndia, Bharadwaj said, “I had gone in hopes of understanding her ideas and ask her a few honest questions which she refuses to answer on Twitter by labelling people as trolls or anonymous and thus unworthy of a reply.” He went on to suggest that his attire might have influenced the authorities to deny him entry. “When I approached the person in charge and requested him to let me in, he looked at my clothes with close attention, a t-shirt with an illustration of Shivaji on it and a dhoti, smirked and said ‘No, Sir. The auditorium is totally packed.'”

Bharadwaj also said that people in the queue were frustrated after standing there for so long when they could see that some people were allowed to walk straight inside. Bharadwaj confided that he wanted to ask Truschke a question in Sanskrit, a language she claims to have mastered because he had his suspicions that Truschke could not even manage a basic conversation in the language.

Bharadwaj’s claims were backed up by Aniruddha Subhedar, a professor of journalism who has worked at media houses in the past, who was also denied entry at the event. According to Subhedar, it appeared that the audience was ‘fixed’ and no one was allowed to enter apart from a select few. Speaking to OpIndia he said, “I have seen Truschkey not replying to criticism on various online fora, asking people to first get published in “peer-reviewed” journals. I was under the impression she’ll answer questions when asked in an open programme. Now it seems there’s no way to engage in a debate with her.” Subhedar said that even professors of History were denied entry.

It appears that the organizers and the academic, both, were wary of Truschke’s critics and wanted an audience who would accept her claims, however outrageous and dubious, without question. It does not speak well of a scholar that she is not willing to expose herself to critics and defend her claims against the evidence presented by those who endorse an opposing view.

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