A week after the Rutgers-Newark University apologised to the community of Hindu students after they were targeted with vile messages and threats for speaking up against Hinduphobic ‘historian’ Audrey Truschke, the faculty members of the university have come out to support the controversial professor. They also said that the agitating students should be intellectually challenged in the issue.
The faculty members, which includes Gaiutra Bahadur, Manu Samriti Chander, Sadia Abbas, Akil Kumarasamy, Johan Mathey and Karishma Desai, refused to accept that Audrey Truschke is Hinduphobic, and defended her work which involves glorifying the Mughal regime in India and denying that Mughals destroyed Hindu temples to build mosques in their place.
“We insist that a critical examination of Hindutva, a political ideology, is not the same thing as Hinduphobia,” the statement issued by the Rutgers faculty members said. It then goes on to familiar Hinduphobic narrative, accusing Hindus of atrocities against Muslims and other minorities. “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,” they have written.
The faculty members said that they have every confidence in “Truschke’s respect for Hindus and Hinduism and its compatibility with a critique of Hindu nationalism as a social and political enterprise.” The faculty members also applauded the Rutgers management for defending Audrey Truschke.
The faculty members said that students can be safe and supported in their identities and intellectually challenged at the same time. They said that they will fight for the right of students to express their faiths and identities, but will also critically examine the social and political forces shaping the globe, and will provide students with the analytical tools to do the same.
After spreading Hinduphobia for years, Audrey Truschke had faced criticism Hindu students from Rutgers-Newark University for her anti-Hindu narratives. Students had specifically criticised her for her comments on Twitters where she frequently spreads fake news against Hindus. The students had filed a petition asking Rutgers-Newark University to take strong action against controversial ‘historian’ and Professor Audrey Truschke for demonising Hinduism. They had also demanded that “Prof Truschke be disallowed to teach a course that involves materials related to Hinduism and India due to her inherent prejudiced views”.
Responding the concerns of the students mentioned in the petition, the university on 9th March had issued a statement defending the professor, saying she has academic freedom in pursuing her scholarship.
However, this defence by the university had angered the students more, and Hindus on Campus, a group that fights the persecution of Hindus, Hinduphobia and toxic environment for Hindus prevalent in college campuses, had come out against the professor.