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Hindu Genocide denial and racist rhetoric against Hindus is ‘Academic Freedom’, says Rutgers University, backs ‘historian’ Audrey Truschke

The petition accuses Truschke of portraying all Hindus as "lustful and sex obsessed" and 'cow piss drinkers'. The petition also says that she has whitewashed the genocide of Hindus by Mughal king Aurangzeb.

Days after a group of students initiated a petition asking Rutgers-Newark University to take strong action against controversial ‘historian’ and Professor Audrey Truschke for demonising Hinduism, the institution has instead decided to whitewash her vile and bigoted anti-Hindu remarks as ‘academic freedom’. The petition was shared on Twitter by the ‘Hindu on Campus’ group.

The petition accuses Truschke of portraying all Hindus as “lustful and sex obsessed” and ‘cow piss drinkers’. The petition also says that she has whitewashed the genocide of Hindus by Mughal king Aurangzeb.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the university said, “Rutgers emphatically supports Professor Truschke, academic freedom in pursuing her scholarship, abhors the vile messages end threats that are being directed at her, and calls for an immediate end to them.” To further justify its support for the controversial historian, Rutgers cited the significance of ‘academic freedom’ in scholarship.

“Scholarship is sometimes controversial, perhaps especially when it is at the interface of history and religion, but the freedom to pursue such scholarship, as Professor Truschke does rigorously, is at the heart of the academic enterprise,” the university said. Instead of cracking down on the anti-Hindu Professor, Rutgers chose to give a consolation prize to the Hindu community.

Statement released by Rutgers-Newark

It said, “Just as strongly, Rutgers empathetically affirms its support for all member of the Hindu community to study and live in an environment in which they not only feel safe but also fully supported in their religious identity.” Far from condemning the controversial historian for her Hinduphobic remarks, Rutgers extended its full support to Audrey Truscke through shrewd monkey-balancing.

The university concluded, “Toward these ends, we are initiating dialogues to understand the sentiments of our Hindu community and create a context that honours our complexity, while allowing us to do the difficult work of constructive and healthy engagement among our diverse community.” Following the support from her own Institute, Audrey Truschke thanked the university administration for backing ‘academic freedom’.

Screengrab of Audrey Truschke’s tweet

“The Rutgers administration has released a statement of support. Rutgers backs academic freedom, including of controversial subjects. I also thank my university administration for calling an immediate end to the vile messages and threats directed at me,” the ‘historian’ emphasised.

Audrey Truschke denies Hindu genocide, Rutgers hails it as ‘academic freedom’

In its petition, the group of Hindu students, studying at Rutgers-Newark pointed, out that Audrey Truschke tired to trivialise and downplay the Hindu genocide, committed by the Mughal tyrant Aurangzeb. She had claimed that “such numbers are often exaggerated as there was really no way of knowing how many people existed in India at that time; and that people of that time made up numbers!”

This is despite the fact several trust-worthy sources estimate that a total of 4.6 million Hindus were murdered and enslaved by Aurangzeb alone. The petition emphasised, “Prof. Truschke, who claims to be a responsible historian conveniently decided to whitewash such horrific statistics. In other instances, Prof. Truschke has defended the Mughal King by saying that he protected more Hindu temples than he destroyed and that he increased Hindu participation at the elite levels of the Mughal state.”

Audrey Truschke’s anti-Hindu stance is not new. In 2018, the ’eminent’ historian had falsely claimed that Lord Ram was called a ‘misogynist pig’ by Goddess Sita during ‘Agnipariksha’. By sidelining with Truschke, the Rutgers university not only endorsed the vicious lies peddled by the so-called historian but also cast aspersions about the Hindu genocide committed during the rule of Aurangzeb.

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