After Historian Ramchandra Guha, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut distanced themselves from the controversial letter against historian Vikram Sampath published by Rutgers University Professor Audrey Truschke, more intellectuals and University Professors including political analyst Pratap Bhanu Mehta have joined them in doing so. On Thursday, Truschke took to Twitter claiming that more than 75 ‘concerned scholars’ had signed an open letter wherein they expressed their support to her and other historians including Ananya Chakravarti and Rohan Chopra.
Her tweet read, “Open letter of support by 75+ concerned scholars for Drs. Ananya Chakravarti, Rohit Chopra, and Audrey Truschke regarding their service to the profession and academic freedom in calling attention to Dr Vikram Sampath’s plagiarism.” The signatories purportedly signing the list, included Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, Ramchandra Guha, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, rabid Islamic Fundamentalist Zakir Naik, Rajmohan Gandhi among others.
The letter that was put out by Audrey Truschke which was an open hate campaign drive disguised to ask for support from scholars, claimed that the historian trio was being ‘harassed by mobilized right-wing social media networks and marshalled political allies in India and the US’. This move was part of her motive to establish the so-called plagiarism practised by Vikram Sampath, the earlier attempts of which were proven false.
Mentioned signatories denying participation
While the letter came into the limelight on Twitter on Sunday, ‘Concerned Scholars’ who did not participate in Truschke’s campaign against Vikram Sampath but found their names in the list, starting putting clarification of their non-affiliation with the issue. Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi was the first to clarify that Sanjay Raut, who was shown signing the letter on behalf of ‘Shiv Sena Institute’ had not participated in any such campaign.
After Dr. @vikramsampath’s legal response, Audrey Truschke is panicking & eliciting support letters by “concerned scholars”— Savitri Mumukshu – सावित्री मुमुक्षु (@MumukshuSavitri) February 26, 2022
Great scholars Sanjay Raut (शिव सेना) & Zakir Naik (आतंक शिरोमणि) have signed it
That’s real academic credibility for you! https://t.co/LA2ZNMWCYn pic.twitter.com/eVWnAqCb6Z
Historian and Author Ramchandra Guha who found his name as ‘Ram Guha’, too distanced himself from the letter.
My attention has been drawn to this letter below. I had never seen it before, and contrary to what is claimed there, I have not signed it, neither as Ramachandra Guha nor as “Ram Guha”. https://t.co/xJj1BIDx3C— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) February 27, 2022
When Ramchandra Guha and Sanjay Raut made news of their non-involvement with the letter saga, others too woke up and joined the suite soon. Political Analyst Pratap Bhanu Mehta whose signature was found on the list denied his participation in the campaign. “It has come to my notice that I am listed as a signatory to this letter. I did not receive the contents of this particular letter and never signed it. I also have institutional affiliations that would have been part of my signature.” he clarified on Twitter.
It has come to my notice that I am listed as a signatory to this letter. I did not receive the contents of this particular letter and never signed it. I also have institutional affiliations that would have been part of my signature. https://t.co/QisJFjv8EV— Pratap Bhanu Mehta (@pbmehta) February 27, 2022
Tathagat Kumar, a student at Delhi University whose name was featured in the list of ’75 concerned scholars’ also distanced himself clarifying that he has not signed any such letter.
My name has appeared in an online form 👇👇 that states that I am one of the signatories. Let me clarify: I hadn’t seen it till the tweet of @vikramsampath and have nothing to do with it. I am just a student of @UnivofDelhi and nothing more.https://t.co/DKXcyxWNQ1— Tathagat Kumar (@Tathagat_Kumar_) February 27, 2022
As the withdrawal progress started to outpour on the Twitter discourse, Audrey Truschke’s ‘call for support’ was already exposed by now. As many of her attempts of ‘Plagiarism’ allegations crumbled, she was now seen on Twitter celebrating that her article mudslinging Sampath was quoted on Vikram Sampath’s Wikipedia page. It was soon found out that Vikram Sampath’s Wikipedia page was being vandalised by the same user (Trangabellam) who had previously attacked pages of Economist and Author Sanjeev Sanyal and that of 2019 Balakot Air Strikes.
Even as the forged signatures unravel Trangabellam continues to vandalize my @Wikipedia pg, which she joyfully acknowledges👇. Note Trangabellam created Dr Truschke’s page; vandalized @sanjeevsanyal ‘s page & also Balakot strikes!! Are they the same person – AT & TB: alter-egos? pic.twitter.com/0ByGymX8VU— Dr. Vikram Sampath, FRHistS (@vikramsampath) February 27, 2022
The systematic slander and academic terror launched at Sampath was not enough that the team of historians led by Audrey Truchke were now engaging in misrepresentation and forgery while playing with others’ names. It is to be noted that on Thursday itself, while Truschke continued with her slander, the Delhi High Court ordered her to take down her defamatory tweets against Vikram Sampath within a period of 48 hours. The Delhi High Court on February 18, had passed an interim order restraining Audrey Truschke, Rohit Chopra and Ananya Chakravarti from publishing defamatory online content against Sampath, while the same have not budged to do so by now.