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Audrey Truschke: ‘Historian’ on an anti-India mission, links to Christian missionary organisation, Pakistan and rabid hatred for Hindus

The 2012 archive of the website shows the list of board of directors that included Devdas Mekala, Nathan Rehn, Paul Caprera, Jessica Rotz, Sam Allen and Sudheer Mekala. According to the website, Devdas and Nathan had first come in contact in 1999 when Devdas was attempting to raise funds for a Christian orphanage in India.

For many years, an alleged historian Audrey Truschke has been doing everything in her power to spread misinformation and hate against Hindus and India. So much so, she has not only praised the invaders like Aurangzeb and whitewashed his atrocities against the Hindus but also targeted historians, authors, students and netizens who either tried to correct her or published work that did not sync with her side.

In September 2021, a netizen who runs a Twitter hand, OSINTWa_com, published three threads exploring the possible reasons behind Audrey’s hate towards India and particularly Hindus, irrespective of their location. Audrey, who completed her PhD in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, is married to Thane Rehn, son of Nathan Rehn, a pastor from the United States who ran missionary activities in India for a long time. According to OSINTWa, Thane attended his father’s conversion workshops in India.

Nathan Rehn was the founder of Bless India Ministries that pumped millions of dollars to India via Christ the King of Kings Ministries, which was founded by Devdas Mekala. Interestingly, Mekala was also a founder member of Bless India Ministries. He was active in India from the late 2000s till 2016.

On Nathan’s Facebook profile, there is an album specific to one of his trips to India in 2011. In the album, there were photographs of a church built by FBCM.

Other photos showcased children studying in a school built by FBCM.

From 2008, a photograph of his son Thane Rehn from somewhere in India was there on his public profile with the caption ‘Thane teaching the word’.

Bless India Ministries

Rehn is currently the lead pastor of First Baptist Church of Monterey (FBCM), California.

The website of Bless India Ministries shows an open letter where they have accused Devdas Mekala of misappropriation of funds at Christ the King of Kings Ministries and claimed they had stopped its funding completely in 2012.

The 2012 archive of the website shows the list of board of directors that included Devdas Mekala, Nathan Rehn, Paul Caprera, Jessica Rotz, Sam Allen and Sudheer Mekala. According to the website, Devdas and Nathan had first come in contact in 1999 when Devdas was attempting to raise funds for a Christian orphanage in India. Though the website says funds to Mekala’s ministry was stopped in 2012, the documents accessed by OSINTWa tell a different story.

Between 2010 to 2017, Rehn had sent around Rs 6.86 crores to Mekala’s organization.

Also, Nathan in his public Facebook posts continued to talk about his visits to India on several occasions.

Apart from providing funds to Mekala, OSINTWa said in a tweet that he had sent funds to multiple NGOs to run conversion activities. However, his conversion business was shut when in 2017, the government of India tightened the rules of FCRA.

OSINTWa claimed after Nathan had to shut his shop in India, Truschke started attacking India and Hindus via propaganda. Audrey’s book on Aurangzeb came out in 2017. It was a coincidence or not that in the year when Nathan had to shut his shop, his daughter-in-law released a book praising a Mughal emperor that demolished temples and killed countless Hindus.

The Pakistan connection

In the second thread on Audrey, OSINTWa explored her Pakistani connection. She is a member of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, or AIPS. As per its website, AIPS was established in 1973 with an aim to promote academic study of Pakistan in the US. It encourages “scholarly exchange between the US and Pakistan” by offering fellowships to American researchers, administering lectureships, and sponsoring academic conferences. OSINTWa and many netizens have pointed out that in 2012-13 Audrey, who is a member of AIPS, was offered a fellowship.

Though there are claims that Audrey denies association with AIPS, there are a couple of tweets where she said she is a member of the organization.

The grant she was chosen for by AIPS seems to have been denied by Audrey as mentioned in the tweet as there is no info on the final report by her on AIPS’s website from that year. However, her association with the organization continues to date.

Her current resume also mentions that she is a member of AIPS.

AIPS has promoted her book as well.

In general, no one should have a problem with what an American is doing in academics and with which country. However, in the case of AIPS, there should be concerns. The main reason is that AIPS, which is supposed to create a bridge between Pakistan and US scholars, is using the platform against India.

Even if, for a moment, we ignore how Audrey continuously targets India and Hindus living across the world, a quick look into AIPS’s history raise several questions. For example, AIPS had sponsored an event in 2018 that 80 people attended. Titled “The Disposable Pakistani Scholars at AAS-in Asia (Delhi, India): A Round Table Discussion”, the event in Madison, Wisconsin, discussed how The Wire had reported a ban on Pakistani scholars from attending an event in India.

In 2020, it talked about an article published by one of its members Jennifer Dubrow on CAA.

A year earlier, she received a grant from AIPS and, unlike Audrey, used the grant for a project and spent some time in Pakistan as well.

There are multiple instances that can be registered on AIPS where instead of concentrating on Pakistan, they have meddled their way in Indian affairs.

Manan Ahmad Asif and his links to AIPS

OSINTWa claimed Audrey came in contact with two people in 2007. One was her now-husband Thane Rehn, and the second was Manan Ahmed Asif, a Pakistani scholar living in New York.

First, let’s talk about Asif. The Columbian University scholar goes by Sepoy on Twitter. The AIPS list of Board of Trustees mentions his name.

It was claimed in the thread that Audrey and Asif were all set to be launched as a historians in the Indian circle. A quick search of his Twitter profile with the word India, Hindu, Hindutva, Narendra Modi or Modi, and other similar words revealed a lot about his thought process.

He also supported the Hinduphobic conference “Dismantling Global Hindutva”.

Thane Rehn – Audrey’s husband’s Pakistani connections

Rehn, who was actively involved in the conversion business of his father in India, was a Summer intern at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. OSINTWa claimed Rehn came in contact with Audrey in 2007 and later married her.

It is notable that in a tweet in 2020, Audrey herself admitted visiting Pakistan in 2007.

Thane also worked at Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, Haryana.

This is the same law school whose professors were accused of anti-India rhetoric on multiple occasions. In 2021, OpIndia reported that its faculty Shruti Pandey courted controversy after she claimed that all Hindus practise untouchability and praised Islam and its ‘acceptability’ of widow remarriage. In 2022, it was reported that Arijeet Ghosh, the Assistant Professor who is a faculty at the Law school referred to Kashmir as a territory “occupied by India” during a class that reportedly took place on September 9, 2021.

Audrey and her connections with anti-India and anti-Hindu organizations

In December 2019, an organization named SAHI (Students Against Hindutva Ideology) was formed. Audrey is a board member of the organization. One of the very first campaigns that the organization ran was Holi Against Hindutva. Initially, the organization was named Students Against Hindutva, and they ran a standalone website for the said campaign. However, later, the name and the prospect of the group was widened.

SAHI was actively involved in anti-CAA protests and regularly made anti-India and anti-Hindu posts on its Facebook profile.

It also actively spoke against the Indian government during farmers protests.

The last active event that SAHI was part of was Dismantling Global Hindutva where Audrey was a speaker. After a couple of months of the SGH conference, the activities of the group went silent on social media platforms. While on Facebook, the last post was on March 2021, on Twitter, it went silent on November 11, 2021.

SAHI and its dubious board of advisors

Other than Audrey, there are three members on the board of advisors at SAHI. The first person mentioned on SAHI is Ajit Sahi, a member of the board of advisors. The former executive of Tehelka is known for his sympathetic attitude towards terrorist organization SIMI. In 2008, he had authored a report whitewashing the allegations against SIMI. On many occasions, he had tried to give a clean chit to the terrorist organization claiming the case against them did not stand in court.

SAHI is also the advocacy director at Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC). Though IAMC’s website does not have a list of officials working at the organization, it had mentioned him as advocacy director on multiple occasions, such as in a press release that IAMC issued when Sahi had won the Inaugural Swami Agnivesh Memorial Award From Hindus For Human Rights.

Ajit is also associated with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which has made baseless allegations against the Modi-led Indian government of atrocities against minorities, especially Muslims. Notably, The Disinfo Lab had claimed IAMC had managed to influence USCIRF against India.

The next is of Aman Wadud. He has been vocal against Assam NRC. He also gave testimony at USCIRF against the Indian govt and Assam govt. In his statement at ISCIRF, he cunningly linked CAA to the proposed NRC in India and alleged it was a step against minorities in India. He conveniently ignored the fact that it was anti-CAA protesters who started the infamous anti-Hindu riots of Delhi in February 2020 and blamed Hindus for killing Muslims. Though he named a Muslim who was killed in riots, he failed to mention the brutal murder of Hindus, including Ratan Lal, Ankit Sharma and Dilbar Negi, among others.

The last name is Waris Husain, a former South Asia analyst at USCIRF. Husain is also linked to AIPS, where he had received a two-month fellowship in 2014-15. He also wrote for the Pakistani daily DAWN.

Audrey’s association with dubious organisations and history of derogatory comments does not stop here. In July 2021, OpIndia reported on controversial history of Audrey that can be read here.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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