Why is it that the West thinks that it is game to put down anything Hindu? Why is there such hatred among its population towards the people of the third biggest religion in the World, which has millenniums of unbroken rich, history, culture and heritage? Right from the 18th century British Colonialism, there have been steady attempts to denigrate, abuse, and destroy Hindu culture, religion, education and the society in general. Whatever the West finds attractive or ‘good’ in Hinduism, they shamelessly appropriate. Rajiv Malhotra calls this phenomenon as ‘digestion’. Though the countries/continents have changed, the skin color is too deep for the White Christians and also white left/liberals to not to inherit their forefather’s prejudices and misdeeds. The academia (both in the U.S and Europe) especially is heavily involved in leading this hatred. It becomes much more difficult to disregard their culpability when they are supposed to be the educated ones with unbiased scholarships and researches.
In this line of the esteemed lineage of academic Hinduphobic serial abusers comes their newest star, Audrey Truschke. She has the incredible distinction of being fathered and mothered (academically) by two of the most Hinduphobic American academicians: Sheldon Pollock and Wendy Doniger. Both of these scholars have been thoroughly exposed in Rajiv Malhotra’s ‘Battle Of Sanskrit’, ‘Invading the Sacred’ and ‘Academic Hinduphobia’ books. Many others have also written about them, which finally lead to one of Wendy’s books being pulped in India, a few years ago. Their contempt for Hinduism, their evil machinations to see it abused and ultimately destroyed and their continued attack on it through lies have all been well documented. Hence Audrey, having been taught by both of them, is living up to her mentors. She has not disappointed them yet. They should be so proud of her. She is now an Assistant Professor, Department of South Asian History at the Rutger’s University. And did I mention that her father-in-law is an evangelist and that her husband worked in Pakistan? Not even Aurangzeb could have come up with such a concoction that favors Hinduphobia! Interestingly she is also Aurangzeb’s fan-girl. But more on that later.
Her disdain, her hatred to be exact, for Hinduism has been out in the public for quite sometime now. Through her twitter account @AudreyTruschke, she has been assaulting Hinduism and Hindus for quite some time. She is very active on twitter where she has deliberately played with the feelings and the emotions of Hindus both in India and abroad. So on Friday the 20th she raised a hell storm after she quoted a despicable cartoon published by the leftist sroll.in.
In her first tweet she is saying the Lord Rama could handle criticism. But then it gets ugly.
And of course there were several reactions to her:
So what has this got to do with White Supremacy and Rutgers University? Well for one thing, she works there, as I had mentioned earlier. But let us dig a little deeper into this university to put this whole issue into a proper perspective.
Slave owners, in the first place, built Rutgers University, with the help of slaves. Most of it benefactors, teachers and students were slave owners. The college also received substantial donations of land and money from slaveholders. It also has a history of being closely connected to the Evangelicals. The Dutch reformed Church was the one that came up with the idea to have such an institution. Though the University has severed its ties, officially, with the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1856, it still maintains a close-knit relationship even now. This isn’t a big thing as many of the Universities have a deep Christian connection. But the issue becomes more apparent when one discovers that the severance mentioned earlier is just eyewash.
It has a history of controversies where a white supremacy view is supported in one way or another. Here are a few examples of some of the recent incidents that have taken in Rutgers.
Late last year, a microbiology Professor Michael Chikandas had shared a bunch of anti-semitic images and posts in his Facebook page. Rutgers President Robert Barchi, defended the Professor initially saying that he (the professor) was protected by the First Amendment, which promoted Free Speech. Thousands of students had actually signed a petition calling for his removal from the University, when he issued this statement. Instead, he said his primary concern was “does having posted that created an environment in his work that would compromise his ability to teach or to do research?”, and that it was an employment issue and not a hate speech issue!
Kevin Allred, an adjunct lecturer had posted anti-Trump and Gun control posts on Twitter in late 2016, after Trump won the elections. He was immediately apprehended by the New York police department and made to undergo a psychological evaluation in a hospital! He was then placed on administrative leave. How could he have questioned the gun laws that allow thousand of people to get killed in the U.S?
In another incident involving the same faculty a year earlier, a course that he had taught for many years on Beyonce as a symbol of Black feminism, got cancelled because “the University people where getting unnerved by ‘Black feminism’ ”, he says. So much for racial equality! The very popular course was suspended from 2015, in the garb that it was distracting students from other courses.
The University removed an art piece in the art library that involved a crucified Jesus on a dartboard with 4 darts. There have been far worse art works in other Universities. But Rutgers couldn’t help itself in letting go of its Christian roots and had to take down the art piece. Of course there is nothing wrong with its action if the University believed that the art piece offended the Christian faith. But then it should also give the same respect to other religions. Shouldn’t it? Which brings us to Audrey.
When she published her book on Aurangzeb, last year, Hindus of course blasted her on her twitter. After all, the Jews had one Hitler; we Hindus have had a series of Hitlers since the Islamic invasion of India. It is a well-known fact about how Aurangazb committed genocide on Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, killing them and destroying their temples. Her glorification of Aurangzeb is akin to some historian glorifying Hitler with alternative interpretations in 2250 A.D. Here she is defending Aurangzeb saying that she won’t judge him by modern standards.
So if in another 200 years will it be correct for someone else to justify Hitler? And extending the point, why wait for 200 years, its more than 75 years since he died, is it fine for people to justify Hitler with the pre WW2 standards. After all, there were many conditions that led to Hitler coming into power, starting from the World War I, which could easily be justified. But she gets away glorifying such an evil man.
And surprise, surprise, the University also came to her rescue. They published an article, where they defend her, going on to say that, “Modern Hindu-nationalists, meanwhile, saw the political value in perpetuating the conflict and have done so with great success.” Meaning that the modern Hindus are to be blamed and that Aurangzeb and the Muslims, who defend his actions, are the victims.
And of course as with every Western news outlet the University also had to publish this statutory ‘warning’ about the Indian PM: ‘Modi, first as Chief Minister of Gujarat and then as India’s Prime Minister, has been accused of condoning, and some would say stoking, anti-Muslim sentiment and violence along the way.’ Will the same University issue such a warning whenever Geroge W Bush’s name is mentioned? : “Bush, has been accused of invading Iraq in the pretext of Weapons of Mass Destruction that were never found, which lead to the killing of thousands of families, creating instability and later to one of the most vilest terrorist organization called ISIS”. Or will the University follow suit with a warning on Obama, ‘who stoked anti-government riots in the middle east that led to the deaths of thousands’? No. The university would never do that.
While it is a customary in any article with even a bit of journalistic standard, to include the opinion of the ‘other side’, in this article by the university only Audrey’s opinions are published. Not a single byte from the protesters who were protesting her book. I mean, we are more than a billion people here. I’m sure if they had tried some guy or girl who knew English would’ve responded to their reason for protest. But the University chose not to take any such step, which only makes their intention clear: the abuse of Hindus and Hindu culture is acceptable, by the way of supporting their faculty.
So coming back to this recent issue of her ‘#Ramayangate’ (yes, that is how she calls it, with absolutely no remorse. Hindus and their Gods is a joke to her), she agrees that she based her claim on loose colloquial translations.
Yes, there are many colloquial translations. But every one of them is based on Valmiki Ramayana, which is the oldest (and has the final authority), and no such words or meaning could be found in it. I wonder if she will use a colloquial translation of Quran or the Bible in one of her articles or tweets. And then she goes on to justify her tweets saying that she doesn’t have any spiritual insight into the work, but that she has relevant knowledge on the language!
What knowledge is she talking about? It is the rule for any and every person who wants to acquire the knowledge of Hindu spiritual texts to go to a Guru (probably from an established Sampradaya) and then learn under their guidance. If you don’t do that, then you don’t have the knowledge, so stop claiming that you have the knowledge of the language. Even an uneducated person from the most backward village will be able to tell the essence and the moral of these epics. What right does Audrey have to comment on something that she is not just aware of, but also averse to?
She answers straight away through another tweet.
She seems to deftly promote this article by an African scholar (rightly or wrongly) who argues that ancestral connection is not needed to grasp the history of African art. And therein lies her reason and her defense: That one doesn’t need to have any emotional and spiritual connection with the religious topics they are dealing with as long as they are related to India, Hinduism and Hindu Gods. Would she ever deal Islam with the same approach? Let us see.
Notice the word ‘sacred’ when it involves Islam. Ramayana is not sacred, but of course the religion of her Mughal hero is definitely so. She can make fun of our Itihaasas, our Gods, our heroes in any way she can.
Here is her hypocrisy that gets laid bare with no less uncertainty. She accepts that what she wrote is a loose translation. So it is clear that whatever she had ascribed to have come from Devi Sita’s mouth were her own words which she directs towards Lord Rama. Hence it is most certainly Audrey who is saying that Lord Rama is a misogynist and uncouth. But we just saw her declare that she ‘declines’ to judge Aurangzeb by modern standards’. Hence for her, it is fair to judge Lord Rama and put him down as a misogynist whereas it is a sin to judge Aurangzeb . Now, we clearly have the evidence for the slant of her scholarship.
So now the question before the Rutgers University administration is whether, under the pretext of the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech, they are going to allow a known Hinduphobe, a constant Hindu abuser and a glorifier of a genocidal maniac to continue to work in their institution. It becomes particularly important because there is a large growing voice in U.S universities to have more diversity and more respect for people of all religions and culture. And Audrey’s tweets, her disposition and her scholarship completely betrays this voice. For the University in allowing her to continue, will be seen as endorsing Hinduphobia over Islamophobia, anti-semitism, homophobia etc. and authenticating that use of phobia to hurt the feelings of literally hundreds of millions of people of a faith, with the use of lies. It will raise questions on the intentions and the integrity of the scholars , who take liberty on loose translations and the institution that employs them. It will also raise questions on the nature of the scholarship that these scholars seem to posses and whether they lead to White Supremacy and racial hatred.
I do hope, in spite of my skepticism, that the Rutgers University administration will see this in the proper light and take actions against her, who with her words has deeply wounded millions of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Indians Worldwide.
Featured Image: FirstPost