Unsurprising to see DGH's mask fall off so quickly, but this highlights an important point: all of the debate about whether hindutva=hinduism is actually meaningless, because no one really agrees on what "hinduism" is. Often it's just a projection of the speaker's biases
The real Q is what a modern hinduism ought to become. Hindutva is one response to this Q, whether one agrees with it or not. DGH is not interested in providing a "progressive alternative" for Hindu modernity, for they believe that hinduism and modernity can't co-exist
On this point, they find themselves in an amusing convergence with the "trads," who also believe caste and hinduism are inextricably intertwined. The implicit assumption is that caste and modernity are mutually exclusive (hindutva adherents agrees on this)
Of course, even though the DGH folks and the trads agree on hinduism and caste, they have different motivations. "Trads" want to maintain a mythical caste order that they believe is divinely sanctioned. What do DGH want? To prevent reform? To perpetuate disunity? Who knows.
Whatever their motivations, on this question they find themselves firmly on the side of the most regressive elements of Hindu society, and they both suffer from the same fatal misunderstanding of the dharma and what it represents.
We don't have a Pope, nor do we have a Church. DGH understands this and they-- along with the Ivy League, evidently-- want to fill the void. Don't let them! It's your inheritance, your ancestral wisdom, your history. Take ownership of it.
DGH's target is not "hindutva" per se, but just normal hindus who are smart enough to understand dharma is what _we_ make it. They want you to fixate on the bad, so that you remain blind to the good, and end up abandoning both in response.
But what makes the dharma exceptional is precisely that it is not stuck in a moment in time. We have no revelation, no "Word" that binds us to dogma. As S. Radhakrishnan says: "What is built for ever is for ever building."
So when you hear one of these mid-wit careerist academics tell you what YOU believe, understand that this is simply a projection of their own theological hangups and an inability to look past the intellectual straitjackets imposed on them by their discipline's colonial legacy

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More from @vjgtweets

13 Sep
IMO one of the strangest things about this whole DGH affair is how desperate the organizers were to enlist the support of universities and senior academics. What is the rationale there? Aren't they trying to portray themselves as besieged radicals fighting the good fight?
In what universe does having the co-sign of the incumbent academic elite help bolster that image? What happened to "decolonizing the academy"? My preferred theory-- which I stated previously-- is that they're not really ideologically invested in this fight at all
What this really is is a last gasp effort by a bunch of precarious academics desperate to climb the career ladder to protect their epistemic monopoly in the field of "South Asian Studies" and preserve their grasp on the lucrative market for native informants
Read 10 tweets
13 Sep
In 2021, the "good hindoo" as defined by your local ivy league academic is one who forsakes their hindu identity completely. To identify as a hindu is to raise the suspicion that you are just a fascist in waiting.
More here, where I analyze the DGH in context of a long history in America of cultural and religious elites policing "hindoo" identity

Read 4 tweets
22 Aug
The Dismantling Hindutva Conference isn't actually about dismantling hindutva b/c dismantling any political movement requires understanding, and based on the speakers invited, it's abundantly clear that understanding isn't the goal. 1/n
Additionally, the fact that 40 universities (allegedly) including some of the world's best would sponsor this conference cuts against the premise that hindutva is a "global" movement at all, even if the fight against it is. 2/n
If you doubt this point, ask yourself whether academics would so casually sponsor a conference on "Dismantling Wahabbism" or "Dismantling the CCP." The answer is no, because there would be actual consequences. The BJP/RSS lack the $ & competence to play this game. 3/n
Read 30 tweets
14 Aug
The Evening Star, June 15, 1947

A profile of Jinnah by Phillips Talbot, the erstwhile American ambassador to Greece turned journalist:

"One-Man Crusade Split India"

"Jinnah, Regarded by His Opponents as Unyielding Tyrant, Secured Separate Moslem State After 12-Year Fight"
"For Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the decision to carve a separate Moslem state out of India, approved here by the Moslem League Council, is a completely personal triumph"
"If chaos and disruption should result, the Moslem League president may have won a pyrrhic victory. Yet it will be his and his alone, whatever comes of it"
Read 25 tweets
14 Aug
The Evening Star, July 5, 1947

"This Changing World"

"Partition of India Offers Red Leaders Chance for Infiltration and Intrigue"

(common theme in American coverage during this period, unsurprisingly)

"The impending partition of India provides a subject for close scrutiny by policy-makers in Washington, who are concerned over the change which the creation of Hindustan and Pakistan will work on big power relationships throughout the world"
"Hitherto India has not possessed any independent influence in world affairs, although the frequent conflicts between the Hindu and Moslem communities and between each of them and Britain have had reverberations in other parts of the world"
Read 11 tweets
14 Aug
Evening Star, September 24, 1947

In the aftermath of partition, a familiar complaint:

"India Embassy Calls Reports to U.S. on Rioting One-Sided"

"American reporters are largely concentrated about Delhi (in India)... therefore the picture they give is a one-sided one"
"I do not say that what they report is not true. But if you don't tell what is happening in West Punjab (in Pakistan), then the picture is out of focus"
"Mr. Sen said that many American newspapers 'are not printing dispatches from India which give the other side of the picture.'
Read 4 tweets

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