Dr. Audrey Truschke Profile picture
Associate Prof of South Asian history @Rutgers_Newark | Activist | https://t.co/nxjJZf8rZK | Tweets academic + educational + critical | Anti-fascist
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Apr 21 4 tweets 2 min read
@davidfrum Sure. In brief, Aurangzeb's name is a dog whistle to signal that it is acceptable to hate and use violence against present-day Muslims.

Here's a bit more on how it works -- @davidfrum Hindu nationalism stipulates that Muslims are the primary enemy, always.

This othering has electoral and social value for Hindu nationalists in the present. But it is hard to justify, and so Hindu nationalists demonize Muslims relentlessly, including in the past.
Jan 23 7 tweets 2 min read
Folks, I'm going to model here what a scholarly discussion might look like.

Please notice that there is neither name-calling nor abusive language (hallmarks of Hindutva harassment).

#THREAD I stipulated (few days ago): "Sanatana Dharma", as a phrase, comes about, historically, in the 19th century.

Purvapaksha (objector): But don't we see the Sanskrit adjective sanātana modifying dharma in texts as early as the first millennium CE, such as dharmaśāstra works?
Jan 21 9 tweets 2 min read
Q: Dr. Truschke, why don't you ever talk about Sanatana Dharma.

Answer: 🧵

#Hinduism #history #colonialism Some Hindus prefer the term "Sanatana Dharma" for their tradition or set of religious practices.

Literally, the phrase means "eternal dharma," but y'all know there's much more to language than literal meaning. So let's talk history.
Jan 16 6 tweets 3 min read
Your periodic grim reminder, given the recent US attention to anti-Semitism --

If you oppose anti-Semitism, you also oppose Hindu nationalism (Hindutva), a hateful political ideology that still uses anti-Semitic slurs at times.
scroll.in/article/901309… #Hindutva #antiSemitism If you're not familiar with Hindutva, you might be wondering -- Does that salute in the photo looks kinda Nazi? Yes, and not accidentally.

Hindutva is a global phenomenon, with significant support in the US. Educate yourself.
Dec 13, 2021 12 tweets 3 min read
Alright folks, upon request a brief #THREAD on Shivaji and caste.

Trigger Warning -- If you're into #Hindutva, think that the past somehow justifies your present-day bigotry, or hate historians, please, don't read further. Shivaji was a 17th-century Maratha warrior who won himself a kingdom.

He was most well-known in his day for his guerrilla warfare tactics, which were remarkably effective against the numerically superior but bulky Mughal army.

He was most infamous for his caste problems.
Dec 6, 2021 10 tweets 4 min read
29 years ago, Ayodhya's Babri Masjid was destroyed by a mob, inspired by Hindutva ideology as well as VHP and BJP leaders. Many Muslims were killed in the subsequent riots.

We remember. A short #THREAD on what we know--and what we don't know--about this land and these events. All sides agree that an early 16th-century mosque stood on this site.

It was a priceless part of India's heritage. It was destroyed illegally. Even India's Supreme Court--in a decision otherwise dripping with bias, callousness, and disregard for the law--agrees on this point.
Nov 6, 2021 10 tweets 5 min read
"A raft of evidence shows that caste discrimination has been imported from India to the United States."

Covers the Cisco and BAPS temples cases from this year, along with surveys regarding #caste identity and caste-based #discrimination in the diaspora.

theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/… Further resources for those who want to learn further about #caste in the United States --

On the Cisco court case (ongoing), in which the allegation is that a Dalit has been discriminated against by two upper caste supervisors: thewire.in/caste/cisco-ca…
Nov 2, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
The arguments that the US-based Hindu Right is trotting out to defend casteism and to absurdly try to paint the discriminators as victims ... I've heard it all before. It is structurally very similar to white supremacist arguments. #Hindutva #caste #WhiteSupremacy Both argue--in remarkably bad faith--that it is reverse racist to single out the aggressors (caste Hindus and white people, respectively).

They also try to paint the aggressors (racist on both sides) as the victims, for having their prejudice called out.
Oct 13, 2021 13 tweets 3 min read
And there we have it, the Hindutva American Foundation defending the RSS, a paramilitary organization that advocates Hindu supremacy, attacks minorities, and repeatedly uses violence to achieve its aims.

A short #THREAD on the RSS The RSS, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is a paramilitary group founded in 1925.

What was going on in 1925? In India, independence movements, which the RSS largely sat out. The RSS had its eyes trained on Europe and imitated fascist movements, especially in Italy.
Sep 17, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
One of the true joys in teaching overview classes is that I get to hit some of the highlights of South Asian history every year. Next week is #Mahabharata week.

How do historians teach this epic? Well, it depends on our subject. Short #pedagogy thread -- Starting point -- I can't teach the entire epic. I wish I could. I think about it every year before I come to my senses, again.

So, I teach select portions. Always a bit of the Gita, and then I tend to change-up the other part. This year, I'm doing Draupadi's disrobing.
Sep 5, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
We are watching as right-wing Hindu American groups harass, intimidate, and endanger academics, including students.

What you're doing is beyond unacceptable. It is unethical, hate mongering, and very, very dangerous. Stop. Now. #Hindutva Folks, if you are Hindu American and you think: "my goodness, that's not me! I like diversity. I value critical thought. Hindutva is not Hinduism." I hear you.

Know that right-wing groups are promoting intolerance and hate in your name. You have my condolences about that.
Sep 3, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Periodic reminder —

There are US-based Hindutva proponents that are attacking and smearing scholars, conferences, and even students.

They do not represent Hindu Americans as a group. They’re using this broad-based, diverse community as a smokescreen to promote hate. #Hindutva We see this, by the way, with other groups also. In the US context, Christian nationalists have done something similar, advocating extreme political views under the guise of religion.

(Oh, the irony of Hindu supremacists borrowing a playbook from a group they rail against).
Aug 19, 2021 11 tweets 4 min read
The US Hindutva machine--part of the Global Right--has mobilized to target sponsors of the upcoming Dismantling Hindutva conference.

This is a #THREAD of resources--from the Hindu Right's current favorite academic to hate--for those who find themselves in #Hindutva crosshairs. First of all, understand Hindutva, which is a hateful a political ideology. Some scholars describe it as authoritarian or populist; others as fascist.

We all agree that it is right-wing, trends towards violence, and is intolerant.

Aug 19, 2021 9 tweets 1 min read
This could be fun —

I have a Yudhishthira joke but it’s kind of a gamble. I have a Karna joke but I forgot it.
Aug 17, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
Snapshots of #Hindutva culture --

abuse, dehumanization, misogyny oh misogyny, and foul language. Why?

Because I'm a scholar.
Because I work on Indo-Persian history.
Because I work on the Hindu Right.
Because I'm a woman.

Above all, because they hate.
eventbrite.com/e/dismantling-… For anyone just joining us, please note that Hindutva is not Hinduism.

Hindutva is a narrow political ideology and Hinduism is a broad-based religious tradition. It is offensive to conflate the two. Many Hindus oppose Hindutva, and thus become targets of Hindutva hate.
Jul 14, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
In-depth reporting on the funding and ideology of the Hindu Right in America. I'm struck by a few things. #THREAD A smaller group -- representing right-wing interests -- have co-opted the voices of a larger community, by and large without asking about or addressing the concerns of that community.

We see this with other right-wing groups in America. It remains astonishing and saddening.
Jul 12, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Hindutva vs Academia: Why Scholars Built a Manual to Fight Harassment thequint.com/us-nri-news/hi… The article ends with a quote from the man who heads COHNA and is a long-time, known harasser.

Note his bad-faith argument, that the field manual is silencing Hindus. This coming after quotes from multiple scholars who are Hindu about why they wrote this. Think about that.
Jul 12, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
SASAC's Hindutva Harassment Field Manual offers a section specifically for students -- whether they are witnessing a Hindutva attack, concerned about hate on campus, or just curious.

#THREAD #Hindutva #students #diversity #inclusion #campus

hindutvaharassmentfieldmanual.org/students This section opens with a brief definition of Hindutva (for a fuller definition: hindutvaharassmentfieldmanual.org/defininghindut…)

Hindutva is a far right political ideology. It can seem far away when you're attending college in the US, but Hindutva places pressure on students' self-expression.
Jul 9, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
What can you do when you are, or might become, the target of a #Hindutva attack?

We cover preparatory and protective steps in the Hindutva Harassment Field Manual

hindutvaharassmentfieldmanual.org/targets Most frequently, Hindutva attacks take the form of online harassment (although this can and sometimes does spill over into the physical world). Often that online harassment is organized, another subject we cover in the HHFM.
Jul 6, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
I am thrilled to be sharing a new online resource -- Hindutva Harassment Field Manual. This field manual offers educational and practical resources for the targets, allies, students, and employers of those subjected to Hindu Right assaults. #Hindutva hindutvaharassmentfieldmanual.org The field manual was written by the South Asia Scholar Activist Collective (SASAC), a group of scholars and activists of South Asian studies based in North America. We ground ourselves on two pillars: scholarship and inclusive, progressive politics. southasiacollective.org
May 21, 2021 6 tweets 3 min read
More on the Hindu American Foundation's SLAPP lawsuit against diverse human rights groups, freedom of the press, & academic freedom

I am currently conducting research into Hindutva in the US, which includes HAF. #AcademicFreedom #AcademicTwitter #Hindutva religionnews.com/2021/05/20/hin… footnotes (all repeated from earlier tweets this week) --

on SLAPP lawsuits and why they're bad, straight and narrow: anti-slapp.org/what-is-a-slapp

On SLAPP lawsuits and why they're bad, hilarious: