Dr. Audrey Truschke Profile picture
Professor of South Asian history | anti-fascist and anti-hate | At Bluesky https://t.co/rcg50aiLYM
Annette Profile picture ariefb Profile picture Azeema Profile picture N.V.Ramanan Profile picture Twitter author Profile picture 16 subscribed
Jun 22 8 tweets 2 min read
US members of Congress -- Sounds like many of y'all were there for this bit of Islamophobic, #Hindutva propaganda.

Most of you probably had no idea what Modi meant. But, then again, you weren't the audience for this.

Brief #Thread Modi claimed Indian freedom after "1,000 years of slavery."

History review -- British colonialism only lasted 200 years in India, so where's the other 800 coming from?

That would be Indo-Muslim rule under a variety of different dynasties.
Mar 21 6 tweets 2 min read
To be clear -- Hindutva is built on lies. Some pretty wild lies at that.

scroll.in/latest/1046027… #Hindutva Let's run through the 3 lies over which this actor just became the Indian state's most recent political prisoner.

These are all pretty basic things that any South Asia historian could go over (I happen to be, critically, outside of the BJP's Hindu Rashtra at present).
Mar 20 10 tweets 4 min read
Folks -- I'm happy to answer historical questions on Twitter re the Mughals.

But general tip -- If what you're citing as "evidence" is a cartoon drawing you saw on WhatsApp... you shouldn't need a historian's professional opinion to tell you it is bullshit.

#Mughal #history Updating with some questions that have come in with brief answers.
Jan 20 18 tweets 5 min read
I'm thrilled to share my latest publication -- "Hindu: A History," published in Comparative Studies in Society and History.

The article traces the multilingual history of the term "hindu" over 2,500 years. 🧵

#Hindu #Hinduism

cambridge.org/core/journals/… The article was partly inspired by David Lorenzen's seminal 1999 article "Who Invented Hinduism?" also published in CSSH.

I imagine my project to be complementary to his.

Jan 6 5 tweets 2 min read
The Hindu American Foundation recently spectacularly failed to silence critics and a researcher in court.

This contains some analysis of the case by attorneys, including on HAF's mischaracterizations of Judge Mehta's dismissal.

iamc.com/hindu-american… #Hindutva This point is worth repeating --

Both articles included “a lot of concrete facts” that HAF “didn’t even contest” or allege as false.

“They didn’t contest that HAF’s treasurer is the son of the National Vice President of the US wing of the RSS...
Jan 5 8 tweets 3 min read
I applaud this principled, pro-knowledge stance.

A few stray thoughts.... #Hindu #Muslim #blasphemy #censorship #Hamline University recently egregiously infringed on #AcademicFreedom by firing a professor for showing devotional historical Muslim images that some conservative modern Muslims find offensive.
Nov 8, 2022 17 tweets 5 min read
The below tweet is steaming pile of Hindutva nonsense. I haven't done this in a while, but let's unpack, shall we?

#history #India #SouthAsia #Hindutva #propaganda First of all sources -- Those making this ahistorical statement are not historians. Both men are Hindu Right ideologues, and the individual to whom the statement is attributed is a plagiarist and Savarkar sycophant.

What are they claiming and how does it hold up to scrutiny?
Nov 1, 2022 14 tweets 5 min read
US-based Hindu nationalist groups intersect with numerous other right-wing ideas and ideologies.

Some examples here, drawn from this recent article: audreytruschke.com/hindu-right-us… (image if you want this all in one go). #Hindutva #rightwing #Republicans Image First of all, basics --

Hindutva is a far-right political ideology.
Hindu nationalists are a politically defined group.
Don't confuse #Hindutva and #Hinduism.
Hindu nationalists have been part of American life for half a century.

America also has lots of other right-wingers...
Oct 21, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
Good morning wonderful people! How much do you know about the VHP-America? Buckle-up.

The VHP heads one of the major wings of the Sangh Parivar (family of Hindu nationalist groups headed by the paramilitary RSS). The VHP oversees religious affairs. Many of the big Sangh groups have parallels in American and the US, often sharing a near exact name.

So, we have the VHP in India and the VHP-American in the US.

In India, the VHP is violent. So violent that the American CIA has flagged it as militant.
Oct 20, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
The Hindu Right has been part of American life for half a century.

They promote a far-right ideology known as Hindutva or Hindu nationalism.

We need to understand who they are, how they organize, their primary goals in American life, and their overseas links. #Hindutva I lay out much of this in this article, published as part of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History and intended as a scholarly reference work.

Over the coming days, I'll be sharing small vignettes, to increase public awareness & education.

Oct 13, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
Ignorance bothers me. And, oh boy, do Hindu nationalists have a lot of ignorance about Indian history and Hindu traditions.

They'd learn a lot if they actually read scholarship, by trained academics who study for decades, learning languages and literatures.

Recommendations: On the Bhagavad Gita, a text subject to many reinterpretations over time: press.princeton.edu/books/hardcove…

On the roots of yoga, a multiform practice: penguinrandomhouse.com/books/537595/r…
Oct 13, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Reading for today -- Online Hindutva as a global right-wing counterpublic.

Dr. Chopra argues that the Hindu Right, as a far right movements, follows a politics of grievance in understanding itself excluded from public life and creating its own ecosystem.

tif.ssrc.org/2022/10/12/onl… So, if you're looking for a theory that helps explains how viral WhatsApp forwards, ill-informed tweets, and blatantly false ideas about Hindu texts and Indian history inform vicious right-wing sensibilities in Hindu nationalist circles -- This is your article.
Oct 12, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
I am delighted to share the launch of the forum: "Hindutva and the shared scripts of the global right."

It will feature articles on the rise of far-right movements and actors through a global lens, centering on Hindutva and the Hindu right.

tif.ssrc.org/category/excha… #Hindutva The forum is hosted by The Immanent Frame (TIF), a project of the Social Science Research Council.

Two essays are already available, including this introduction to some of what Hindutva shares with other far right movements: tif.ssrc.org/2022/10/12/hin…
Oct 11, 2022 10 tweets 3 min read
A #mustread book.

Having finished it, one of my big takeaways is that Savarkar--a major early articulator of Hindutva--embraced religiously-focused violence, as a virtuous activity for Hindus, again and again.

#Hindutva #violence Image Savarkar's views on violence went far back. For example, in the early 1900s, Savarkar and Mahatma Gandhi discussed the Ramayana and Gita, two Hindu texts.

Gandhi saw the violence in both as metaphors. Savarkar saw it as real and a justification for more Hindu-enacted violence.
Oct 6, 2022 9 tweets 2 min read
Folks are arguing about whether there was "Hindu religion" during Chola rule (a medieval south Indian dynasty).

Buckle-up folks, it gets complicated, fast.

Key issues here include terms, the definition of religion, the Hindutva obsession with origins, and more. Image Starting point -- It really depends on how you define "Hindu" and "Hinduism," both of which are originally etic terms. There is no Sanskrit equivalent of the Perso-Arabic "Hindu".
Oct 1, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
Hindu nationalism may be on the rise in New Jersey. Here's why.

This piece highlights how much our elected officials have to learn about #Hindutva (Hindu nationalism), a pernicious form of hate that threatens progressive, inclusive values.

northjersey.com/story/news/202… #NewJersey One thing that this article makes clear is this -- The defense of virile Hindutva in New Jersey rests on the argument that Hindu nationalism is Hinduism.

That's factually incorrect. More to the point for our politicians, perhaps, it is deeply offensive to many Hindus.
Sep 30, 2022 11 tweets 4 min read
Educational moment on a #Hindutva group: the Infinity Foundation.

For those just joining, I am going through the five groups mentioned in a recent Democratic committee resolution in NJ against far-right Hindu nationalism.

Buckle-up and let's learn about right-wing hate. The Infinity Foundation was founded in the 1990s. It is a Hindu nationalist organization, aligning in objectives and methods with the global Hindutva movement, a far-right movement that many academics consider fascist.
Sep 29, 2022 10 tweets 3 min read
Educational moment on Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) groups in the US -- Today focusing on the VHPA.

The VHPA is one of five Hindu nationalist groups named as such in a recent resolution by a local Democratic council in New Jersey.

Some history on this Hindu nationalist group: Image Standard notes --

I'm a historian; I've been engaged in a research project on the US-based Hindu Right for close to 2 years.

Hindutva is not Hinduism (and it is offensive to conflate the two).

Hindutva is a political ideology, a rather hateful and right-wing one.
Sep 27, 2022 13 tweets 4 min read
There's some discussion at present of Sewa International, a Hindu nationalist group within the service wing of the RSS's family of Hindutva organizations.

A short 🧵 reviewing the basics of Sewa International #Hindutva There are lots of Hindu nationalist groups, both in India and overseas. The RSS (a paramilitary group) is at the center, with other groups often focusing (VHP / VHPA on religious issues, BJP / OFBJP on politics, etc.).

Sewa is a key international group in the service branch.
Sep 26, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
So many more folks in the US and the UK are learning about Hindu nationalism over the last several weeks, thanks to great coverage by the BBC, NYTimes, Guardian, and others.

That's a silver lining but on a very dark cloud of anti-minority hate, pushed by Hindu nationalists. Right now, in response to rather mild attention to their US-based activities, far-right Hindu nationalist groups are falling back on their usual tactics of intimidation, indignation, and propaganda.

This serves several purposes. The intimidation often works. Also...
Aug 26, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
Further reporting on the use of an anti-Muslim hate symbol (bulldozer) in an Edison parade.

As someone who studies Hindu nationalism, I want to address 2 points:

(1) the bulldozer's symbolism

(2) why the parade organizers aren't apologizing

middleeasteye.net/news/bulldozer… Symbolism -- Bulldozers are used in India, increasingly an authoritarian state, to intimidate Muslims and clamp down on dissent.

Here's a BBC explainer piece on it: bbc.com/news/world-asi…