Although inclusivity and fairness are the bedrock of academia, in a shocking statement, Rutgers University spurns the concerns raised by Hindus on glorification of their perpetrators, and hate for their religious tenets expressed by the scholar Audrey Truschke, who is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University, teaching South Asian History.
Audrey Truschke has three books dedicated to one purpose: propaganda against the Hindu diaspora. She has repeatedly given blatantly wrong translations of Sanskrit in her books, dehumanizing Hindus, denigrating their deities, and painting a sordid picture of Hindu culture. Audrey Truschke has no connection or background of Hindu spirituality, and has no understanding of Sanskrit as a language of a spiritual people, meant for communication of higher ideals, not everyday small talk. Many Indian Sanskrit scholars have expressed concernes on her knowledge and credentials regarding her translations of Sanskrit verses, but instead of engaging in a discussion and debate with any scholar who questions her, she has either 1) blocked them on Twitter 2) mocked them 3) played victim as being “harassed” or 4) said that she is being targeted for being a woman.
Not even once has she agreed to appear on any platform for a debate and discussion. So, the “diversity of perspectives” trope given by Rutgers University sounds like a whole lot of hogwash to silence a minority community.
Since Audrey Truschke loves studying Indian history and literature, she should be aware of the fact that Hindu traditions require debate for acquiring credentials. The Hindu education system was not based on certifications from universities. Any scholar who wished to obtain a degree had to debate any topic of their choice, in the field of their research, in an open house of scholars, and only if they are able to reason without getting agitated would they be granted the credential. This ensured lack of bias and prejudice in academia. This may sound similar to the system followed in universities now, but the key difference was that the system was designed to iron out differences, remove personal prejudices, and ensure that research is meant for pursuit of truths and facts alone, not personal agenda. In this regard, Audrey’s work leaves a lot to be desired.
She has addressed the Hindu deity Sri Ram as a “misogynistic pig” and repeatedly shared offensive, sexually explicit and repulsive cartoons of Hindu deities on Twitter. Academic ethic aside, this language and this behaviour is unbecoming of a professor. If Audrey wants the Hindu diaspora to respect her views, she needs to lead by example. Whatever be her personal views, they cannot find way into academic work, and definitely cannot be used to openly insult one billion Hindus. That her stance is in no way different from that of white supremacists will be obvious to anyone who studies her history of hatred for Hindus.
It was shown, by many Sanskrit and Hindu scholars, that her “loose” translation in reality had no bearing whatsoever with the original Hindu text. This was explained here 3 years ago.
But the problem does not end with her bad translations of Hindu scriptures or hatred for Hindu deities and icons. She has taken her personal views, mixed them with her work, and promoted the narrative of glorifying perpetrators of Hindus like Aurangzeb. Audrey has shown gross insensitivity to the millions of Hindus whose ancestors were brutally slaughtered, raped and forcibly converted by Islamic invaders. She has shown no remorse, nor any sensitivity towards the survivors of the biggest holocaust in history–that of Hindus. Incidents of this holocaust are really not difficult to find. Akbar, Babar, Aurangzeb, Taimur, Mahmud of Ghazni, Tipu Sultan all took pride in how many “infidels” they slaughtered and how much money they looted from Hindu temples. They defiled, vandalized and destroyed Hindu deities, and used them as rubble on their roads, so people would walk all over them—showing Hindus their place in the Islamic empire. This was a genocide as horrifying as the Jewish holocaust, without any exaggeration. Hindus were starved, tortured, converted, raped at will. But instead of being truthful to history, Audrey has made statements like “Aurangzeb saved more temples than he destroyed.” Her counting, evaluation are based on subjective reasoning to favour a viewpoint, rather than empirical research. When we are referring to numbers, we cannot say that 50, for example, is greater than 45, so the 45 does not matter. No law of statistical evaluation can endorse this reasoning. This is how a first grade student reasons, not a scholar and professor. She has repeatedly justified crimes against Hindus, and when Hindus have tried to talk about their own history, she has called them Islamophobic.
This is typical of a supremacist, narcissist, white person: “I will tell you brown people what your history is, you have no say in the matter, nor are you allowed to express your anger when I insult everything you hold sacred and the tenets by which you life your life.” This is a summary of the stance she has taken. Audrey has the gall to post screenshots of abuse she received from Twitterati, calling herself a victim, completely bypassing the serious atrocities which she has conveniently erased from Indian history. The “hate” she receives in emails are violent threats, but the rapes, murders, sex slavery of women and children, forcible conversions and other such unspeakable atrocities faced by Hindus are not “violence” to her. The hypocrisy and elitist entitlement complex is obvious here.
To date, neither Rutgers University nor Audrey Truschke have issued a single apology to the Hindu diaspora. They have arrogantly dismissed and throttled the voice of a Hindu student in the great country of USA, where everyone has the right to freedom of speech, not professors in lofty universities alone.
The views expressed by Audrey Truschke are no different from those expressed by any colonialist or any Nazi towards those they want to conquer and lord over. They show utter disrespect for the indigenous culture of Hindus, disinterest in understanding their value systems, and an unwillingness to sit on an equal platform with Indian scholars to discuss her views on their own religion, culture and history. As an academician, it is not only Audrey’s moral responsibility, but also her academic responsibility to allow room for error on her part, and make efforts to at the very least understand the concerns raised. She has repeatedly scoffed at Hindu students, scholars and activists, instead of responding to them. If she suggests that Hindus are giving her hate, she must look at her own history, and see where the hate first started to emanate from: HER. After several years of this hate filled propaganda, Hindus took an orchestrated effort to make their voices heard. But they were silenced not just by Audrey Truschke, but a decadent academic institution, which though airs empty talk on inclusivity, but covertly allows untethered propaganda, hate and discrimination against a minority community of Hindus. Maybe Hindu students should not opt for such institutions for their academic pursuits in the future, where they pay hefty fees only to be told that the sacrifice of their ancestors amount to nothing and their culture is primitive.
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Last modified: March 10, 2021