- Issued by the South Asia Scholar Activist Collective, the Hindutva Harassment Field Manual offers resources devoted to targets, allies, students, and employers.
The South Asia Scholar Activist Collective (SASAC), has launched a new online resource for those targeted by Hindu nationalists. The Hindutva Harassment Field Manual offers educational and practical resources for the targets, allies, students, and employers of those subjected to Hindu Right assaults. It was issued by the SASAC, a group of scholars and activists including Audrey Truschke, Associate Professor of South Asian History at the university’s Newark campus.
Members of the SASAC include Manan Ahmed, Columbia University; Ananya Chakravarti, Georgetown University, Purnima Dhavan, University of Washington; Supriya Gandhi, Yale University; Simran Jeet Singh, Union Seminary; Davesh Soneji, University of Pennsylvania; and Dheepa Sundaram, University of Denver.
“I am thrilled to be sharing a new online resource — Hindutva Harassment Field Manual,” Truschke tweeted. “This field manual offers educational and practical resources for the targets, allies, students, and employers of those subjected to Hindu Right assaults.”
In a press release, Truschke wrote: “We wrote this field manual for academics who find themselves involved in a right-wing Hindutva assault. We hope it might prove valuable more broadly to the targets of Hindutva harassment and help start a conversation about the threat this poses to us and our fields of study.”
The field manual offers pages devoted to targets, allies, students, and employers who may find themselves targeted by a Hindu Right assault. It defines Hindutva as a narrow political ideology that threatens academic freedom, the rights of minorities, a wide range of Hindus, and more. It provides a series of educational resources, covering the organized nature of Hindutva harassment, legal resources, a glossary, academic freedom, and more.
A section on bad faith bias claims explores how the Hindu Right inappropriately co-opts the language of social justice and antiracism to promote intolerance — and our section on the intersectional hate often seen in Hindutva ideology.
Truschke herself has been a target of online threats and vitriol from the Hindu nationalists. A coalition of 75 Hindu temples and spiritual organizations from across 20 states in the U.S. have sent a letter to Rutgers University in New Jersey expressing their “disappointment and concerns” about Prof. Audrey Truschke’s comments on Hinduism. The signatories allege that Truschke’s views have caused “intense trauma not only to Hindu students on campus but also to the broader Hindu community.”
In March, Rutgers University issued a statement supporting Truschke after she faced backlash from some Hindu students and was subjected to a vicious online campaign and threats. In a statement of support, issued on its Twitter handle, the university said it “emphatically supports Professor Truschke’s academic freedom in pursuing her scholarship,” abhors the vile messages and threats that are being directed at her, and calls for an immediate end to them.
The March 8 statement came after the group ‘Hindus on Campus’ sent an open letter to authorities “expressing concerns” over Trucshke’s views, alleging that she taught students that “Hinduism is inherently oppressive, racist, misogynistic and violent.” On its Twitter account, the group said more than 5,000 people signed the letter. The group describes itself as a student-led group to create “a safe space for diaspora Hindus to share their experiences with anti-Hindu bigotry.” Similar statements of support were issued by the faculty/graduate student union and the South Asian Studies Program.