Hindu nationalism fears spur US scholars into action
Censorship fears related to Hindu nationalism, or “Hindutva”, have driven US-based academics to mobilise into a new activist group and organise a major academic conference. The South Asia Scholar Activist Collective (SASAC) launched in July with founding members from at least eight US universities….
SASAC’s materials list various threats, the most dramatic of which came in 2020 to Vinayak Chaturvedi, an associate professor at the University of California, Irvine. His parents, who have been threatened before because of their son’s research, were victims of a “swatting”, a type of harassment in which a hoax call is made to police that results in armed SWAT officers being dispatched to a person’s home.
Female academics writing about South Asian politics have also reported receiving death threats, rape threats and threats to end or disrupt their employment. These topics will be discussed from 10 to 12 September in “Dismantling Global Hindutva”, a conference backed by more than 40 institutions, including Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley….