The Hindu Right Chokes Academic Freedom – By Audrey Truschke
In early March 2021, I awoke to a social media barrage of misogynist and bigoted slurs, unhinged accusations, and threats to hurt me and my family. For a few days, I thought little about this…. Over the past six years, I have become, by necessity, calloused to the worst humanity has to offer: hate, prejudice, and rage. This recent bout was the worst yet….
Just when the social media storm calmed a bit in mid-April 2021, I received a letter threatening a lawsuit. The letter came from a law firm that has represented Donald Trump and now represents another right-wing client: the Hindu American Foundation (HAF). HAF has ties with the RSS, a paramilitary group in India, and is widely known to promote an extreme right agenda….
I remain unclear about what set off this recent onslaught, but, generally, my research poses challenges for the Hindu Right. I work on Indo-Persian rule, presenting India’s Muslim kings of old as historical figures and highlighting Hindu-Muslim interactions in premodernity. Such research cuts against the Hindu Right’s politics of grievance, which demonizes Muslims in India’s past to justify their accelerating oppression of Muslims in India’s present….