A prominent Hindu American group on Friday urged several US universities not to support an online conference titled ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ next month.
Conference organisers, who are requesting anonymity, claim the three-day event starting September 10 is cosponsored by more than 45 centres or departments at over 40 universities, most of whom are from the United States.
Various Hindu American groups on Friday expressed outrage at the stated goal of the conference — exploring the consolidation of Hindu supremacist ideology in India and elsewhere — as mentioned on its website and being promoted on various social media platforms.
The list of speakers and panellists for the conference are mainly those who have been known for their activism against various Hindu groups in India and the US.
The Dismantling Global Hindutva have listed the names of more than 40 top American universities as their sponsors and cosponsors, including the Columbia University, Emory University, Harvard University, New York University, Rutgers University, Princeton University, University of Chicago and University of California in Berkeley, San Diego and Santa Cruz.
“The DGH organizers trade on the prestige of your institution’s name to host, not an academic conference, but a partisan event related to politics in India. The event platforms activists with extensive histories of amplifying Hinduphobic discourse even while denying the existence of Hinduphobia,” Hindu American Foundation (HAF) wrote in an email to these universities urging them to withdraw from the conference, if they are indeed co-sponsoring it.
According to HAS, the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Dalhousie University withdrew the sponsorship of the conference.
The organisers of the Dismantling Global Hindutva conference told PTI in an email that they are a group of volunteers who do not want to be named for now.
“At this point, due to a high volume of attacks against the conference, the volunteer organizing team would prefer to conduct interviews over email only. We hope you will recognize the need for safety in this circumstance. Having said that, we do wish to speak out against the kind of assault on academic freedom that is currently underway in attempts to shut down this conference,” the email said.
A set of questions sent to the DGH remained unanswered at the time of filing this story.
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