Conference Against Hindu Ideologies Slammed as 'Open Declaration of Hate Against India'
07:17 GMT 12.09.2021 (Updated: 10:39 GMT 19.07.2022)
A virtual conference organised by an anonymous group, believed to be based out of the US, from 10 September to 12 September titled "Dismantling Global Hindutva'. The conference has led to outrage in India, with several organisations seeking its cancellation. It is being seen as an attempt to "whip up paranoia against Hindutva in the US".
A three-day global academic conference "Dismantling Global Hindutva", which is believed to have been co-sponsored by over 50 top universities from around the world, has led to outrage in India, with senior leaders decrying it as an "open declaration of hate against India."
The conference, which claims to look into issues relating to the "Hindu supremacist ideology" from a scholarly perspective has been supported by the Universities of Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, and Northwestern University.
Hindutva refers to a century-old right-wing movement that seeks to create an ethnic Hindu state out of India, where the Muslim community is the second largest after Hindus in the country, numbering over 200 million people
according to the US-based Council on Foreign Relations.
The event, which is being slammed in India, has been marred by sustained online campaigns against it. The event organisers said earlier that they had been harassed and intimidated by several Hindu groups, many of whom had threatened violence.
Several groups, both in India and abroad, have decried the conference as "Hinduphobic" and demanded that it be banned from being held. The organisers said in a statement that several of the universities and departments sponsoring the event were under "immense pressure" to back out of it. They also insist that the conference only seeks to address the global implications of Hindutva and develop resources for an anti-Hindutva pedagogy in academia.
In recent days, several participants have been forced to withdraw from the event, fearing that they will not be permitted to enter India, The Guardian reported.
On Saturday, the Indian federal minister for environment, forest and climate change and a senior BJP leader, Bhupender Yadav blasted the conference, describing it as "an open declaration of hate against India".
Though the conference claims to be a huge success, Ashwani Mahajan, national convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a wing of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) which is considered the ideological parent of BJP, called it "No Big Bang". He said that the conference had "no more than 600-700 YouTube viewers at a time."