I write as a concerned Hindu academic in Australia due to a pattern of bullying by the Dean’s Chair in Communication at Massey University School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing. Professor Mohan J Dutta gave a lecture on 25 August denying the existence of Hinduphobia, arguing it is purely a political device to generate false accusations of violence and prejudice toward Hindus and that those who make complaints due to their concerns are merely doing so to leverage an agenda. I did not know this when I first engaged him on the 24th of August to ask for a reference for a comment he made in a white paper calling ordinary NZ Hindus effectively terrorists.
He has demonised me as a member of what he defines himself as a terror network. He has retweeted and screenshot my reasonable statements to twist their meanings and brand me again. He has instrumentalised other tweets and made statements that link Hindus to Christchurch massacre and he has been doing such things for a very long time.
Imagine using words like Jewish Supremacy, Muslim extremism, Christian Taliban and so forth without being called out for discriminatory and stigmatising language and yet this is the language we are seeing coming out of this ‘activist movement’ and we know where it leads. The same thing goes for the use of Buddhist terrorist or extremist too and yet this is deemed acceptable. Double standards cannot create consistent infrastructure for social justice. In addition, Hindutva has not been conclusively proven to be an extremist ideology and captures within its net, every aspect of ‘Hinduness,’ which is what it means. This term should not be deployed to cast Hindus as terrorists.
SASACs website states 600+ academics signed the following statement:
In the name of Hindutva ideology, the current government of India has instituted discriminatory policies including beef bans, restrictions on religious conversion and interfaith weddings, and the introduction of religious discrimination into India’s citizenship laws. The result has been a horrifying rise in religious and caste-based violence, including hate crimes, lynchings, and rapes directed against Muslims, non-conforming Dalits, Sikhs, Christians, Adivasis and other dissident Hindus. Women of these communities are especially targeted.
These claims are patently untrue. The government does not collect the religion of perpetrators or victims of hate crime. The statistics, and police reports show hate crime in India per capita is significantly lower than most western countries like the US. No data is provided to show how the figures rose or the link between the BJP and those changes however the data is not too high, it is almost absent prior to Modi and, in addition, the figures are far too low to claim anything like hate crime is so high Hindus should be branded terror suspects. Rape rates are well documented in the police report linked above and it is impossible to attribute any rise since Congress as according to Statistica the data is unrealistically low. India is not the rape capital, being about 100 on the list. As for Dalits being raped, here are the actual figures for caste and tribes violence.
There is no reliable evidence in the SASAC website to back the claims of the 643 academics who have sponsored the event with their signatures. I have discussed this in detail with graphics and statistics to answer these questions in my break down of the points and impacts of the narratives in Australian society here. For those who prefer scanning a pdf, this is for you.
As for a rise in terror, the most attacks traditionally occur in Jammu and Kashmir. The data is not mentioned as to figures by year, nor how BJP allegedly causes it to elevate. From the below map at SATP and it is occurring in states not under the BJP.
Terrorism is defined by the Global Terror database as “The threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion or intimidation.” Prime Minister Modi has no such criminal histories although he is continually smeared despite Supreme Court innocence with the Gujarat riots. Tens of thousands of terror attacks have occurred in India since the 1990s. To compare the term of Modi with the previous term of government see charts (2009-2014) with 4147 attacks and (2014-2019) with 5248 attacks. These perpetrators are communists, Naxalites, Islamists, other separatists and there are statistically negligible Hindu suspects- less than 0%. Since Modi terror issues have escalated, but not like is being claimed, considering it isn’t Modi or Hindus perpetrating. I will not drag out the data. Needless to say, it won’t conform to stereotypes.
As to the rise of authoritarianism also speculated in the media, the 2021 Pew study finds that around half of Indians might prefer autocracy, like some other countries do, whereas the other half prefer democracy. No figures on comparisons on freedom of speech or media etc have been issued and it is beyond the scope of this to check every fact. The majority are false until further notice.
Given that the alleged impacts of ‘Supremacism’ are not proven and there is no link between any of the legislation with genocide or exclusion, since the CAA only covers persecuted minorities from Islamist states who are stateless and have been in India already since 2014, the issues are the farmers protest and abrogation. Those are Indian internal affairs. I discuss the impact of these protests and communalism in Australia in my video whilst critically analysing the narratives provided around Dismantling Global Hindutva to demonstrate the dog whistles.
SASAC and other media outlets have repeatedly declared the BJP are proliferating hate materials. No similar case is made, despite exponentially higher hate crimes in the US, somehow linking Biden to alleged WhatsApp group IT cells. Hate crime in the US in 1999 and today, barely differs, however hate crime doesn’t capture prejudice, discrimination and ordinary bias.
SASAC claims BJP IT cells are terror proliferators, populated by upper caste/class Hindus who create content to deliberately incite hate crime. Those crimes it claims are top down, upper caste on lower. However, the report states otherwise even as it tries to forge similar profiling, all without any numbers aside from a cow lynching figure from a website taken down and replaced by a Newslaundry article. In the actual report, as I explain in my talk, are listed at the ‘perpetrator’ end of these alleged WhatsApp hate groups lower castes, OBCs etc and all the other religious identities of India. Despite claiming otherwise, that the violence is committed by BJP ‘Hindutva’ in fact the report says something entirely different – it establishes no link between Brahmins or even Hindus and hate crime but distributes accountability to all kinds of people. It is this smearing of all Hindus, especially “upper castes” as perpetrators that makes this attack on the BJP inclusive of its assumed demographic of support. But even that is flawed.
A 2021 detailed Pew study, disaggregates votes by religion and states further that those of all religions with a strong sense of Indian identity, and nationalism, combined with strong religious values, are most positive toward diversity. And that is the majority. Not, as SASAC and the Supremacy Scares have us all believe, only upper caste Hindus.
In fact, the Hindutva Field Manual, as my critique shows, uses a ‘Wired’ article to ‘prove’ the BJP are terrorists. There are no links to the Global Terror Database or South Asia Portal where it shows Hindus are alleged to have committed terror or hate crimes (some of which are captured there) at around 0.0016% of the time in 30 years of data to date.
The Pew study on India recently discredited much of the claims of the letter. The SASAC website grossly misrepresents the religious dynamics of India and fosters discontent and communalism which is deadly. On caste it states:
Regardless of whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist or Jain, Indians universally identify with a caste. Members of lower caste groups historically have faced discrimination and unequal economic opportunities, but the survey finds that most people – including most members of lower castes – say there is not a lot of caste discrimination in India.
The Indian Constitution prohibits caste-based discrimination, including untouchability, and in recent decades the government has enacted economic advancement policies like reserved seats in universities and government jobs for members of some lower-caste communities.
For example, most religions prefer to remain separate, although they almost universally support religious freedom and feel India provides it. Most people believe in endogamy and not only Hindus. Forced marriage and conversion equate to rape, sometimes child abduction, and can include the kidnapping of innocent girls. I refer the scholars to this report and ask them to weigh up the claims to the evidence and whether there can be a link to so-called ‘Hindu Supremacy’ and whether it is appropriate to do so given the extensive violence, terror and communalisation which has been ongoing in India regardless of who is in power. The terms Hindu are stigmatising too based on flawed stereotypes.
This demonstrates partly, and my video more clearly, the prejudice and bias directed toward Hindus for calling out dog whistles re “Hindu Supremacy”. The Dismantling Global Hindutva conference has routinely criticised elements of Hindu culture which are inseparable from the overall people, Brahmins and upper castes are demonised and there are fabricated threats, intimidation, libel and slander coming from the SASAC community of all Hindus who disagree with them as BJP supporters online.
The letter in support signed by academics further argues that there has been a targeted attack on the speakers and organisers, however this is not evidenced either. There is anger about this injustice, the responses of Hindus are only, to our knowledge, by legal means, while speaking up to ivory tower elites to defend their faith from attacks. This is being portrayed as ‘Trolls belonging to extremist groups have openly threatened violence against speakers and their families. We unilaterally condemn all such efforts to intimidate and harass individuals.’ There is no evidence of violent threats provided despite over 900K letters and over 10,000 signatures on the petition, one would expect if so, many extremists were at the scholar’s throats we would see more than a few mean tweets.
Hindus are constructed by the materials on SASAC and in the media, as well as by Professor Dutta in his talk on ‘Interrogating the narrative of Hinduphobia’ as a cultural identity and activity to surveil, to criminalise and to associate with other forms of radical ideology, like ethno-nationalist white supremacy. What ethno-nationalist means is a clear attempt to construct alignment to white supremacism like that of Brenton Tarrant.
We are seeing twitter comments, digital petitions and automated emails being declared not ‘dissent’ but the ‘muzzling of academic freedom.’ The level of privilege for those speaking on terrorism portrays a distinct lack of knowledge as to how fortunate they are to have the freedom to engage a twitter war, when genuine extremism goes by them unchecked and pointing that out, as in my case, is branded by Professor Dutta as a sign I am myself an extremist. The scholars can block, mute and report accounts and yet they are left open in order to gather evidence to equate frustrations with the Taliban or ISIS as “Islamophobic”. Yet a double standard applies when it’s their “Academic Freedom” to “critique” like that is actually being done. I see no sign of that.
Autogenerated form letters are used by many Non-Government Organisations as a legitimate form of protest. In Kashmir, children pelt stones and raise ISIS flags at the paramilitary and called protesters by this activist circle. Separatists with machine guns are celebrated as martyrs by the Stand with Kashmir group and yet Hindus are being portrayed as extremists for Gmail accounts like asasdasdasd and your father, your mother sending crude messages to Audrey Truschke.
This is the level of ‘hate’ and ‘violence’ called terrorism by SASAC whilst Kashmir Pandit ethnic cleansing never happened. The ideology obscures genuine perpetrators, has one set of rules for itself and for others another. The narrative is dealt with in more detail in my video response. US Congress in 1999 said:
The Pandits, who are the Hindu community of Kashmir, have an ancient and a proud culture. Their roots in the Kashmir Valley run deep. The Pandits have been amongst the most afflicted victims of the Pakistani-supported campaign of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Virtually the entire population of 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been forced to leave their ancestral homes and property. Threatened with violence and intimidation, they have been turned into refugees in their own country.
Yet SASAC say this isn’t Hinduphobia and does not recognise Pandits as minorities. This is the definition of Hinduphobia at Hindutva Harassment Field Guide Glossary:
A recently coined term popularized by far-right groups to claim systematic and targeted discrimination against Hindus for being Hindu. Scholars of South Asia overall consider the term “Hinduphobia” inappropriate for several reasons. It is deployed to stifle academic inquiry into Hinduism as well as to tamp down critiques of the Indian state, Hindu nationalist positions, Islamophobia, and casteism. “Hinduphobia” rests on the false notion that Hindus have faced systematic oppression throughout history.
No matter how many times these scholars are corrected, that Hinduphobia was coined by Sir Edward Sullivan in 1866, they ignore it.
Every day I see Hinduphobia in some form and am sent messages that convey hatred toward Hindus, especially Kashmir Pandits or those who speak to their ethnic cleansing. Those conversations for me, attempting to correct these scholars with watertight proof, have often ended with being silenced, ignored, accused of having ties to some supremacist regime lead by the Modi government, of being racist toward Pakistanis for critiquing the role of Pakistan State sponsored terrorism. I am racially and religiously vilified for speaking up and being both white and Hindu and not only by those who hate Modi. This is a wide problem. I have documented mine and others experiences and am presently establishing a campaign to expose this hateful content, often sent to victims by DM.
Issues of personal safety and academic slander
Over the past few days, there has been an ISIS inspired attack in New Zealand. I was held up as a terrorist by association for writing one tweet (below) and note that I tagged the Professor and Massey University as courtesy so they could reply. No such academic integrity from Professor Dutta, the perpetrator, who screenshot it then blocked me to privately call me a far right Hindutva just for questioning the morality of blaming the wrong community, innocent NZ Hindus for terrorism. He also screenshot a comment in reply on my wall from a survivor of four generations of terrorism sharing their feelings after the ISIS attack. This material was also posted in a NZ Facebook group to humiliate and shame this victim as a bigot for mentioning their pain.
I am frequently contacted by victims of terrorism who are denied a voice for speaking and shut down as Islamophobic for simply stating their experience with Islamist extremists. I have close contacts who have been likewise victimised by Maoist and Communist terrorism in Bengali, Nepali, Indian and Tibetan regions. To call me an extremist is highly offensive as I do not see any other non-Indian academic ever speaking up for the genuine minorities and victims of genuine terror. Instead, they smokescreen and whitewash the violence and turn the perpetrators and victims around to blame the Indian State, as if all Hindus are inseparable everywhere in the world and thus should be reduced to membership of a political party whether they voted for it, are connected to it, or not. And I am not. I have maintained strict academic independence throughout my studies however this conference has spurred me to stand up for myself and others being smeared and denied a voice.
The most offensive material of Professor Dutta is the insinuation that the Christchurch massacre is linked to Hinduism in India by making arbitrary links and threats to write ‘white papers’ for Parliament on the topic. His argument follows an article he wrote where the Christchurch attack was tacitly blamed on Hindus in diaspora due to their ‘Islamophobia’.
It’s a catch 22. Just being Hindu is enough to be blamed for terror acts that in fact ISIS or white supremacism are accountable for. It is doubly offensive given that Hindus experience both Islamophobia and Hinduphobia, as well as the anti-immigrant sentiment fostered by these ‘activist’ scholars and the brunt of anti-Asian white supremacist sentiment.
The linked article in the tweet above by Professor Dutta states among other offensive language:
The Islamophobia that is rampant in India prompts a cross-section of Hindutva forces to celebrate the attacks on the mosques in Christchurch.
For these Hindutva forces, the attack on the mosques is the appropriate and necessary response to the manufactured thread of Islamic terror.
Heuristically driven and devoid of evidence, these jubilations of the attack on the Muslims entirely miss out that the manifesto called for removing all coloured people (including Indians of all faiths) from what the terrorist articulation framed as White lands (of course ignoring the claims to land in New Zealand held by indigenous Māori). People of colour bear the burden of racisms that generate from White supremacy; Muslims bear this burden as attacks on their ethnicity as well amplified by the demonization of their faith.
The celebration of violence by Hindutva terror, although different in its framing and targeting of the other from the White supremacist terror, is a replica of White supremacist terror in its strategic deployment of violence to target Muslim minorities. Since 2015, at least 44 Muslims have been killed in India by cow vigilantes, driven by the narrative of civilizational threat.
The double standards are beyond all academic ethics and warrant an official response however as per my talk, which critically examines the narrative of Professor Dutta in his 24 August talk at CARE on Facebook, his view is that Hinduphobia is merely a tool of Supremacists to shut down critique of Hindutva and he denies that even the Bangladesh genocide was anything more than a ‘language’ dispute, nothing to do with persecution of Hindus. The talk states that those who complain of Hinduphobia through their universities are using safety mechanisms to victimise their professors due to their inability to swallow ‘critique’ of Hindu extremists.
The behaviour of this Professor has only escalated and I am taking this stance because I want to open up a #MeToo space for academics and others experiencing Hinduphobic religious prejudice and persecution who would be shouted down or silenced for taking it to the authorities.
The system is so flawed that if you sink you are a witch and if you float, you are a witch. Under the Hindutva Harassment Field Manual, just using the word Hinduphobia in defence of your human and legal rights, makes you a radical extremist and terrorist. At Massey University CARE institute if you so much as dare to ask for a reference you will be labelled as a ‘Hindutva’ terrorist and then accused, after an ISIS attack of being instrumental in fostering the Islamophobia that causes it. You will be accused of partaking, by association, in the Christchurch massacre too since the Professor is public about his mistaken beliefs and cannot distinguish between academic integrity and blatant bigotry. Massey University is listed as a Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference co-sponsor. So are many others. Several universities and many scholars in Australia, the UK, and Europe seem to have no concept of the consequences for the genuine radical ideology for which they have signed up.
The narrative and communicative patterns of Professor Dutta are a case study in how the ideology of the SASAC ‘field manual’ operates to silence, to deny and to falsely portray Hindus as liars about their persecution, as bullies, as incapable of reason, as automatons under the control of Modi, as violent. The claim is that there is an ‘infrastructure of hatred’ with systemic links to that famous trope of ‘Saffron Terror’ they call ‘Hindu Supremacy’ or ‘Far-right Hindu extremism’ and ‘Hindutva.’ Not only that but this is projected as pervading the ordinary practices and expressions of Hinduism, that it is happening here in Australia, in New Zealand, in America and there are supporters from all over the world. It is a sign, not of any form of genuine threat, but that the academic institutions of America do not know or care what they have signed up for, which is an indictment on their academic credibility and ethical standards. They ignore and condemn those who dare to think for themselves according to the faulty apparatus of the SASAC field manual. And that is by definition, institutionalised Hinduphobia.
I am concerned about the behaviour because there is a direct relationship between negative stereotyping of groups, hate speech and hate crime. Universities have a responsibility to be inclusive and not to arbitrarily stereotype, demonise, vilify or alienate any member of our community especially concerning terrorism, on religious grounds.
I have made a critical analysis of matters here in the Australian context. Regarding the Dismantling Global Hindutva there are three key issues. One is denial of Hinduphobia as a legitimate term and framework for Hindu social justice. The website definition negates historic and present bias prejudice, persecution, past genocides, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Regardless of the parameters set by SASAC, that they say it is not evident in India or the US ‘in the modern era,’ this is due to a very narrow definition of what Hinduphobia is that is inconsistent with any modern mechanism for correlating ethno-religious prejudices. The rejection of the word Hinduphobia is a rejection of its history as a concept and it diminishes, deliberately, any capacity to speak to any form of Hindu bias or prejudice even outside SASACs narrow criteria by erasing the term entirely.
Further pressure is applied on those who do speak to Hinduphobia by the assumption there is an association of the word use and the RSS, which is a conspiracy theory without any credible evidence. Because those who speak are deemed ‘bhakts’ by these activist scholars at first instance, and due to the precedent of negating the term, there is no recourse for anyone to discuss it with them and thus, if you speak you are guilty no matter what is said. This was my experience with Professor Dutta.
In February 2020, I published my study, which shows Hinduphobia was coined by Sir Edward Sullivan in 1866 and not by Rajiv Malhotra as was thought. Yet neither Malhotra nor SASAC will update this record and as academics who seek to define the term, it is unprofessional to have not first done their research. The term was recently entered into the Oxford dictionary partly due to my study debunking this myth. It means: ‘ a dislike of, or prejudice against Hindus and Hinduism’ and its origins are late 19th century.
The organisation behind ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’, likely the person who wrote the Hindutva Harassment Field Manual (SASAC), say Hinduphobia was recently coined by Hindutva nationalists and that it is a divisive term deployed only to ‘silence’ critique of Hindutva ideology. What actually is Hindutva according to SASAC has little to do with the official records or Savarkar’s Hindutva. Instead, the SASAC site sends us to a ‘think tank’ where the RSS and a number of other well-known identities are profiled by a hidden matrix for Islamophobic sentiment, including the Australian PM. What is exactly being cast as ideological, cultural, religious or personal breaches all boundaries creating a melting pot for a number of far-left and far right extremist positions. For example, the position that using terms like Islamist for a terror group, which is supported by those who protested Macron’s use of this term after Samuel Paty, is offensive to Muslims. Yet Hindu Supremacist, far right Hindu extremist and so forth as Australian Greens David Shoebridge also uses, cannot be Hinduphobic because that doesn’t exist.
The profiling and matrix by which Hindus are accused as a whole of being part of an ‘infrastructure of hate’ is deeply flawed, reductionist and stereotypes Hindus as violent extremists and terrorists. The dispute, as my talk demonstrates with evidence, is categorically about the BJP and its perceived supporters who are vilified and demonised as if defending their rights must depend upon vote choices. Hindus who defend themselves against prejudice and bias are being profiled as BJP supporters, “sanghis” or “bhakts.” 60% of Indians did not vote for either major party and 51% of Hindus did not vote BJP, 52% of Buddhists did not vote Congress or BJP either. It is simply a Hinduphobic stereotype. This is like blaming all Muslims for what Imran Khan does, or all Jews for Naftali Bennet of Benjamin Netanyahu. Just as these are Islamophobic and anti-Semitic, so too is it Hinduphobic to caste all Hindus who critique the ideology of SASAC as secret agents of the BJP or trolls.
In the same way, an email protest and a petition are deemed ‘targeted harassment’ exactly as per the ‘Hindutva playbook’ to ‘muzzle critique of extremism.’ Aside from the fact this is not how genuine extremists behave, and the tacit admission that they are not at genuine risk of their safety as blocking and reporting a possible on twitter, the argument seeks to cut down dissent whilst claiming itself a victim. Evidence is then captured to support the pre-crime matrix deliberately designed to dismantle any claims to Hinduphobia. Due to this mechanism of denial, erasure and demonisation of Hindus it is no more progressive than the Malleus Malleficarum. Further, as my talk again evidences the strong correlation between the erasure of Indian indigeneity and the projects of British colonialists in cultural genocide of First Nations peoples around the world is clear. Hindus, the last cohesive remaining group of pluralistic indigenous traditions are being demonised again for being heathen, pagan and kaffir.
I went to the CARE website to find out more about the organisation. On the website it states:
CARE is a global hub for communication research that uses participatory and culture-cantered methodologies to develop community-driven communication solutions.
It was a bad turn to see the vilification of Hindu youth on the flyer if this was supposed to be ‘culture-centred.’ This organisation is an international group:
At Massey University, Prof. Mohan Dutta looks forward to building the work of CARE in the areas of indigenous health, health and migration, and poverty.
I was interested to see a ‘white paper’ published 11 May 2021 titled, Cultural Hindutva and Islamophobia. I noticed an error of fact in this document. It says:
This cultivation of pride in the Hindu identity is deeply intertwined with the seeding and circulation of Islamophobia through pedagogy . Swami Chinmayananda, key architect of the Chinmaya Mission, played a key role alongside Golwalkar in the formation of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)ix. The VHP is a terrorist organization that has been directly linked to the deployment of violence.
In May 2021, there was a political scandal due to the anti-Hindu statements of one Greens MP. He was roundly condemned by a motion in Parliament. This context is vital to understanding how culturally unacceptable and inappropriate the activities of Prof Dutta are. I was shocked to see the evidence for the claim that VHP are terrorists – in a Massey University endorsed paper – 2008 opinion piece from a Mumbai charity journal with academic credibility issues. Titled ‘Confronting the Reality of Hindutva Terrorism’ it is a long, stream of consciousness conspiracy theory about alleged ‘Hindutva Terrorist Networks’ making wide smears and generalisations about Hindus as well as the obvious targets, the RSS, BJP and VHP, without evidence.
It identifies ‘saffron terrorists’ as ‘sadhus, sadhvis, and mahants affiliated to parivar groupings and akharas,’ ‘some other swamis.’ Those titles belong to renunciate yogis. It is the equivalent of saying that ‘priests, nuns, monks and imams’ are terrorists. The article criticises ‘all Muslims may not be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,’ whilst doing the exact same thing to Hindus. The argument is not supported by the Global Terror Database, and the article is highly communalised, deadly propaganda.
The second reference is another 2008 article from the same publication titled Hindutva’s fury against Christians in Orissa. The article discusses the assassination of VHP leader, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four others by Maoists. The riots were due to the kind of conspiracy theories hatched in the above article and were condemned by US Congress. This is clearly not an issue of VHP being Islamophobic for which Prof Mohan Dutt has leveraged it. The accusation in the referenced article is they are accountable for reactions against Christians for the assassination of their leader. According to reports, the Supreme Court are reviewing and yet to issue a verdict on the incidents although past reports cast doubts on Hinduphobic narratives.
Due to these claims, Prof Mohan Dutta urges Hindus in New Zealand be ‘closely examined and interrogated’ for their ‘funding of cultural performances that are connected to the ideology of Hindutva,’ which would include Hindu ‘arts and cultural organisations’ in ‘Aotearoa.’ Without indicating for what precisely aside from loose claims, Hindus should be profiled and placed under suspicion of terrorism. This attitude of ‘scrutinising Hindus’ is evidenced in his denigrating tweets where he has repeatedly asked my university investigate me on his allegation that I am affiliated with alleged terror organisations and/or their ideology. This is ridiculous because my research on Hinduphobia has publicly criticised the academic authority of Hindutva, like Rajiv Malhotra over the term Hinduphobia, and I have a video of myself criticising the Hindus on Campus group in the US. We are not related.
Professor Dutta’s open hostility toward me and demonisation for daring to question his ‘academic authority’ is reminiscent of the excessive profiling, surveillance and security targeting of Muslims after 9/11 and which was deemed to be racist, religiously prejudiced and implicitly accusatory of affiliation or conspiracy with Islamist terror groups. Professor Datta however takes it one step further and actually published material that Chinmaya Mission and this VHP group ‘are terrorists’ and therefore all arts and cultural ‘performances’ should be scrutinised for ‘funding’ and by extension, tacit proliferation of extremist ideology. Not only that, his reference for the claim, which I note Massey University have endorsed by putting their name on the publication, takes it exponentially further by broadening it to any yogi. I am myself an initiate and lifelong yoga teacher. It is offensive to anyone who practices yoga, which makes up about 1:10 people in the west and there are about 1:6 human beings on the planet who are Hindus.
Having read this short document, I returned to the twitter post of Prof. Mohan Dutt seeking clarification of his source for the terrorism and hate crime claims of the VHP. I did not employ any abusive language although Professor Dutta was extremely manipulative, psychologically violent and intimidating toward me likely due to his perception of my religion and political beliefs. Feminists call the below dynamic of coercive control DARVO- Deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender. It is often used by perpetrators when they are held to account. I have not made any comment that was personal or offensive and repeatedly affirmed the facts, asking him to cease and desist the harassment which he ignored.
I just read the white paper, Hindutva and Islamophobia where the Chinmaya Mission is called the hub of Hindutva and accused of hate crimes against muslims. If that is correct, @MasseyUni should be able to provide evidence to other scholars. I did not see any and it is disturbing.
— Sarah L Gates (@SarahLGates1) August 24, 2021
You clearly don't have the skillset to read the key arguments of a paper, producing the arguments that suit you. @EdithCowanUni should closely look at folks that use its branding. @drsapna @azad_richa @oscar4romero
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) August 24, 2021
[ReTweet with my first tweet onto his own wall]
The infrastructure of Hindutva is held up by people attached to Universities that misread arguments to justify the narrative infrastructure of Hindutva. To silence voices that interrogate Hindutva, they then tag universities. @EdithCowanUni what is your position on this behavior? https://t.co/GbLvLnCWly
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) August 24, 2021
You go for ad hominem at first call and can't provide evidence then criticise my scholarship, bringing in my university? I think it's @MasseyUni who should be either removing the white paper or evidencing hate crime or they might need to issue a public apology to Chinmaya Mission
— Sarah L Gates (@SarahLGates1) August 24, 2021
You clearly have set up a false narrative, rather than actually reading the arguments in the paper. You tag my university based on a rhetorical fallacy. @EdithCowanUni should look at this behavior because it is larger pattern of an infrastructure of hate and online bullying.
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) August 24, 2021
Asking you, as a scholar for evidence that Chinmaya are accountable for hate crimes is not bullying. Your white paper either needs references or you can prove it now.
— Sarah L Gates (@SarahLGates1) August 24, 2021
Additional Tweets on the same theme
Predictably enough, far-right group Action Zealandia is already trying to use today's terror attack to promote their views. Won't share link but their telegram acct has called for "immediate deportation," "stripping of residency from these hostile peoples," ref'ing to Muslims
— Emanuel Stoakes (@EmanuelStoakes) September 3, 2021
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) September 3, 2021
Hindutva has long linkages with the white supremacists. An ideology that is based on Islamophobia
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) September 3, 2021
No, smearing Hindus as terrorists is exactly the same as doing it to Muslims or blaming Jewish people for the Israeli state. Get it right. It cuts both ways.
— Sarah L Gates (@SarahLGates1) September 3, 2021
Hindutva is a pernicious ideology that is built on islamophobia. The work of CARE has been targeted by Islamophobes. Worse, the terrorist attack is being used to stoke Islamophobia. Colleagues in Australia, please report this account Sarah Gates to e-safety. #DismantleHate pic.twitter.com/7QE975BNkK
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) September 4, 2021
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) September 4, 2021
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) September 4, 2021
Please tag other colleagues. Zero tolerance for hate.
— Mohan J Dutta (@mjdutt) September 4, 2021
Despite Professor Dutta claiming he ‘engaged’ with me, this is untrue. I asked him for evidence for his very serious allegations and he attacked me personally. He criticised my ability to read, to think, to understand his argument instead of providing the requested reference. Being a woman, this is common. It is a classic pattern of psychological violence. However, it is problematic that a man in a position of power and authority in the academy has misrepresented my comments and reduced them in entirety to ‘constructing narratives,’ when I had simply asked for references and cited what he had stated in his ‘white paper.’ He bolstered that power imbalance by tagging strangers and my own university from which I am a graduate, whilst simultaneously complaining to them that I had tagged his university where he is in fact employed and to whom he is accountable as Massey University logo is on the white paper. He claimed then, that tagging a university constitutes ‘Hindutva’ bullying, silencing and he asked for ECU’s ‘position’ on my alleged behaviour by repeatedly tagging ECU, proving himself a ‘Hindutva bully’ by his own logic.
This clearly comprises psychological violence, threats to have me penalised for daring to question his authority, and for drawing his academic integrity to the attention of his employer and publisher. Professor Dutta’s attempts were to silence me and he repeatedly turns the perpetrator and victim around to generate a false narrative that I have in fact bullied him. All the while accusing me of creating false narratives. It is a disturbing pattern.
That he has evidently assumed my political or religious beliefs for merely asking a legitimate question is a form of vicarious discrimination. At the point he first responded, he had never come across me. I note my academia.edu profile had significant traffic after the incident on twitter from Massey and Auckland University. That he has lied about me to humiliate me publicly, and deployed those perceived characteristics to intimidate me, makes this a breach of the New Zealand Netsafe terms of communication, and prejudice on the basis of my perceived religion given I have a Hindu deity as my avatar. I therefore request that all scholars and Universities who are engaging in this conference proceedings take note of my experience and take the protest and dissent against this historically archaic program seriously. Students should not be treated by Professors in this denigrating manner, or by anyone, least of all just for asking for a reference to his own ‘behaviour’ of smearing innocent people with terrorism.
Sincerely Sarah L Gates (Malininath)