Hinduphobia- US State sponsored activity

(Anonymous-from Pennsylvania, US)

Hinduphobia is not a new phenomenon, it has been happening for centuries. Today, America’s academic institutions have become hate merchants who act with complete impunity to advance their ideologically subversive agenda. Although in 2023, the Georgia state assembly took cognizance of this hate crime and passed a resolution against Hinduphobia, becoming the first US state to pass such a law.

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The Tree of Life shooting threatened the safety not only of the Jewish community living in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, but across America. Catholicism, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Taoism or any of the 20 religions practiced in the United States are familiar with the idea that somewhere in the country there is someone who hates everything they stand for and wishes them harm. it’s an unfortunate truth of American life that we’ve had to get used to.

On March 27, 2023, lawmakers in the Georgia Assembly passed a resolution condemning Hinduphobia and anti-Hindu bigotry. It is the first American state to take such measures against Hinduphobia. Many find it difficult to understand why such actions must be taken at all. After all, while Muslim and Jewish communities seem to face discriminatory violence on a daily basis, the struggle of Hindus pales in comparison. But the reality of Hindu struggle and submission is much more nuanced than simple misunderstandings and jokes at our expense.

While the measures taken to condemn anti-Hindu bigotry seem unnecessary, the resolution itself will change Hindu life in America as we know it; or at least it starts. Religious freedom and, conversely, religious intolerance have had a long history in America, a tumultuous relationship with Americans that continues to this day. To address why religious discrimination, namely Hinduphobia, is fundamentally harmful to American life, one must first discuss why it does not seem so fatal in the first place. Hinduphobia is not something uniquely American; In fact, Hinduphobia was nurtured and nurtured in the Indian subcontinent, where most Hindus come from.

Physical violence against Hindu communities in India is quite common, with attacks on several continents in Bangladesh and Pakistan leading to the Kashmiri Hindu genocide in the early 1990s. However, America’s Hinduphobia is much more subtle than India’s, and in some ways much more dangerous. American higher education, especially the Hinduism that surrounds it, is the biggest proponent of Hinduphobia in this country, and Hinduism professors like Audrey Truschke and Wendy Doniger actively denounce Hinduism in their classrooms. Hinduphobia manifests itself not only as a passing misunderstanding, but as fatal propaganda. Truschke himself compared one of the most revered Hindu bhagwans, Bhagwan Ram, to “a misogynist, a misogynist. In addition, Doinger compared Hinduism with Nazism and credited the Greek invaders for the achievements of Hinduism. Such shameless slander of the Hindu faith and Hindus is a source of negative views of Hinduism in American society – precisely because such laws are infinitely important. While first-generation Hindus in India face a great deal of discrimination, much of it directly affects second-generation Hindu-Americans.

I am a Hindu-American attending high school in Pennsylvania. For the most basic levels of social studies, there is a cross-district curriculum endorsed by board members and teachers alike—you can never argue with a source as lauded as a high school textbook, right? At least one student taught me in class about the inequality of Hinduism, the obsessive devotion to infinite gods, the hierarchical caste system that has pervaded Hindu society for centuries. I had seen the tutorial before because I knew it was wrong. My social studies teacher told me that I was actually wrong. No one else seemed to care as much as I did, and they had no reason to—what Hindus did or didn’t do affected their lives. And so I stopped caring so much. I then expressed my doubts about the education I received to another respected teacher of mine, who is also a professor of history. I told him all the horrible things my teacher said about my religion, that Hinduism is an ideology based on subjugation and inequality, and he innocently replied, “Isn’t it?.

I think that’s when I finally understood. Maybe the people who repeated the ideas taught in the textbook and the students who absorbed the information like a sponge mattered so little, but throughout my life, every time I try to defend and prove my religion, there is nothing else. . no doubt that Hinduism does not support discrimination, that we were taught like our Christian brothers and sisters to “love your neighbor as yourself”, that inequality is what we want to destroy in our society and in ourselves. it was never the basis of any Hinduism. Although I always get the “right? -typical response.

It is for this reason that resolutions like the one passed by the Georgia General Assembly are essential to preserve the Hindu way of life and protect all its practitioners from gross misinformation that labels Hinduism as barbaric. Hinduphobia is a problem that will only get worse, especially as institutions continue to promote monolithic understandings of Hinduism and pass them off as fact. The Georgia resolution is the first step towards the religious prosperity of American Hindus; only the remaining 49 states remain to take this walk with us.

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