Hindudvesha, more popularly known by its cognate term, Hinduphobia, refers to a pervasive discourse that denigrates Hindu Dharma by relentlessly demonizing it. Its accusatory rhetoric posits that there is something fundamentally wrong, evil, and demonic about Hindu Dharma and its followers. This discourse is generated in academia, infiltrates educational curricula, and is carried forward by the global media, so much so that it dominates the public square today. Linking Hinduism with backwardness and primitivity, hierarchy, and oppression, this discourse freezes Hindu Dharma in time as obsolete and irrelevant and continues to produce a form of incontestable “received knowledge” about the Hindus. The narrative structure of Hindudvesha, which projects the Western culture as axiomatically superior, can be traced back to the Christian theological understanding of ‘heathen’ religions as inherently false and advanced by generations of Western social scientists and their numerous native collaborators, i.e., ‘intellectual sepoys’ – both in India and abroad.
While the harsh racial and religious overtones of the colonial period have softened somewhat in the post-colonial era, the metamorphism is only superficial. A variety of Western intellectual frameworks of thought is being brought to bear on a mission that has largely remained the same, i.e., complete ethnocide of the Hindu society and absorption of its essence into other, preferably Abrahamic or Secular traditions. In recent times, Hindudvesha has taken on a more visible and vocal Hinduphobic form. The full spectrum of anti-Hindu behavior now ranges from the desecration of Hindu sacred sites, aggressive and coercive proselytization of Hindu populations, calls for destroying Hinduism in the guise of Dismantling Global Hindutva, and targeted violence against individuals and institutions.
Unfortunately, a large cross-section of the Hindu society remains unaware and/or apathetic to the clear and present danger that this anti-Hindu sentiment poses to their physical and material well-being, making it challenging to engage the Hindu society in developing effective responses to this threat. Hindus over the centuries have learned to turn a blind eye towards the gathering storms until danger visits their doorstep and focus their energies on more immediate concerns.
The purpose of this conference was to raise the awareness of the global Hindu society about the growing threat to the Hindu culture and civilization from the rising tide of Hindudvesha around the world. In addition, it hoped to engage the intellectual community in studying this phenomenon and developing an effective narrative and capacity to counter it. During this one-day conference, a number of eminent speakers and panelists discussed the historical roots of Hindudvesha, its transformation in contemporary times, and how it manifests itself to the detriment of the global Hindu community.
Opening Address: Dr. Jai Bansal, VP of Education – VHP America
Sh. Kapil Khanna, President, VHP Delhi
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh
Panel 1 – Hindudvesha in Historical & Contemporary Context
Sh. Rahul Kaushik, Social Media Expert
Prof. Avnijesh Awasthi, Delhi University
Prof. Himanshu Roy, Delhi University
Sh. Atul Mishra, Founder- TFI Global Media
Panel 2 – Developing Counter-Narrative: Role of Academics
Sh. Shubhendu Anand, Advocate, Supreme Court
Prof. Madhu Kishwar, Founder – Manushi, Chair – Indian Council of Social Science Research
Sh. Vikramjeet Banerjee, Additional Solicitor General of India, Supreme Court
Ms. Nupur Sharma, Editor Op-India
Sh. Pradeep Bhandari, Psephologist, Founder – Jan Ki Baat
Ms. Richa Gautam, Research Scholar in Indigenous Ethnography
Padma Bhushan Prof. Kapil Kapoor, Former Director – IIAS
Dr. Mahesh Chandra Sharma, Editor – Manthan
Prof. Rajkumar Bhatia, Professor- University of Delhi
Sh. Sankrant Sanu, Founder CEO, Garuda Prakashan
Ms. Adhishree Mittal representing KK Mittal Foundation & Uttamjan Family Trust
Closing Remarks: Dr. Jai Bansal, VP of Education – ViHP America
Sponsors and Organizers
World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) is the oldest not-for-profit Hindu organization in the United States of America. Established in 1970 with the vision to achieve “a dynamic, vibrant Hindu Society inspired by the eternal values of Dharma and the lofty ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” it runs numerous programs, including education for youth to ensure inter-generational continuity of the eternal Hindu values, advocacy initiatives to protect the interests of Hindu Americans, dispel misconceptions about Hindu Dharma in the West, and humanitarian programs to help society at large.
Among its many activities is Hindudvesha.Org, an initiative it runs jointly with Dharma Civilization Foundation (DCF), also a US-based nonprofit Hindu organization. Hindudvesha.Org aims to explore and expose the sustained and pervasive denigrating narrative about Hindu Dharma and Hindu society (also known as Hinduphobia) through research, analysis, and education.
Hindu University of America (HUA) was established in 1989 to provide students with a unique academic environment to explore the knowledge systems rooted in and emerging from Vedic thought, i.e., the philosophies, traditions, culture, and civilization that has come to be called Hinduism in the popular imagination.
Kashi Foundation aims to promote and propagate the Culture, Knowledge, Tourism, and Heritage of the oldest living city in the World, Kashi. It works with academicians, researchers, thinkers, subject matter experts, activists, and policymakers for a multi-dimensional reflection of the Kashi region. Since 2013, KF (Previously Kashi Study Circle) has been engaged in public discourse on issues related to the glorious past and current situation of the city.
Uttamjan Family Trust was started by Prof. K.K. Mittal. Named after his parents, Sh. Janakidas Mittal and Smt. Uttami Devi, this trust aims to preserve and promote Hinduism in its widest form, including Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism as the tradition of Hindu nationalism, and promote Prof. Mittal’s thoughts on the same. The foundation is managed by his family, preserving his memories, his works, and his relations with various organizations. The foundation primarily focuses on promoting the scholarly works of people working in the same area of study – academically as well as socially.