US Conference on Hindu Nationalism marred by death threats to participants

Hyderabad:  A scholastic conference in the US based on Hindu nationalism in  India has been marred by threats to its participants from ultra nationalists in India, who denounce the conference for being “anti-Hindu”.

The conference titled “Dismantling Global Hindutva” is said to be sponsored by over 53 universities in the US. The theme of the conference has led to an uprising among the far right groups in India, as the organizers have been inundated with several emails consisting of death threats to participants.

The conference, which is reportedly an online event, is scheduled to commence on September 10, intends to bring together intellectuals to deliberate on Hindutva, known otherwise as a right wing maneuver which promotes the idea of India being a Hindu nation, rather than a secular state.

The Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh, a US based sister branch of India’s SwayamSevak Sangh has sent emails to all the Universities involved in the conference, expressing their concerns regarding the same. 

 The HSS alleged that the event could  escalate anti- Hindu sentiments , and push Hindu phobia forward in the West against the minority Hindu population of the region. 

The far right groups backed by the ruling BJP have pushed the agenda with ease over the past 7 years in India. This is a major reason why most of the country’s 200 million Muslims have faced immense discrimination and bore the brunt of unlawful activities carried out by Hindu nationalist groups such as the Rashtriya Swayam  Sevak Sangh  and its tributaries in several parts of India.

The Guardian reports that a number of speakers participating in the event have faced threats from the ultra nationalist groups, who’ve targeted their family members.   Meena Kandsamy, a participant, said that her children’s pictures were posted online with captions threatening to kill them.

Similarly, other scholars who were scheduled to participate in the conference, have been forced to pull out as they fear the consequences of the conference back in India. 

  A number of them expressed fears of being banned from entering into India or being arrested upon arrival, some were wary of their families being targeted as a means of retaliation from the  right wing extremists.