In a world that is swerving under trepidation and sensitivities, individuals, think tanks, and organisations are trying to shed light and enlighten on key topics to create a better understanding of the issues on hand. An international academic conference on Hindutva and Hinduphobia has recently been organised by India Knowledge Consortium (INK) during which experts on the history and religious studies verbalised on campaigns that create misgivings about Hindu culture…writes Ragasudha Vinjamuri
With an objective of resolving issues affecting Hindus worldwide, the conference organised by INK on Hinduphobia brought together well-known and widely respected scholars Dr. Vikram Sampath, Prof. Makarand Paranjpe, and Prof. Lavanya Vemsani.
After Prof. Sunil Poshakwale rendered a brief welcome, the first session had acclaimed author and historian Dr. Vikram Sampath elucidating on the Hindu principles of universal acceptance of all faiths and beliefs. The second session was moderated by Dr. T Jagannadha Pawan, during which novelist, poet, and literary critic Prof. Makarand Paranjpe presented his inputs in three parts- What is Hinduphobia and whether it is a right term, Causes and Reasons for Hinduphobia and, the Responses. He said “Without language, we cannot have deep cognition. Our civilisation is based on linguistic mastery. Resources should be put to improve the linguistic skills to enable reading of historical texts in different languages to educate the younger generation”. Nanotechnologist Dr. Pravin Jagdale hosted the third session during which Prof. Lavanya Vemsani spoke.
Examining the phenomenon of projecting Hindutva in a negative light by academia in the West, double doctorate holder, award-winning scholar and Professor of History at Shawnee State University Prof Lavanya focused on two aspects of Hinduphobia. Basic frameworks and knowledge-building and Public repercussions. She explained how this includes alienating Indians from their Indian roots, vilifying their practices, and isolating them. She added “Vilifying and peddling false narratives about India and Hinduism does not stop with academia. It has become fashionable to talk about Hindu extremism while in reality there is no Hindu violence anywhere in the world”.
More than 2500 people from about 50 countries have joined the three-hour conference and actively engaged in Q and A organised by INK.
INK is a global organisation of academics who are interested in research about India. Significant evidence has been offered by eastern and western scholars about the positive contributions of Hindu philosophy. The platform offers an opportunity to share research, opinions, and discussion on India related matters by bringing together a cohesive group of like-minded academicians. INK aims to promote scholarship on India based on facts and highlights India’s role in the global community of nations.