If the answer is YES to one or more of the questions below,
then it’s time to take a critical look at Hinduphobia at your school.
Does the study of Hinduism at your institution focus disproportionately on caste and/or gender discrimination? Do the majority of professors and courses suggest that caste and gender discrimination are foundational to Hinduism?
Do professors use course materials that teach Aryan Invasion Theory and/or suggest that Hindu society is systemically racist? Is Hinduism referred to as “Brahmanism” in or out of class?
Is the majority of literature on Hinduism referenced and created by your peers Western scholarship? Is there little to no representation of Hindu practitioner-scholars or diverse Hindu voices? Is Hinduism studied through a Western colonial lens?
Do professors who teach about Hinduism consistently encourage Hinduphobic thoughts and attitudes in formal and informal (i.e. online) spaces? Do they deny Hinduphobia?
Are there no (or disproportionately fewer) courses offered that focus on significant Hindu achievements or knowledge (i.e. in the sciences, philosophy, mathematics, governance, education, and medicine)?
Are Hindus given the space to disagree with how Hinduism is being taught or represented in class or on campus? Do they experience retaliation if they make a critical commentary on Hinduphobic rhetoric?
Are Hindu graduate students in disciplines related to Hinduism and Hindu history pressured into pursuing research that extends the existing Western gaze on Hinduism? Are they intimidated or silenced if they speak out about Hinduphobia?
Are Hindu graduate students and professors expected knowledgable about and answerable to popular ideas about Indian politics, in or out of the classroom? Are Hindus’ counter narratives dismissed or silenced as “Hindu nationalism” or propaganda?
Are the experiences of Hindu American refugees (i.e. from Kashmir, Bangladesh, Pakistani, Bhutan, Afghanistan) silenced in or out of the classroom?
Does your institution or any department formally sponsor demonstrably Hinduphobic conferences or speakers while excluding conferences or speakers who study Hinduphobia? Does your college refuse to recognize Hinduphobia?
Are Hindus discriminated against in the hiring process for positions in departments that include the study of Hinduism and Hindu history?
Hinduphobia can manifest in course materials, lesson plans, activities, student organizations, even in informal or formal discussions about current events. These ideas have been baked into Western schools and media for centuries. To learn more, explore this Navigating Hinduphobia manual, check out the resources at understandinghinduphobia.org, and attend Understanding Hinduphobia 2022.
To report an incident of Hinduphobia, use our Hinduphobia Tracker.
Download this Hinduphobia Checklist to help you navigate Hinduphobia in your school.