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 college focus primarily on caste and/or gender? Do the course materials and class discussions suggest that caste and gender discrimination are foundational to Hinduism?
Do courses teach Aryan Invasion Theory and/or that Hinduism is systemically racist? Is Hinduism referred to as “Brahmanism” in or out of class?
Are courses on Hinduism and Hindu history primarily taught using Western scholarship? Is there little to no representation of Hindu scholars or diverse Hindu voices? Is Hinduism studied through a Western lens?
Do formal classroom discussions force Hindu students to “answer to” claims made by others about Hinduism or Hindus? Does it decenter the experiences and knowledge of Hindu students and their families?
Do professors who teach about Hinduism consistently encourage Hinduphobic thoughts and attitudes in formal and informal (i.e. online) spaces? Do they deny Hinduphobia? Do they threaten to call the authorities or take some other action on Hindu students who speak out? How about campus organizations?
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 Hindu students given space to disagree with how Hinduism is being taught or represented in class or on campus? Are they labeled, gaslit, or silenced if they make a critical commentary on Hinduphobic rhetoric?
Are positive aspects of Hinduism attributed to South Asian culture and negative aspects of South Asian society directly blamed on Hinduism and Hindu people? Are Hindu students pressured to distance themselves from their tradition?
Are Hindu American students expected to be knowledgable about and answer 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?
Are Hindu American student organizations accused of being radicalizing hubs without any evidence by professors or other people in power? Are these claims made with impunity and with institutional support?
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?
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 for College Students Poster to help you navigate Hinduphobia in your school.