Educating scholars like Audrey Truschke on Hindu‘Ism’ and Hindu‘Tva’


Audrey Truschke, an American academic and Asst. Prof of South Asian history at Rutgers University, Newark known for her anti-Hindu views and biased views on Indian history, rekindled the debate on Hindutva and Hinduism in a tweet. She opined that Hindutva is apolitical ideology and Hinduism is a Religion! In a series of Tweets, writer and columnist Aabhas Maldahiyar rebuts her claims on Hindutva.
Yes, Hindu+Ism & Hindu+Tva are two separate things. Neither qualifies as a religion but certainly, Hinduism is politically imposed ideology by the west. Let me explain to you how. ‘Ism’ as a suffix came only in the early 19th century by British Indologists. I certainly don’t think that scholar like you (Audrey T) need to be told what ‘Ism’ stands for. ‘Hindu’ or ‘Bharathiya’ practice isn’t confined to unidirectional act. The beauty of ‘Being Hindu’ lies in its plurality & respectful node towards every Dharmic Way. The moment one tags ‘-Ism’ plurality is lost. To explain this, below are the architectures of 3 distinct practices in order as:


1) Deconstructivism 



2) Modernism

3) Expressionism

One can see the distinctive feature which makes them different philosophies under the umbrella of Architecture. Have you (AudreyTruschke) ever heard of ‘Architecturism’ or even ‘Designism’? You couldn’t have heard as both are as plural as ‘Hindu’ idea or philosophy. How can you call it Hinduism if it has multiple ideas of practising life which includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and more. Now the point to ponder is why did the Indologist added ‘Ism’? If I consider it not to be a political motive, then certainly it was your failed understanding of Hindu practices. Why else would someone mock their own language? It’s like saying ‘Architecturism’?So whenever we say ‘Hinduism’, we are merely making fun of British. Further, had Hindu idea been an ‘Ism’, it should have had a Doctrine or a Guiding Book. But one may end his life researching but will fail to find a single doctrine.

It’s interesting that you (Audrey T) talk of Hindu+tva with so much hate. Do you have an iota of understanding what it stands for. I don’t have a problem if westerners mocked themselves while attributing ‘ism’ with Hindu but I request you not to try to demean Hindi/Sanskrit words. We get ‘Hindutva’ when suffix ‘Tattva’ (तत्व) is added to Hindu. Tattva (/ˈtʌtvə/) is a Sanskrit word meaning 'thatness', 'principle', 'reality' or 'truth'. According to various Indian schools of philosophy, a tattva is an element or aspect of reality. Last time when so-called Indologists poked their nose in our way of life, they ended up but by only self-mocking own language (word ‘Hinduism’). Now yet again westerners are poking nose to again misinterpret. By adding ‘Tattva’ to Hindu, we talk of aspects (not aspect) of It.

Now as we are talking of suffix for root word ‘Hindu’ we must understand it as well. Isn’t it? So far I’ve explained how ‘-ism’ is a misappropriation and ‘tattva’ is not religious. Let’s get to understand ‘Hindu’. It will be foolish to call ‘Hindu’ as a religious connotation. It’s really important to understand the intent of certain words. The term ‘Hindu’ was used by king Darius-I to mention the province of Hi[n]dush, referring to northwestern India. The people of India were referred to as Hinduvān and hindavī was used as the adjective for Indian in the 8th-century text Chachnama. The term 'Hindu' in these ancient records is an ethnic-geographical term. The Arabic equivalent Al-Hind likewise referred to the country of India. Now if Audrey could explain how Hindu+Tattva (Aspect of people living beyond Sindhu river) is actually about injustice & inequality? As we don’t interpret Christianity or Islam at our ease, one shouldn’t interpret Hindutva based on their comfort. By calling ‘Hindutva’ bearer of Injustice and inequality, Audrey has shown her contempt of the Honourable Supreme Court of India too. The judge said that the misuse of the expressions to promote communalism will not change the “true meaning” of these terms.

Further, you define Hindutva and Hindu in your own way. Forget Darius-I, who are you to supersede dictates of even the Supreme Court of India? ‘Hindu’ as already explained has geo-ethnic connotation. Hindu is as good as Indian. Then why don’t you have an objection to Hindusthan? Who do you expect to be living in ‘Hindusthan’ if not Hindus? Do you ever say why Germans live in Germany? Hindu culture was even respected by the Constitution makers. That’s the reason why we had illustrations of Rama, Krishna, Guru Nanak, Buddha etc but no Jesus or Quran.

There is a big difference amid Religion and Dharma. We don’t practice Hindu Religion but we practice Sanatana Dharma. Religion is an institution while Dharma is to strive to be right. Dharma tells to reject the institution which shows the wrong path. Dharma signifies behaviours that are considered to be in accord with Ṛta, the order that makes life and universe possible and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and "right way of living". Eg, ‘Rajadharma’ means King’s Duty, not Religion. For Bhartiya understanding, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity are various Panth which means denominations. Now, will you explain how ‘Hindu+Tatva(Aspect)’ leads to lynching?

Let’s now talk a bit about Lynchings. Lynching is an age-old phenomenon which has now begun to be reported. It’s never associated by Panth but by the emotional value of something. In India, people have terrific emotional connect with cows which you will also understand once you have a cow at home. Cow is always the first to be in tears when something goes wrong in the family. Have you cared to look into the eyes of any cow? You will find only love. That apart Cow is also considered a great asset. We practice ‘Gau-Daan’. If someone steals a cow or kills it, our hearts sink. Hence at times even when small news of such incidence occurs people tend to take the law to their hands, which is certainly not right in the purview of Constitution. But can you suggest a way to avoid it with the context as narrated above? Why not look other way around? Can’t we really look for an idea to curtail cow slaughter so that we respect the emotion of the culture that has roots millenniums ago? Are you aware Parsis had taken the oath to not eat cows when they took asylum in India in the 8th century? You may have studied history but you lack sensitivity.

Again, a non-scholarly argument by a PhD who even claims expertise on Indian Culture! By what authority do you claim that Buddhism, Sikhism etc are non-Hindu when they emerged but in Hindusthan? Your statement can literally be written as: “Did you think India was an Indian Country. Well, just 80% of Indians are ‘Indians’, & more than 20% of Indians belong to other religion...” Do you feel like laughing upon yourself? Can you mention a single Hindu Aspect (tattva) that stops one from practicing Islam etc? Answer these now:

- What do you think was India if not ‘Hindu Rashtra’ when Hindu King Dahir gave away his life fighting for Prophet’s Grandson in the 8th Century.

- What was India if not Hindu Rashtra when a Hindu King built Second Mosque of the world in 629 AD?

- What was India if not Hindu Rashtra when a Hindu King granted asylum to Parsis when they were persecuted by followers of same Prophet whose Grandson’s side other Hindu King fought for?

- Weren’t those the period when Hindu Rashtra was giving refuge, helping build mosques & fight for religions of the foreign land, West &Middle East was busy playing Crusade-Jihad. Better don’t teach us tolerance because it was Hindu Rashtra that became land for multiple faiths.

By the way, what do you mean by tribal religions? Do you have any idea that all Indians are tribals? The concept of ‘Jati’ & ‘Kula’ comes from there. Can you find me a family including converted Muslims or Christians who don’t have ‘Kula Devi/Deva’?

You say Hinduism is older than Hindutva. Really? It’s like saying Gravity is just 4 centuries old, just because Newton discovered it and penned laws of it. Savarkar discovered Hindutva but he didn’t originate it. Do you mean to say there was no aspect of Hindu before Savarkar? Ma’am, I really am afraid to believe that you actually finished PhD. If Hindutva was inspired from Nazism then please tell me which Nazi believed in the notion of Plurality? I have already cited examples earlier how aspects of Hindu being encouraged foreign religions to flourish? If Hindutva was inspired from Fascism then why RSS has a Muslim wing? Did Nazis support any Jews Collaboration? If it was inspired by Fascism why we're not the first one to attack and plunder Pakistan since BJP has been in power for 2 full terms?

I am sure you see BJP as Hindutva wing. But can you please ask your communist friends and their party if they condemn Stalin, Mao, Lenin? And even you, do you condemn them? Well, Hindutva never had a leader, because there cant be a leader for ‘Aspect (Tattva)’. However, RSS and Hindu Mahasabha had leaders. So please explain how being inspired by Hitler’s treatment of Jews did they kill Muslims in Gas Chambers? Rather I heard about ‘Direct Action’ in Bengal by Muslim league in which mass rapes and murders of Hindus happened. I have heard of Ethnic cleansing but of Kashmiri Pandits by Muslims. Can you imagine 3.5 lakh Pandits, the true inhabitants of the valley being dragged out. Heard of Mass Conversions and killings at hands of Razakars? Heard of Bombay Blasts, Parliament Attack, Taj Attack of 26/11? They were all perpetrated by Muslims.

You talk of 2002. Let’s start with facts then. Who burnt the bogies of Sabarmati Express in which kids, women and old men were burnt to bones? Did your eyes ever moisten hearing that brutality? Where was the Origin of Godhra 2002? Though nothing can justify the killing of Bapu but did you care to know the other side of the story? Any idea that why Nathuram primarily killed Bapu? FYI the justification which N Godse gave for killing Bapu were so convincing that Congress had to remove the records of it.

No Muslim is told to leave India or given death threats. I have many Muslims as colleagues and family friends. None of them ever faced such problem. You talk of big Bollywood actors being subjected to verbal attacks. But have you ever imagined how they became big. Certainly not by the 12% Muslim population alone. They became popular by 82% Hindu population. And now when they are big, capable to get away with hit & run cases, they can’t cry foul. It’s laughable if they feel scared of the same population which gave them enough popularity that you talk about them today. This is hypocrisy at best.

You better don’t get into our security matters. We are certainly not going to carry the burden of those who only trouble our nation. Any idea of the involvement of Rohingyas in terror activities? Why do you, an outsider want to educate us about our own home affairs? This isn’t your concern. Since the ‘scholarly’ Audrey Truschke has blocked me after questioning her scholarship about ‘Hindutva’ & ‘Hindu+Ism’ in this thread, I appeal everyone to please help spread the word. Especially, American Hindus must not fall prey to such evil.