One of the most controversial of speakers and so-called experts on the history of South Asia and the Mughal empire in particular, Audrey Truschke, will be paying a visit to the University of Toronto’s prestigious Munk School of Global Affairs. Audrey Truschke is often criticized by Indians as being bigoted and biased towards the non-Abrahamic faith communities of India and for promoting and propagating the whitewashing of tyrannical historical figures that committed genocidal crimes against Sikhs and Hindus. Many of her critics also say that her approach vis-a-vis Indians and Hindu natives is that they are inherently inferior and that her white burden compels her to push her colonial-based narratives to complete the job the Mughals and British could not complete.
The University of Toronto event where Audrey Truschke will be speaking is being chaired by associate professor Karen Ruffle, who specializes in the Shi’ia sect of Islam and Islam in South Asia. The even will be moderated by associate professor Christoph Emmrich, who specializes in Buddhist studies. The event will take place during the late afternoon on September 15th, 2017 at 1 Devonshire Place.
In recent times, Audrey Truschke has gained notoriety (not necessarily positive) for being against India’s own ‘Charlottesville moment’, where hundreds of millions around India called for the name change of a road named after the fanatical Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb (reign: 31 July 1658 – 3 March 1707), who destroyed hundreds of Hindu and Sikh temples and was responsible for the mass genocide of Sikhs and Hindus in South Asia. Although, the people of India were successful in changing ‘Aurangzeb Road’ to ‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road’ (A renowned Muslim Scientist and Former President of India), Audrey Truschke was the most prevalent foreign force who opposed this change and referred to the liberal supporters of the name change as being against history.
Calls for destruction of historical confederate memorials because they embody “racism”
Cries fascism when Aurangzeb road is renamed pic.twitter.com/UBCgHT2CBA
— True Indology (@TrueIndology) August 19, 2017
Dr Truschke also received heat from various global Sikh organizations after stating that the 9th Guru of Sikhism – Guru Tegh Bahadur was simply causing unrest in Punjab and therefore had it coming when he was captured and beheaded by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Many Sikhs accused Truschke for trying to whitewash the 9th Guru’s noble acts of protecting the persecuted Kashmiri Pandits who were given an ultimatum by Aurangzeb to convert to Islam or face extreme death and that he was not simply ‘causing unrest’ and ‘challenging state authority’. In 2017, it’s fair for no nation to want to be reminded of figures who committed genocidal acts fueled by religious bigotry and intolerance.
— Network of Sikh Orgs (@SikhMessenger) April 6, 2017
Audrey Truschke In 50 years: Yezidi women were causing unrest in the Iraq and Caliphate Baghdadi had little patience for Challengers to ISIS pic.twitter.com/08s6ligsvp
— R (@reviewero) April 11, 2017
Audrey Truschke got herself into more controversy when she stated ‘Moghul Aurangzeb protected more temples than he destroyed’. Thousands took to social media to correct the US-based Moghul ‘expert’ with sarcastic analogies around Hitler and the ‘Islamic State’, where based on her highly insensitive logic, if they let go more victims than slaughtered, then they were sure good people. Even local government staff, journalists, human rights activists had shown outrage for Truschke’s intellectually dishonest comments. Many Indians tried to explain how if such comments were made about any other ethnic or faith-based group, she would have been condemned by her employer, Rutgers University like many others who have been accused for Islamophobia and Anti-semitism. Dr Subramanian Swamy, a Harvard educated Economist, had his courses that he taught there cancelled due to complaints received to the reputed institution regarding a fact-based article he wrote on how to wipe out Jihadist terror. He was not even given a chance to defend his article or his views. But someone like Truschke who tries to paint a historically misleading picture of tyrants like Aurangzeb has total job security. Where is the fairness here?
The US’s largest Hindu human rights group also displayed concerns about the presence of subtle Hinduphobia and the whitewashing of anti-Hindu atrocities
— Aseem Shukla (@aseemrshukla) June 5, 2017
A group of University of Toronto alumni had approached us and told us that they will try reaching out to some of the organizers, but based on past events of offense, do not expect any progressive response. As a follow-up, we have reached out to the Munk School of Global Affairs for their take on the promotion of such insensitive and bigotry directed to various Dharmic faiths and communities. We have yet to receive any response.
Some ex-UofT students do have a valid argument, that if such comments were made by professors or speakers about Abrahamic faiths, then it’s likely that the event would be moved off the University of Toronto, who is known to support pluralism, love, respect and diversity. We tried searching for any cancellation or condemning of any speakers accused of anti-hindu or anti-sikh bigotry, but none could be found. However, we did find a few cases where controversial speakers accused for Islamophobia and Anti-semitism were condemned and distanced from.
We understand American Universities have hosted Audrey Trushke, but we hope Canada is a little bit better and with the latest example of racism towards NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, we think UofT’s Munk School of Global Affairs needs to support ‘LOVE and COURAGE’ against such hate.
Some other social media posts around Audrey Trushcke’s controversy:
You are a Hinduphobe, an epitome of bigotry with pathological hatred.Are’nt you supposed to know well the only one language that you know.
— Dr. Shweta A. (@DrShweta_A) September 11, 2017
Tweet deliberately framed as to create an impression that Gandhi claimed Krishna’s existence was imaginary. But was it so? pic.twitter.com/ROXeFVkqL6
— True Indology (@TrueIndology) March 21, 2017
Audrey Truschke proclaims,
( it seems)
She knows about:
India, Indians, & Our Culture.
Lady is pathetic on facts! #AudreyMindYourBusiness
— Geeta Chhabra (@ChhabraGeeta) September 10, 2017
— ?????? ????? (@KanchanGupta) March 13, 2017
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) September 12, 2017