Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #289 - Hinduphobia and the 'Mimic Man'
Hatred for the Hindus and their civilization is now a sacred agenda of the American and British Universities. Demonized, hounded and pursued, the system eventually silences them.
“Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” ― Khalil Gibran
There is an inherent, though subtle hegemony embedded in the art of mimicry. The subject of mimicry is placed on a pedestal that can never be reached.
The one who mimics, although close, will never be quite as good.
At best an entertainment.
Colonial masters used this to create a set of colonized people who were hybrids. Their own cultural background enmeshed with the “superior” ways of the colonizer.
Such sepoys (as they were called) would develop a disgust (a routine that formed part of the mimicry to a point of internalizing) for their own lineage. A lineage that had been discredited by the use of power and destruction of whatever of value of the colonized existed.
The stratagems, the tools, the extreme institutionalized hate, and the Othering of the Hindus continue unabated.
History never ceased or became archaic. It just changed its hues.
The victims this time will be our children!
Rutger University - Ground Zero of Hindu Hate
Rutgers University’s Student Assembly (RUSA) has passed a resolution 14S21-XX which has created a ‘working definition’ of Hinduphobia. It is the first American university student body to adopt a scholarly definition of this sort. Community scholars and members will convene in an “Understanding Hinduphobia Conference” where any adjustments or amendments to this definition will be considered.
Hinduphobia: “is a set of antagonistic, destructive, and derogatory attitudes and behaviors towards Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Hindus that may manifest as fear or hatred.“ (Source)
Rutgers University has given space to ‘historian’ Audrey Truschke who has used her academic office to promote historical and spiritual quackery in the context of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma. Any attempts to invite her for dialogs and debates have been met with silence or ridicule.
It has become customary in the West to block practicing Hindus to speak on matters relevant to Hinduism. Instead Western - often Christian or Jewish - hit-men and women (like Truschke) are employed to carry out deconstruction of a civilizational system and ethos which is now a faith of over a billion people in a very systematic manner.
Recently, her anti-Hindu bigotry came out into the open when a group of Hindu students wrote a letter to the University against Audrey Truschke for trying to trivialize the Hindu genocide committed by Aurangzeb, the Mughal bigot, and tyrant. He was one of the many who committed numerous genocides on Hindus. (Read Amir Khusrau: The Sick Bigoted Psychopath)
This started a big defense of Truschke and a Hate Campaign against the Hindus on Rutgers campus.
Any Rutgers student voicing her or his experience, pain, or concern at the institutional hatred for Hindus was not just put down but demonized. The faculty at Rutgers, it seemed, was collaboratively working to push their racist and bigoted agenda down every Hindu student’s throat by shaming and targeting them!
This was not all.
When the Hindus on Campus - a body of Hindu students in US Universities took this concern to the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Rutgers.
She blocked them!
Message to the Hindu Students: Black students’ concerns are part of inclusion and diversity. Not the Hindus.
Hindus have to be shamed, demonized, and put down. Every concern has to be used to further create a caricature of their ancestry, their faith, their civilization, and their political opinions if any.
As if Blacks wearing agenda of Democrats, however crooked it may be, is valid and indeed enlightening. But Hindus need to be co-opted into the agenda and narrative that is thrust upon them by the Western elite or their sepoys. Any political opinion that is different from that carefully crafted straitjacket for Hindus is a testimony to their ‘perfidy and bad manners’.
Tufts did just that.
The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. The hatred extreme. There isn’t just any space for Hindus to even have a say in how their faith is to be presented in the larger global arena. Even their concerns about the misrepresentation are met with abuse!
Coloniality and institutional hate against an entire group of people in Western Universities are spectacular.
In his insightful article “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse,” Homi Bhabha (Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University who shares the name of the great Indian scientist) shares the deep-rooted prejudices of colonial - Christian - mindset against the Indian civilization. He shares how Eric Stokes acknowledges that there was a sense of otherness in the way Utilitarians looked at India, and yet he concludes with an equally racist and bigoted statement.
One of Bhabha’s subjects of inquiry is Mimicry. It is “when members of a colonized society imitate and take on the culture of the colonizers.” Why does the colonizer want to institutionalize Mimicry as a strategy? Because of his desire to form a “reformed and recognizable ‘Other’”
Idea is to create an Other who “almost the same, but not quite.” It is a tool to create power over the other.
That is the aim of these forces, who fancy themselves as “liberals” and are anything but. They have a colonial agenda of institutionalizing power while they create Hindus as the Other.
One way is to create a power structure on the US and European campuses such that Mimicry becomes the only option possible for a Hindu to survive.
The narrative that is passed on in this imitation is embedded so deep that any real and authentic voice, which sounds different from the colonial semantics (like that of Truschke) is hounded down. Partly from the members of the Hindu community who have been coopted via the instruments like Mimicry.
But some would say that these professors or Indologists or even the analysts and writers on Hinduism do try to say “nice things” as well.
Ambivalence and the Belatedness Strategem of Colonial power
That, Homi Bhabha has called “Ambivalence” in his works. Ambivalence is a tool that the colonizers have used consisting of opposing perceptions and dimensions where the colonizer can successfully create a split in the colonized Other. This, during the active Colonial empire, fashioned people who were a hybrid. A hybrid of their own identity and the colonizer’s cultural identity.
To fit in, one needed to look like and speak like the colonial master.
There is a deliberate effort to create “belatedness” in the analysis of the colonial machinations. The signs of Colonial misadventures and crimes acquire relevance and meaning after the trauma of colonial crimes has passed. By then, it has become an “archaic image.”
For example, the British colonial legacy and the crimes committed against the Indians, primarily the Hindus, when discussed now is often dismissed as an archaic or historical “wrong”, if at all (even that is questioned). But civilizational attacks like that are continuing even today.
Read how an Oxford Professor, inflicted with Mimicry that Bhabha discusses, specifically targeted the first Hindu Oxford University President by abusing her and her parents to a point where the only recourse left for her was to quit! Issue #264 - How Abhijit Sarkar Targeted Rashmi Samant!
But nothing happened! Just like nothing happened to the plundering British savages who destroyed an entire nation and people without remorse. (Issue #265 - The REAL Crime of Inequity)
Make no mistake - hegemony and mimicry go together.
There is a certain claim to the status by the “mimic man” (as VS Naipaul called the Mimicking colonized) when he shares the compassion, the world-view, the moral beliefs, and the disgust of the colonizer for his own self and existence.
The copying of the colonizing culture, behaviour, manners and values by the colonized contains both mockery and a certain ‘menace’, ‘so that mimicry is at once resemblance and menace’ (86). Mimicry reveals the limitation in the authority of colonial discourse, almost as though colonial authority inevitably embodies the seeds of its own destruction.The line of descent of the ‘mimic man’ that emerges in Macaulay’s writing, claims Bhabha, can be traced through the works of Kipling, Forster, Orwell and Naipaul, and is the effect of ‘a flawed colonial mimesis in which to be Anglicized is emphatically not to be English’ (1994: 87). (Source)
Macaulay had laid the foundation of the “Mimic man.”
Macaulay - the architect of the Indian Mimic Man
He came to India, where the roads managed by his countrymen but in this foreign land, were not good enough for him. So he was carried around in palanquins carried by six men who would keep changing. Despite the extravagant - and perverted - a show of superiority of one man over the other, he retorted about the poor ways of his carriers.
"The physical organisation of the Bengalee is feeble even to effeminacy. He lives in a constant vapour bath. His pursuits are sedentary, his limbs delicate, his movements languid." (Source)
This man was Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay. The man who wrote the "Macaulay's Minute" in 1835 (Source), which became the code for education in India for the next 150 years and indeed even further. Until now.
His disgust for the Indians (read Hindus) was palpable and obvious. His vision was to shame the Hindu while making him a “Mimic man.” For, such an imitation would serve the purpose of British Imperialism in the best possible manner.
What then shall that language be? One-half of the Committee maintain that it should be the English. The other half strongly recommend the Arabic and Sanscrit. The whole question seems to me to be, which language is the best worth knowing?
I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic.-But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed both here and at home with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the Oriental learning at the valuation of the Orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. The intrinsic superiority of the Western literature is, indeed, fully admitted by those members of the Committee who support the Oriental plan of education.
It will hardly be disputed, I suppose, that the department of literature in which the Eastern writers stand highest is poetry. And I certainly never met with any Orientalist who ventured to maintain that the Arabic and Sanscrit poetry could be compared to that of the great European nations. But when we pass from works of imagination to works in which facts are recorded, and general principles investigated, the superiority of the Europeans becomes absolutely immeasurable. It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say, that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanscrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgements used at preparatory schools in England. In every branch of physical or moral philosophy, the relative position of the two nations is nearly the same. (Source)
In the American Historical Review (Vol. 58, No. 4 (Jul., 1953), pp. 824-853), Elmer H Cutts shares some insights on the background of Macaulay’s Minute in his article The Background of Macaulay's Minute (Source). What contributed to the thinking of those times? A narrative that became the basis for how Indians, primarily Hindus, were characterized thereafter in the West. And the Western-educated elites of India.
Charles Grant was an evangelical who was mad at any positivity that the early writers on the Indic civilization would betray. His opposition to these “orientalists” was fierce and defining. It set the agenda for British rule - which became the basis for the Western understanding of India in general and Hindus in particular.
That Macaulay carried forward the hate that Grant had for Hindus (given his evangelical fanaticism) to craft the education policy for India that was pushed down on the colonized Hindus for 150 years is no accident.
The idea of ‘Hindoos’ as Pagans, and therefore, ‘contaminated’ - a reflection of the Christian supremacist ways in Europe in how it exterminated the Greek civilization - was a sentiment that was carried over to the United States as well.
“The imported religions of the Orient that sow the subtle seeds of destruction are offered to the uninitiated as beautiful philosophies. On the surface they are that. But they are inevitably sprung from the soil of paganism and are tinctured with its practices”
Mabel Potter Daggett wrote an essay titled “The Heathen Invasion of America” published in Hampton-Colombian Magazine in 1911.
So, when we see the US and British Universities vie with each other to weaponize the institutionalized hatred against Hindus to a point where students (like Rashmi Samant, the Oxford Student President) are no longer safe, then it is not an ephemeral anomaly.
It is what was sown carefully by the British colonizers as a stratagem to colonize India, specifically the Hindus.
That the colonial past has come to now haunt our kids in the US is a testament to the fact that belatedness - the tactic to ridicule past crimes as dated - is a tool that is still in currency. With devastating impact!
It is time to launch a struggle to free our next generation from the legacies of hate that were perpetrated by Charles Grant and Thomas Macaulay in the name of Christian Supremacy, which the likes of Audrey Truschke faithfully continue.
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