TDN World : Indian-American association Alliance to Save & Protect America from Infiltration by Religious Extremists (ASPAIRE ) welcomes the decesion of the University of California, Irvine to reject two endowed chairs from Dharma Civilization Foundation (DCF) which has links with the Hindu supremacist movement of India, the Rashtriya SwayamSevak (RSS) and its American front, the Hindu SwayamSevak (HSS).
On Jsnuary 29, ASPAIRE issued a press release condoning the move taken by the US University to not endorse Hindutva supermacist ideology in its academic space.
Commenting on the decision, Shujat Khan, the spokesperson of ASPAIRE, stated that the administration department of the university in question should not have accepted this donation in the first place, without following due process and without looking into the core values and thought processes of DCF. No university would accept any donations from an organization with links to white supremacist groups. Similar criteria should be applied to these extreme right wing groups from India too.
According to a news report in Scroll India, last year, the Dharma Civilization Foundation – whose trustees have close links with the RSS in India, and its American arm, the HSS – signed agreements with UC Irvine to endow four chairs. The agreements stated that each of these chairs would receive $1.5 million, spread across five years.
The holders of these chairs were to do research and lecture on Vedic and Indic Civilisations, Modern India, Jainism and Sikhism at the university.
The faculty at UC Irvine’s school of humanities learned that their South Asianist colleagues had not been consulted about the endowment and were intimated only in December, several months after the agreements had been signed. Since then, both professors and students have been protesting the lack of meaningful consultation and transparency in the process of signing these contracts.
The protests forced the university to set up a panel to review the agreements, and it is this panel which rejected two chairs – the Vedic and Indic Civilisation Studies, and Modern India studies. It has, however, recommended the chairs in Jain and Sikh studies for further review.
Remarking over the influence of the Sangh Parivar induced ideologies Shaik Ubaid said, ” These Hindutva groups have been actively trying to make changes in the history textbooks for schools and colleges in the US, to teach Hindutva supremacist propaganda, which is dangerous to any civil society.”
“HIndutva, which is a political ideology espousing ultranationalism and religious supremacism, is often confused with Hinduism which is a religion,” reads the statement.