Rutgers historian says she was targetted and abused by Hindu Nationalists for daring to write about Aurangzeb

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Rutgers historian says she was targetted and abused by Hindu Nationalists for daring to write about Aurangzeb

Post by Rashmun on Sat 27 May 2017 - 10:38

Assistant Professor Audrey Truschke gets a lot of hatemail. In fact, these days she’s bombarded almost hourly.

A leading scholar of South Asian cultural and intellectual history, Truschke has just published a book on one of the most hated figures in Indian history, the last of six great kings of the powerful Mughal dynasty, whose empire stretched across the Indian subcontinent during the heyday of Muslim rule in the region from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Since this year’s publication of Aurangzeb: The Man and the Myth, Truschke has been targeted by Hindu-nationalists supporting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and by other groups, whose current anti-Muslim sentiment traces back to medieval times, when Muslims started expanding into the region.

“My Twitter account is a nightmare right now,” Truschke says. “It hasn’t been fun.”

The popular view in today’s India is that, like other Mughal kings who were hostile to Indian languages, religions and culture, Aurangzeb was a Hindu-despising Islamist fanatic who destroyed Hindu and Jain temples and imposed a military tax on most non-Muslims.

But Truschke, one of the few living scholars who reads pre-modern Persian, Sanskrit and Hindi, had in a prior book argued that the Mughal courts were deeply interested in Indian thinkers and ideas, with elites and intellectuals engaging across cultures. In researching that monograph, Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (2016), she was the first scholar to study texts in Sanskrit and Persian in exploring the courtly life of the Mughals.

In her latest work, she paints a much more nuanced picture of Aurangzeb, showing how he also protected most Hindu and Jain temples and increased the Hindu share in the Mughal nobility. Rather than hatred of Hindus driving his decisions, Truschke says, more likely Aurangzeb was guided by political reprisals and other practical considerations of rule, along with morality concerns, and a thirst for power and expansion.

That interpretation hasn’t sat well with some factions in India, but Truschke argues that as an academic historian, her project wasn’t to play political football with Aurangzeb to satisfy current agendas. It was to recapture the world of the sixth Mughal king, which operated according to quite different norms and ideas.


https://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/historian-finds-herself-center-india’s-hindu-muslim-conflict

Rashmun

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Re: Rutgers historian says she was targetted and abused by Hindu Nationalists for daring to write about Aurangzeb

Post by Rashmun on Sat 27 May 2017 - 10:38

Both authors and publishers are rightly wary of running afoul of Indian laws, and so some Indian publishers perform legal reads of potentially controversial books such as Aurangzeb. The goal of a legal read, conducted by an Indian attorney, is to identify passages that could – in good or bad faith – be used as the basis for a costly lawsuit.

For Aurangzeb, the legal read flagged several passages concerning Shivaji, a military opponent of Aurangzeb who is lauded today, ahistorically, as a champion of Hinduism who fought against big bad Muslim despots. In accordance with legal advice, I censored parts of the Shivaji chapter in the Indian edition of Aurangzeb.

Beyond the legal restrictions on publishing in India, there is the hate mail. Most of the vitriolic messages and trolling are forgettable, but some of it is chilling. I still remember the first time somebody wished for my death on Twitter: The individual tweeted a picture of piled-up Holocaust victims at me along with the hope that another Hitler comes back and does the same to me. I am wearied, too, by the sexist language. I have been called a b***h, whore, and c**t more times than I can recall, because I dare to write on Aurangzeb, a 17th-century Indian king.

As unpleasant as personal insults can be, this abysmal level of discourse attests to how vital historians are today. One point on which I agree with my detractors is this: Aurangzeb matters in the modern world. My biography of India’s most despised king seeks to enliven the historical emperor – in all of his complexities and contradictions – and thereby enrich our grasp of the past and our ability to live in the present.


https://scroll.in/article/838539/aurangzeb-is-controversial-because-of-indias-present-not-past-says-audrey-truschke

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Re: Rutgers historian says she was targetted and abused by Hindu Nationalists for daring to write about Aurangzeb

Post by Rashmun on Sat 27 May 2017 - 11:00

Rashmun wrote:Both authors and publishers are rightly wary of running afoul of Indian laws, and so some Indian publishers perform legal reads of potentially controversial books such as Aurangzeb. The goal of a legal read, conducted by an Indian attorney, is to identify passages that could – in good or bad faith – be used as the basis for a costly lawsuit.

For Aurangzeb, the legal read flagged several passages concerning Shivaji, a military opponent of Aurangzeb who is lauded today, ahistorically, as a champion of Hinduism who fought against big bad Muslim despots. In accordance with legal advice, I censored parts of the Shivaji chapter in the Indian edition of Aurangzeb.

Beyond the legal restrictions on publishing in India, there is the hate mail. Most of the vitriolic messages and trolling are forgettable, but some of it is chilling. I still remember the first time somebody wished for my death on Twitter: The individual tweeted a picture of piled-up Holocaust victims at me along with the hope that another Hitler comes back and does the same to me. I am wearied, too, by the sexist language. I have been called a b***h, whore, and c**t more times than I can recall, because I dare to write on Aurangzeb, a 17th-century Indian king.

As unpleasant as personal insults can be, this abysmal level of discourse attests to how vital historians are today. One point on which I agree with my detractors is this: Aurangzeb matters in the modern world. My biography of India’s most despised king seeks to enliven the historical emperor – in all of his complexities and contradictions – and thereby enrich our grasp of the past and our ability to live in the present.


https://scroll.in/article/838539/aurangzeb-is-controversial-because-of-indias-present-not-past-says-audrey-truschke

sounds familiar.

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Re: Rutgers historian says she was targetted and abused by Hindu Nationalists for daring to write about Aurangzeb

Post by SomeProfile on Sat 27 May 2017 - 21:25

Audrey Truschke is nothing but an idiot sandwich!


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Re: Rutgers historian says she was targetted and abused by Hindu Nationalists for daring to write about Aurangzeb

Post by SomeProfile on Sat 27 May 2017 - 21:26

And Doucheman is nothing but an idiot douchebag!  Laughing

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Re: Rutgers historian says she was targetted and abused by Hindu Nationalists for daring to write about Aurangzeb

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