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Indu Viswanathan Tweet

Author: Indu Viswanathan @indumathi37
Publication: Thread Reader App
Date: September 17, 2020
URL:      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1306601697356251136.html

Audrey Truschke cannot answer to the question of scholarly ethics and intellectual honesty. She relies on the authority invested in her by the Academy, without an iota of the reflexivity that the contemporary Academy demands. 1/
भारत पुनरुत्थान Bharata Punarutthana @punarutthana
Demolished her years together of efforts in few minutes.

It’s brazen, insidious, classic white woman colonizing poison. She IS the contemporary poster child for how white women weaponize their identities and the Academy to justify harm against brown people and specifically to demonize brown men. This video is a brilliant example. 2/n

She’s giving a talk *in India* (her “site of research”) and is confronted *by an Indian*. The ethical etic researcher would be humble and respond to his concerns in this scenario. Instead, she reverts to making him the enemy using racist, exotifying tropes. 3/n

(Note: I don't agree with Dr. Murali's statement re: Native Americans being wiped out entirely. That is inaccurate. Native Americans have very much survived the unimaginable violence they have faced in this settler colonial nation and are incredible examples of resilience.) 4/n

Dr. K.V. Murali: I mean it’s interesting that you people from the United States, when you have so much mud behind your back, from the wiping out of the entire race of Native Americans and you Europeans having wiped out almost more than half of [the] world’s population from (5/n)

Australia, to Africa, to America, now just, like you know, putting your neck deep into other people’s history and also not being scientific about it, actually. For example, you said you estimated fifteen temples or a dozen or something like that (6/n)

[crowd shouting, KVM starts raising his voice to be heard]

KVM: Have you done a scientific survey, archeological survey of every site possible, which has already been dug out, or not? And this is...can a genocidal...descendant of a genocidal people sit as a judge? (7/n)

KVM: Is that moral or fair? [crowd shouts] Yes, that nation stands on the dead bodies of Native Americans! What right does she have to come here & poke her nose into our history? [crowd is roaring, KVM raises his voice to be heard] No! Be fair! Be fair! Be fair! Be fair! (8/n)

Volunteer: Hey, hey, hey! (trying to quiet KVM, not the audience)

KVM: Is this equality? Is this ethics? In today’s density population count it is 22 billion people that have been wiped out of the earth by *your* country.


AT: What right do I have to come comment on Indian history? I am a trained historian. I read Sanskrit. I read Persian. Many people cannot handle a woman talking and feel the need to scream over her. [crowd claps and cheers] (10/n)

AT: And, so, folks, does this mean that I am always right? Absolutely not.

KVM: [Says something, but unable to hear it clearly]

AT: Sir, you need to be quiet or I will have you ejected. Is that clear? (11/n)

AT: Now, I may not always be right, and I certainly hope that my own views on Aurangzeb Alamgir have evolved say 10 or 20 years from now. A lot of scholars are working on Aurangzeb right now and I certainly hope that this new work that comes up in the next 5 to 7 years...(12/n)

AT: ... in particular changes some of my own views, right? The goal is not always to be correct, the goal is to move the ball forward and have it be ever better ways of understanding of this guy and his impact on India’s development.

[Audience claps and cheers.] (13/n)

To be clear, “this guy” (Aurangzeb) was a genocidal maniac whom AT is whitewashing. She is speaking about him as if he is a neutral object of study *on the very land* where he committed those atrocities and weaponizing "reasonableness" to skirt KVM's questions. (14/n)

Make sure to read the tweets in support of her by Indians. They are referring to KVM as a “bhakt” and are reducing his entire legitimate critical commentary to that. These are the kind of folks who are informing the Western gaze on India right now. (15/n)

This is exactly how she baits Hindus. This is her strategy. She is enjoying this moment; see her smiling? Her weapon is appearing reasonable. This is how white women manipulate optics with people of color in the US. It is a well-documented, widely acknowledged tactic.(16/n)

It is, of course, reasonable that KVM was fired up. It takes a lot of courage to speak out in what was clearly a hostile environment. Not to mention, we were not privy to the degree of ambient noise that he was speaking over. This isn't an indictment of his actions at all. (17/n)

Keep speaking truth to power & methodically observe, analyze, & report her tactics, but more skillfully than "she's playing the woman card" which feeds the "Hindus are misogynistic" trope. There's scholarship on how white women are bioweapons of colonization. Use it.(18/18)


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