After changing the venue twice, author Audrey Truschke’s talk scheduled in Hyderabad has ultimately been cancelled by the organizers who stated that Hyderabad police received numerous letters against the event.
The event was to initially be held at Krishankriti Art Gallery but was later moved to Birla Science Centre, reasons best known for the organizers.
Truschke was supposed to give a talk titled ‘Unpopular Stories: Narrating the Indo-Islamic Past and Navigating Present-day Prejudices’.
The author took to social media on Wednesday to announce the cancellation of the event and claimed that protestors affiliated to the BJP, were behind the cancellation of the event.
“I regret to say that my lecture in Hyderabad scheduled for Aug 11--titled "Unpopular Stories: Narrating the Indo-Islamic Past and Navigating Present-day Prejudices"--has been cancelled. The organizers took this decision after being informed by the Hyderabad police that several individuals had written letters protesting my appearance. I saw only one such letter, and it was from an individual with self-admitted connections to the RSS, BJP and BJPM,” she wrote.
She further added that she was to speak on several areas of her academic research, including Mughal history and Sanskrit literature at the event and was especially looking forward to talking with Hyderabadis about Aurangzeb's brutal assaults on sultanates in the Deccan in the 1680s.
Upset over the cancellation over the talk, she said, “I deeply regret that my presentation and the subsequent exchange of ideas will not occur, and added, “Today is a sad day for the pursuit of knowledge and academic freedom, and it is a happy day for proponents of the Hindu Rashtra.”
Her talk was supposed to be held on Saturday in collaboration with Krishnakriti Foundation and History of Peace.
Truschke, an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Newark in South Asian History, has written two books: ‘Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at Mughal Court’ and ‘Aurangzeb: The Man and Myth.’
In her book, ‘Aurangzeb: The Man and the Myth’, she had debunked several myths floated by the right-wing and described the complexities of Aurangzeb.
TNM contacted Krishnakriti Foundation seeking clarification over the cancellation of the event. However, the organizers did not respond.
In April, the author, had stoked a controversy by saying that Sita had called Hindu god, Rama, a ’misogynist pig’ on Twitter. She even claimed that Ram’s brother Lakshman had lusted Sita, which was objected by several. She later clarified that she was quoting from Valmiki’s Ramayana and her description of Ram being a misogynist pig was loose translation.