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Hinduphobia at Harvard University

On February 2 of 2021, Hindu Students Council sent and published an Open Letter to Harvard University regarding Hinduphobia on its campus. 

Students, alumni, and faculty from over 100 universities in North America have signed the Open Letter – in just under one week.

Harvard has stayed silent in the face of continuous Hinduphobia on its campus, whether from its own administrators, speakers hosted by the university, and even its very own Harvard University Press. When will Harvard choose to speak up on behalf of the Hindu community at Harvard — and for Hindu students across the world who look to Harvard as an exemplar?

Our Open Letter can be found at:

Signed by Students, Alumni, and Faculty from:

Harvard University

Harvard Medical School

Amherst College

Arizona State University

Bentley University

Berklee College of Music

Binghamton University

Boston University

California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo

California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Sacramento

Cleveland State University

Colorado State University

Columbia University

Columbia University

Concordia University

Cornell University

Dallas College

Dartmouth College

Drexel University

Emory University

Florida International University

George Washington University

Georgetown University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Hindu University of America

Hofstra University

Hunter College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Indiana University

Jefferson University

Johns Hopkins University

Kansas State University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mercer University

Midwestern University

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New York University

North Carolina State University

Northeastern University

Ohio State University

Oregon State University

Penn State University

Princeton University

Purdue University

Rice University

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rowan University

Rush University Medical Center

Rutgers University

Ryerson University

Saint James School of Medicine

San Diego State University

San Francisco State University

San Jose City College

San Jose State University

Southern Methodist University

Stanford University

State University of New York

State University of New York, Canton

Stevens Institute of Technology

Temple University

Texas A&M University

Texas Tech University

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Irvine

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, San Diego

University of Central Florida

University of Connecticut

University of Illinois, Chicago

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

University of Kansas

University of Maryland – Baltimore County

University of Maryland – College Park

University of South California

Yale University

A Few Comments from Signatories:

“As a Hindu American I find this horrifying and worry about the future of Hindus in this country.”

“It is very disturbing to witness institutions remain silent in the name of ‘freedom of expression’ in what is anti-Hindu hate and Hinduphobia.”

A public statement made by a fellow against a religious group of people fosters hatred. It needs to be addressed as such. We expect Harvard to take appropriate action.”

Historically, Hindus have entertained diversity in views and tolerance. As an eminent institution, Harvard must recognize that there is a concerted effort to portray negatively this ancient and tolerant religion by … academics.”

I am not a Harvard student but this is an issue of major concern and it needs attention!”

I have high respect for Harvard, but it hurts to see a professor being so Hinduphobic. As a mother of a high school senior, who will be soon be in college, I am fearful about my son’s wellbeing in college with such blatant Hinduphobia in academia. I don’t want him to hide his Hindu identity to survive his college years. This professor needs to apologize for his comments. Would Harvard have continued with a professor making similar comments against Muslims or Jews?”

“The examples listed at the bottom of the letter were fairly eye-opening to all of us. We had no idea that there was a fairly extensive history of incidents that are associated with Harvard University.” (from a student at a nearby university in Boston)

Growing Hinduphobia in North American universities is a mounting concern. This needs to be addressed to ensure that education is provided with right content and Hindu students aren’t targeted as a result of this Hinduphobia.”