ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Diya TV) — Washington University in St. Louis is under scrutiny for its course titled “Hinduism & the Hindu Right,” with critics arguing that it unfairly targets Hinduism and its adherents. The course, offered by the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies, has sparked concern within the Hindu community for its singular focus on the negative aspects of certain political expressions within Hindu society.

The controversy surrounding the course stems from its exclusive emphasis on issues such as violence against minorities and curbs on free speech within the context of Hinduism, without providing a comparative analysis of similar trends in other religions or political movements worldwide. Critics argue that this approach risks presenting a one-sided view that could distort students’ understanding of Hinduism and inadvertently contribute to bias against the religion.

Furthermore, concerns have been raised about the potential impact of the course on Hindu students, who may feel targeted or stigmatized for their religious identity. With the rise of Hinduphobia in the United States and around the world, there are fears that academic discussions like these could exacerbate existing tensions and create an unsafe environment for Hindu students on college campuses.

In response to these concerns, members of the Coalition of Hindus in North American (CoHNA) are urging Washington University to reconsider the course content and objectives. They emphasize the importance of incorporating a comparative approach that examines religious and political movements across different cultures, as well as ensuring that course materials and discussions are balanced and respectful of all students’ backgrounds and beliefs.