Protests over Agnihotri’s selection for his radical views and sexual misconduct charges.
Indian Filmmaker and author Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s talk on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits organized by the Hindu Student Council at Rutgers University in New Jersey has been cancelled for now.
Agnihotri, who is currently on a U.S. tour for his upcoming book, was slated to speak on November 21 at the Rutgers Busch Student Center in Piscataway, NJ.
Tweeting about the postponement, Sylvia Chan Malik, an associate professor of American and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers, wrote: “Unsure whether the eventual venue will be on or off campus.”
Malik, had recently tweeted her dissatisfaction about Agnihotri’s selection saying: “I am strong proponent of free speech. I am also a strong proponent of bringing speakers @RutgersU who model intellectual rigor and integrity, which our students deserve.
“This speaker has neither, as his record clearly shows. I wish someone had advised against it.”
Many others had questioned Agnihotri’s credibility and intent after Rutgers announced his talk .
Agnihotri too had tweeted earlier: “I’ll be speaking on ‘The Untold Story’ of India at one of the America’s most liberal universities – Rutgers University.
“Some fundamentalists have been opposing me to speak on Kashmiri Hindu’s Genocide and their Human Rights. I request you to support my free speech. Pl join.”
Agnihotri has in the past been accused of being an Islamophobe. Many of his tweets have also come under scanner for being sexist and casteist.
Last year, Agnihotri’s tweet about a great Dalit leader’s grandson flying in business class while he a Brahmin flew economy attracted a lot of ridicule. He had suggested that the caste pyramid had thus been inverted.
“Flying, sitting behind a Lower caste leader. But who is the upper caste in today’s scenario?” he asked.
“…I was born a Brahmin and this leader was born a Dalit. But today as he sits on 1A and me on 26B the pyramid is inverted,” he suggested.
During the raging #Metoo campaign Indian actor Tanushree Dutta had accused Agnihotri of sexual misconduct saying he had asked her to take her clothes off and dance.
Agnihotri is currently on a U.S. tour for his planned film on the plight of Kashmiri pandits.