Hinduism is 20th Century Invention and a “False Majority”, claims India’s IIT Professor and lands in trouble

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New Delhi — An Assistant Professor of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) landed in hot-water after calling Hinduism as a “20th Century Invention” and a “false majority” created by Gandhi, during an NDTV panel debate last week.

Divya Dwivedi, who teaches philosophy and literature at IIT-Delhi and has also co-authored a book on India’s leading freedom fighter Mahatma Gandi, called the Hindu religion as a 20th century invention created in order to make the lower caste people feel inferior, ThePrint newspaper reported.

“In fact, religious minorities have been a victim of this false majority and Gandhi has played a very significant role in its construction. He has helped construct a false Hindu majority and a new Hindu identity,” Diwedi said.

“He (Gandhi) was one of the many upper caste leaders who constructed this origin for this polity but today we must discard it,” she added.

She remarks drew sharp criticism and condemnation on the social media, and a leading India’s newspaper ThePrint claimed to have asked her to clarify the matter for the public benefit, upon which she responded, “There are several academic studies on this much discussed matter. One can refer to D.N. Jha (Looking for a Hindu Identity), Vasudha Dalmia and Heinrich von Stietencron (Representing Hinduism: The Construction of Religious Traditions and National Identity), and the Census of India report of 1921.”

Diwedi is a co-author of the book “Gandhi and Philosophy: On Theological Anti-Politics”, and her research areas include narratology and literary theory.

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