In what displays extreme academic intolerance in the United States, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is facing backlash as it invited Subramanian Swamy, Rajya Sabha MP and economics professor to speak at a conference.
The left-liberal ecosystem is up in arms and such illiberal liberals are now alleging that Swamy has spewed “hate speech”. A few Indian-American and Islamic groups endorsed a change.org petition that had gathered less than 2,000 signatures. The petition calls upon MIT President L. Rafael Reif to revoke the institute’s invitation to Swamy to speak at a conference. The petition argued that Swamy is an “Islamophobe and homophobe.”
Announcing the final speaker list and sponsors for MIT India Conference 2019!!
We look forward to welcoming all of you to some insightful discussions and interesting talks on Saturday. Please note: Speakers Devendra Fadnavis and Prakash Javadekar have regretted their attendance. pic.twitter.com/Am4q23ndeF
— MIT India Conference (@MITIndiaConf) February 11, 2019
Swamy is an outspoken leader and does not believe in mincing words. He is seen as a supporter of the US President Trump’s policies and Israel. It, therefore, does not come as a surprise that Swamy has faced massive opposition from the self-proclaimed liberals. Syed Ali, Vice President of the Indian American Muslim Council, told Religion News Service, “He has openly called for the disenfranchisement of Muslims in India, and said they should be second-class citizens.” He also said, “It’s not about free speech. It’s about saving lives in India. His party’s hate rhetoric has incited violence and lynchings of many innocent civilians.”
No matter how much the left-liberal ecosystem defends itself, this is about free speech and intellectual freedom. It is absurd that those who claim to defend free speech also believe in not allowing those who don’t agree with them to attend a conference at a university. Apart from this, Audrey Truschke, Assistant professor of South Asian studies at Rutgers University, criticised MIT on twitter, and labeled Swamy as “violence-encouraging, hate-spewing, nationalist bigot.” It is clear that the entire left-liberal ecosystem is targeting Swamy in a highly organised manner.
@MIT has decided to give a platform to a violence-encouraging, hate-spewing, nationalist bigot. I think they should not. It is unethical. It goes against MIT's educational mission. As this unfolds, those of us standing on the sidelines should describe exactly what's happening.
— Audrey Truschke (@AudreyTruschke) February 13, 2019
The fact that Swamy is facing such backlash does not come as much of a surprise. Moreover, it is not for the first time that Swamy is facing such intolerance in his academic career. In 2011, a group of students had pressurised Harvard University to get him removed. Swamy taught economics courses at Harvard until 2011. Swamy faced this severe backlash and was removed after he wrote an article on “How to wipe out Islamic terror” following 26/11. Initially, Harvard stood by Swamy but succumbed to pressure later on and removed him. It seems that the same ploy is being employed now in the case of MIT. Certain self-acclaimed intellectuals and pseudo-liberals are now trying to pressurise the MIT and ensure that the invitation to Swamy is somehow revoked.
Dr. Subramanian Swamy is a champion of Hindu rights and was also instrumental in protecting the Ram Setu, which the then UPA government was hell-bent on demolishing. He has also been vocal about the construction of a Ram Mandir at the Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya. Last year, elaborating the affidavit submitted by Narasimha Rao-led government in 1994, Subramanian Swamy, who was a minister in Rao’s cabinet, had said that the affidavit was filed after the Supreme Court asked the then government for its solution. Swamy had said, “Narendra Modi doesn’t have to seek the permission of the Supreme Court. He can declare that he has given the land to the VHP to build a temple, so the road is clear. The fight in the SC is for the title. And the SC constitution bench said that a Masjid isn’t an essential part of Islamic religion – it can be broken, it can be shifted. So we can give them another plot. But in this plot, because we had found there is a pre-existing structure, build the temple!”
Subramanian Swamy is also an active anti-corruption crusader and has been instrumental in exposing several corruption cases and scams. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that a number of influential people within India love to hate Dr. Subramanian Swamy and target him constantly. Since, Swamy is a champion of Hindu rights, the left-liberal ecosystem that thrives on minority appeasement and Hindu bashing targets him continuously in an attempt to malign his image. It seems that this time around the left-liberals in India are making full use of their foreign counterparts in order to settle scores with Swamy. And this is why we are witnessing such academic intolerance in the US.