The Rani of Jhansi on horseback kills an Englishman with her sword (ca. 1860), Edwin Binney 3rd Collection, San Diego Museum of Art

The Fury Over India’s Citizenship Amendment Act and The Silence About Hindu Persecution

Indu Viswanathan, Ed.D.
11 min readDec 18, 2019


Four days into my first student teaching placement in a second-grade classroom on the Upper East Side was the day the planes hit the towers. In the days and weeks that followed, my shoulder was gripped by a dull throbbing every time I rode the bus between home, school, and Teachers College. It escalated into chronic pain that led to a diagnosis of a torn supraspinatus tendon. Two years of physical therapy and I gradually regained full movement. But, as is the nature of these injuries, I was never the same.

I remember the intensity of knowing I was being watched while I was on the bus, even when someone wasn’t muttering at me or spitting on me. Not everyone would glare, and those who did represented different races and classes. (O, the beautiful diversity of New York City public transportation!) I could feel my entire body tense up, hardening in order to deflect hate and misperception, feeling the rage of strangers’ stereotypes about me. It made sense that a part of my physical body tore, my shoulder that carries the weight of my world. I had been jarringly ripped out of the fabric of my own city, shoved into the role of Other, because some people felt it was patriotic to be suspicious of people who “seemed” Muslim.

Of course, this was eighteen years ago, before most people — even in a progressive, intellectual city like New York — recognized Islamophobia.

My shoulder started throbbing again last week. The pain has become unbearable. Only this time, it’s not because I’m misidentified as Muslim. Now it’s because I am Hindu and because progressive intellectuals don’t recognize or acknowledge that they are righteously, ceaselessly championing anti-Hinduism activism.

It breaks my heart when I hear Hindu friends say, “They just want us to shut up and die.” I’ve said it myself.

Hindu persecution doesn’t matter to the world.

Sensationalism Overrides Sensibility

The stunningly bizarre response to the Citizenship Amendment Act drove this point home for me. The Western press, with its unethical, shoddy coverage of the legislation, is so obsessed with its “India is headed towards…



Indu Viswanathan, Ed.D.

Mother | Daughter | Immigration & Teacher Education | Decoloniality | Dharma | Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu