Deep divisions are brewing within Aotearoa’s Indian diaspora, highlighting parallels to the mindsets that preceded the March 15 Christchurch terror attack. Those fighting the rise of a far-right Indian nationalist ideology have spoken out. But they worry no-one is listening. Laura Walters reports.
Professor Mohan Dutta seems conflicted.
The polite Massey University academic thanks me, then thanks me again. He wants people to know about the rise of a far-right Indian nationalist movement that’s made its way into the New Zealand diaspora.
He wants a mature debate about the political ideology, Hindutva, and what it means for those minority communities that feel targeted by its majoritarian views.
But he’s also worried about what having this conversation could mean for his safety. He is happy to attach his name to this story – that ship has sailed – but Dutta stops short of having his photo taken.
In the past week, a fresh round of abuse has been lobbed at him. It followed a piece in the NZ publication Indian News, accusing him of an “anti-Hindu campaign”, and being “a left-leaning bigot under the garb of an academician, abusing his institution to spread hatred against Hindus, the world’s most peaceful community”.
“Bootlicker”, “brown servant”, they say. “If you were in India you would be burnt… We should do anything in our power to stop him.”