A deep analysis of #DismantlingGlobalHindutva
Dismantling Global Hindutva was a mega 3 day conference that took place from September 10-12 with participants from all over the world. The conference was co-sponsored by 50 US Universities which included the likes of New York University, Stanford University, Harvard and Princeton. The organisers of the conference remained anonymous however, the list of speakers at the event boasted many high profile authors, academicians and activists.
As per their own statements released on their website, the conference was organised to address the growing nature of Hindu extremism since the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act in 2019 and the overall nature of right wing Hindutva nationalism and its progression since 2014 general elections. The have drawn a distinction between Hinduism and Hindutva saying that the latter often has contradictory policies and also discriminate against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and even Hindu women. Since the ideology of Hindutva has such a far reaching consequences and has been active for more than 100 years, the conference wanted to do a comparative analysis of the same to provide a more diverse perspective to the ideology.
Backlash and global coverage
The conference organizers and speakers faced the complete wrath of right wing nationalists who saw this conference to be an attack on Hindus. Several universities such as Rutgers eventually withdrew their support from the conference amidst these complaints. Hindu activist organisations from India sent letters and emails to the universities to withdraw their support.
Amidst this storm, the hashtag #DismantlingGlobalHindutva began to trend on twitter and here we have analyzed the various aspects of it.
- Thousands of tweets were made peaking on September 11,2021
- Top accounts mentioned in the tweets were @dghconference, @audreytruschke followed by @narendramodi and @meenakandasamy
- High profile accounts from the US participated in the tweets
- Some Pakistani accounts also tweeted within this hashtag
- Data to substantiate links between Indian American Muslim Council, Pieter Friedrich and the Conference handle.
- Tweets timeline on hashtag:
The timeline of the tweet saw the peak on 11th Sept, 2021 with 2272 tweets on the day. This was the second day of the conference. We have attached the graph down below.
- Word Clouds
Both hindi and english were used within this hashtag and in order to understand what kind of words were used and with what frequency, here we have created two word clouds, one in Hindi and the other of the English tweets.
- Accounts who tweeted mostly on the hashtag:
As is with all hashtags, this hashtag was also used by a couple of accounts more frequently than others. Accounts who tweeted the most on the hashtag are the_ghadar, maheshkaul2 followed by sshanmugavel.
- Top accounts who were mentioned:
- Hashtags used:
There were three main hashtags used by people who were talking about this topic, namely, #dismantlingglobalhindutva,followed by #hindutva and #dismantlinghinduphobia. The latter two hashtags however were used by those who were not in support of the conference.
- Top Verified Accounts:
In the image above, those with green frames tweeted in support of the conference and those with red frames tweeted against the conference.
- Top Pakistani Accounts Who Got Involved:
An interesting thing we found during our analysis was that several Pakistani handles took part within the hashtag. Pakistani accounts that were involved with the hashtag includes AmnahJPlus, NaikRooh, ali_14572, etc.
- Retweets and Tweets Ratio of Pakistan Users:
- Top US Accounts Who Got Involved:
- Retweets and Tweets Ratio of USA Users:
From our analysis we were able to determine that the top US accounts who tweeted within these hashtags mostly retweeted tweets. Overall, in the ratio between re-tweets and tweets, re-tweets were higher.
- Network Graph of US and Pak Accounts:
One extremely important thing to note is that some of the US accounts that tweeted within the hashtag had a complex network of connections with Pakistani accounts. Attached below is an interactive plot of the networks between them.
- Twitter Accounts Mentioned by dghconference:
The handle of the conference mosty tagged itself in its tweets but the top number of tags after their own handle were @audreytruschke and @the_ghadar who were each tagged more than 5 times separately.
- Top 30 Verified Followers of dghconference:
- Users Location On the World Map Who Tweeted On the Hashtag:
World Map locating users who tweeted on the hashtag. Maximum users were located in India followed by Pakistan and USA.
Linkages with Pieter Friedrich and the Indian American Muslim Council
- Indian American Muslim Council
In our research, we found that two of the biggest promoters of the conference were freelance journalist Pieter Friedrich and a handle called the Indian American Muslim Council. Both Pieter Friedrich and IAMC are on the follower list of the conference. The handle IAMC regularly and vigorously tweeted about the conference and here we have some examples of the same.
You can read IAMC’s press release on the conference here.
- Common Re-Tweeters of IAMC on DGHC Posts:
With our analysis we were able to find that the Indian American Muslim Council and the conference handle had a lot of common linkages within them. We found multiple accounts who were active followers of IAMC who were retweeting within the hashtag.
- Pieter Friedrich
Pieter Friedrich is a popular freelance journalist who often writes about the Hindu nationalist movement in India and had been in the spotlight in February 21, 2021 when Greta Thunberg’s toolkit led to the arrest of the climate activist Disha Ravi. Friedrich was listed as a resource-person in the toolkit and was investigated for the same.
He even wrote an article about the conference on Medium.
- Common Retweeters of Pieter Friedrich and DGHC:
Below is the graph of the common Re-Tweeters of Pieter Friedrich and DGHC posts.
Within the hashtags, we found that many verified handles took part in the hashtag. The fact that the conference was supported by numerous US based universities was taken advantage of by users from Pakistan who sought to push their own narrative within this hashtag. Overall, our analysis suggests that the hashtag was primarily used by users that were either for or against the conference but there were some fringe elements that sought to add in their agenda within the hashtag as well.