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END HARVARD'S ASSOCIATION WITH HATE GROUPS!

We the undersigned insist that Harvard University end its association with Aryan Supremacist/Creationist hate-mongering activities.

Professor Michael Witzel and his "scholarly clique" in the Harvard Sanskrit and Indian Studies Department have exhibited a pattern of hateful, ignorant statements and abysmally low standards of scholarship. This is not the Harvard that alumni paid heavily in time and money to attend and build a reputation for excellence. Witzels activities have made Harvard the object of anger, disgust, contempt and ridicule of ordinary citizens.

Shockingly Low Standards

Recently, Witzel and his "scholarly clique" earned ridicule for Harvard by sending a shockingly incompetent letter [1] to the California State Board of Education. This letter represented the collective achievement of 50 self-described Prominent Academics. The sweeping hate stereotypes, ad hominem attacks, and general lack of facts in their letter make for depressing reading by any Harvard well-wisher. On questioning, several of the signatories confessed to not even having seen the proposed changes that they were bitterly opposing.

Predictably, the California Board, after affording these losers undeserved courtesy based on Harvards name, rejected their position as unscholarly, insensitive, biased and devoid of facts - heaping ridicule on the Harvard brand. If this is the standard of tenured Professors, what does it imply for the worth of a Harvard education?

Hate Groups on Harvard Pay?

Michael Witzel signed his Harvard affiliation to the following sample quotes on the "Indo-Eurasian Research" (IER) Internet hate group that he runs. These show his bias against the Indian-American community, who should be Harvards primary customer base for Sanskrit and Indian history studies. We record our abhorrence of these actions which have shredded Harvards reputation as a civilized institution. We summarize from a recent article [2] that details the references:

"'Indian Civilization' would be a good idea".

NRI (non-resident Indian) stands for Non-Returning Indians! A schoolyard bullys taunt against immigrant children, but coming from a tenured Harvard Professor?
Indians in the USA do not invest in the higher education of their children (since they avoid the zoo that Witzel has made of his own department?)
Witzel invented the slur "HiNA" as an acronym for Hindus in North America, meaning in Sanskrit, inferior, lowly and defective. While this probably impresses his Prominent Academic IER cronies with his 3rd-grade vocabulary, we wonder if this juvenile propensity to invent racial slurs defines Harvards intellectual class in 2005.
In declaring Hindu-Americans to be lost or abandoned, Witzel had described Hindus using the same phrase that a rabid anti-Semite had used to describe Jewish people a few years ago. Coincidence or symptom?
Witzels fantasies are ominously reminiscent of WW2 German genocide:
Since they won't be returning to India, [Hindus immigrants to the USA] have begun building crematoria as well.
Witzel sneers at the Hindu belief in evolution, enshrined in the Ten Incarnations, which include the Mihira, the wild boar.
"Second generation [Hindu] people just understand [Hinduism] as "boaring rituals" (puja, etc.), temple visits and Indian (mythological) comic books ... "

We note that Indian-American parents must resort to comic books to teach their heritage to their children, precisely because of the sorry state of textbooks and academic curricula [3] Witzel as self-proclaimed world expert has failed to exert positive leadership in the field of his presumed scholarship.

Witzel ridicules the most sacred of Hindu mantras: inexcusable for a schoolyard bully, not to mention a historian and professor. He writes:
Many short mantras (the later biija mantras) like oM have humble origins the Veda.... used in the Veda to call your goat .. and your wife. This was carried on for several posts of racist banter on the IER forum with his sidekick, Farmer.

Witzel made inflammatory comments against the daughters of Indian-American parents, who take the trouble to learn their heritage through traditional art forms. In the worst of racist slander, Witzel claims that Indian classical music and dance reflect low moral standards.

The above reflects the attitudes associated with the Nazi genocide planners against Jews and other citizens in 1930s Europe. The Nazis systematically whipped up hatred through distortion, defamation, vilification and demonization. It is more than alarming that Harvard nurtures such attitudes in 2005.

George Fredrickson defines racism as "hostile or negative feelings of one group towards another and actions that result". In the 1930s, the Nazi publication Der Sturmer ran contests encouraging German children to write in. One little girl wrote, "People are so bothered by the way we're treating the Jews. They can't understand it, because they are God's creatures. But cockroaches are also God's creatures, and we destroy them."

Such racist bigotry is standard fare on the IER forum, where all posts require editing and approval by Witzel or Farmer. Witzel presents this behavior as being approved by Harvard university, using his Harvard Wales Professor designation. This is a clear, egregious violation of faculty standards advertised by Harvard.

The Aryan Supremacist School of Creationism?

Witzels screeching against the community is often part of his marketing of the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), now re-packaged as "Aryan Influx Theory". This marries his staunch supporter (A scholar of course!) S. Farmers Creationist dogma, with Witzels Aryan Supremacist requirement that all civilization must have emanated from his Aryan Caucasian roots. Devoid of intellectual substance, this gang personally abuses anyone who cites the growing scientific evidence debunking AIT.

The evidence points to distributed local evolution of civilization, independent of any Caucasian influx.

Harvard Calls Californians Idiots for Rejecting Bigotry

Witzel and Farmer use their censored forum to juvenile sneers at California State Board of Education Curriculum Commissioners, retired international banking senior executives, at Indian historians, and generally at the community of well-read, accomplished, scientifically expert Indian-Americans who challenge ignorance and bias. Farmer is on record calling the California State Board of Educations rejection of the Witzel rants, idiocy and threatening to overturn their decision, presumably through extra-legal means.

Harvard Working Full-Time to Overthrow Lawful Decisions

Farmer claims, citing Witzel as source, that Witzel and several others (presumably Harvard graduate students) continue to work "full-time" for several weeks during the Fall 2005 academic term, on pressuring the California Board. Clearly, "full-time" work on such political pressure tactics constitutes abuse of Harvard resources.

A Clear Record of Incompetence and Out-of-Control Behavior

Harvard Administrators have known for over a decade [4] about Witzels egregious conduct. Hired as a Visiting Professor, Witzel was made department Chair with undue haste, ignoring the need to exert due diligence before awarding tenure or administrative responsibility. His disastrous performance [5] as Department Chair is clearly documented.

Academic Freedom or an Atmosphere of Fear at Harvard?

The chaos caused by Witzel forced students to go public in the 1990s, with the unique spectacle of a Department Chair threatening a student with a lawsuit because she took and forwarded notes of a student meeting in the department.

Ten years after this spectacle, Witzel is at it again. He propagates a culture of nepotism and inbreeding, anointing unqualified, immoderate individuals to world expert titles using Harvards name, and joining them in vicious behavior.

Summary: Enough of Irresponsible Behavior!

Harvards reputation has been battered by association with anti-Semitic Nazi groups, the faculty role in driving policies that led to genocides in Cambodia and East Pakistan [6], the revelations about racial slurs and other foul language [7] by its most famous faculty, and its Presidents ludicrously sexist statements. Our hopes of moving on from such things have been shattered by the behavior of Harvards Aryan Supremacist Sanskrit Professor. The nepotism and inbreeding of bigotry are dismal revelations about 21st century Harvard.

Harvards Responsibility

The facts are clear. A Harvard employee is, and has been, systematically using Harvard resources to conduct abusive attacks on the community.
The statements being made on Harvard time and affiliation are blatantly racist and bigoted, and inflame hatred against minorities something no university can hide under academic freedom excuses.
Rather than support community organizations and parents who have been working patiently to correct the falsehoods in textbooks, Harvard has attacked in them with slanderous accusations of political motivation and violent association.
False claims of international prominence are being bestowed on unqualified individuals in Harvards name to hide their ignorance and incompetence.

Such activity is clearly incompatible with published university regulations [8]. We therefore respectfully insist that:

1. The Provost of Harvard University bears responsibility for enforcing Harvard regulations as they pertain to faculty conduct using the Harvard name. S(he) must either act forcefully to enforce standards [9], or get out of the way.
2. Harvard's President must post an immediate apology to the offended groups and individuals. The slurs and slander against Hindu Americans is far more egregious than their stupid remarks about gender differences in intelligence.
3. Harvard must enforce termination of Harvard's association with hate groups such as IER and their Moderators.
4. Harvard must forthwith put in place polices and processes to prevent recurrence of such abuse of the Harvard name.
5. Clearly, the actions of the present department Sanskrit and Indian Studies department, are destroying Harvards hard-won reputation for excellence. We strongly advise Harvard to disband this department, at least until such time as they can find qualified scholars who can relate to the community, and can understand the history, culture and modern evolution of India and Hinduism.

Thank you.

This Open Letter was created by the Alumni for Civility in Academic Discourse (ACAD) in collaboration with Citizens To End Racism in Academia (CERA), and Citizens to Stop Funding Hatred (CSFH). We are literate, knowledgeable and competent in what we do, we care about our children's education, and want them to succeed as sensitive, caring human beings in a competitive, multicultural global community of the 21st century.

End Notes

[1] Witzel, M., "Letter rom Prominent Academicians" on Harvard letterhead to CA Board of Education. http://jitnasa.india-forum.com/Docs/Edn_CA_Text_Book_letter_by_Prominent_Academicians_1114.pdf
[2] Kalyanaraman, S., "Harvard professor launches anti-Hindu Crusade", India Forum, December 9, 2005. http://www.india-forum.com/articles/55/1/Harvard-professor-launches-anti-Hindu-Crusade
[3] U.S. Hinduism Studies: A Question of Shoddy Scholarship http://www.beliefnet.com/story/146/story_14684_2.html
[4] Lewin, Jonathan A., "Sanskrit Dept. in Disarray, Students, Officials Say". The Harvard Crimson, Wednesday, June 07, 1995. http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=500579
[5] No Writer Attributed: "Former Sanskrit Chair Remains Controversial
Students Grumble in Spite of Changes" The Harvard CRIMSON, Wednesday, June 05, 1996. http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=89651
[6] Wikipedia entry on Henry Kissinger. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger.
[7] Staff, Kissinger 'regrets' slur against Indians. The Guardian, July 1, 2005.
Henry Kissinger said today that he regretted calling Indians "bastards", after recently released transcripts revealed his comments during a taped conversation with then-president Richard Nixon. http://www.guardian.co.uk/india/story/0,12559,1519396,00.html
[8] The use of Harvard Names and Insignias http://www.provost.harvard.edu/policies_guidelines/useofname/names_insignias.php
[9] Statement on Outside Activities of Holders of Academic Appointments
http://www.provost.harvard.edu/policies_guidelines/academic_appointments.php

Related Reading

[A] Textbooks should instill a sense of pride in every child in his or her heritage" California State Board of Education Guidelines http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/documents/socialcontent.pdf
[B] Stickel, S, et al, List of changes approved by CA State Board of Education Curriculum Review panel, pertaining to Hinduism and India on Nov. 5, 2005.
http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/ag/ag/yr05/documents/bluenov05item05.doc
[C] Komerath, N., "Scholarship of Equine Posteriors - Har(vard)appa Style". India News at iVarta.com, December 4, 2005. http://www.indiacause.com/columns/OL_051204.htm
[D] List of co-signors of Witzel Letter. http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/witzelletter.pdf
[E] SepiaMutiny discussion:"Reading the fine print in textbooks". http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/002613.html#comments

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Jayne DudleyBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Citizens and Academia against Racism, Hindus and Harvard University

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