Images and machinery, both symbols of Hindu supremacy and Muslim subjugation, rolled down Oak Tree Road last month.


This week, our No. 1 story shoved its way to the top of our most-read stories. Audrey Truschke, the director of Asian Studies at Rutgers University-Newark, wrote about the problematic symbolism of the bulldozer in modern Indian culture.

Commonly used and interpreted as a tool in construction, the bulldozer is the weapon of choice employed for the destruction of homes and businesses owned by Indians of the Muslim faith who dare to speak out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath — both symbols of Hindu supremacy and Muslim subjugation.

As Edison and Middlesex County, home to 25% of Jersey’s South Asian community, celebrated Indian Independence Day with a parade last month, a bulldozer, replete with photos of Modi and the Hindu monk, appeared as part of the celebration. It rolled down Oak Tree Road like all the other colorful floats.

And the hate doesn’t stop there. Truschke said she’s faced threats from these groups and often travels with armed protection.

“Violence is baked into Hindu nationalist ideology,” she said in an email. “Every scholar of Hindu nationalism knows that basic fact, and yet it has provided me only cold comfort as I have endured being a potential target of such wrath. I have received death and rape threats, against me and my family, from far-right Hindu nationalists for years.”

This story was originally published in . Read the full story here