Words On the Indica Controversy
Although I have very succinctly addressed this issue in a thread on Twitter, I realize that my statement did not have the clarity or strength I intended, and that something more substantial is required. With such a weighty issue touching many people in the Pagan and polytheist communities at this time, the last thing I wish to do is cause further distress or harm to anyone.
When I was invited to participate in the Indica conference on Polytheisms Today & Tomorrow, I did so seeing this as an opportunity for me to join with other polytheist artists in a forum that could showcase our works of devotion to our gods, and provide much needed fellowship with like minded practitioners. I attended the conference as a guest panelist for the Numen Arts cooperative of artists, and the work I presented was my own work created prior to the conference. At the time of the conference I was unaware of any affiliations Indica had with Hindu nationalists or their platform being used to give voice to Hindutva aims. These I was not made aware of until the eruption of the controversy this week. I take ownership of my choices, and realize how important it is for thorough research to be done before I commit to participation in events sponsored by other parties. This has been a traumatic learning experience for me.
I want to make it very clear that I am not affiliated with Indica and will not be participating in further conferences or events on any of their platforms. I am not an advocate of Hindu nationalism or a supporter of Hindutva.
Moreover, my value system is grounded in pluralism and cooperation between practitioners of many traditions, without belief in any one taking precedence or having superiority over another. I do not condone the use of violence in the name of religion or religious ideals, but condemn it utterly as embodying a threat not only to those it is directed at, but the human condition entire. Whenever and wherever violence is used to justify religious purity, it transforms religion into a tool for the worst kind of oppression. I do not stand for violence or for any ideology that would use violence as a tool for asserting its aims over others.
Likewise, fascism has no place in my beliefs or practices, and is an insidious ideology that cannot be allowed to take root in our communities and traditions. I do not stand for fascist philosophies and will not stand by those who espouse them. This is an issue Pagan and polytheist communities need to confront with serious dialogue and action together, and one I am committed to addressing with my peers.