Book Review: Academic Hinduphobia: A critique of Wendy Doniger’s erotic school of Indology

 

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Academician in Ancient Indian heart holds high stature. The Ancient Indian Proverb declared that “Guru (Teacher), must consider greater than God itself.” This can be seen in the resonant Indian culture of Guru Shishya parampara (teacher-student tradition) of India and Verse from “Kabir Vani” (Saying of Saint Kabir).

“गुरु गोबिन्द दोउ खडे काके लागूँ पाँय, बलिहारी गुरु आपने गोबिन्द दियो बताय”

Guru and God both are here, to whom should I first bow
All glory be unto the guru, path to God who did bestow

-:Saint Kabir.

 “Academic Hinduphobia” is account and act of western gurus, who had broken all the limits to pollute such Indian notion of Guru’s Garima (Honor of teachers). It is very painful for me to write about Academician which could change the face of Hinduism if they haven’t chosen a subvert version of politics and favouritism to maligned Hinduism.

Rajiv Malhotra investigates historicity of many academicians which hail from the prestigious Institute of the world. This cradle of education, enlightenment, investigation, intellectualism is part of the world which generally invisible to the normal people. But ideas and thought pressed by them take shapes in world perception slowly but surely. It used to amuse me when people argued that Ravan was much better than Lord Rama or Dhuryodhan was much better than Arjuna. These question which investigates the negative understanding of scripture has some starting point in Hinduism. Rajiv Malhotra through works investigates the deep roots of such thoughts. Rajiv Malhotra’s this book is basically a compilation of his essays in Sulekha.com and various intellectual e-groups. His Journey of understanding American academia through the critical approach given him the wisdom to understand the power structure of the academic class.

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Rajiv MalhotraAuthor of path-breaking books i.e. Battle for Sanskrit, Indra Net, Breaking India, Being different and Academic Hinduphobia (Image Source: http://www.infinityfoundation.com)

Introduction of the book starts with an interview where Rajiv Malhotra explaining his journey of being businessmen to pioneer rishi of Hinduism for exposing the Hinduphobia in Western academia. Rajiv Malhotra explains that how it is very hard for young Hindus when they faced discrimination which is stereotyped by such academician in name of investigating culture studies with modern tools like psychoanalysis.  In Chapter 8, he describes his friend situation where she been publicly mocked by a friend colleague for wearing Bindi in her forehead. According to her statement, her friend was so much convenience that wearing Bindi is equal to wearing menstruation blood on the forehead because somewhere in the academic circle he read about it. This interpretation of her culture forced her to meet with writer and investigate the source of such ugly and horrified misinterpretation of Indian symbolism.

The Academic cult of Eroticizing of Hindu

Books start with the chapter named The Academic cult of Eroticizing of Hindu. This chapter is about Mr Rajeev Maholtra and his foundation Infinity foundation interview with Mr Vishal Agarwal.

Agarwal enquired Rajeev Malhotra journey to the field of Indology and their representation of Hindu American Community in United State. Rajiv Malhotra gives synopses of his early involvement in Infinity foundation and their work for Hindu social upliftment in Western society. Rajeev explains in detail the mission which wanted to confine the Hindu culture and their thought to only sexual interpretation.

Rajeev Malhotra explains:-

I surmised that hindus in united state were ignorant of these books [“Kali child” by Kripal Jeffery and “Genesa: The lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings” by Paul Courtright] despite their large scale use in collaghe for teaching about hinduism. My hunch turned out to be largely correct. However, there were of these books but had chosen to do nothing for various reason. Some argued : “Who cares if a scholar writes this nonsense about their faithg becasue we know better”. Others said, We are a tolerant religion and by objecting the distoprtion of hinduism, we dont want to come across as a fanatical community”.  (Source Academic Hidnuphobia Page 2-3)

According to Rajiv Malhotra, Current Hindu generation live in colonial inferiority complex where we (Indians) have this manic understanding of “White is Right”. I do agree with him. As a Quality inspector in MNC (My real profession for the living), I have faced this situation, where Indian staff used to give unwanted attention to their white client and worker. I remember of doing, commissioning of one project, where white technician been treated as the king by General Manager of Indian Public sector companies. I stand for equal behaviour but this unwanted patting of whites is the reflection of our inferiority complex with whites. Even now, Indians used to say “I beg for..” which is colonial slangs used during the time of British Raj.

Recently, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu pulled up Union Minister Jitendra Singh for using the “colonial” expression of “I beg to” while laying official papers on the table of the House.

Naidu pulls up Minister for using ‘I beg’ to lay papers

Related Post: Hindu Phobia in Indian Intellectuals Mind

The Asymmetric Dialog of Civilisations

In this chapter, this book explains the power pattern which western have over Indian authority. Western academic have great experience of studies the “Other” for their personal use. British Raj spent millions of dollars on Indic studies for understanding, controlling and using their colonies like India, Africa and Many other nations. Most of the colonies, being whitewashed as the savage and brutal society by Colonial masters for creating guilt amongst the societies like India. But after the Post Colonial era, this power equation is hardly changed. Now, the Only Location of Academic control of Indian studies moved from England to the United State. But, Indian (Natives) views on their religion still consider as stupid and emotionally charged view. Often these views charged as extremism or right-wing propaganda. The recent case of Beef Ban on India is one of the live examples:-

The prohibition of cow slaughter is also one of the Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Article 48 of the Constitution. It reads, “The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

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Cow Slaughter ban as per Article 48 of Indian Constitution

But when current govt extends the same directive principle from one state to another, it becomes hot topics amongst intellectuals, political power holders and states. However, Western Media fumed it with negative perception like Hindus imposition on other religion. While that’s not true. This law exists since India got Independence.

For more Insight I suggest, every Indian must read this book…

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