|An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America. This book is a chronicle of an important attempt to start a new kind of dialog in India-related cultural and post-colonial studies. The book documents essays, critiques and surveys of western scholarship on religions and traditions in India|
Invading The Sacred
India, once a major civilizational and economic power that suffered centuries of decline, is now newly resurgent in business, geopolitics, and culture. However, a powerful counterforce within the American Academy is systematically undermining core icons and ideals of Indic Culture and thought. For instance, scholars of this counterforce have disparaged the Bhagavad Gita as “a dishonest book”; declared Ganesha’s trunk a “limp phallus”; classified Devi as the “mother with a penis” and Shiva as “a notorious womanizer” who incites violence in India; pronounced Sri Ramakrishna a pedophile who sexually molested the young Swami Vivekananda; condemned Indian mothers as being less loving of their children than white women; and interpreted the bindi as a drop of menstrual fluid and the “ha” in sacred mantras as a woman’s sound during orgasm.
Are these isolated instances of ignorance or links in an institutionalized pattern of bias driven by certain civilizational worldviews?
Are these academic pronouncements based on evidence, and how carefully is this evidence cross-examined? How do these images of India and Indians created in the American Academy influence public perceptions through the media, the education system, policymakers and popular culture?
Adopting a politically impartial stance, this book, the product of an intensive multi-year research project, uncovers the invisible networks behind this Hinduphobia, narrates the Indian Diaspora’s challenges to such scholarship, and documents how those who dared to speak up have been branded as “dangerous”. The book hopes to provoke serious debate. For example:
- How do Hinduphobic works resemble earlier American literature depicting non-whites as dangerous savages needing to be civilized by the West?
- Are India’s internal social problems going to be managed by foreign interventions in the name of human rights?
- How do power imbalances and systemic biases affect the objectivity and quality of scholarship?
- What are the rights of practitioner-experts in “talking back” to academicians?
- What is the role of India’s intellectuals, policymakers, and universities in fashioning an authentic and enduring response?
Aditi Banerjee received a B.A. in International Relations, magna cum laude, from Tufts University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She is a practicing attorney in New York. Her publications include: The Hyphenated Hindus, in Outlook India; Hindu-American: Both Sides of the Hyphen, in Silicon India; and Hindu Pride, in Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs in America (Jon Butler et al. eds., Oxford University Press.) She is interested in the preservation and revival of the traditional ways of knowledge rooted in Sanatana Dharma.
Antonio T. de Nicolas, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He was educated in Spain, India and the United States receiving his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University, New York. He is presently a director of the Biocultural Research Institute in Florida. He is the author of several books on Philosophy and Hinduism such as Avatara The humanization of Philosophy through the Bhagavad Gita, Meditations through the Rig Veda and Habits of Mind: An introduction to Clinical Philosophy.
Krishnan Ramaswamy, Ph.D. is a scientist with a background in psychometric research. His areas of research include clinical outcomes trials in major mental and neurological illnesses. He is active in rural education projects in India, particularly among disadvantaged children. He works with the Infinity Foundation and is a student of the Vedas, Vedanta, Sanskrit, and Panini, and has had a lifelong interest in bhakti poetry from various regions of India, particularly Maharashtra.
The Bhagavad Gita is not as nice a book as some Americans think . . . Throughout the Mahabharata . . . Krishna goads human beings into all sorts of murderous and self-destructive behaviors such as war . . . The Gita is a dishonest book; it justifies war.
Wendy Doniger, in Philadelphia Inquirer1
There is generally, therefore, an inverse ratio between the worship of goddesses and the granting of rights to human women. Nor are the goddesses by and large compassionate; they are generally a pretty bloodthirsty lot. Goddesses are not the solution.
Wendy Doniger, in Washington Post2
Indeed, hateful speech and false information can create a climate in which . . . violence is to be expected . . . So how long will it be before a crazed gunman attacks a crowded Hindu temple in America, believing, . . . that Hindus are possessed by demons? How many children will grow up believing Hinduism is a ‘filthy’ religion, or that Hindus worship the devil? When they grow up, how will such children treat their Hindu co-workers and neighbors? Will they give them the respect due to a fellow citizen and human being?
Jeffery D. Long, Chair, Department of Religious Studies Elizabethtown College
The BBC-linked site introduces her as follows: “Professor Wendy Doniger is known for being rude, crude and very lewd in the hallowed portals of Sanskrit Academics.
WENDY UNDER ATTACK AGAIN!
OPPONENTS OF BOOK BANNING
Baltimore, Maryland, USA:
ARTICLES CONDEMNING PAUL COURTRIGHT
ARTICLES SUPPORTING PAUL COURTRIGHT
ARTICLES OPPOSING SHELDON POLLOCK
Response to Prof Sheldon Pollock’s interview published in Indian Express | IndiaFacts
A response by Prof. Girish Nath Jha, Dean, School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies, JNU to a recent interview of Prof Sheldon Pollock published in …
Unmasking Sheldon Pollock’s blatant and unabashed Hinduphobia
Hinduphobia—pure and simple.
Lost in translation
Is it right to reduce a layered (besides being revered) character like Rama to a caricature in a contemporary American comic strip?
25 years ago, Goldman would not bother to address the concerns of the Hindu community. Now he is forced to behave more sensitively at least in public, thanks to the social media activists.
The Scholar Whom Audrey Truschke Cites Finds Her Tweet ‘Shocking’
Will Ms. Truschke apologize now?
The arguments used are also the same. Attack, then play the victim. Refuse to engage, claim “threats.” This is a tactic used for centuries. “Native Americans” were “savages” for resisting attacks.
Dead Peoples Tell No Tales
Locating Doniger in the discourse of power “I set out to grasp the mechanisms of the effective exercise of power, and I do this because of the…
Reza Aslan, host of CNN’s ‘Believer’Daily bulletin of Hinduism Today (Hawaii)Twitts from Congress woman Tulsi Gabbard has posted 11 twitts. Here is one of her twitts:2/ I am very disturbed that CNN is using its power and influence to increase people’s misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism.http://www.chakranews.com/cnn-reza-aslans-believer-series-criticized-falsely-portraying-hindu-culture-displaying-systematic-hinduphobia/5826http://www.worldreligionnews.com/culture/celebrity/believer-cnn-documentary-hosted-reza-aslan-causes-outcry-hindu-leaders-activistsHindu groups in US demand apology from CNN for allegedly promoting ‘Hinduphobia’ | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & AnalysisHindu groups in US demand apology from CNN for allegedly promoting ‘Hinduphobia’ | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis – Politik – Netavisen 180Grader.dk