The rise of Hindu-phobia

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by fyodor, May 29, 2014.

  1. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

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    It is usually the right-wing fundamentalists who raise the issue of Hindu-phobia (hatred of all things Hindu), but no one takes them seriously as they have a habit of being oversensitive opportunists and making a mountain of a molehill. In fact, any one who talks about ‘Hindu-phobia’ is at risk of being branded ‘saffron’. And thus the conversation is gagged.

    [​IMG]


    But in the wake of the victory of the BJP at the parliamentary elections, and the fear psychosis that has gripped many ‘liberals’ in social media, it is important to talk about it just as there is merit in talking about homo-phobia (hatred of gay and lesbians) and Islamo-phobia (fear of Muslims) amongst the Great Indian Middle Class which now has to be taken seriously.
    In India, we do not really experience Hindu-phobia as much, as the majority of the population of India is Hindu. Also because in India, it is very difficult to separate the religious from the cultural. Is a sari, for example, a religious uniform or a cultural expression? Pakistani political leaders, I am told, discouraged women from wearing a sari as it was religious. Television channels today discourage women from wearing sari so that they look more secular.
    Hindu-phobia is slowly rising amongst people who want to prove they are liberal and secular. You see this is in advertising on Indian television dominated by young people who are obliged to appear hip and hence disdainful of all things religious or even cultural. In fact, to be either is to be ‘downmarket’ — only meant for soap serials. Take a look at one of the many ‘Happy’ videos of Pharell Williams, the one that is based in Mumbai, and you will be confused if it is Mumbai or Brazil.
    But Hindu-phobia is most evident when you travel to other parts of the world and find how Hinduism is projected. This is mostly because the benchmark for all religious activity internationally is either Christianity or Islam and so many Hindus do not know how to explain why to be Hindu you do not need Church/Mosque, baptism/circumcision, Sunday/Friday prayers.
    It becomes even more difficult to explain the multiple expressions of divinity, which may even include animal and plant forms. Most Hindus abroad never really studied Hinduism when they were in India. They are mostly ambitious economic migrants who are at their wit’s end when it comes to explaining what it means to be a Hindu to their neighbours, or to their children. Hindu diversity adds to the complication. This makes them rather defensive or apologetic or indifferent. So many turn to the right-wing who seem to be the only one addressing their problem.
    Things are further complicated by well meaning but naïve (and occasionally polemic) Western academicians. They research scriptures that average Hindus do not read and so dig out ideas that seem alien to the practicing Hindu. They say things like ‘Hindus worship the male penis but are in denial of this’ or ‘Gita is a dishonest and confusing book that is perpetrates caste hierarchies’.
    Their universities and students (Indians included) are convinced such academic analysis is correct as ‘the book says so’ not realising that Hinduism is not based on any book but on local beliefs and customs that may not be pan-Indian. This adds to confusion, and the sense of persecution prevalent amongst many NRIs.
    Like all phobias, Hindu-phobia has roots in ignorance and fear. Very rarely is it of the psychopathic variety for which there is no reason, hence no cure. Awareness of Hindu-phobia and addressing it gently does not make anyone ‘saffron’. And even if it does, so what — its all part of the diversity rainbow flag.
    The author is Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.
    - See more at: The rise of Hindu-phobia? - News
     
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  3. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    How the new anti-Semitism can provide insight into Hinduphobia | The HAF Blog

    The Anti-Defamation League’s “Global 100” study released this week not only gives us a comprehensive understanding of the new anti-Semitism, it provides context into the nature of contemporary Hinduphobia: subtle, often unintentional, and yet depressingly pervasive.

    The study, which resulted from surveys conducted in 101 countries and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, showed that a quarter of the world’s population held anti-Semitic views. The people who responded with negative views might not have considered themselves negative or hateful; instead, stereotypes and misrepresentations about a religion can breed deeply entrenched biases.

    Anti-Semitism hasn’t been as prominent in the United States in recent years, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. As the ADL study showed, even people with positive feelings about Jews hold stereotypical views that can be seen as anti-Semitic. For example, almost a third of Americans believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the United States, while almost a quarter feel that Jews talk too much about the Holocaust. While the respondents might not have seen their views as offensive, for many Jews, it’s a reminder that they are still viewed as Others.

    The ADL study has its methodological limitations, especially since the questions in the poll did not reveal respondents’ intent. Still, it provides us with a useful look at how to gauge Hinduphobia, since many Americans with Hinduphobic attitudes don’t realize that their views are offensive or biased against Hindus.

    Like anti-Semitism, Hinduphobia doesn’t have to be malicious. Many non-Hindus views our religion as exotic, while others seem curiously drawn to what they perceive to be our idol-worshiping or overly ritualistic ways. Even the most well-intentioned folks are still unable to separate Hinduism the religion from cultural or social practices, leading to questions such as “Do all Hindus get arranged marriages?”

    Those views aren’t limited to lay individuals. Many of the biases against Hindus repeat themselves in educational representations about Hinduism. Textbooks have long misrepresented Hinduism, but some examples stand out. One recent textbook stated that “Hindus have many colorful gods and goddesses,” seemingly equating Hindu forms of the divine to a Pokemon collection. Even if the author’s intent was to compliment, the tone of the depiction could be seen as quite Hinduphobic. Another book implied that Hinduism had not carried much influence outside of the Indian subcontinent, which trivializes – to a ridiculous extent – the Hindu diaspora in Southeast Asia, the West Indies, Africa, and the West, and the contributions Hindu philosophy has made to global thought and practice for thousands of years. And for the millions of non-Hindus who religiously practice yoga?

    Jewish American groups have made significant strides in recent years to fight anti-Semitic content in textbooks, and their efforts have helped to shape more constructive understandings about Judaism. The Jewish-American experience isn’t tied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nor is it defined by one profession or walk of life. Similarly, the expanse of Hinduism and the global Hindu diaspora should never be limited to India (or its politics) or homogenized through stereotypes and biases. Perhaps the ADL study and Jewish-American efforts to combat anti-Semitism (both in attitudes and content depictions) can serve as a model for Hindu-Americans wishing to fight for pluralism and a more constructively robust understanding of who we are.
     
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  4. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Hinduphobia and Anti-semitism

    Jews and Hindus today face a fearsome onslaught of racism and hatred. What makes this hate pernicious is that today it is disguised as ‘anti-racism’ and concern for the ‘oppressed’.

    Anti-Semitic hate is camouflaged as crocodile tears for Palestinians, while Hinduphobia takes the guise of concern for India’s alleged ‘lower castes and minorities’. Alarmingly, these toxic views fester in universities among alleged ‘academics’, who brainwash students.

    In the past, the motives of hateful bigots were clearer. Nazis and fascists thought that Jews were inferior and wanted to exterminate Judaism. Hindu India was invaded and millions slaughtered by Islamic and then British invaders. The Moghul goal was to exterminate Hinduism and forcibly convert everyone to Islam, while the British looted the subcontinent and introduced Christian missionaries.

    The enemies of Jews and Hindus are today, and always have been, the same. Even the ideology is similar.

    Today’s campus bigots echo the fact that European fascism was born in universities and cultivated by (mostly) German ‘thinkers’. These ‘academics’ created a fantasy of a superior ‘Aryan’ race to provide an intellectual basis for conducting pogroms against Jews, and also to justify the colonial subjugation of the Hindu majority in South Asia.

    For instance, German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and Nazi theorist Alfred Rosenburg enthusiastically backed the now-discredited ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’. This theory postulated that South Asia had been invaded in 1500 BC by light-skinned ‘Aryans’ from Central Asia, who allegedly ‘imposed’ Hinduism on the native inhabitants and subjugated them with a caste system based on color.

    This theory has now been repudiated by modern anthropologists, but it served its purpose. Since Hindus were alleged to be just another ‘invasive force’, the British reasoned that they had as much right to subjugate and rule the subcontinent as anyone.

    The unforeseen consequence of expounding these beliefs of an Aryan master-race was the flowering of European anti Semitism which culminated in the Holocaust.

    Radical Islam has always been ideologically allied to European fascism. Tunzelman’s epic book ‘Indian Summer’ reveals that racist British colonialists formed a devil’s pact with the Muslim League to encourage division in South Asia. Muslim complicity in the Holocaust is also well-known: the Grand Mufti of Palestine was able to easily recruit thousands to fight for Hitler.

    Today, the neo-Nazi and Islamist alliance against Jews and Hindus is as strong as ever. David Duke is one of Iranian President Ahmedinajad’s fans. German-origin professors like Dr Witzel, who teaches at Harvard, launched a vicious attack against Hindu attempts to eliminate hatred in California schools.

    Today, white supremacy, Islamism, and Nazism has infiltrated the ranks of alleged ‘leftist, progressive’ forces. To join forces with Islamists and to hate Israel is considered to be virtually compulsory for enrolment among these groups. Attacking Hinduism as an evil religion with an oppressive ‘caste system’ is another favored tactic of hate-mongers.

    Hindus and Jews must unite to squash these toxic ideologies. Hindu leftists must disavow Islamist attempts to stir up anti Israeli sentiments, and Jewish writers and media personalities must understand that ‘Hindu nationalism’ and Zionism are natural allies.

    Both Jewish Israel and progressive Hindu states such as Gujurat have built societies with the best human rights record on the planet. Our communities need to understand this about ourselves and each other.
     
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  5. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Anti-Defamation League Survey Shows the Complex Nature of Bias-|-Murali Balaji

    This week, the Anti-Defamation League released what it called the most comprehensive survey on global anti-Semitism, and its findings reveal the persistent, subtle, and complex nature of bias.

    The ADL's "Global 100," funded by philanthropist Leonard Stern, commissioned polling company First International Resources to conduct surveys in 101 countries and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in order to gauge levels of anti-Semitism across the world. More than 53,000 people were interviewed, and surveys were conducted in nine of the world's 10 most populated countries, except Pakistan.

    According to the survey, about a quarter of the world's population expressed some degree of negative statements about Jews, though the questions were worded in a way that didn't allow for interpretation of the respondent's intent. Common stereotypes referenced in the poll include Jews controlling American media, having too much influence over global affairs and business, or spending too much time talking about the Holocaust.

    While the polling results don't reveal how respondents to the stereotypes questions actually felt about Jews (none of the questions explicitly asked for a general feeling about Jews or Judaism), the responses showed that even people who view Jews in what they consider to be a positive manner might be expressing bias. It's like when African-Americans are told they're articulate, the person who is making the comment is often oblivious to how ignorant or racist the statement can be.

    Though anti-Semitism isn't as prevalent in the United States as in other parts of the world, the persistence of some stereotypes are hard for many American Jews to shake. As a friend told me, Jews are sometimes accused of having more loyalty to Israel than they are to the United States. The emphasis on Jews to Israel can be quite problematic since Jews are a small religious minority in every other country and deal with the daily challenges of being on the margins. Moreover, such sentiments homogenize Jews (who come from all walks of life) and makes their experience monolithic.

    Similarly, the conflation between Hindus and India overlooks the fact that Hindus are minorities -- often marginalized -- in almost every country except India, Nepal and Mauritius. Moreover, like Jews, Hindus are a heterogeneous population that has had vastly different experiences across the global diaspora. The Hindu American Foundation's annual Hindu Human Rights report, which will be released next week, highlights how a number of countries have acted upon Hinduphobic sentiments in systematically discriminatory fashion and in some cases, violence.

    Anti-Semitism can be nuanced, subtle and often unintentional. Likewise, Hinduphobia doesn't have to be openly hateful in order to have an impact. The stereotypes of Hinduism as being linked to caste, Hindus as idol worshiping, or even the perceptions of Hindus as exotic (all these are reiterated in educational and media depictions) can have a sustained negative effect on Hindu-Americans, and it's often difficult to react constructively to these sentiments.

    The ADL report also sheds light on how bias can also result from educational materials that espouse certain depictions of religious groups such as Jews (and Hindus). Many Jewish groups have worked across the world to highlight -- and try to correct -- anti-Semitism in textbooks across the globe. Similarly, organizations representing Hindus (including HAF) have highlighted the persistent mischaracterization and often blatantly Hinduphobic depictions of Hinduism in textbooks in the United States and across the world. The efforts to work with educators, textbook publishers and even parents in communities can significantly reduce bias, but more importantly build bridges among marginalized communities.

    While "Global 100" does have its methodological limitations, it can be used as a template by other faith groups to deal with issues of global bias. Perhaps once we acknowledge there is a problem of bias toward certain groups, we can collectively begin to address that problem.
     
  6. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    RIGHTS-US: 'Hindu-Phobia' Thrives in Dark Corners of the Web

    NEW YORK, 19 Nov (IPS) - Last July, a 35-year-old Indian American financial services executive was visiting Lake Tahoe in the San Francisco Bay Area with his fiancée and her cousin. As the group walked along the beach, a couple approached and called the women 'Indian sluts and whores'.

    When the victims confronted them, the two local residents responded with a volley of racial slurs, including 'Indian garbage', 'terrorists', and 'relatives of Osama bin Laden'. As they walked away, the pair followed them, maintaining their verbal assault and then brutally attacking the man.

    The couple, Joseph and Georgia Silva, is now facing felony assault charges with a hate crime enhancement that could increase the sentence if they are found guilty.

    There are no official statistics on anti-Hindu hate crimes in the United States. Even the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Hate Crime report does not have separate numbers for Hindu victims. They are instead counted in the 'anti-other religions' category.

    However, an IPS Lexis Nexis search of the last 10 years found eight high-profile cases of hate crimes against Hindus.

    'Many of them go unnoticed,' Ishani Chowdhury, executive director of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), a human rights group providing a voice for the two-million-member Hindu American community, told IPS.

    And while hate crime incidents affecting Jewish and African Americans are often prominently covered by the mainstream media, incidents involving Hindu Americans tend to slip under the radar, HAF says.

    In a report published in February titled 'Hyperlink to Hinduphobia: Online Hatred, Extremism and Bigotry Against Hindus', HAF found that websites promoting religious hatred and intolerance towards Hindus and Hinduism are proliferating.

    The 52-page report argues that exposing online hate-speech is a crucial first step in combating a major factor behind prevalent negative stereotypes of Hinduism.

    The foundation traces the origins of online religious hate and bigotry, and lists 37 such websites, many of them Christian sites with harmless sounding names like familybible.org, mission1.org, CBN.com, but others with openly derogatory titles, such as exposingsatanism.org, demonbuster.com and religion-cults.com.

    According to statistics provided in the report, 'demonic' and 'satanic' are the terms most commonly used today to describe Hinduism by numerous anti-Hindu websites easily accessible on the Internet.

    Hinduism is one of the world's oldest spiritual traditions. From its emphasis on non-violence and respect for all living entities, to its introduction of practices such as yoga and meditation, Hinduism has had a great impact on the wider world.

    But the report points out that through the spread of inaccurate and malicious content over the Internet, online readers are too often taught that the deities Hindus worship are demonic figures and that Hindu beliefs and practices are morally degrading. Hindus are portrayed as a condemned people destined for hell, even as their lasting contributions in science, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine are appropriated and separated from their source. The religion is falsely described as a racist construct and such social evils as untouchability, female infanticide, and bride-burning are conflated with Hinduism.

    Despite considerable efforts by groups like the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre (SWC), the American Jewish Committee and others such as the Southern Poverty Law Centre in combating online hatred, there has been scant focus on hate sites against Hindus.

    Perhaps the sole previous effort was a collaboration between the SWC and the Hindu American Foundation, an effort which resulted in the inclusion of websites promoting hatred against Hindus in the SWC's annual online hate report, 'Digital Hate and Terrorism 2005.'

    'The proliferation of websites promoting religious hatred is an unfortunate consequence of the universality of access to the Internet,' said Vinay Vallabh, lead author of the report, and member of the foundation's executive council.

    The foundation wanted to create awareness about this problem and that was the primary reason for releasing this report, Chowdhury told IPS.

    'Many Americans have no contact with Hindu Americans, because most Hindus have settled in urban areas. For those people the Internet is the primary source of information about different cultures and people. And a lot of people in the United States end up with misconceptions about Hinduism. These misconceptions are then used to attack not only groups but also individuals,' said Chowdhury.

    The attacks of Sep. 11, 2001 also led to a long-term spike in hate crimes against Hindus and South Asians in general. According to the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, there were 507 bias-motivated hate crimes against Asian-Americans in 2001, a 23 percent increase over 2000.

    After 2001, a coalition of civil rights, educational and religious groups submitted comments to the Department of Justice recommending that the FBI include in the 'Religion' section a line for 'anti-Sikh' and 'anti-Hindu'.

    In some cases, Hindus are confused with Muslims. For example, in 2003, Saurabh Bhalerao, a 24-year-old Indian graduate student in Massachusetts who had a part-time job delivering pizza, was robbed, beaten, burned with cigarettes, stuffed in a trunk and stabbed twice before being dumped along a road in an attack that police and community leaders described as a hate crime. The suspects apparently mistook Bhalerao, who survived, for a Muslim, screaming comments like 'go back to Iraq' as they assaulted him.

    In his foreword to the report, Prof. Jeffrey Long, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, wrote, 'Though it is less well-known in this country, anti-Hindu bigotry is every bit as ugly and dangerous as anti-Semitism or racism, and every bit as present on the Internet. As we all know, murderous rampages have been inspired by anti-Semitic and racist websites. And it is not necessary for a website to exhort its readers to actual, physical violence for it to lead to such violence.'

    Drawing from her own experience, Chowdhury explained that as a Hindu growing up in the United States, she faced a lot of misconceptions about her religion.

    'I am alarmed that even today a lot of people have a distorted view of my faith,' she said, adding that perceptions about Hinduism are not always negative but that skewed ideas can cause severe trauma among people, especially children.

    HAF's legal department is now trying to work with Internet Service Providers to see if the owners of hate sites can be brought to justice for violating their contracts. Contracts with ISPs usually state that a website cannot be used to spread hate speech and ideas. 'But this has to be done on a case-by-case basis and it will take a long time,' said Chowdhury.

    While past incidents such as the Dotbusters (a street gang by that name started attacking and threatening Hindu Americans in New Jersey in 1987 and killed a 30-year-old Indian immigrant bank manager, Navroze Mody, while chanting 'Hindu, Hindu!') and one in which a Minnesota temple was vandalised in 2006 are fresh in the minds of Indian Americans, many in the community were still shocked to read the results of the February report, Chowdhury said.

    'It's alarming for a community because when you see something like these denigrating websites, you wonder if this is the way the majority of the people view your faith and that is a scary thought,' she said.
     
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  7. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    India v. Hinduphobia: What Narendra Modi's Election as Prime Minister Really Means-|-Vamsee Juluri

    Narendra Modi's victory needs to be understood beyond the two commonly heard positions we have heard these past few months leading up to the election. Critics of Mr. Modi's saw his rise as the march of Hindu nationalist fascism and the inevitable death of secularism in India. Supporters of Mr. Modi saw his rise as a sign of hope for India after years of corruption in high places, general ineptitude, and a sickening sense of venality in civic and public life.

    But India's vote for Mr. Modi needs to be understood beyond these two ideas. Even if Mr. Modi ran on a campaign of universal good governance rather than divisive anti-secular rhetoric, and even if his critics now assume that his victory means an end to something noble in India, the truth is that both positions only tiptoe around what his victory means from a modern, civilizational Hindu point of view today.

    The mandate that Mr. Modi has won, in other words, is not just for either good governance, or for dismantling secularism, but for embodying a new, emerging idea of what it means to be Hindu, and Indian, in the world today. It is very different from thinking of it as a mandate for Hindu nationalism of the kind we witnessed in the late 1980s and 1990s.

    This mandate, simply put, is about Hinduism even more than Hindu nationalism, or secularism. It might sound paradoxical, but by running on a promise of universal good, rather than on divisive identity-rhetoric, Mr. Modi has re-established a very Hindu way of looking at the world. This is important to recognize, because the anointed secular position against Mr. Modi, though seemingly a good thing--for secularism is a good thing in my view -- has very little intellectual, emotional, or moral purchase in large sections of India's young today. We need to recognize that, and to respect that.

    Young people in India today, growing up in a rapidly globalizing cultural environment, aspiring perhaps to study or work in other countries, generally disposed favorably towards the United States and the West, and also, for the most part, accustomed to diverse, multi-religious coexistence in India and therefore not inherently hateful to other communities, find a tremendous contradiction between how they see themselves and how they are represented in the global discourse. Young Hindus see themselves as part of a great civilizational heritage, and value it not just for its ancient glory, but also because they see its spirituality as being the core of their civilizational ethic of coexistence and respect for all religions. If Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and so many different kind of Hindus divided by language, custom, caste and history still share a land and history so deeply, they know it is not simply because of India's secular constitution, but because of Hinduism's ancient legacy of respecting all faiths. There is a new sense of wanting to be Indian, and Hindu, in India's young that is very different from the simplistic Hindu nationalist rhetoric we saw two decades ago.

    Unfortunately, even if Hindus have moved on for the most part from the extremism and jingoistic pride of that period, the secular commentary has not. In fact, it has only become worse, if such a thing was possible. It should come as no surprise to anyone therefore that the numerous earnest and passionate appeals to Indian voters to reject Mr. Modi that populated the august pages of The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Economist in recent months probably had very little meaning for voters in India. To know why, it is worth recalling what else these publications had to say about Hindus, Hinduism, and India in the last few years, before they took up their outraged positions on behalf of India's supposedly vanishing secularism.

    The Economist once described a holy Hindu deity, the Shiva Lingam at Amarnath, as a "penis-shaped lump of ice."

    The Guardian once lampooned the passing of a revered Hindu guru, who probably did more to uphold India's secular, multi-religious fabric than any intellectual or activist ever did, and derided his teachings as simplistic "peace, love and vegetarianism."

    The New York Times published a spate of op-ed pieces after the 2008 Pakistani terrorist attacks blaming India and Hindu nationalism. Not to mention its serious advocacy for a Hinduism "expert" who compares ancient Hindus to Nazis in her book and unilateral exclusion of dissenting opinion.

    With this sort of a track record, why would take anyone take them seriously on Narendra Modi either?


    The fact is that what might have been a fair, principled position of secularist critique against Hindu extremism has long ago lost all integrity in the eyes of most reasonable Hindus. They may not care for the sort of ultra-nationalism and minority-abusing that some Hindutva leaders did, but they do care about their religion, their nation, and their place in the world.

    They do not see secularism being advocated against Modi, but only Hinduphobia.

    Had Mr. Modi run on a really divisive platform, the situation would have indeed been different. But fact is that he did not.

    Perhaps the time has truly come for a better conversation now about India, and the future of religion, and nationalism. We need a better notion of secularism than the profoundly orientalistic Hinduphobia we have seen so far. We also need a better notion of Hindu nationalism to enter the debate than the 19th century ideologies that have dominated its parties for a long time. At least on the latter, Mr. Modi has marked a distinct change from the past.

    Whether Prime Minister Modi is truly different from the Chief Minister who allegedly allowed a terrible riot to run wild in 2002 is of course a question that leaves many restless. The Indian electorate has clearly spoken in his favor. If there was really an inexcusable level of culpability, then surely votes too would not mean any lessening of it. But we do have to consider one thing, which people in India probably have and those of us who only read about India through largely Hinduphobic publications have not. For a few days in 2002, the allegation holds, a government failed in its responsibility to protect its citizens, and for this lapse punishments were indeed made. We are however not satisfied with those who paid for these crimes, and somehow sought the head, so to speak, of one man more than any other. Whether it was for what he really did, or whether he only became a symbol for all our fears, is perhaps not ever going to be known for sure.

    But also consider another situation about a government failing in its responsibility -- not for a few days, but for several years, really, as militants indirectly under its funding spread death and devastation on multiple occasions. The people of India have not once blamed the governments of the United States or the United Kingdom though they tolerated, if not ignored altogether, the brazen support of terrorism that was taking place through regimes under their patronage. Yet, these very governments have in the past sought to singularly condemn a democratically elected leader who has, as he has said, successfully prevented a single riot from ever taking place again under his watch.

    Nothing can and will erase the pain of those who suffered in Gujarat in 2002, Hindu and Muslim. Nothing can and will erase the pain of all those who suffered at the hands of terrorists and their bombs and bullets in India in the last two decades. But one thing the Indian electorate has done decisively now is to reject those whose politics have rested on the divisive and ugly identity-claims that underlie that sort of violence. India has rejected both pseudo-secularism, and jingoistic Hindu extremism. It has accepted a plank of good governance for all, which for young Hindus could also mean a repudiation of brazen, racist Hinduphobia, and for others might prove a reassurance eventually that India's secular constitution will not be threatened, and may even be strengthened by recognizing the civilizational roots on which that country's many religions rest.

    This election was not really about choosing between secularism and religious extremism as it was made out to be. The choice was perhaps seen by people in India more accurately as one between Hinduphobia and an India for everyone.

    And India has chosen.
     
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  8. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Wendy Doniger: Academia, Racism and Hinduphobia

    The theatric over Penguin’s decision to pulp Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus: An alternative History” is amusing as an astonishing number of her Indian supporters (Doniger refers to them as native informants) and other gullible liberals continue to marshal around the flag post of free speech. In the comical fury and thunder, the real issues have been sidelined in the best traditions of Indian public discourse. In the all the discussions, the people like Rajiv Malhotra, who were the original mover of the issue in USA, are not being invited. Instead, we have people who most likely never heard about the book before the news of its pulping broke. And they have been repeating the standard lines of Hindutva, freedom of speech, fascism and so on.

    It is therefore proper to put the main issues at the centre of public discourse. But before that, we want to make our position on banning of the books clear -we are opposed to banning or to taking them to courts.

    The main issues in Doniger controversy are – academic integrity, racism and Hinduphobia. The work of Wendy and other such “experts” use Freud’s psychosexual analysis to analyse the Hindu Dharma, its sacred lore and people. Freud’s psychoanalysis is not considered as a scientific method by modern psychologists. It is often called as the most successful pseudoscience in history. At best, it possibly gives some indications to the personality of an “individual” if not being a wild speculation. It was never meant for analysing societies or communities much less for analysing history or religions.

    Only some of the insights are still used in psychotherapy in neo-Freudian school. But even there it is rejected as a tool to explore the unconscious and emphasis is on interpersonal relation between researcher/therapist and the subject to get the desired modifications in the behaviour. And even its validity and efficacy is contested. As we will see Doniger failed on this aspect of interaction between researcher and subject as well.

    It is therefore bizarre but not surprising that such discredited theories continue to be used in Hinduism studies. The Aryan Invasion Theory is another case in the point. And it is also not surprising that usual suspects are always involved in peddling such theories.

    Not only her methodology is flawed but even her academic skills are under question. She is an “expert” in giving false references, quoting non-existent sources, fraudulent translations and imagined dates and geography. She is adept in presenting distorted versions of the stories as original without clearly specifying the source to prevent any cross-checking. Her skills in mis-quoting were in full display in her statement on the decision of Penguin to pulp her book. She said “they were defeated by the true villain of the piece-the Indian law that makes it criminal rather than civil offense to publish a book that offends any Hindu”. A criminal offense to offend any Hindu! What law is that?

    The whole book is almost a racist profiling of a people apart from being demeaning in language and content. It is what Mahatma Gandhi called Katherine Mayo’s “Mother India”- a drain-inspector report. In fact, it resembles Mayo’s work with its obsession to prove the “natives” as sexual perverts. Doniger tells us that use of colour in Holi is a substitute of blood used in earlier times and “proves” inherent barbarity of Hindus. Indian mothers don’t bond with their children as western mothers do. She tells us that Ganesha is a eunuch whose love for sweets reflects his desire for oral sex and that the love between him and his mother Parvati is actually sexual as unable to satisfy himself otherwise he turns to his mother. She then uses these “conclusions” to explain what is the problem with Hindu society. She implies that Hindus are akin to rats and monkeys whose “chaotic” culture was in contrast with that of “serene” culture of various invaders.

    Those who disagree with Doniger are being labelled as intolerant and fascist. We are being lectured to debate in a civilized manner rather than acting like “Hindu fundamentalists” and fanatics. And this comes from the people who one day preach that there is no such thing as Hindus and Hinduism and on second day blame Hindus and Hinduism for all the evil that exist! Fanatics? Who is acting like fanatics if not Doniger’s supporters themselves? The litigants simply went to the court to exercise their legal rights in a democratic, civilized manner. In fact, hardly anybody knew about the case till the Penguin decided to recall it, hardly a Taliban action. One can still understand if the debate is about the said law which was instituted by British in 1897 to penalise Hindus for ever questioning Islam.

    Both sides can surely discuss the law and the wider question of the free speech but for that at least a modicum of tolerance is required from both sides. When those who disagree with Doniger are automatically branded as fascists, extremists, Taliban, totalitarian, casteist Brahmins or Brahminised, uneducated, intolerant then how exactly any debate or even discussion take place?

    This behaviour of self-proclaimed liberals bears striking similarity to how Doniger responded to any request for “civilized” discussion about her work. She too branded her critiques as fascists, Hindu-nationalists, un-educated people who don’t read, RSS supporters who fund rioters in India to kill Muslims, racist and anti-women. She insulted them as being just a “native informants” (who can’t talk to her as equals) or mouse-turd or being jackals who want to hang around in the company of lions. According to her those who defend Hinduism suffer from a “psychological disorder which has roots in penies”. Her response to any challenge was personal attacks, racist berating of challengers and demonization of Hindu diaspora. Do her defenders in India realise that it’s her who needs a lecture on “civilized” debate?

    The criticism of her work is not about “hurt religious” sentiments. It’s about her lack of academic integrity, racism and pushing the imperialist agenda of Hinduphobia. Her works fits well with the western stereotypes and provide ample ammunitions to the faithful agents of western imperialism i.e multinational corporate evangelical missionary organisations. The intense demonization of Hindus and division of Hinduism as “bad Sanskritic Vedic traditions” and “good folk tradition” and that later must break free of the former which was “imposed” on it has a long history.

    Mercifully, Doniger has dropped the use of discredited Aryan-Dravidian polemics but has attempted to replace it by a new construct with similar narrative.

    But the Hinduphobia goes even deeper. When seen in historical context (according to Doniger her critics have no understanding of context and history), it is the continuation of crusades of Abrahamists against what they see as the last pagan stronghold. Hindus are demonised not because there are problems in their society like all others, but because they are not “people of The Book”. Hence, they are lawless barbarians in thrall of Satan and who need to saved by destroying their spiritual systems and replacing their weird deities by the worship of “One True God”, exclusivist and jealous. The technique of demonization before physical eradication is a time tested technique used against all other pagan civilizations be it Greece, Rome, Eastern Europe, Arabia, Egypt, Africa, Americas etc.

    The very pluralism and religious tolerance of these societies is used by Abrahamic imperialists to subvert them by the denying the very legitimacy of these ancient civilizations and fueling war and hatred between different sections of the pluralist society before moving in for a final kill. Only in India, China and Japan they could not achieve their dream of Kingdom of God. And exactly same is being attempted in India with a renewed vigour as India is the softest target among the last surviving Dharmic civilizations.

    Western academia with its “experts” on Hinduism and evangelists are the vanguard of this neo-colonial project. The subversion and demonization is prelude to actual physical decimation which has already began in the region. It not only justifies and makes it acceptable that Hindus have suffered the biggest genocide in the last century. For the first time in history, Hindus no more exist in the western sub-continent something which didn’t happened in the bleakest days of Islamic invasions. But that is not only never discussed but Hindus are held responsible for their own genocide. Why were they so evil and wicked? Isn’t the world better off without them? This is the undertone of all explanations so far be it from left, West or Islamists.

    The ethnic cleansing of Hindus in Kashmir is openly justified by Islamists and left, ongoing ethnic cleansing in Bangladesh is nobody’s concern. This is the reason why ethnic cleansing of Bodo tribals is tolerated and justified by blaming tribals as the ones who didn’t wanted to live peacefully with the Bangladeshi settlers.

    This is why Muzaffarnagar riots are blamed on Hindus and rising Islamo-fascism is completely ignored. This is why religious oppression of Dalit Hindus by Christians in South and Muslims in North is ignored. Why are they Hindus anyways? Whatever the occasion Hindus stand accused because as the long line of “scholars” to which Doniger belongs tell us that there is something not “quite right” with them.

    Then we have our leftists and liberals who have never ever challenged or critiqued likes of Wendy. Left is otherwise trigger happy over any perceived falsification and in India boosts of a strong academic tradition to its credit. Why have they never called bluff on such racist and Hinduphobic work? Instead we see them providing legitimacy to such works. Even now we see them portraying Wendy as a martyr who is a brilliant and innovative scholar proving “fuller” description of Hinduism.

    Only last year an interesting event happened in left-dominated JNU. Evangelists and certain self-proclaimed representatives of SC/ST/OBCs organised Mahishasura Day during Durga Puja to denounce the worship of “Aryan prostitute” Durga. It happened right next to the history department but not a single JNU professor called bluff on this pseudo-history and neo-Nazi rant calling for “annihilation” of Hindus. Instead, many professors patronised it in the name of subaltern discourse, alternative history. A forum named India First came out with an elaborate “academic, civilized” response to it by point by point refuting the whole construct of Mahishasura Day. It involved a painstaking task of making 30-40 huge collages involving some three chart papers each. (Facebook page and photos of India First can be accessed here).

    And the only response it got from the organisers and all the left parties and even left ruled JNUSU (which is supposed to speak for all students) was a bunch of abuses. Some gems of the response included-”you bloody, barbarian Hindus”, “why are you afraid of re-interpretation of history?”, “India First is fascist, casteist, communal, patriarchal”,” “it’s a Modi funded little fascist organisation”, “we will not cede our hard won democratic space to these Hindu-fascists”, “India First is run by perverts who are naturally unfit for any discussion or debate”, “it is impossible to expect any discourse from them”, “they are anti-people, anti-Dalit, anti-women”, “they are totalitarians who want to impose fascist agenda”. And then these are the people who are today lecturing others to debate rather than taking books to the court!

    This from the same left which never tiers itself out shouting down any critical analysis of Islam-the second majority religion in India. Then we are told that it’s not about free speech but about the ruling class agenda and imperialist propaganda and they mush protest against Islamophobia! This is the same left which justified cancellation of Subramanian Swamy’s summer school course in Harvard because he wrote an article in India.

    We were then told in so many words that “he has right to his opinion but not the right to publish”. It is the same left and self-certified liberals who arm twisted Wharton into cancelling a video conference of Narendra Modi. It is the same left which shouted down Tarek Fatah as an agent of Western hegemony and Islamophobe, refused any legitimacy to his works. We never saw anyone even making a fuss when the publisher of “Chasing the Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic state” dropped it after the first print owing to fears of communal tensions.

    It looks like that only courts can provide a platform which can neutralise the asymmetry of power in the public discourse. We have seen that how in the Ayodhya case, many of the “eminent historians” disowned their works when they were cross-examined by court. But if that is the situation who exactly is responsible for it?

    The whole fury and thunder over Doniger is an elaborate fraud and more so because of people making it. Arundhati Roy is more furious over the use of the word “Bharat” by Penguin. She claims to speak for “masses” but seems to be unaware that in every language of the masses, the word is Bharat. How many of her beloved “masses” call it India?

    Others are more worried about “the deteriorating political situation” in India (due to probable victory of Modi led BJP!) while others are, as always, listening to sound of fascist boots. What matters is that the issue of Hinduphobia in academia has finally become a topic of discussion. The opportunity must be grabbed to expose and defeat on of the most entrenched racism and stereotypes and the nexus that thrives on it.
     
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  9. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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  10. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Hinduphobia begins at colleges and universities, where by constantly ridiculing Hindu ideas, young minds are taught how to hate and loathe our culture.

    To fix exactly that, Modi chose Smriti Irani. She will provide a bare-necessary amount of performance that her job-description requires, and spend a majority of time cleaning up the education system of brain-washers. It will begin with VCs, and trickle down to HODs, student bodies, etc. There will be a strong psy-op by our entertainment industry, which, after 20 years of Khan / Dubai-hawala dough, is now finally awash with Hindu money. There could also be a huge cyber / social-media beachhead opened up.

    That entertainment industry psy-op has already started. An entire new generation of TV-watching kids, is being raised by Chota Bheem, and other cartoons based on Hindu historical/mythological characters. Modi is tweaking their future colleges.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
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  11. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    One does not have to go very far to see how the Indian culture has been degraded by our TV Channels in the name of Secularism (read western Anglicanism). Don't you see those ridiculously dressed female anchors on TV Channels with their awful buts and mass protruding from their western pants and dresses. With their studio makeups and "Kate Ball". That could be the choice of one or two media anchors but that seems to be uniform for them. Started by the likes of Burqa Dutt and Sagarika who are now changing out of compulsion of age and the body fat to Salwar Kamiz and Sari, there is an aggressive Anglican culture on our TV.

    Thank God for small mercies that Loksabha and Rajysabha TVs have maintained some semblance otherwise TV anchors specially females are presented as some kind of erotica.
     
  12. fyodor

    fyodor Regular Member

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    If women have to look sensual then there is no dress better than the Sari, specifically the ancient sari which was a bit more curvy. Modern dresses which hindus wear like Salwar Kameez is an islamic invention. They are just quassi-burkha. Even the name Salwar Kameez is of Persian origin. When the invaders came to India they were shocked to see the freedom of women so they imposed their own cultural beliefs on the natives.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  13. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Read this BBC article on Sanal Edamaraku on his exile to Finland forced by `Christian Secular Forum`. Sanal ridiculed blind superstitions of Hindu and Christians, fair enough. Article mentions his mother was forced to convert but subtly forgets to mention she was Hindu !

    Mostly in Western media (and English language Indian media) Hinduism is ridiculed while Christianity and Islam get a free run. Subtle and direct contempt for anything other than Abrahaimic faiths is the rule !

    The Indian miracle-buster stuck in Finland
    By Samanthi Dissanayake
    BBC News, Helsinki

    An Indian man who made his name exposing the "miraculous" feats of holy men as tricks has fled the country after being accused of blasphemy. Now in self-imposed exile in Finland, he fears jail - or even assassination - if he returns.

    When a Hindu fakir declared on live television that he could kill anybody with tantric chanting, Sanal Edamaruku simply had to take him up on the challenge.

    As both were guests in the studio, the fakir was put to the test immediately.

    The channel cancelled all subsequent programming and he began chanting on the spot. But as the hours passed a note of desperation crept into his raspy mantras. For his part, Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, showed no sign of discomfort, let alone death. He merely chortled his way through this unconventional (and unsuccessful) attempt on his life.

    He has spent his life as a prominent member of India's small band of miracle-busters, men who dedicate their life to traversing the country demystifying certain beliefs.

    It's a nation often associated with profound spirituality, but rationalists see their country as a breeding ground for superstition.

    In the 1990s Edamaruku visited hundreds of villages replicating the apparently fabulous feats some self-proclaimed holy men became renowned for - the materialisations of watches or "holy" ash - exposing them as mere sleight of hand.

    As a campaigner determined to drill home his point, sometimes with an air of goading bemusement, he has attracted critics.

    He readily admits he took advantage of the explosion in Indian television channels which discovered an audience fascinated with tales of the extraordinary.

    "I was campaigning in villages for so long before the television came," he says. "But some people do not like me to be going on television and reaching out to millions of people."

    But in 2012, four years after his televised encounter with the fakir, a steady drip of water from the toe of a statue of Christ genuinely did, he believes, put his life in danger.

    Immediately hailed as a miracle, hundreds of Catholic devotees and other curious residents flocked to the shrine in a nondescript Mumbai suburb to watch the hypnotic drip. Some even drank the droplets.

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    So Edamaruku spends his time trudging the arresting, bleak forests of Helsinki, sometimes remembering his unconventional childhood in Kerala.

    His father, born a Christian, grew up to become a rebel who was excommunicated. His mother gave birth to him in the pouring rain having fled her in-laws' Christian home because they pressured her to convert. But the family always managed to reconcile its differences. The bishops and Hindu priests among his relatives could be found sitting around one dinner table laughing at their own beliefs.
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  14. fallenwarrior

    fallenwarrior Regular Member

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    They are so much into secularism that i saw Times Now writing secular in place of secure in one of the captions.:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Hinduism isn't a country club one can waltz in and out of

    I have appended this under 'Politics and Society' since it is more of a Societal issue than of Religion.

    I found it to be an interesting and thought provoking article that shows the huge confusion that seems to have seized India, where we are more muddled in our thoughts and dichotomous in our outlook to life and society, The paradoxes astound.

    One of the issue is close to my thought which I have repeatedly mentioned on this forum - Every god is valid, which is why even Every god is valid, which is why even Shitala, the goddess of smallpox and cholera, is worshipped, and not treated as a demon. It's also why Hindus have no problem praying in a church, synagogue or mosque..
     
  16. Sonnpekikd

    Sonnpekikd Regular Member

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    Re: Hinduism isn't a country club one can waltz in and out of

    The name God is an insult to every polytheist religion and every religion with gods, meaning every real religion. It was chosen to be an insult and attack and it will always be so, whatever you do with it unless you give it an article and write it without capital.

    There is no embracing of christianity or tolerance of it as it is an army directed against you is every tolerance of it meaning to stomp your principals and religion with the feet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
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  17. cobra commando

    cobra commando Tharki regiment Veteran Member Senior Member

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  18. jus

    jus Senior Member Senior Member

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    There is no religion called Hinduism.Period.Hinduism nothing but set of customs,values,beliefs called as Eastern culture.Is more influenced by Hindu+Buddhism,birth place is India.India wasting time to improve relations with West(Xian),ME/Pork!stan (Muslim) and Isr(Jew) but neglecting our own sphere of 1000 yr shared culture spread across asia.Which culture is followed by more than 50% ppl lives in the world (eastern culture).

    West'n culture followed by 30% ppl
    Terror culture(ME) followed by 20%

    [​IMG]

    So simply fu** off those hegemonic states and follow Dharma,where >50% ppl believes.But we are brain washed to hate our own culture/values,even some ppl in the same forum hate anything that is slightly resemble with India/Hindu or its culture.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  19. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Buddhism has a big impact on Eastern countries and India is the land where it originated and one of the holiest shrines is here today.

    India should use it for better cultural understanding and coordination.
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    So, where are we to get the oil and gas, modern technology, modern military machines from to herald our achhe din?

    One does not have to kowtow to foreign countries and influences, but then one does not also have to go overboard.

    One has to merely be pragmatic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  21. jus

    jus Senior Member Senior Member

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    Last time i checked we are purchasing oil,arms from ME &west.Note: Purchasing not BEGGING,India is paying for this.

    Anyway i never said cut TRADE relations with these countries,i said concentrate on our routes&culture more (or) explore our shared culture which is robust in last 2000+ yrs.
     

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