Letter to a Young American Hindu, by Vijay Prashad

The following is a guest contribution from Vijay Prashad. He is the author of eleven books, including Karma of Brown Folk (2000), and most recently The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (2007).

Dear Friend,

Like you, I was raised in a mixed family. My parents' families came to Bengal from Punjab, and from Burma. One side leans towards Hinduism; the other to Sikhism. The city, the metro, provided its own cultural mooring, and in secular India, I found myself interested in all religions and deeply schooled in none. Id meant fellowship with my Muslim neighbors and friends; a Navjot meant a crash course in Parsi life; Nanak's birthday meant a visit to Gurudwara Sant Kutiya in the center of town; Christmas, which is Bara Din in Calcutta, meant a brightly lit Park Street and a visit to St. Paul's Cathedral; and, of course, Diwali and Holi represented the high-points of our festival culture. Religion was colorful, and friendly. It didn't represent either the harshest of personal morality nor the resentments or distrust of others.

I learnt a few prayers and songs, but this learning was not systematic. Some of my friends were better schooled than I in their various traditions. Our diversity was not simply across religion, but also a diversity of the density of our engagement with religion: agnostics or religious illiterates were as welcome as those who were committed to their faith. The festival that I most liked was Saraswati Puja, the day when we wore yellow and put all our schoolbooks at the feet of the goddess. The respite from study was welcome, as you can imagine.

My morality came from elsewhere than religion, from recognition of the pain in the world. Religious teachers whom I encountered sometimes talked about this suffering, but they didn't seem to have more than charity to offer to those who suffered. It struck me that while religious festivals were beautiful, religions themselves were not adequate as a solution to modern crises. But religion, as I came to understand while reading Gandhi many years later, can play a role in the cleansing of public morality. In 1940, Gandhi wrote, "I still hold the view that I cannot conceive politics as divorced from religion. Indeed, religion should pervade everyone one of our actions. Here religion does not mean sectarianism. It means a belief in ordered moral government of the universe. It is not less real because it is unseen. This religion transcends Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc. It does not supersede them. It harmonizes them and gives them reality" (Harijan, February 10, 1940). In other words, politics should not be simply about power struggles, but it must be suffused with moral concerns. It is not enough to win; one must strive to create, what Gandhi called, Truth in the world.

To strive for Truth does not mean that we, as humans, can be sure that what we believe in or what we aspire to is some transcendental truth. Gandhi's autobiography was not called I've Found Truth, but The Story of My Experiments with Truth. The use of the word "experiments" is revealing, since it refers to a scientific tradition that privileges verifiable testing (this is also the case with the Gujarati word "prayago," which is in the original 1927 title, Satya-na Prayago athva Atmakatha; Professor Babu Suthar links "prayoga," the singular of "prayago," to the ayurvedic and yogic sense of treatment and practice. An ayurvedic doctor must ask the patient to "prayoga" a medicine, which would imply, try it out to see if it works). Religious traditions are resources to guide us, as social individuals, through the difficulties and opportunities of our lives. They are not dogmas to tear people apart from each other. In a powerful essay against compulsory widow segregation, Gandhi wrote, "It is good to swim in the waters of tradition, but to sink in them is suicide" (Navajivan, June 28, 1925). Let tradition be a studied resource, not a set of inflexible, unchanging rules.

The Gita.

More than a decade ago, I was teaching South Asian history in central New York. A few young students invited me to their Gita reading group. I was delighted to join them, not because I was an expert in the Gita, but because it pleased me to see second-generation South Asian Americans take an interest in the history and traditions of the subcontinent. The students, dutifully, read their section for the evening and proceeded to have a discussion about it. They had little guidance apart from the text, and they valiantly drew from the analytical skills they learnt in their classes to make sense of the Gita. For them, religion was not an "experiment with truth," but because of their context, it was the Truth that had to be unmasked by their close, devoted reading. I felt myself sinking into it.

The Gita is a remarkable book, precisely because of its history (it was composed long after the Mahabharata, written in classical Sanskrit of the Gupta era, and interpolated into the long epic much later). Frustrated with the hierarchy promoted by Brahmans through the Vedic traditions, scores of people turned to Sramanic traditions (most familiarly, Buddhism). The Gita is a sublime response to the power of Buddhism with concepts such as karma drawn from it. The genius of the text is that it takes concepts and ideas from these popular traditions and brings them into line with some of the central principles of Brahmanism (varna, mainly). The Gita is awash with contradictions: it preaches ahimsa, and yet is set in a battlefield, where Krishna must convince Arjun to go into the fight; it validates the importance of caste hierarchy, and yet shines a light on the equality of all before the awesome might of divinity. The contradictory nature of the text allows every reader to find something beneficial in it. It works as a mirror to our reality.

Then there is bhakti, one of the foundation stones of modern Hinduism. It is the Gita's central concept. Personal devotion (bhakti) drew out from the oppressed peoples of the subcontinent the ability to challenge those who stood between them and divinity (the Brahmins, for instance) and those who stood between them and a peaceful life (Kings, for instance). The concept, Bhakti, was the central idea for a series of important spiritual and social rebellions, led by such people as Andal, Kabir, Mirabai, Tukaram, and above all, Jnanesvar. Jnanesvar, the 13th century Marathi poet, wrote an extended commentary on the Gita in which he not only went after the powerful, but also bemoaned the great harm done to the people for whom religion had become a crutch rather than an engine. "The peasant farmer sets up cult after cult, according to convenience," he wrote. "He follows the preacher who seems most impressive at the moment, learns his mystic formula. Harsh to the living, he relies upon stones and images; but even then never lives true to any one of them." Jnanesvar's powerful critique was not met with an equally powerful movement to overthrow the foundation of the social order of his time. As the historian D. D. Kosambi wrote, "Though an adept in yoga as a path towards physical immortality and mystical perfection, there was nothing left for [Jnanesvar] except suicide." The ideas were glorious, but there was no institutional platform to realize them.

Noxious Hindutva

All this is lost if one reads the Gita as settled Truth rather than an experiment in truth. When Gandhi claimed to base his ahimsa philosophy on the Gita, he faced opposition. "My claim to Hinduism has been rejected by some," he wrote in Young India (May 29, 1924), "because I believe [in] and advocate non-violence in its extreme form. They say that I am a Christian in disguise. I have been even seriously told that I am distorting the meaning of the Gita when I ascribe to that great poem the teaching of unadulterated non-violence. Some of my Hindu friends tell me that killing is a duty enjoined by the Gita under certain circumstances. A very learned Shashtri only the other day scornfully rejected my interpretation of the Gita and said that there was no warrant for the opinion held by some commentators that the Gita represented the eternal duel between forces of evil and good, and inculcated the duty of eradicating evil within us without hesitation, without tenderness…My religion is a matter solely between my Maker and myself. If I am a Hindu, I cannot cease to be one even though I may be disowned by the whole of the Hindu population."

Those who criticized Gandhi for his "misuse" of Hinduism came from the organizations of the Right. The Hindu Mahasabha (1915) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (1925) provided this Right with an institutional nucleus to sharpen the assault on both Indian society and on the Indian freedom movement (whose undisputed leader at this time was Gandhi). The leadership of this Right considered Gandhi a "traitor" to the "Hindu people," and it was their cadre that murdered him in 1948. The RSS, the spearhead of the new "Hindu nationalism," eschewed the mass Freedom Struggle that emerged in the 1920s, sharpened in the 1930s and eventually defeated the British Raj in the 1940s. In 1928, the RSS inaugurated its Officer Training Camp to train its own storm-troopers, not to do battle with the powerful British and its institutions, but with the relatively powerless Muslim masses. The swayamsevak, or volunteer, took an oath, "offering himself entirely – body, mind and wealth – for the preservation and progress of the Hindu Nation." The complexity of India, its diverse heritages and its fluid cultural resources, was anathema to the RSS and its doctrine of Hindutva (Hinduness).

The influence of Italian fascism and German Nazism pervaded the RSS, becoming clarified in the 1939 book by M. S. Golwalkar, "Germany has shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by." For Golwalkar, the role of the "Jew" within India was to be played by the "Muslim" (it should be said that his 1939 book was reprinted in 1944 and in 1947, after the Holocaust was known to all, and yet there was no revision of this section). No wonder Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen considered the ideology of the RSS to be "communal fascism." The RSS remained a marginal element in Indian political life, having played no role in the Freedom Struggle and having a noxious view of the complexity of Indian social life that appealed only to a few among the dominant castes who felt left out of the new Indian republic.

Indian Honeycomb

That complexity is something that Gandhi and others well understood. In 1992, the Anthropological Society of India published the first of an ongoing series of monographs with the omnibus title, The People of India. In this volume, the late K. S. Singh laid out the basic findings of this immense study of the Indian people. There are, he wrote, 4635 identifiable communities in India, "diverse in biological traits, dress, language, forms of worship, occupation, food habits, and kinship patterns. It is all these communities who in their essential ways of life express our national popular life." Strikingly, the scholars working under Singh's direction discovered the immense overlap across religious lines. They identified 775 traits that related to ecology, settlement, identity, food habits, marriage patterns, social customs, social organization, economy and occupation. What they found was that Hindus share 96.77% traits with Muslims, 91.19% with Buddhists, 88.99% with Sikhs, 77.46% with Jains (Muslims, in turn, share 91.18% with Buddhists and 89.95% with Sikhs). Because of this, Singh pointed out that Indian society was like a "honeycomb," where each community is in constant and meaningful interaction with every other community. The boundaries between communities are more a fact of self-definition than of cultural distinction. This Gandhi knew implicitly. Unity was a fact of life, not a conceit of secular theory.

When I went to Punjab in the early 1990s to do my dissertation research, I was startled to find communities that considered themselves on the fence about their religious identification. Three in particular (that make their way into Singh's study) stood out: the Mirasi, Sonar and Rajputs, who claimed to be both Hindus and Muslims. The group I had gone to study, the Balmikis, had a wonderfully rich religious history, where they crafted their own spiritual tradition around the preceptor Bala Shah Nuri and Lalbeg. Bala Shah's poems attacked both the Brahmins and the Mullahs for their perpetuation of untouchability and their refusal to stand for justice. Ram te Rahim kian chhap chhap jana, the followers of Ram and Rahim will hide themselves in fear, sava neze te din avega, hade dosakh pana, and when the sun sets, Bala will send them to hell. This evokes the kind of language of that other great Punjabi poet, Bulle Shah, who sang, Musalman sarne to dared hindu dared gor, dove ese vich mard eho duha di khor (Muslims fear the flame, Hindus the tomb; both die in this fright, such is their hatred).

Hindutva, or the ideology and movement of Hindu chauvinism, attempts to do to this richness what agro-businesses do to bio-diversity. They want to reduce the multiplicity and plurality of cultural forms into the one that they are then able to control: a deracinated "Hindu," like a Genetically Modified form of rice or barley. The joy of religious life, of social life, is reduced into a mass-produced form of worship, cultivated out of hatred for other religions rather than fellowship for humanity. With the RSS and its parivar (family), we are no longer in the land of religion. We are now in the land of power and politics, hate and resentment.

Till the 1980s, the RSS remained on the margins of Indian politics. Rejected at the ballot, the movement emerged only through assassination and intimidation, through riots and mayhem, through which it sought to define the political and social space. In the 1980s, conditions changed, as the Congress abandoned its soft socialism/soft secularism for neo-liberal globalization and the politicization of religion (first by patronizing Sikh separatists). The RSS family won over the Congress' "Hindu vote bank" through an aggressive campaign against dalits (over the Mandal Commissions attempt to deepen reservations), against Muslims (over the Meenakshipuram conversions and the controversy over the mosque at Ayodhya) and against the Left (by deeming its ideology to be "foreign"). Flamboyant campaigns designed to make the most of the television media and harsh rhetoric against minorities attracted the dispossessed, who now joined with disgruntled dominant castes to bring the BJP to power.

The Indian honeycomb began to breakup in this period. It was also in this time that Hindutva went overseas with a new confidence.

Yankee Hindutva

More than a decade ago, I used the term "Yankee Hindutva" to describe the way Hindu chauvinism came into the United States. Eager to branch out to the Diaspora, the RSS and its subsidiaries took advantage of multiculturalism to build their foothold here. Not for the American audience an unadulterated anti-Muslim rhetoric (that would come only in some "safe" spaces, and more aggressively, after 9/11). Initially, the RSS organizations, particularly the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) and its youth wing, the Hindu Students Council (HSC), promoted the idea that Hinduism is denigrated in the U. S. and that if other cultures are being celebrated, why not Hinduism too. This is an unimpeachable argument, but it came with some implementation problems. First, it assumed that "Hinduism" is a singular thing, not a clumsy name for a diversity of beliefs and affections that litter not only the subcontinent but also the South Asian Diaspora (from Trinidad to Fiji). Second, because the VHPA and the HSC jumped in the game first, and because the most stringent are best often to claim to speak for a religion, the conservatives took control of this issue. There was no liberal critique of the denigration of Hinduism, and when liberals and radicals did dare to tread, the conservatives harshly shut the door to them as being inauthentic defenders of the Culture. This was the tenor of the battle over the 2005-06 revisions of the California text-books. We didn't like the old books either. But we didn't like the sanitized version of Indian history promoted by the conservatives. We wanted "India" to appear for what it is, a land of contradictions, not an unblemished "brand" that needs to be sold so that we can feel falsely proud.

In 1990, a group of committed activists of the hard Right formed the Hindu Students Council (HSC) in the woods of New Jersey. Their public pronouncement was along the grain of liberal multiculturalism, that they wanted to assist Hindu students who struggle with the "loss and isolation" due to their "upbringing in a dual culture Hindu and Judeo-Christian….We try to reconcile our own sorrows and imperfections as human beings in a variety of self-defeating ways. And we usually go through this confused internal struggle alone. It was precisely to assist you with this spiritual, emotional and identity needs that HSC was born." Given the strictures of liberal multiculturalism, everyone, including college administrators, stood by and applauded. But the HSC was never simply about the identity struggles of those whom it called Hindu Americans. It was also the youthful fingers of the long-arm of Hindutva-supremacy in India. The HSC was initially a "project of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America," the far Right "cultural wing" of the hard Right Sangh Parivar (Family of the Faithful). When activists of the Right destroyed a five hundred year old mosque in 1992, the VHP egged them on, the VHPA cheered, and so did the leaders of the HSC. For them, concern over the identity struggles of young Indian Americans could easily be reconciled with their anti-Muslim politics. Multiculturalism in the U. S. provided cover for the cruel, cultural chauvinism in India.

Young South Asian Americans, such as yourself, come to the HSC not always for its politics, but as a space for shelter and struggle against anti-Indian racism. Falguni Trivedi, who participated with the HSC in 1997, tells the story poignantly, "When I was twelve years old, American kids would gang up on me at the bus stop, yelling 'Gandhi Dot' and ask, 'why do you people in India worship cows and drink cow urine?' It is pretty tough for young Hindus stuck between two cultures." When Trivedi went to her parents, they, like many first-generation migrants, offered her the ostrich-strategy. "Adjust" to the verbal abuse, they said. Trivedi, however, wanted her parents to offer clear answers to the questions posed by the racist youth, such as answers about the cow. The parents didn't have ready answers. "Parents don't know," said Dheeraj Singhal, now a lawyer in Ohio, "they're lost. They don't know where to look. Kids are really desperate to know who they are, the meaning of their customs. This giant void of ignorance facing them is a great issue." It is here that the HSC and other such organizations (including the non-communal South Asian Student Associations on various college campuses) come in. But the HSC is actually unable or ill-fitted to deal with U. S. racism. It tells the youth that they come from an ancient heritage and that they should be proud of it, but the HSC makes no attempt to undermine the structures of racism that produce this sort of off-the-cuff racist remark. To promote Indians as the "model minority," who have a great and ancient culture, and not combat the racism that devastates the world of color and pits people of color against each other, is inadequate. It simply lifts up one minority, us, and says that we shouldn't take this nonsense because we are culturally great.

Groups like the HSC and the VHPA are less concerned with the broad problem of racism and of Indian American life, than they are to push the Hindutva agenda in the U. S. and Canada. Here are two examples:

(1)Air-conditioned Sadhus.

By the late 1990s, Hindu temples could be found in most of the areas where Indian Americans lived (or where American Hindus did, such as in Hawaiii). The Prathishtapanas for the Middletown, CT., Satyanarayan temple near where I live took place in 1999 (although families in the area had worshipped in their basements since the early 1980s). These temples are a resource for Hinduism, with ceremonies and festivals, "Sunday Schools" and devotional sessions. The VHPA has other ideas for the temples. In 1998, at a VHPA Dharam Sansad, the conclave decided that all temples and cultural organizations "should associate, endorse and/or affiliate with the VHPA to make the Hindu voice more effective." In 2000, the VHPA sent a hundred God-men from India on a Dharma Prachar Yatra "in a manner so that all of America is covered with Hindutva," as a VHPA activist put it. One of the tasks of the Yatra was for the sadhus to "clear the misconceptions about the VHP" and to assert "the VHP's point of view about issues like Ayodhya movement and attacks on Christians." All talk of "inter-faith dialogue" and of Hinduism as tolerance was out the window. These God-men went on tour, not to offer solace, spiritual guidance or to explain the travails of racism – they came out to plug for the BJP, the VHP and its campaigns against Muslims and Christians in India.

The God-men were treated like touring rock-stars. Luckily I was teaching the Manavadharmasastra (or the Laws of Manu) that semester: "A priest should always be alarmed by adulation as if it were poison and always desire scorn as if it were ambrosia" (II. 162). Our air-conditioned priests are far removed from even the barest humility asked of them by their calling.

(2)Representing Hinduism.

For decades, there has been an ongoing debate within the broad field of India Studies. Influenced by social historians who opened up the world of Indian popular culture and the struggles of ordinary Indians, and by the intervention of Edward Said's Orientalism (1978), these scholars fought against the racism and conservatism of the academy. Sanskrit studies, for instance, treated India as an ancient resource with no lived heritage of Hinduism; political scientists saw India in terms of U. S. or British foreign policy, not in terms of what is in the best interests of the Indian people. Graduate school in the 1980s and early 1990s was a hive of conflict against what some of us saw as a racist representation of the subcontinent.

In 2000, Rajiv Malhotra of the Infinity Foundation published a long essay against the tenor of Hinduism Studies in the U. S. As if he were a lonely pioneer, Malhotra went hell-for-leather against the entire U. S. academy. Much of what he said is correct (there is an insensitivity toward the Hindu tradition, and a disregard for the real living Indians), and it had been the basis for a long-standing debate around the institutions. With his access to the Indian American media, Malhotra (and the soon to be formed Hindu American Foundation) went after individual academics and then the California 6th grade textbooks. It was a lot of flash and lightning: many of us liberals and radicals were already in the thick of these fights, and much of our work has been fruitful. But we were not invested simply in making India look good: we wanted to ensure that the diversity of India's history and its struggles be represented in the curriculum and in the research agendas. "The social science and history textbooks do not give as generous a portrayal of Indian culture as they do of Islamic, Jewish, Christian cultures," carped Malhotra. When asked about the struggles of dalits and women in ancient India, Suhag Shukla of the Hindu American Foundation grumbled, "In terms of men and women, I think, first of all if you look at Christianity or Judaism or Islam, no-where in the textbooks is there any discussion of women's rights. Then to pull it in for Hinduism, is a different treatment of Hinduism." All culture must have equal treatment, all contemporary representatives of that culture should be able to create their sense of self-worth based on this representation. Shukla has a point: no tradition is in the clear on these issues. The solution is not to brown-wash the textbooks on ancient Indian history, but to write more honest books about the contradictions of all civilizations.

Malhotra's assault to get a politically correct interpretation accepted or nothing at all is the genteel version of the Shiv Sena and VHP activists in India who went after James Laine's book on Shivaji (by book burnings and physical assaults on his collaborators).

These issues are brought to the center by the VHPA, the HSC, the HFA: all to blind us from other issues, such as racism in the U. S., the Iraq War, economic uncertainty and distress in India, rising numbers on sexual assault and female infanticide in India, and the Gujarat pogrom. Yankee Hindutva is a set of blinders, not an optic to see the world clearly.

What Would You Have?

yadidam svayamarthanam rocate tatra ke vayam
If the objects themselves are like that, who are we?
Dharmakirti (7th Century).

The suffocating presence of the VHPA and the HSC, of the RSS and the BJP does not exhaust the capacity of either Hinduism or of its adherents. Our affection for its resources is not diminished, nor should we turn away from our traditions because the RSS and its family try to debase it.

In 2004, the Indian people, and a majority of them being claimants to the title Hindu, rejected the parties of the far Right in the parliamentary election (they were defeated again in 2007 in the Uttar Pradesh state elections). The mandate was offered to the Congress and the Left, who crafted a Common Minimum Program that promised a more generous set of policies for the working-class, the peasantry and the indigent, as well as a more secular defense of the public sphere. The parties of Hindutva went into a self-imposed period of infighting, as scandals interrupted their claim to holding the high-moral ground.

In the Diaspora, there was some reflection of this change in the Indian political landscape. The far Right moved to consolidate its agenda despite changes within India – closer ties between Indian American lobby groups and pro-Israeli lobby groups, to sharpen the idea that the Indo-Pakistani problems can only be resolved in the Israeli fashion, through force; the creation of the Hindu American Foundation (whose main campaign in 2004-05 was the Diwali resolution, and who was an active leader of the California textbooks campaign); an assault on scholars of India and Hinduism, led this time by the Infinity Foundation. But not a word from any of these organizations on the farmer's suicides in Andhra Pradesh, on the deepening problem of unemployment across India, and on the cataclysmic child malnutrition rates across the country. These matters were not, apparently, of importance. Discussions about Planet India, as Mira Kamdar puts it, eclipsed the burgeoning social crises in India. As Gandhi warned his fellows ninety years ago, "The test of orderliness in a country is not the number of millionaires it owns, but the absence of starvation among its masses" (Muir Central College Economics Society, Allahabad, December 22, 1916). Equally, these organizations remained silent after 9/11 at the attacks on South Asians and Arabs and at the illegal detentions of hundreds of South Asians (the civil rights and activists groups, such as South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow and Desis Rising Up and Moving were in the lead here). Immigration reform, "Operation Meth Merchant" (against the small Indian shopkeepers in Georgia) and other such issues were equally off the radar of the HSC, the VHPA and HAF.

If I were you, I'd abandon the Hindu Students Council and create a new organization called Sarvodaya (Compassion for All), a word Gandhi coined for his variety of social justice. You can still have intellectual and spiritual investigations of the Gita, you can still hold inter-faith discussions, you can still educate your fellows about the rich and diverse tradition of Hinduism, and you can also promote egalitarianism and social justice as values derived from your tradition.

The Hinduism that cares more for its reputation than for its relevance is no longer a living tradition. It has become something that one reveres from a distance. To keep it alive, Hinduism requires an engagement with its history (which shows us how it evolves and changes) and with its core concepts (what we otherwise call philosophy). "Every formula of every religion has, in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal justice if it is to ask for universal assent" Gandhi wrote in 1925. "Error can claim no exemption even if it can be supported by the scriptures of the world" (Young India, February 26, 1925). Submit all faith to experiments, to see how they are able to assist one in the messy world we live in: to detach faith into self-indulgence is to patronize those traditions. That's the nature of experimentation, a far better approach to faith traditions than empty reverence.

The choice lies between giving over the traditions you love to the forces of hatred who might masquerade as the defenders of tradition; or to the force within you, and around you, a force of love and ecstasy, passion and pain to transform the world. What would you have?

Vijay Prashad
May 17, 2007.

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Comments

Padma, There are many things

Padma,

There are many things that can be improved, and what you mentioned could probably be one of them. In the past only certain people were given (this) knowledge, while this is not the case today.

The point here is not to demonise the whole religion just because a few things have been distorted, misused or are just not applicable in todays world. HInduism has always been flexible and has adapted to changing times. Partly because there is no central authority and no dogma. Also change has always come from within. For example, Buddhism is nothing but "Protestant Hinduism". So also there have been other reformers.

Please also remember that the Western world looks at religions (and the world) in terms of social justice, equality. Whereas Hindu is much more than that. Assuming you had an ideal society, a human would still have to deal with his own internal world. This is what Hinduism addresses better that any tradition. This is one reason why, say, Yoga and meditation which were once considered as "voodoo like mumbo jumbo" by the West, is florishing among these same Westerners. And I am sure more such ideas from India will be adopted by the WEst in the near future.

Unfortunatley, the viriol against Hinduism by the Left Wing, the WEst and the Christian and Islamic world is sometimes internalised by Hindus themselves who then do the work of these malevolent people. Hinduism is the thorn on the side of the "New World Order" which has destroyed all other "Old World Order" traditions. Let us all awaken to this movement and take actions to preserve Dharma.

Santana Dharma has always been and will always be. Let us be all proud of it. Let us not denigrate it. Let us not apologise for it to anyone. Let us all make it better.

Hope I have made sense to you.

the hegemony of Brahmanic

the hegemony of Brahmanic traditions in defining “Hinduism” as a category?

I think it would be wrong to say hegemony of Brahmanic traditions. This idea is a product of the West, the missionaries, the Moghuls to divide Hindus to conquer.

That is why I do not give much credence to views of Hinduism by outsiders. Either they are misinformed or have mal intentions.

The Gita is a remarkable

The Gita is a remarkable book, precisely because of its history (it was composed long after the Mahabharata, written in classical Sanskrit of the Gupta era, and interpolated into the long epic much later)

Once again the Left Winger attacks the core of Hinduism.

Yeh Kaliyug hai.

Kauva moti khayega.

Vijay Prashad Thanks for the

Vijay Prashad

Thanks for the courtesy for responding to my challenge to identify a single hindu organization in the US that you approve of or support. No surprises - you are unable to do so. Instead, in a nice bit of sophistry that might win the support of some tenure committee you have instead suggested that it is difficult to actually figure out whether an organization is "hindu". Nevertheless, you have no difficulty in identifying the VHP and "Sangh Parivar" as hindu organizations ! Isn't that interesting? Yet, if I were to identify all marxists with some demented CPI(Lets-kill-a-lot-of-people) you would give us a long and grave lecture on the subject.

At any rate, I am happy to expose your insincerity in this matter. You do not value the hindu identity, its simply a convenient punching bag for your academic theories of "brownness" and "south asianness". Most of hindus (and many others) will find your writings insincere and tendentious. So good luck with your propaganda!

Dr. Anonymous

Hindu identity is just one of the many identities we have. The point is that currently this identity doesnt have adequate representation in the USA. Of course, the positive american approach of self-help groups or clubs is appropriate. I am not suggesting we need some special vidya from the old country, especially not dragging in political fights like babri masjid or shah bano or whatever.

The lack of an engaged hindu intellectual class has another consequence - increased space for reactionaries and for random misinterpretation. Folks like Rajiv Malhotra have made this point very well. Traditions need to be understood and re-interpreted in the current historical and sociological context. If we dont do this, then they quickly become meaningless and just a minor ethnic or folk memory. At the same time, we become vulnerable to those who would exploit them for their own reasons.

Dilip, I would love to

Dilip,

I would love to refrain from the diatribe as Desi Italiana suggested, but when you throw the shit to the fan, there is not much you can do. So, let’s get at it.

Are you a Christian ?
God! Just because I am critical of VHP’s agenda in Nepal, now I am a Christian. Even if I were, why would that invalidate my concerns, and sanctify VHP’s politics in Nepal? Just because Non-Hindu questions it? After all, Nepal is a pluralistic society, and every one has equal say, regardless of creed and credence, at least in theory.

For your kind information, I am a non-practicing Hindu Brahamin. Now, am I supposed to be proud of the fact that I am a Brahamin, and I am at the top of the caste system pyramid?

Interestingly you see the VHP as more dangerous to Nepal than the terrorist Maoists, who have murdered, killed, raped
Where ever you are Mr. Dilip, what makes you label Nepali Maoists—‘Terrorist?’ Have you ever visited rural Nepal? Do you have any idea on Developmental Indices of Nepal's—GDP, Literacy Rate, Mortality Rate, Access to Primary Health care, Drinking Water etc. etc?

So, don’t be prompt to label the fight of marginalized peoples' fighting for equal access to resources ‘terrorism,’ unless you want to come off as utterly stupid and ignorant on the issues that you are debating on.

VHP is indeed more dangerous than Maoists, when the fight is fought on the ground of control over economical resources, there is a room for work around and compromises, but when the fight is fought over ‘Morality’ and ‘Superiority’, there is none. What you get is Gujrat and Babari Masjid, and Inquisition.

If you want to argue on the sheer number of rapes and murders committed, then every National Army would qualify for terrorist, and Indian Army would be on the forefront in the list, with the track record in Kashmir, Khalistan and North East. Do read Human Right's abuse on these places by government forces.

I am sure you are one of those Evangelists funded by the Western Churches to destroy Hinduism.
Interestingly, this is one point I agree with you. I have seen many economically challenged Nepalis converted into Christianity. Well, I can’t speak for the them, how much is spiritual and how much is economical. If they really believe Jesus is their Savior. One thing for sure, Christian do have agenda behind their charity. But, why cry foul, when governments run by majority (Hindus, India/Nepal) failed miserably to address social/economical issues of marginalized, in most of the cases dalits/untouchables demography?

You should be complaining to people in Planning Commission/elected government, and less crying wolf on proselytizing Christians. Problem would be fixed.

Furthermore, ill intentions of Christians would not make VHP’s any better.

It isnt enough that Nepal lost its Hindu identity. If this wasnt an attack on Hinduism then what was it ?
Ah! There is something called civil discourse, but reading your comments just tempts me to throw my civility out of window and call you an IDIOT. There I go. I wouldn’t want to get into why Nepal should be a secular nation debate here, that demands more serious discussion, and you are not ready.

But what I would like to say is: How is Nepal being declared Secular nation has affected your spirituality, moreover Hindus all around the world? Have you become a better or worse Hindu by that decision? Has the teaching of Purans, Upanisad, Gita been any less true by that decision? If your religion is just for your identity, well, I got nothing to say. Associating with Mickey and Donald might serve you better.

You are playing Hinduism as a political card. God, and you don’t miss to extol the virtues of Hinduism as spiritual inspiration in the same breathe. Your contradiction asphyxiates me.

By the way, most of the world still perceives India as in Jungle Book, should I be upset that you Mr. Dilip, wants to assert himself as a citizen of modern Atomic nation, but not as Mowgli? Identity, after all.

Yet you say Hindus are the bad ones.
Hallucination? Where did I say Hindus are bad? What I said was, politics of hate in Hinduism injected by VHP is bad.

That is why I say it is time to stop talking and start acting.
Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahin maante.

Indeed, you need to renew you library card, and start reading more serious books.

Bhoot nahin hai wo,
Gadhe hai jo laat bhi nahin samajte,
bhaat bhi nahin samajte
Bahut ho gaye aap ke 'dhichoo' 'dhichoo',
App ke Dhobi app ko bhoolarahe hai

Gol: God! Just because I am

Gol:

God! Just because I am critical of VHP’s agenda in Nepal, now I am a Christian.

Don't worry, yaar. I got slapped with being a "fundamentalist Christian" or "hardcore Muslim," even though I'm Hindu. Criticize political Hinduism and that is the response you get.

I would love to refrain from the diatribe as Desi Italiana suggested

I'm really starting to think that Dilip is a troll who is making this stuff up to get people riled up.

Or maybe not. Which is a disturbing thought.

BTW, I appreciate your comments here :)

My Dear Dilip, You one line

My Dear Dilip,

You one line says it all:

"So what if the HSC was promoting the Sangh Parivar agenda ?"

Thanks for providing the best defense of the HSC so far. You have done a sterling job - hopefully they will offer you the post of SarBumdholak or something, and give you a lathi to beat your shadow with.

Gharv se bhol! Hum Khaki Nikkar walle hai!

Baloo

Gol Maal, Desi Italiana: You

Gol Maal, Desi Italiana:

You are very naive.

So you are a Maoist.

Maoism (also Liberalism, Secularism) is a religion. Yes religion. You have replaced Lord Krishna with Marx. Think about it.

In Hindi there are 2 words for pride -- Garv and Ghamand. Garv about Caste is fine. Ghamand is not good.

Misdirected Brahmins are the worst enemies. A converted Brahmin, Iqbal, was responisible with the partition of India. Now Pakistan is a base for Al Queda and terrorism.

VHP is indeed more dangerous than Maoists

Again, you are brainwashed. Maoism (communism) is a failed ideology. It may sound good on paper -- after all the concepts of equality and justice are very apealing -- but has no bearing in reality. Maoism in practice is very bloody. It was bloody in China and bloody in Nepal. Now, even China has given up Maoism. But stupid people from Nepal (and India) hang on to it.

Maoism (communism) are all about blaming others, but this ideology offers no real solutions.

To say that rural problems in Nepal were created by Hinduism is, as I said, blaming others. From your logic, since all Africa is either Christian or Muslim, then the mass poverty there (worse than Nepal) is because of these religions and Maoism will solve the problems there.

Maoists in Nepal have not built any schools, infrastruture, health care institutions. Maoism does not create wealth, but seeks to take wealth from others to distribute to the poor. But in reality only the party bosses profit. The vast majority are actually worse off.

Interstingly, you say the Guns and Bombs of the Terror outfits of the Maosist are better than the books of the Hindu religion. Hmmmm

when governments run by majority (Hindus, India/Nepal) failed miserably

Hallucination? Where did I say Hindus are bad?

You contradict yourself. See how you have double standards. Like a typical communist you twist words and lie for your agenda.

How is Nepal being declared Secular nation has affected your spirituality

Not yet. But secularisation could be the first step towards Christianization. Now Nepal has its first Bishop, next you know it will be ruled by the Pope. Remember all of Rome, Greece, and the Western world lost their ancient religions because as they say "Nero fiddled while Rome burned". The catholic church (and their Popes) have a very bloody history. Secularisation is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

But then what to say when one entrusted to protect Dharma joins the enemies.

There is something called civil discourse

Interestingly, you guys expect that others should consider your "rational" point of view, while you guys can be dismissive about others point of view. Under the guise of civil discourse, it is ok for you to be self righteous and call others "idiots" if they do not conform to your point of view.

Sounds like Fascism to me.

What you get is Gujrat and Babari Masjid, and Inquisition

Like a Greasy Pig you wiggle out of mentioning the root cause. No mention of Kashmir ethnic cleansing of Hindus, rape of Hindu women. No mention of thousands of Hindu temples destroyed by Muslims and mosques built over them. No mention of Godhra violence, no mention of Bombay blasts, temple bombs, massacre of Hindus in Swaminarayan temple.

One morality for the terrorists, one for Hindus.

Hmmm

Ek Shayari:

Barbadi-e-Gulshan ek Ulloo hi bahut tha
Yahan to har Shaakh pe ek Ulloo hai
Haal-e-Gulistan Kya hoga.

one more:

Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahin maante
Insaan to kya
Gadha bhi inhe laat marega.

Dilip Just because a person

Dilip

Just because a person is abused doesn't mean all their actions in response are correct. You seem to think because hindus have been the target of christian conversion and islamic violence (the latter mostly a long-time ago) therefore groups of hindus can do no wrong.

This is plain silly. It is quite as silly as many of Mr. Prashad's beliefs. Mr. Prashad doesn't believe hindus have much of right to any kind of positive identity. You seem to believe that hindu identity provides a kind of immunity against wrong-doing. These are both extremist positions.

Supporting howling mobs destroying a mosque in Ayodhya is stupid and criminal. It doesn't matter that some muslim generals and kings used the excuse of religion to loot and murder "hindus" (the original meaning of hindu is resident of india - east of the indus).

Calling someone a "christian" or "muslim" as a derogatory label is also really stupid. Much of india's modernization was created and supported by thinking christians especially quakers and unitarians. Scores of patriotic muslims fought against the british; even Mr. Jinnah, before he discovered islam khatre mein hain, spoke for all indian people.

THere are some real challenges for hindus in america. The vocabulary of hindu traditions (to some extent buddhist also) is unfamiliar to people in the west. Much of their information focusses on what seems strange and bizarre in our traditions: caste, yoga, multi-armed gods, etc. All of this will take hard work and effort at re-interpreting and explaining our traditions to ourselves and others.

Baloo, You have not said

Baloo,

You have not said anything substantive other than spewing hatred for the Hindu outfits.

You are a naive idealist. One day you will grow up, I hope.

Ek din tumhare haathon se yeh Chudiyan shayad nikal jayegi
Aur tum Arjun jaise mard banoge.

Pratik: I do not disagree

Pratik:

I do not disagree with you, frankly.

However, I do not trust the intentions of some so called "good" people.

So I would rather be on the cautious side.

Better safe than sorry.

mr. dilip kumar, i concede

mr. dilip kumar,
i concede and kneel before your superior dialectic skill, which almost exalts you on the pedalstal with inscribed letters on it--Cerebral Constipated Conceit. it's a bit cumbersome for me to have any meaningful dialog with you, when you are stationed at such dizzying height of Hinduvta. Why waste yours and my time? Yep, let me go back and read my 'red book' and clean the musket, and roll the red carpet for the Pope's arrival in Nepal.


Hum to Uloo hai,
Per aap to Bat (whatever you call that in hindi),
Kuch nahin dekhai dete

One more:

Ye saab sunana to,

...Continuation App ko ye

...Continuation


App ko ye saab sunana to, Vais ke aage bin bajana.

adieu,

Dilip, You keep asking

Dilip,

You keep asking everyone to act like Arjun - and I presume you mean Arjun from Mahabharat... Can you tell us what happened to Arjun in the end? How was he judged for his actions?

Also, it is good to know that the Hindutva bandwagon has finally dropped the "Ram" label and have moved on to the "Arjun" label now... You must be 'India shining.'

Dear all, the HSC has done it

Dear all,
the HSC has done it again!!! Lying is a religion for Sangh Lafangs. Check out the latest from CSFH: Hindu Students Council has gone and changed its webpage information thinking we are all fools! Dilip, your buddies are in hot soup, caught red-handed (or if you prefer, some serious dal makani). Ha ha ha! What a bunch of losers!

http://hsctruthout.stopfundinghate.org/PRs/pr_Question2.html

The Cover-up Begins: National HSC Goes One Step Further to Dupe its Membership
Why is the National HSC Scrambling to Change its Webpages Now?

Last week (05/26/07), we had promised one question every week for the National HSC to respond to. In our first question, we had asked: Why did the National HSC build the Sangh Parivar's Global Internet infrastructure and why does it continue to maintain it? As evidence, we had presented material from our report in the form of an IP Map. Last week's question and the IP Map are available at:

http://hsctruthout.stopfundinghate.org/pr.html
http://hsctruthout.stopfundinghate.org/appA.html

We had noted that apart from sharing contiguous IP addresses, several important Sangh websites, including those of the RSS, HSS, VHP, VHP-America and ABVP list

"Hindunet Inc" as the "Admin Organization" and/or Ajay Shah (the first president of the HSC) as the "Admin Name". And the copyright notice on Hindunet says: Please note that entire collection of GHEN websites is copyrighted 1989-1999, Global Hindu Electronic Networks, Hindu Students Council.

Our question to the National HSC for Week #2: Why has the National HSC NOW changed the Admin information for hscnet.org and also changed the contact page on Hindunet (hindunet.com/contact.htm)? Does it believe that by changing the admin/contact information NOW, the chapter level membership will fail to see the connections between the National HSC and the RSS? Why is it continuing on this path of further deceit and deception?

Baloo, Pot calling the kettle

Baloo,

Pot calling the kettle black.

Who are your alliances with ?

Commuinists, Jihadis, Crusaders, Pseudo Secular Liberal Hindu haters ?

Why dont you tell us what your agenda is ?

All you talk is hatred for Hindus and HInduism.

So its ok for you to hate Hindus, but not ok for Hindus to assert themselves.

What double standards.

So Dilip, You are saying that

So Dilip,
You are saying that the HSC has a right to dupe its members because they are just Hindus asserting themselves? Okay, if you're saying that I'll agree with you but only by standing you on your head - ie. The hatefully assertive political Hindus (Hindutvadis) who call themselves HSC - are duping people. No problems bhai sahib, please consider this contribution of yours to the defense of HSC a ticket to SarBumDholakhood. Now on you may walk tall (like Arjun) and carry a big lathi, barking like a Sangh Lafang Kutha! Gharv se bhol Ruf Ruf..bow wow wow!!!!
Go dip your hot head in some cold water dude, there's steam coming out of your ears.
Baloo

Mr. Gol Maal, I am sure you

Mr. Gol Maal,

I am sure you have knelt before others many times, and not just intellectually. I am afraid to ask what followed aftewards.

You want meaningful dialog, then lets have it. But when you say that the bloody communists in Nepal are better than the people with religious books, then I wonder what you have been smoking or do what you do when you are kneeling.

So when you get off your dizzyings heights of communism, maoism and Hindu hating then we can talk meaningfully. It is very common for the Leftists to take self righteous high moral ground and preach to others. Maybe you dont realise that you and your cohorts are nothing but hateful "Secular Commie Mullahs".

And make sure you kneel before the Pope. There have been numerous Popes in the past who have not appreciated the fairer sex, so, maybe this one might just consecrate you with his "own Holy liquid".

Aise tadapu ke jaise jal bin machali...

Hindu and Hindutva ARE NOT

Hindu and Hindutva ARE NOT the same thing, Dilip. Quit conflating the two. A Hindu can very well be a Hindu and not be a Hindutva.

Commuinists, Jihadis, Crusaders, Pseudo Secular Liberal Hindu haters?

Tell us something you haven't said before. You've said this in almost every comment.

Baloo, Obviously, like a

Baloo,

Obviously, like a greasy pig, you will not tell us who you are aligned with. At least tell us your agenda ? Who are you trying to dupe?

If it is obvious to an idiot like you that the HSC is "duping" , then it must be pretty obvious to others. So why are you worrying ? If it really bothers you that much then file a law suit.

Why do you hate Hindus that assert themselves so much ? Obviously you think it is ok for you to hate Hindus but Hindus have no right to fight back.

So you are a Red commie...

Ghamand se ka kaho ke tum ek lal gand ho.

Desi Italiana, If Hindus and

Desi Italiana,

If Hindus and Hindutva are NOT the same thing, the who defines what Hindutva is ?

The commies/lefties/pseudos are quick to label any action by Hindus as Hindutva. And thus they want to put curbs on the Hindu religion in general.

This is why I dislike the Left, because they have an agenda which they hide.

I think you yourself are quite idealistic (i know u are well meaning), but, you having grown up in the USA, like most Americans, probably look at Hinduism from the Western view point, which is extremely incorrect and biased.

Read up on stuff with an unbiased mind. And you will see that there is a stealth war against Hinduism.

Please refrain from insults,

Please refrain from insults, name-calling, and personal attacks.

Thank you.

Dear Dilip, Your insults are

Dear Dilip,
Your insults are most welcome, since they prove what sort of substance you and your Sanghi brethren are made of. Thanks for not pretending to be anything but an outright goonda. I think any readers who had some doubts about the HSC can now safely assume that the HSC is like the Bajrang Dal - yet another branch of the international criminal network of thugs called Hindutva.
A warm wet kiss from this "greasy pig" to you Dilip daarling!
Baloo

Ok, folks, enough of the

Ok, folks, enough of the snarkiness.

Take a break; have a cup of chai and relax.

Afterwards, if you feel like you have something new to add to the discussion, please feel free to do so!

Friends, Having taken a look

Friends,

Having taken a look at the question from CSFH to HSC posted a couple of days ago, I am struck by the audacity displayed by the HSC. What is more incriminating than an obvious effort to shuffle and rearrange the evidence when you know the focus of attention is on exactly such efforts? I think CSFH has nailed the case with this move by the HSC. Do read the fascinating summary of what the HSC did to its webpages over the last few weeks. Apparently each webpage has to be registered somewhere, and this registration information is publicly available.

http://hsctruthout.stopfundinghate.org/PRs/pr_Question2.html

Baloo

Baloo, the Hindu hater, the

Baloo, the Hindu hater, the Indian culture hater strikes again with his lies, deception and propaganda.

Is Baloo a Muslims Jihadi ?

Is he a Christian Crusader ?

Why is he so hateful that any Hindu step up and speak for himself ?

What is his agenda ? Why doesnt he reveal himself ? Who is funding his anti Hindu terror campaign ?

Can anyone have credence to anything this anti Hindu terrorist has to say ?

I dont think so.

Baloo, Yes, Mr. Greasy pig,

Baloo,

Yes, Mr. Greasy pig, you can keep your wet kisses for the derriere's of your Jihadi/crusader/leftist fundamentalists, like Vijay. People like you are wolves (Bhaloos?) in sheeps clothings. This is the worst kind of evil doer, the one who pretends to spread love, but deep inside is a hater.

You have been hiding like a coward in terrorising Hindus and Hindu groups.

But now anti Hindu terror campaigns have been exposed, and now we know who you are.

Like I said, its time to be like Arjun.

Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahin maantein.

Gadhe ko akkal sirf chabuk se aati hai.

Dilip daarling, whats with

Dilip daarling,
whats with all this love eh? Come on man, you're making me blush! Tell you what. Why don't you go running to your ankal - sarjunkpalak Ram Madhav and weep on his dhoti instead of wasting bandwidth here. You obviously have no interest in discussing anything you little whiner!

Do you have any response to HSC's connection to RSS? Why dont you tell them to stop hiding and duping and come out like your Arjun and say "yes we are sangh lafangs!" At least they can prove like your guru Mal Dakuray said in his homophobic worst: "we are not eunuchs."

run along now little boy..before you wet your khaki nikkar here. Let the adults continue the conversation.

Baloo

Baloo, There you go with your

Baloo,

There you go with your leftist fundamentalist agenda. Now, to the extent of using endearing terms. Well, sorry to disappoint you that my taste is only for the fairer sex. Stick with the ones who are "behind" you, or should I say stick it to them ??

Like I said, why does it bother you what the connection is between HSC and RSS ? Does that give you sleepless nites ? Well, if it does then you need to do some yoga and meditation, and that might cool you down. Maybe some mantras, and pujas might help. But, ofcourse, if you want to stick to your Jihadi/crusader/commie/Leftist agenda (JCCL, in short), then you will be riled up even more. But, ofcourse, the JCCL agenda is meant to get people riled up. Just look at the Maoists killings in India/Nepal.

So do tell us about your "adult" agendas, which are just terror outfits pretending to be "just". If this is the kind of adult you are your fellow terrorists are then, maybe "Aaj Ka Arjun" will take care of it for you.

Your Jihadi/crusader/commie/Leftist agenda days are numbered, which is why your types are resorting to Journalistic Terrorism.

Once again I say

Aaj Ka Arjun
saaf karega
Tum jaise
Chakko ko.

"There was no liberal

"There was no liberal critique of the denigration of Hinduism, and when liberals and radicals did dare to tread, the conservatives harshly shut the door to them as being inauthentic defenders of the Culture. This was the tenor of the battle over the 2005-06 revisions of the California text-books. We didn’t like the old books either. But we didn’t like the sanitized version of Indian history promoted by the conservatives. We wanted “ India ” to appear for what it is, a land of contradictions, not an nblemished “brand” that needs to be sold so that we can feel falsely proud."

Vijay Prashad seems to be asserting that the side he is on (whose intervention was started by Professor Michael Witzel of Harvard University) was entirely unbiased and neutral, acting out of completely pure motives.

Yet it appears that Prof. Witzel, in violation of the California law governing his appointment by the California Dept. of Education as a "content review expert", was not acting in an unbiased matter. According to the motion filed by CAPEEM (California Parents for Equalization of Educational Materials) to compel Prof. Witzel with a subopena to turn over his emails in federal court, there is documented evidence that Prof. Witzel was acting in concert with a Christian missionary group along with other third parties.

The motion is linked here: http://www.capeem.org/docs/CompelWitzel.pdf

Perhaps Prof. Prashad can answer here. Was he aware of the fact that Prof. Witzel was acting on the behalf on narrow special interest groups instead of the neutral advisor he was supposed to be? Does he support the subversion of the California textbook adoption process that Prof. Witzel has committed? Most importantly, was he a part of any of the third party groups that Prof. Witzel was coordinating with in violation of California law?

There's no denying the fact that the Hindu groups (whatever you may think of them) involved in the textbook case followed the California textbook adoption process to the letter. If Prof. Witzel and those who supported him did not, then that means they were engaged in an attempt to deny the due process of law. Does Prof. Prashad support this?

The very same Sanghi

The very same Sanghi bandwagon was behing the idiotic effort to insert Hindutva garbage into 6th grade California textbooks. And now they repeat the lies of this fake organization that mysteriously appeared after the Sanghis got their butts kicked to the curb by the CA Board of Education (not to speak of the CA Higher Court). CAPEEM's CABOOM is that Professor Witzel is the source of all evil. How convenient. Are they forgetting (or do they wish to erase the fact) that many community organizations including Dalit, Sikh and Tamil groups opposed them at the Board and at the courts leading to their humiliating thrashing? Of course when deception fails, Sanghis always resort to their next favorite tactic - MORE deception.

Baloo

Dear Anonymous: Thank you for

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your fine post.

Let me add:

-- The likes of Michael Witzel, Vijay Prashad, Bhaloo, are part of the Secular/liberal/Chrislamo fascist mafia. For them there is no sticking to the law when it come to their agenda. Do not expect a proper reply from these weasels.

For example:

The very same Sanghi bandwagon was behing the idiotic effort to insert Hindutva garbage into 6th grade California textbooks

You can see the lie and the deception in the above statement. "idiotic" ?? pot calling the kettle black ? "hindutva" ... any attempt at self assertion is "HIndutva" ?

Again these secular terrorists have no morals. They will do anything for their hateful agenda.

The organisations that opposed the text book issue were all fake organisations created by the pseudo hateful mafia. They even created fictitious people to promote their lies.

Satyameva Jayate.

This battle aint over. This is just the beginning.

Those who try to destroy Dharma will be destroyed by Dharma.

Saam, Daan, Dand, Bhed...

Saam Daan to kiya...ab aur aaage badhna hai...like Arjun.

Dilip daarling, I think you

Dilip daarling,
I think you seem to excel in chasing your own tail. While its definitely humorous, it also makes me feel sorry for you.
According to your "anonymous" saffron buddy, criticizing the dimwitted charlatans who tried to force California's board of education to institute their propaganda into textbooks is anti-Hindu. What did these geniuses attempt to do that failed so miserably that they had to resort to filing lawsuits?
They want to teach 6th grade children that men and women in ancient India had "different duties" (not unequal rights), all castes lived joyfully with each other (no oppression of untouchables, and no discrimination, and institutionalized violence against people of lower or untouchable caste groups), and that the Aryans were indigenous to India (not Central Asians who migrated over centuries and displaced others many of whom became members of the dominated caste groups in Aryan society) - criticism of these nutcases you call anti-Hindu! So a happy CABOOM to you too!

What is interesting here is how predictably the saffron brigades have unleashed their attacks - HSC's minions and patrons have come out in full force blabbering their standard drivel just as they did when their brainless yatra crashed to pieces in California.

And who are these self-asserting nincompoops of Hindutva? Well-to-do rascals who want to destroy India and erect a putrid Hindutvadi vision on its ruins, even as they enjoy the fruits of secular life in the US and UK. So Dilip daarling, you say the "batle AINT over" eh? That sounds like the offspring of Mal Dakuray and Chuck Norris, in short your garden variety Yankee Hindutvadi.

Baloo

Dilip, Your sexual innuendos

Dilip,
Your sexual innuendos wouldn’t substitute for the lack of substance in your arguments. It’s beyond me, what’s your fixation with labeling people? Earlier I was a Christian, now I’m a Communist, and at times I was Marxist Fascist Christian. Does it label even make sense? Do you mean: electing Mussolini as the Pope, and running his papacy from Leningrad instead of Vatican? Pick your labels wisely. Do you even read the comments posted objectively before speeding to reply?

Even if I were either Christian or Marxist or both, how does it make VHS’s agendas in Nepali politics any less/more insignificant?

You extol the virtue of Gita, and frantically call everyone to be Arjun, to fight the adversaries. But, sadly your Arjun is myopic, just to see enemies only in Muslims, Christians, Communist, Leftist, Liberals and so on, but not within yourself. What made Arjun Arjun was his conviction to fight injustice meted out by his own blood--Kauravs. It wasn’t a fight for his clan or creed, but for the greater good.

Let me make it clear once more, I am critical of politics of Hinduvta, not of Hinduism itself, though it needs to work on many issues.

You, Mr. Dilip, sling invective at anyone/everyone, who is critical of POLITICS (for your eyes only in CAPS and BOLD, so that you don’t miss it) of religion. If I am skeptic of religion being used as a political tool, and raise my concern and voice, I am not a hater of my religion for that matter any religion; in fact, I am Arjun in my own small ways to vanguard the sanctity of my religion. I am doing my Bhramic karma.

Now, the question about being proud: I’m not ashamed or proud to be born as a Bhraman. I didn’t fill an application to be born as a Hindu or anything else, it was my fate, had I been born in any Islamic society, I would have been equally critical of Mullah’s hijacking of Islam, or Evangelist, I would have scorned the idiocy of people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Would that mean I reject the teachings of Jesus or Mohammed?

Learn to see Hinduism as religion, not as Hinduism as politics, my wishful and naïve thinking, sigh, for all the organized religions of the world, it’s just plain politics. And, you are just a minion in that giant cog-wheel, who makes it roll.

I seriously suggest you to read: Fatalism and Development by Dhor Bahadur Bista an anthropologist, before making any offhand comments about Maoist insurgency in Nepal, and it’s irrelevancy in current context. Or if it’s too much to ask for your short span memory, visit https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/np.html for Developmental Metrics of Nepal that would tell you why insurgency of some kind was immanent. It’s sad it had to come in Maoist form.

I don’t understand, why you keep insisting that Maoist movement is danger to Hinduism? Declaring Nepal secular is indeed a blow to Hindu politics and it’s hegemony for many centuries, in no way it has hampered the Hinduism as a religion and spirit. The monarchy which ruled the nation under the pretext of reincarnation of Lord Bishnu, pushing the nation into oblivion, is better gone and republic is the need of the hour. Good riddance. After all Nepal is a pluralist society and government should represent everyone, not just a single group. Do you even understand that?

Now, how ridiculous is your claim that Nepal should be Hindu Kingdom, so that all the Hindus in India feel better. Duh!!!

Please, don’t bother to reply, if you don’t have anything substantial to say. If you are just going to come back with more of your trite retorts and sexual innuendos. I respect the sanctity of someone else’s blog. But, if you can’t still hold your urge, do get me at panxanadu@yahoo.com. May be we can exchange our address, to arrange meeting in person to break your jaw. So much for my intellectual debate.

Adios

The very same Sanghi

The very same Sanghi bandwagon was behing the idiotic effort to insert Hindutva garbage into 6th grade California textbooks. And now they repeat the lies of this fake organization that mysteriously appeared after the Sanghis got their butts kicked to the curb by the CA Board of Education (not to speak of the CA Higher Court). CAPEEM’s CABOOM is that Professor Witzel is the source of all evil. How convenient. Are they forgetting (or do they wish to erase the fact) that many community organizations including Dalit, Sikh and Tamil groups opposed them at the Board and at the courts leading to their humiliating thrashing? Of course when deception fails, Sanghis always resort to their next favorite tactic - MORE deception.

Baloo

So it appears you support due process violations. In your mind, as long as you beat the enemy, it does not matter if you violate the law.

BTW, one of those Dalit organizations you proudly back is actually the Christian missionary organization cited in the motion. No lies there: the physical address of the organization is a church. And that organization has been asking Prof. Witzel to edit their wikipedia page (which he did) so that they can hide the fact that they are a Christian missionary organization, as documented in the motion via emails turned over by the Christian missionary organization under subopena. What were you saying about deception again?

Maybe, next time, read the motion?

So it appears you support due

So it appears you support due process violations. In your mind, as long as you beat the enemy, it does not matter if you violate the law.

Due process? Oh you mean the lies being perpetrated by the so called "Hindu American Foundation?" This fraud organization is yet another "project" of the HSC claiming to speak on behalf of Hindus but actually tied to the dhoti of the Sangh Parivar.

BTW, one of those Dalit organizations you proudly back is actually the Christian missionary organization cited in the motion. No lies there: the physical address of the organization is a church. And that organization has been asking Prof. Witzel to edit their wikipedia page (which he did) so that they can hide the fact that they are a Christian missionary organization, as documented in the motion via emails turned over by the Christian missionary organization under subopena. What were you saying about deception again?

Oh lets see. The lawsuit your saffron thugs resorted to because they had no intellectual basis for their idiotic lies. Imagine that! Sanghis trying to manipulate 6th grade schoolchildren. How shameless can they get? Very. When challenged, they pull out their big bucks (Yankee Sanghis tend to be quite well off monetarily even if in inverse proportion to their decency) and hire professional litigators to harass their opponents. And this they call "due process."

Readers should note also how they always have to target those deemed non-Hindu. They remain silent on the Hindus who oppose their antics. So Witzel has to be maligned and harassed, and the Dalit groups have to be labeled Christian as if to say that only non-Hindus will oppose them. Hey "anonymous" Sanghi troll: do you have anything to say about the various others who came to the Board of Education and provided testimonials? Remember when your sanghi brethren were reduced to shouting disgusting epithets to Dalits in the room last year? Scared to admit it?

Maybe, next time, read the motion?

Maybe next time you should examine your head before posting sanghi trash on this forum.

Maybe next time you should

Maybe next time you should examine your head before posting sanghi trash on this forum.

You can post only Jihadi/crusader/Chrislamo/secular/liberal/commie trash here. Only these folks have right to talk trash, which they do all the time.

You can post only

You can post only Jihadi/crusader/Chrislamo/secular/liberal/commie trash here. Only these folks have right to talk trash, which they do all the time.

I have to admit, Chrislamo is good.
You left out "pseudo" before secular.

For everyone else: How come Sanghis are not overtly anti-semitic, btw? I've heard the whole U.S.-Israel-India nexus that people have pointed out, but it seems a bit odd.

And also not anti-Buddhist? As many dalit "Hindus" convert to Buddhism as anything else, no? I wonder what racial slurs for Buddhists are anyway.

I think it's fair to say

I think it's fair to say Baloo has no reasonable response to the questions I have posed to Prof. Prashad. Apparently, questions about the legality of the actions taken by Dr. Witzel, and whether Prof. Prashad supports those actions, as seems to be suggested in his post, are Sangh propaganda to Baloo's mind. Honestly, Baloo sounds like the Republican Party in response to Scooter Libby getting convicted. In any case, I still await Prof. Prashad's response to those questions, if he's still reading this post at all.

As to your questions Dr. Anonymous:

1. If you were familiar with the history of the Jewish diaspora in India (I am assuming you are not, and that's the case for most people), you'd be aware that the Jewish people were historically protected, and India was a safe haven for the small amount that did migrate to India. No persecution toward them was ever done (at least, not by any Hindu rulers. I myself am not familiar as to either Mogul or British policy towards Jewish people when they ruled India.) I'd imagine the Sangh follows this historical precedent, as well as the modern political calculation you suggest in your comment. I do know that for Hindus in America, many of them view the Jewish diaspora as a model to work with in regards to how to gain a political voice in the U.S. (Prof. Prashad, incidentally, is aghast at the idea, and has given talks against it. Having listened to one of those talks, I came away thinking that Prof. Prashad sounded anti-Semitic...he explicitly said that the Jewish people were a dangerous political ally for Hindus. Maybe he was thinking of the few Jewish neoconservatives or something, because most Jewish people vote Democratic.) Finally, there's no tradition of proselytization in Judaism (or if there was, they don't do it to any degree as of now). I would say that's a fairly important aspect to the Sangh also.

2. As for Buddhists, that's fairly simple: Hindus view Buddhism as an outgrowth of Hinduism. In fact, many Hindus (including myself) view Buddha as the ninth avatar of Vishnu. Therefore, dalit conversions to Buddhism, while likely disheartening (because it means the problems of caste are not solved), aren't going to provoke the Sangh in any manner. (at least, that's what I'm reasoning. If facts on the ground contradict me, I'd be interested in reading that.)

But there's an interesting premise behind your question, one I think you need to examine: You're assuming the Sangh is a Hindu supremascist organization. I think the very fact that they don't show any antipathy toward Buddhists or Jews means that they are not. You have simplified the Sangh into a supremascist organization and have used that to form your beliefs as to their motives. I suggest throwing away that construct, and trying to examine what their actual motives are. I don't know if you'll actually get there, or if you'll still formulate a highly negative perception of them...but thinking of the Sangh as a Hindu supremascist organization won't get you anywhere in understanding them. My advice, take it or leave it.

And finally, Dilip: next time you need to insult Baloo, mind leaving the word liberal out? I'm a liberal (and I imagine pratik is likely one as well). Proud Hindus can be liberal or conservative. Thanks.

And finally, Dilip: next time

And finally, Dilip: next time you need to insult Baloo, mind leaving the word liberal out? I’m a liberal (and I imagine pratik is likely one as well). Proud Hindus can be liberal or conservative. Thanks.

Point well taken. By Liberal and Secular I have always meant Psueudos. Actually, I am fairly liberal myself.

As a strategy, I think Hindus will have to use a combination of Saam, Daan, Dand, Bhed.

It does not help to be too nice in today's world. I dont think Gandhi would not have survived more than a day with Aurangzeb.

The Sikh Khalsa was created to protect Hindus, and now another Khalsa movement will have to be created. Because sometimes...

Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahin maantein.

Prof. Prashad, incidentally,

Prof. Prashad, incidentally, is aghast at the idea, and has given talks against it. Having listened to one of those talks, I came away thinking that Prof. Prashad sounded anti-Semitic…he explicitly said that the Jewish people were a dangerous political ally for Hindus. Maybe he was thinking of the few Jewish neoconservatives or something, because most Jewish people vote Democratic.

Its interesting how these pseudo Lefties want to set the agenda for the Hindus, specially since Vijay is a non practicing "Hindu" ( he said he got his morality from somewhere other than religion).

I bet he keeps his mouth shut about giving advice to Muslims or Christians.

Sometimes, I wonder, how a Communist with affiliations with Maoists, who do not hesitate to kill for their agenda, ends up in the USA. And that too teaching in a University. Don't they do any background checks ?

Here's the original criminal

Here's the original criminal Nazi chamcha, so called "Guru" Golwalkar, whose 100th anniversary the monkey brigades of sangh Parivar are screeching about this year:

"Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic races – the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh-impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimiliated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by." We or our nationhood defined, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, 1939.

What do the Parivarite nincompoops infesting this forum have to say about this blaggard of a criminal supporting genocide and saying this genocide is to be emulated by his hordes of murderous dimwits? Nothing. they point to the love that the RSS has for Ariel Sharon and the Zionist criminals who slaughter Palestinian civilians just as these saffron-clad cowards in khaki chaddis slaughter men, women and children in India.

You saffronazi nincompoops: do you have no shame coming here and stinking up this forum with your rubbish? Why dont you run along and hide behind Uncle SurBumdholak's dhoti - your khaki chaddis are soiled with 75 years of fascistic excrement.

Baloo

Anonymous I came away

Anonymous

I came away thinking that Prof. Prashad sounded anti-Semitic…he explicitly said that the Jewish people were a dangerous political ally for Hindus. Maybe he was thinking of the few Jewish neoconservatives or something, because most Jewish people vote Democratic.) Finally, there’s no tradition of proselytization in Judaism (or if there was, they don’t do it to any degree as of now). I would say that’s a fairly important aspect to the Sangh also.

A)The fact that most Jews and Hindus vote democratic is pretty irrelevant here, I don’t think that Prashad was locating 'dangerous politics' along the polarities of the American political spectrum. Though I didn’t attend that lecture, i would guess that what Prashad was getting at was that there is something analogous between the ways in which Zionism and the Zionist state are supported by the Jewish American Diaspora and the ways in which the same is done by the American Hindu Diaspora and the Hindutva agenda in India. Whatever you may want to say about this argument is fine, but the one thing it is not is 'anti-semitic.'

B) I think that the Sangh is not particularly anti-semitic because it isn’t really an internationalist project, and Jews are pretty irrelevant in India (particularly since the tiny population that was there in the first place has mostly moved to Israel). Please note: there is a huge difference between something having international links, networks etc., and being internationalist. Nor are these things static, I think the Sangh certainly has the potential to be internationalist in a way that other cultural fascisms have become. But it isn’t at the moment. Also, the Sangh would be quite hypocritical to only hate prosthelityzers, since they engage in large-scale prosthelytization as well, particularly in rural Adivasi belts. Only, instead of being honest and calling this conversion, they call it "ghar vapasi," because apparently Adivasi's practice their (widely differing) beliefs because the Mughals drove them into the forests and they over time forgot their Hindu ways. Give me a fucking break. Some of the aspects of this 'homecoming': introducing purity and pollution among people to whom these concepts are foreign, segregating formerly communal property, inculcating anti-Muslim and anti-Christian beliefs that have resulted in the ostracization and social boycott of Adivasi Christians.

c) I'd like to know what you mean by "supremacist organization." The Sangh has a deep hatred for minorities in India that it has not been able to co-opt under its understanding of "Hindutva," i.e., Muslims and Christians. It engages in extremely violent and discriminatory action against them. We could have a potentially interesting discussion comparing the Sangh's ideology with White supremacist groups in America...and yes, they are not the same, but that isn’t a value judgment. Is that what you were getting at?

Dilip and Baloo

Do we need to give you two your own blog where you can indulge in this idiocy? You are both responsible for the poisoning of this discussion. Just shut up already.

Apart from the continuous

Apart from the continuous loop around intentions, there are three points that I wanted to briefly address.

(1) India, Israel and Anti-Semitism.

After hearing me talk about the Hindutva-Zionist alliance, Anonymous writes, "I came away thinking that Prof. Prashad sounded anti-Semitic…he explicitly said that the Jewish people were a dangerous political ally for Hindus." The classic form of rebuttal regarding anything to do with Israel is to call out the speaker as anti-Semitic. But Anonymous is smart; intead of the knee-jerk responses of Dilip, he qualifies his charge with the ever loving "sounded"....which means that it might have sounded differently to others.

I wrote a long essay on this theme, which is based in part on my short letter to Sharon (Namaste Sharon: Hindutva and Sharonism Under U. S. Hegemony (Leftword, 2003): "How the Hindus Became Jews: American Racism since 9/11," South Atlantic Quarterly, 2005 104(3):583-60. Accessible at http://saq.dukejournals.org/cgi/content/citation/104/3/583.

For those who are interested, read it before you accept Anonymous' off the cuff judgment. The basic argument as far as Israeli assistance to India is concerned it this: does the Indian state want to adopt a forward policy of Occupation which will only fuel resentment? If yes, then it is worthwhile to take the step that Israel took forty year ago with the Six Day War (Tom Segev's new book is instructive). To my mind, a military response to the problems of South Asia will not solve anything, although it might inflame the macho sentiments of sections of the population.

(2) Buddhism and Hindutva.

Hindutva has a ferocious hatred of Buddhism. By the 3rd century, Buddhism was the dominant spiritual and theological resource in the subcontinent. At this point, Brahamanism launched its ideological and military counter-attack that expelled Buddhism to Central Asia and into East Asia. V. D. Savarkar, who repeats the broad outlines of this story of what he calls Buddhist expansionism, treats it as "disastrous to the national virility and even the nation existence of our race." Because of the extensive presence of Buddhism, Savarkar wrote, we got the "mealy-mouthed formulas of Ahimsa." There is no talk from this founder of Hindutva that Buddha is the avatar of Vishnu. On the contrary.

It was after Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism in 1956 that the forces of Hindutva began to promote Buddha as an incarnation of Vishnu, and Ambedkar as a reformer within Hinduism. Ashok Singhal of the VHP has been making this claim these last ten years. Ambedkar would be incensed. Here is his own view: "You must take the stand that Buddha and Nanak took. You must not only discard the Shashtras, you must deny their authority, as did Buddha and Nanak. You must have courage to tell the Hindus, that what is wrong with them is their religion: the religion which has produced in them this notion of hte sacredness of caste." Ambedkarism is not easily to be incorporated into Hindutva, and nor is Buddhism.

The last section of my letter quotes from the Buddhist rationalist Dharmakirti. In the 7th century, he wrote with pain over the devastation of his community by the forces of Brahmanism.

(3) Witzel

My statement about the revision of textbooks and of the view of India did not mention Witzel. Anonymous brings him in. Why Witzel? Because he, like James Laine and others, has become the target of groups like the Hindu American Foundation.
Witzel didn't start the problem. Even the wikipedia site says that he intervened "late in the process."
A host of groups, with different agendas, intervened: one backed by a Christian missionary outfit, some by Ambedkarites, others by liberal and left groups.
What Witzel did or did not do is not the focus of the issue.
The focus is how the textbooks should or should not have been revised.

And, besides, my statement was not strictly about the textbook scandal. It was about the decades long fight to change the way India Studies works in the university.

------------------

BTW: in Valentine Daniels' book, Fluid Signs: Being a Person the Tamil Way (1984), there is a hilarious segment: the folk go off on a retreat where they all have to adopt the same name. They are leaning over the ditch in the morning, relieving themselves. One chap gets a phone call. The person at the other end of the field is trying to get his attention. Since they all have the same name, he can't specify who is being alerted. So he resorts to the age old stratgem of hierarchy: not Anonymous, but Dr. Anonymous. The Doctor washes up and comes forth.

peace and love,
Vijay.

Dilip and Baloo Do we need to

Dilip and Baloo

Do we need to give you two your own blog where you can indulge in this idiocy? You are both responsible for the poisoning of this discussion. Just shut up already.

Brilliant move Aatish,
Take the middle ground - blame both. I suppose you consider my challenging of Dilip's rubbish to be the same. Right and Left are bad, only the middle path of Buddhism is good.
Good luck fighting the fascists with this approach dude!
Baloo

Anonymous says: 1. If you

Anonymous says:

1. If you were familiar with the history of the Jewish diaspora in India (I am assuming you are not, and that’s the case for most people), you’d be aware that the Jewish people were historically protected, and India was a safe haven for the small amount that did migrate to India. No persecution toward them was ever done (at least, not by any Hindu rulers. I myself am not familiar as to either Mogul or British policy towards Jewish people when they ruled India.) I’d imagine the Sangh follows this historical precedent, as well as the modern political calculation you suggest in your comment. I do know that for Hindus in America, many of them view the Jewish diaspora as a model to work with in regards to how to gain a political voice in the U.S.

What you say about Jewish people in India is also true about much of the Islamic world throughout the medieval period. Jews were not persecuted in Andalusia (Arab Spain) even as a few miles away, Christian fanatics terrorized Jews. What the Sangh follows is a completely different policy - it is not that they have some special love for Jews, but that they are enamored by the Zionist state of Israel and its brutal policies towards Palestinians, AND the role played by American Zionist organizations in ensuring unqualified support for these policies - these two influence the RSS's fascination, not a love of Jews. To date, the RSS has not repudiated the antisemitism its leaders professed in the 1920s and 30s. Instead, they are celebrating the birth centenary of their fuehrer, Golwalkar who sought to emulate Germany's genocidal acts.

Baloo

Dilip and Baloo: Both of you

Dilip and Baloo:

Both of you have flung poo at one another, resorted to name calling, and basically have overrun this discussion. At this point, it's become irrelevant what positions you both are taking because no one can even see them (or care to read them).

Neither of you have heeded to the Moderator's requests.

We don't ban or delete comments, but commentators should also use their good judgements and self restraint.

And please don't blame us for bias, fascism, extremism, "taking the middle path" or whatever. The fact that your comments are still here testifies to the fact that we allow all viewpoints (even when we vehemently disagree with them).

If you wish to continue duking it out with one another in the manner that you have, please exchange e-mail addresses and do it offline. Allow the air to clear and let the others pipe in.

Thank you.

Moderatorji Take a break.

Moderatorji

Take a break. Relax, have a cup of chai and chill.

Hey Moderator, okay, I will

Hey Moderator,
okay, I will tone down my assaults on the fascists. But hey, do note that others have also used less than convivial language here (and if these have come from anti-fascists, heck yes, I support them and their right to use that language). I refer particularly to one person inviting Dilip to have his jaw broken, and Aatish using the word "fucking" to express his incredulity at the idiotic arguments being presented by the fascists. Again, I support both, but want to point out that I'm not alone in this.
peace and love,
Baloo

What you say about Jewish

What you say about Jewish people in India is also true about much of the Islamic world throughout the medieval period. Jews were not persecuted in Andalusia (Arab Spain) even as a few miles away, Christian fanatics terrorized Jews

Looks like Bhaloo is a cutloo..

Non Muslims are always second class citizens in Muslim ruled countries. So what if there was not over persecution.

And, Moderatorji, please do not expect me to cut down on my attacks on the Left Wing terrorists, the wolves in sheeps clothings.

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