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“Hindus: An Alternative History” by Dr. Wendy Doniger – a malicious spy ware to damage the net of Hindu Resurgence. Don’t open it. It is dangerous.

Posted by hinduexistence on March 19, 2010

Hindus in New York denounce Doniger’s book ” Hindus: An Alternative History”

Narain Kataria in New York

A consortium of Hindu organizations, temples and concerned individuals in New York and New Jersey area organized a protest demonstration at New School University Building in New York City on March 10th.  The demonstration was against the decision of National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to consider honoring Dr. Wendy Doniger for her book “Hindus: An Alternative History”.

[Please note that Prof. Wendy Doniger was not selected by NBCC for the honor.  However, because of the very contentious nature of the Doniger award and its ramifications you are requested not to write or call NBCC in any way – positive or negative.]

The protesters argued that Wendy Doniger’s book contains numerous factual errors, mischaracterizations, and shows an undercurrent of deep contempt for Hindus.  For decades Dr. Doniger has been masquerading as a scholar on Hinduism and in the Sanskrit language.  However Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard Michael Witzel has described Wendy’s translations of rig veda, jaiminiya brahmana and manusmriti in these stark terms – ‘lacking common sense’, ‘unreliable’, ‘idiosyncratic’ ,and “a stream of unconnected George-Bush-like anacoluths “.

In the words of the BBC, “Doniger is known for being rude, crude and very lewd in the hallowed portals of Sanskrit Academics”.

She called the Bhagavad Gita (one of the most sacred Hindu scripture and a classic of world religious literature) a “dishonest book” that “justifies war.”

We condemn this book for its gross factual errors and gratuitously hurtful and contemptuous depictions e.g. comparing revered Hindu goddesses to Playboy models, mocking Hindus as unfaithful “serial monogamists”.  This book caricatures Hinduism in a grossly offensive and degrading manner.

Doniger wants this book to be used as a “basic textbook” on Hinduism and India.  Not only will this book subject students to a warped, false and bigoted version of Hinduism, it will also expose Indian-American youth to ridicule and bigotry.

Narain Kataria, President of the Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF), one of the organizers of the protest said that most learned scholars of Hinduism and Sanskrit do not think highly of Doniger.  They have totally rejected Doniger’s deceptive claims of being a Sanskrit scholar and they have also stated that her understanding of Hinduism is very superficial and often dead wrong.  To repeat, the above book by Dr. Doniger is a work that promotes bigotry, racism and intolerance.  According to one Hindu Sanskrit scholar  “Her Rg Veda – I own a copy – illustrates her poor knowledge of Sanskrit and her translation is just literal, if at all.  She does not have the depth of knowledge to delve deep into Hindu texts and unravel their real meaning”.

We held the demonstration to expose her bogus scholarship about Hinduism and discredit her in the eyes of academia using objective and factual criteria.  Our purpose was to caution NBCC to think twice before considering Doniger for any honor.

By giving a pornographic twist to Hindu objects of veneration and worship, Doniger is trying to create the illusion that Hinduism is nothing but a crude immoral religion.  This has the potential to create disaffection, disillusionment and depression in the minds of Hindu children about Hindu Dharma.

We organized the demonstration to protest those who willingly and deliberately support Dr. Wendy Deniger’s anti-Hindu agenda.

In no particular order, the following Hindu organizations/leaders from the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area participated in this protest:

Raju Nanoo, Chairman, Trustee Board, Kerala Hindus of North America;

Dr. Vasudeva C. Murthy, President, Kannada Koota;

Srinivas Shakelly, Forum for Hindu Awakening;

Bidyut Sarkar, International Federation of Bangladeshi Hindus and Friends;

Sher Bahadur Singh, Member, Board of Directors, International Hindi Samiti;

Sunanda Thali, Hindu Human Rights Watch;

Ramen Nandi, Bharat Sevashram Sangh;

Nagendra Rao, President, Sanatana Dharma Pratishsthapana Foundation;

Dr. Sudhakar Reddy, Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party (OFBJP);

Kamal Pandey of Foundation of Nepalese in America;

Sher Bahadur Singh of Rashtravadi Gorkha Seva Dal;

Arish Sahani and Nand Ramsinghani of Indian American Intellectuals Forum; and USHA.

Upananda Brahmachari of Hindu Existence expressed his pleasure about the success of the above protest and requested the organizer to move further in vehement protests, agitations, demonstrations, signature campaigns against Dr. Wendy Doniger and her book  “Hindus:  An Alternative History” ,whatever and whenever it is possible.

The Critical analysis of Upananda Brahmachari upon Doniger ‘s book will be published here soon. Keep watching.

Important Web Links Critiquing Prof. Wendy Doniger:

1. Whose history is it anyway? by By Prof.  Aseem Shukla  |  March 17, 2010; 8:17 PM ET in The Washington Post.

1 a. http://indianrealist.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/scholarly-critique-of-donigers-scholarship/

2. http://vishalagarwal.voiceofdharma.com/articles/thaah/index.htm

3. http://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/wendy-doniger-does-a-doggie-shrinivas-tilak/

4. http://rajivmalhotra.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30:risa-lila-1-wendys-child-syndrome&catid=20:american-education-reform&Itemid=26

5. http://www.petitiononline.com/dharma10/petition.html

9 Responses to ““Hindus: An Alternative History” by Dr. Wendy Doniger – a malicious spy ware to damage the net of Hindu Resurgence. Don’t open it. It is dangerous.”

  1. Arvind Pradhan said

    I am not in US but would like to say,
    well done and many thanks.

    As Indian Hindus are living all over the world we
    should protect Hinduism and be proud of it.
    At present there is a desire, especially among
    whites, to deliberately write anything controversial,
    against Hinduism, make money from highly
    populated India and live happily ever. In many
    cases Churches are financing such activity.

    AP

  2. Dr. Pawan Kumar Aryan said

    There are elements of controversies in every religious Book available on this tiny lonely planet. Honest commentaries for academic sake need not be dragged in the streets. No book can be perfect translations of the works written in ancient and rich language like Sanskrit. But Shri Bhagwat Geeta Ji Justifies War, is correct translation of Sanskrit version of Shri Bhagwat Geeta JI, this is what so many Indian Sanskrit Scholars endorsed in their Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu translations, which i read deeply.
    We would be blessed to read a true translation of the Sanakrit text contradicting Dr. Wendy Doniger, with a complimentary copy in advance to her as well; it shall be the true and meaningful Hindu way of protest. Our children ask the same question when preached to learn values from our rich religious heritage “why you all Adarniya Hindu elders avoid serious debate on the issues of morality and values in the name of -avoid postmortem of the Sacred Hindu Books, but keep on quoting selective slokas/mantras from the same—maf karna app swayam ton confused rahana chahatey ho aur hamei bhi koi sapast rasta nahi dikhate”. Dear Hindu brother and sisters please don’t take it otherwise, i am pained by the way we are tortured, but what we are doing to undo the damage other than Talibani Protests with pleadings of restrain from derogatory verbiage.

  3. [...] – http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/pat_quotes/hindus.htm & Hindus denounce too – http://hinduexistence.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/“hindus-an-alternative-history”-by-dr-wendy-donig…. Everyone scores 1 point for this [...]

  4. Dinesh Sharma said

    These protests bear a marked similarity with the protests against ‘The Satanic Verses’ by Muslim fundamentalists. I think these protests are symptomatic of a growing Indian diaspora that is trying to assert its identity amid an alien culture which is obviously leading to pseudo-intellectual theories about ancient superiority and greatness. Dr Doniger’s book is a scholarly work which should be subject to the same scholarly criticism and evaluation as any academic work. As a Hindu, I found her book very informative and not at all insulting towards Hinduism. In fact, she is clearly a very ardent admirer of Hindu and Indian culture and is trying to include the voices of the unheard masses (women, dalits, tribals, etc) into our picture of Hinduism. We cannot deny that most Hindu scriptures have been in the hands of Brahmin and other higher caste men who protected their religious and social status by writing in Sanskrit while simultaneously prohibiting the language from women and lower caste members of Indian society. However, Dr Doniger’s thesis is that however much the texts might be the work of Brahmin scholars, they are nevertheless influenced by the common man’s beliefs, language, ideas and rituals which can be discerned through careful analysis of the texts. For example, the language of the Mahabharata and Ramayana show influence and borrowings from the vernacular Prakrits spoken by the common man in North India and not just Classical Sanskrit. So her work is actually an attempt to include all Indians (women, dalits, tibals, muslims, christians, buddhists, jains, sikhs) in the development of Hindu culture and religious philosophy and detach the common misconception that Hindu scriptures are the work of a small number of high caste men. To simply denounce the book and deny people the right to read it is not the Hindu way. We have always prospered on intellectual debate and reassessment of past knowledge and should not turn into religious bigots and cultural chauvinists. Ours is a pluralistic culture and we should continue maintain that great tradition.

    • malayappaswamy said

      How can you compare the protests against Doniger to those against Rushdie ? Any Hindu leader issued a fatwa against her or called for her killing ? Any death threat to her ? And were the protests violent ? Did any protester carry placards saying ” Behead those who insult Hinduism ” ( like the Muslim protesters who carry placards saying “behead those who insult islam” ) ? The Satanic Verses has been banned in Hindu India but in the same Hindu India Doniger’s book is not banned but is a bestseller. Do you still consider Hindus to be as fundamentalist as Muslims ?

      Wendy Doniger is an anti-Hindu racist who is only interested in defaming Hinduism. Let her and her “scholarly works” go to hell ! If defending my Dharma amounts to religious fundamentalism, then I am proud to be a fundamentalist.

    • Kasimpilla said

      Mr. Dinesh Sharma: A very good reply sir. To the point, unswerving, and what we would expect out of a serious debate. I support it in spirit, apart from the disagreement that contemporary Indian culture is not exactly the picture painted in The Argumentative Indian, and the cases of satanic verses and this (not much difference) show precisely that.

  5. […] “Hindus: An Alternative History” by Dr. Wendy Doniger – a malicious spy ware to damage the net… […]

  6. Sarbartha Raut said

    Why can’t they do research on islam? Why tolerant Hinduism.

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