RMF Summary: Week of October 29-November 4, 2012 - Part 2

Readers who arrived here via a twitter link (or have a twitter account) and are  eager to contribute are requested to tweet/RT or post comments in the group discussion, since there are a couple of calls for volunteers to assist and/or provide critical feedback.

How you can assist:
1. Sanskrit text references for or against views expressed by Rajiv ji in Part-1. Read the summary (and the entire discussion in RMF) prior to jumping in.

2. Logistical help in Chicago. See Nov3 post below.

Part-1 of the week's summary can be found here.

Part 2

November 3 (Rajiv Malhotra information post)

Panel discussion on BD at AAR, Chicago, November 16th
On Nov 16th in Astoria Room, Hilton Chicago Hotel, my book BEING DIFFERENT will be discussed by a panel of academic scholars. This event is part of the annual conference of the American Academy of Religions. For details, please visit: http://www.hcstudies.org/am.html

I hope to see several of you and your friends in the audience. There will be three speakers on this panel, after whom I shall give my response, and then there will be Q&A from the audience. This is an important event to bring my ideas into the mainstream academy through debate and discussion. All three talks plus my response will then be published in a journal in late 2013.

(This is totally separate from the International Journal of Hindu Studies' special issue on BD that is scheduled to come out at the end of 2012. This special issue will have 6 major articles on BD, by those supporting its ideas and by those critical of them, along with my 40 page response. It is through such interventions that my ideas can enter the discourse inside the academy for serious new scholars to take up.)

Call for help: I need some local help in Chicago for this Nov 16 event. If there are people on this list who wish to help me, it would be most appreciated to contact me by email privately. I would like to chat by phone/email about the details of the assistance. For instance, a sponsor has kindly agreed to donate a free copy to each attendee at the event. But since the donor is not based in Chicago, we need a local Chicago person who can help with the logistics to accept postal/UPS delivery of the books and help in the book's distribution at the event. I can discuss further once we have someone lined up to help.

I am now in India for a brief visit to deliver a major talk at the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha bi-annual gathering of top leaders in Ahmedabad. That is the most important body of Hindu leaders - most shankaracharyas and many other prominent leaders of sampradayas will attend. Over 100 major Hindu groups are expected to be represented by their senior most leader. They have given me an extensive time slot to present my work. Its a rare honor to address such a gathering. The goal is to influence the leaders' thinking so their respective organizations can take up these ideas and spread them further in their own ways.


November 3 (continuing discussion)
Yoga in recent news 
Related BBC link

"....From what I've read, the Ashtanga Yoga that was taught and propagated by Yogacharaya Shri K. Pattabhi Jois is an astoundingly medically beneficial technique. There seem to be countless miraculous stories of individuals who have
overcome massive injuries with Guruji's (and Ashtanga Yoga's) help.

However, questions naturally arise as to how Ashtanga Yoga, which was painstakingly realized/developed and passed down through generations, will continue in the future. Will the rigorous guru-shishya parampara continue, with devotion to and respect for Hindu/Dharmic sources?"

November 3
Vanishing of Indian Pre-Islamic dresses with coming of Islam
The issue of the islamic effect on Indian dresses is much talked about privately among people. We all know that the traditional dresses like salwar kameez etc...

November 4 (continuing discussion from October 14)
Christian conversion efforts in Bangalore.
This discussion thread continues to elicit responses over the last two weeks. A commentator notes:

"Rajiv ji but your blogs and talks (in u-tube) have been very very useful. I have
been able generate a lot of interest amongst my friend circle.
Surprisingly/sadly there is very little coverage in Indian media about your
books and your other work (correct me if I am wrong). But certainly lot of
people have started to take note of your videos of late."

Rajiv comment: The number of views for my youtube videos is very small when you compare with popular thinkers on similar topics. Regarding Indian media's lack of coverage - you are correct. One can understand the posture of the media who are ideologically opposed. But the tragedy is that even those who think along similar lines are more interested in plagiarizing and turning it into their own works no matter how diluted or poorly argued. Also, there is frenzy among the so-called hindu activists to boost personal careers and status by using whatever ideas they can quickly pick up and start throwing out as one-liners, even if they dont really get it. All this causes dilution of support for the heavy research and publishing work that remains mostly undone...

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