RMF Summary: Week of July 4 - 10, 2011

This first thread involved a lot of discussion, so we will try to summarize this in a separate thread.
July 4
Need advice on how to dialog with an elite who has converted
Now, guys, here is an elite Hindu, educated at leading Management institutes, who has been converted Willing to dialog with me Can we provide arguments to make...

July 4
USCIRF 2011 Annual Report
USCIRF US Commission for International Religious Freedom ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2011 This will come as no great revelation to Rajiv and others in the know, 

July 4
Book Read : The History of Hindus : The Saga of Defeats???
Rajiv Malhotra:
I was at the Indian Institute of World Culture last week to request them to own a copy of 'Breaking India', which they accepted gracefully and have promised to buy one when they order for the next set of books.

I also happened to come across a book titled 'The History of Hindus : The Saga of Defeats'. The author is Dr. Surendra Kumar Sharma, a M.A. (Hindi), Ph. D. (Punjab), M. A. (Sanskrit), Ph. D. (America). Though it seemed that the book was eloquently titled, the veiled hatred in the name lead me to read the book. Whatever the author's credentials, the book is a 'hoi polloi' of Indian history and a antagonistic view of Hindus. 

The author mentions that the "Hindu religion needs a critical re-evaluation from none else but its own adherents. This will bring about reforms in Hindu society which can be done only by Hindus themselves", but the book is a riff-raff, cataloging defeats in wars, maligning Hindu leaders, Hindu society and traditions. The book has 7 chapters and the gist of each is below.
In the first chapter, the writer blames the Hindu religion for all the defeats of Hindus at war...."

Geeta investigates:
"...And most alarming was a Swami Dayanand Saraswati University site where someone says Dr. Surendra Sharma a well respected prof is not the same as the author of Manusmriti, and says we know both these men,  but doesn't reveal this man's identity.

And then his name appears on an "Islamic Literature site also.

It appears he is a fraud with no credentials, and writing to malign the history of India.

It would certainly require more sleuth savvy than I possess to dig out the real identity of this person" 

July 5
Conversions targetting indiian americans
I was there in national mall washingon dc for watching fireworks today. There were a group of evangekists targetting indians and giving them cds in indian...

July 5
Christians now appropriate Dwajastampa
See the picture. http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=14184&SKIN=C A new flag mast has been erected at the National Shrine of Saint Thomas,...
July 6 
Padmanabh Temple Wealth
Food for thought: If the just discovered Padmanabh Hindu Temple of Kerala has a wealth of over Rs. 10,000,000,000,000, imagine the wealth of one time richest..

July 6
Re: Taj Mahal vaults
Leaving P.N. Oak aside, Dr. S.R. Rao who used to be Superintending Archaeologist, Agra Circle has examined the locked room of the Taj. (There are no vaults.) ..

Myth of Sameness
Dear Sir, I wanted to share that a few years back, Dr. Frank Morales (Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya) published an essay which I think echo many of your views...

Rajiv's response:
I know Frank since the 1990s. He interacted with me on this subject after I posted my Sulekha article, "Myth of Hindu sameness". Please see.

... Over the next few years the [IISc] talk was repeated in many places and Sulekha asked to publish it. Please see:
History-Centrism is a term I have coined and developed a whole framework in which the difference can be seen to be NOT RECONCILABLE with adhyatma-vidya.

....In case someone has serious time, then after reading the above two articles, they should also read:

... Ironically, most of my best readers and the ones with the most thoughtful intellectual responses on this issue are Judeo-Christian theologians.

July 7
Islamic soft power and slow conversion
Ganesh shares: 
Just came across this news posted in MSN. India. It's a 3 page report of how revamped courses, nominal fees and job opportunities are luring many a Hindu's..

July 8
Taj Mahal's vaults
Michel Danino comments on the "vaults" of Taj:
Dear Srinivasanji,

I am sorry that many Hindus still swear by PN Oak - this is shooting ourselves in the foot. His Taj Mahal research was no better than his "Roman Empire = founded by Rama" and "Jerusalem = Yadu Shala" theories. The Taj Mahal conspiracy theory can be thrown out on three simple grounds:

1) An architectural style never exists for a single building, and no Hindu temple has a style comparable to the Taj although thousands of them have been studies by architecture and art experts.

2) We have many treatises of Hindu architecture - Manasara and Mayamata are two I have read carefully - and none refers to a style remotely like the Taj's.

3) There is such a thing as Islamic architecture and the Taj shares some of its classical features, as do other Mughal monuments (such as Humanun's tomb).

There will be nothing in the Taj Mahal's vault except old brooms, empty paint pots and plenty of bat droppings. Let PN Oak rest in peace but let his followers wake up to common sense and stop the self-inflicted harm. 

Mishra wonders: "...Islamic architectures on top of Hindu temple foundations?"

Seshadri suggests:
"...misleading to name architecture and other art forms as Islamic - a rigidly organized belief system. This kind of naming is erroneous. Something like Persian or Arabic are some geographical reference makes objective sense to put things in proper.."

Ramachandra asks:
"..Dear Michel Danino
While broadly agree with you, the existance of a massive temple in Agra and looting of it by the emperor is a recorded one.  Aurangazeb demolished a great temple at Agra and looted its valuables..."

Carpentier responds:
"Arab and Persian Turkic architecture does generally reflect and express Islamic cosmology. There are various treatises (Okada et al.) on the Taj's symbolic relation with Quranic and Hadith principles and notions about the Throne of God and the Garden of Jannat. It is so clear that the Taj belongs to the Irano-Turkic school of architecture..."
Vishal feels the dates don't match in a prior claim:
"According to this URL, the temple was looted towards the end of the reign of Shah Jehan and beginning of Aurangzeb's reign. This rules out the site of Taj Mahal because the tomb's construction was started more than 15 years before Aurangzeb's reign (and therefore, not exactly 'towards the end of Shah Jehan's reign')."

Sameer comments:
"Just because PN Oak is not credible, we need not throw out the baby with the bathwater. A good analysis of the evidence is given here:

 "The Question of the Taj Mahal" (Itihas Patrika, vol 5, pp. 98-111, 1985) by P. S. Bhat and A. L. Athavale" 

M.Danino responds to Ramachandra:
"... Demolishing a temple is one thing and a well established Islamic practice. Oak's theory has nothing to do with this - the whole Taj Mahal as you see it today (minus perhaps the surface decorations) is a Hindu structure in this thesis. This is grossly absurd, yet thousands of Hindus have been hyptonized by it. That is all I meant. .."

read the original thread for the entire discussion.

July 8
A Dutch parliament motion and Dalit Solidarity Network
The Dutch parliament recently passed a motion against what they call caste discrimination in South Asian countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. ...

July 9
{Breaking India} Inventing the Aryan Race
Excerpted with permission from Malhotra, Rajiv and Aravindan Neelakandan, "Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines," Amaryllis...

July 10
Global Nexus: Up to 70 million Indian Christians today, growth accel
Important to note what the Western Christian authorities are saying, in congratulating themselves. Charity as conversion strategy, Jesus healing... ...

July 10
Teaching Bhagawad Gita in school is against Secular ideology.
BJP government in Karnataka had recently announced publicly that Bhagavad Gita would be taught in schools. ...


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