RMF Summary: Week of March 29 - April 4, 2011

March 29
Commentary on Breaking India on Indian Realist
*Authors of the just released book *Breaking India *allege that Christian organizations are engaged in a divisive program to expand in countries like India ... Here is the link.

March 29
Asian Studies Review paper on Rajiv Malhotra in 'Mythology Wars'
A draft of McComas Taylor's paper on Rajiv Malhotra in 'Mythology Wars' can be seen here [pdf]. This thread elicited a lot of responses, with Taylor's work generally receiving a lot of rotten tomatoes.

Karigar was the first to comment on the contents:
"..The 30+ page paper seems like a scholarly trivialisation of the critiques offered to Wendy & her childrens' works. The author essentially contradicts himself, when he titles his tract "Mythology Wars", thereby classifying the subject under discussion (Hindu texts & practices) as "mythology", and then proceeding to defend western academia for creating fresh overlays of mythology on top of traditional "mythology"..."

N.S.Rajaram does not beat around the bush and gets to the point:
"The author also makes no mention of the fact that Indology including what its present day practitioners are putting out is steeped in racism. In language and spirit it is similar to the anti-semitic literature of the Nazi era.

I plan to do a couple of columns on it highlighting both the racism and the anti-science of these Indologists. I will not engage in their kind of abusive, pornographic language but it will be no holds barred. Western Indology must be destroyed."

Meanwhile, Koenraad Elst adds:
" ..Taylor never really addresses the truth claims in the Hindu criticism of the truth claims by Wendy c.s. Thus, Vishal and Venkat's "fault-finding" with Courtright's Sanskrit translations does not question his integrity as a scholar (though that has been done too, but on other grounds), but his *competence*.
Views, which in Taylor's view are outside the scope of criticism, are inevitably related to data, and it makes a big difference if an academic is shown to have no proper command of the data. V & V have also dug up virile Ganesha references from the literature that completely refute Courtright's limp image of Ganesha. So, before  psychologizing the critics, Taylor ought to have acknowledged that they have proven Courtright's thesis *wrong*. If people insist on maintaining a thesis demonstrated to be wrong, one might start looking for psychological motives...

... most Westerners don't care one way or the other, and this includes many India-watchers and most of the old Orientalists, to whom, in their study in Vienna or Leiden, Hinduism was just a museum object on a par with ancient Greek religion. Courtright's book is of just that type ...

... It is like the Christian missionaries: when I was asked, during a lecture at Balagangadhara's conference on Religion in India (Jan. 2009), why the missionaries are out to destroy
Hinduism, I had to answer in truth: "Because they love you." With their limited knowledge, they believe that by converting you, they are freeing you from evil spirits and opening the road to salvation for you ....

... Subjectively, their love for Hindus (though not for Hinduism) is genuine and heartfelt. At the same time, its objective quality is indeed best summed up in Vishal's spot-on quip that "Wendy saying she loves Hinduism is like a pedophile saying he loves childen".

Vjiaya Rajiva has the final word in this thread:
"The Hindu diaspora is concerned with the effect this type of garbage has on their children. One of the books, I believe it is Courtright's work, is not just being delicately discussed in the genteel halls of the academy. It was being used as the basis of a textbook for children.

Secondly, although both Jewish and Christian authors have attacked their tradition, none of this is brought out to the schools, where the tradition is held up as pious and righteous thinking. Clearly a double standard where the Hindu faith is concerned."
April 1
Iain Buchanan - The Role of Evangelicals in U.S. Imperialism

Iain Buchanan - The Role of Evangelicals in U.S. Imperialism from TV Multiversity on Vimeo.

Iain Buchanan's presentation on 'Unholy Crusaders: The Role of Evangelicals in US Imperialism' at the International Meeting on Resisting Hegemony held 2-5 August 2010 in Penang, Malaysia.

April 1
Breaking India: Fire works start at Tamil Net world

In a discussion about the latest book on Gandhi, I introduce 'Breaking India'to the group members. I show how people like Jaffrelot have tried to depict Gandhi in a bad light and how 'Breaking India' shows such deconstruction of Indian
culture and state icons is an institutional activity in the west in order to depict Indian culture as inherently deficient or flawed seeking western intervention. (http://www.jeyamohan.in/?p=13680)

Kumar reacts: He states that the book has distorted the facts. It has slandered the Berkeley Tamil chair. He denies any Western influence or support. (http://www.jeyamohan.in/?p=13757) He also produces the related portion from the book.

I respond: I give the full context as well as the related citations. Comparing Thiruvachagam with Mormon scriptures by one of these 'professors' who adorned the Tamil chair, the Telugu chair of the South Asian Studies of the University being given to a declared evangelist etc. are also mentioned by me in the passing. Puncturing George Hart who has been paraded by Dravidianists as a great authority on Tamil literature, reallys hurt their agenda. http://www.jeyamohan.in/?p=13821



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