RMF Summary: Week of January 21-27, 2013

January 22 (continuing discussion)
Confused celebrities who are intellectually deficient, ashamed of be
Here is a typical example of a confused celebrity who is intellectually deficient and appears to be ashamed of being different (no pun intended). Shaan (a.k.a....

January 23
Swami Vivekananda Chair, University of Chicago
Prashant shares: Namaste to all! Please read the scanned image of a recruitment advertisement in the Times of India, 23rd Jan 2013 asking for applications for the Swami...

Rajiv comments:
When GOI made this grant to set up the chair a year or two back, I pointed out that U of Chicago is the home of Wendy Doniger from where emerged the Freudian psychoanalysis of Sri Ramakrishna, the guru of Swami Vivekananda. What irony that the genre of scholarship that has done the most damage to Vivekananda's guru gets the multi-million dollar chair endowed supposedly to teach about Vivekananda. You can image what kind of spin that chair will teach. Similarly, the India chairs set up by GOI in some other countries have had questionable occupants. Many tend to be selected based on being cronies, sepoys, or if they are well-intended they lack the ability to stick their necks out and change the discourse in any meaningful manner.

The same it true of some non-govt initiatives set up by "Hindu activists". The selection process in one recent academic appointment was a gimmick to give the appearance of being a genuine search. One applicant told me that when he went for his interview, he was told by an insider that the selection had already been made, and this interview was just to show that the selection was objective and fair..... This candidate felt so angry at the blatant abuse of academic due process.

I am saying all this because its unclear if the newspaper advertisement is genuine or merely for show.."

January 25
2014 Vedic conference in Kozhikode .. headed by anti hindu Harvard Witzel
Venkat shares: 
Quote: "A committee of international Vedic scholars, headed
by the workshop chair, Prof. Michael Witzel (Harvard University), will make the final selection of papers to be presented, totally expected to be around 40 in number."

I wonder if anybody in our esteemed group is in a position to
inform/influence the organizer about Michael Witzel who no friend of India and and certainly no Vedic/Hindu scholar and does not deserve to head the committee.

Kozhikode to host 6th International Vedic workshop

Shambu responds:
"This is Prof. Witzel's baby since 1989 - he started it, as his answer to the WAVES conferences. He decides who is in and who is not. Therefore it is limited to his small network of Indology friends and naive Hindus.

With the demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory, and then the followed-up Aryan Migration Theory, Indology has been struggling to gather food: udara nimttam baukrta vesham. Of late, the secular Government of India and the NarayanaMurthys have been rescuing it.

If we care about India, Samskrita, the Veda, and all that has sprung out of it, we need not fight it out and waste time, since it is in its death bed. Time to meditate and recite viSNu sahasranaamaavali!...

Rajiv's comment: 
By what criteria and on what evidence did you conclude that AIT/AMT are dead? In which institutions and segments of population are they dead, and in which are they alive? How about rigor in gathering evidence and then informing us. For example, please address:
- I dont find it dead in textbooks in India or USA.
- I dont find it dead on the GOI web sites where they discuss Indian history.
- I dont find it dead in the publications of people getting padam bhushan type of awards, and academic chairs for India studies.
- Worst of all, I dont find it dead amongst scholars being given grants and funds by so-called dharma civilization foundations.

Also, maybe you should follow your advice to not bother with such issues and practice: "Time to meditate and recite viSNu sahasranaamaavali!""

Gopal pings the organizers and forwards their response:
"This is the response I got from Srikant[] one of the Organizers,

Respected Sir,
I have received your mail and have noted the contents. As the organizers of this 6th Vedic International Workshop have decided, the main focus of this conference is the Tradition of the Vedic Shakhas in Kerala and other parts of India. They will not entertain any discussion on Aryan Problem and related controversial issues for which there are other platforms. No one, including Prof. Witzel, will be allowed to speak or make a presentation that directly or indirectly points to those issues or supports anti-Hindu propaganda, or denigrates Indian Culture. We do not subscribe to such views and are not interested to spend our time for initiating such a discussion.
As for Prof. Witzel's position as the Chair, it has been there for the past several years, since 1989, when he initiated this workshop. I have attended the past three workshops and have found no controversial issues discussed. ....
Prof. Witzel has done significant work on the Vedic Shakhas and published several articles. You may read them and refute his arguments, if you so desire. 
I hope I have made our position clear.

Can the members of the forum decipher it and provide a respectful response."

Venkat replies to Gopal:
"....  link and content of a dossier of Witzel anti Hindu nature which you should forward to Shrikant[].

Thus Spake Professor Michael Witzel
A Harvard University Case Study in Prejudice?
1.0 Background 2
2.0 Statements stereotyping Indian Americans…………………………………………………..
2.1: Indian Americans are ‘lost’ and ‘abandoned’
2.2: Indian American scholars are all chauvinists
2.3: Indian/Hindu American groups are Hindu fundamentalists
2.4 Rudeness towards Indian Americans and Indians
3.0 Statements Stereotyping scholarship in India and Indians in general……………………
3.1 Direct attacks by Witzel-..."

Vishal comments:
"...What [Srikhant] says ... is true. The conferences have rigidly stuck to studying Vedic traditions in the past.

Witzel will be 70 in July this year - so not much time for him to keep going. Given his health, people think he is 80.

But what are WE HINDUS doing to study our traditions OURSELVES? Most Hindus have not even seen copies of the Vedas, nor have heard them being chanted.

Given this situation, we should follow the dictum, "one should learn Dharma even from the lowliest..."

Venkat responds:
I received a reply..:
 ... Thank you ... Let me make it clear that I do not subscribe to his views nor do I support them. My area of study is limited to .... This is the reason why I try to help ....

Rajiv's comment:
His reply is typical of washing one's hands of responsibility.
"I only do my work, poor little me." "I have my eyes closed to what others do."

January 26
Rajiv's new blog on FirstPost.
Kaajal posts:
Please read Rajiv's new blog on FirstPost. The title: We need to Study Western, "White" culture on our own terms. This blog draws upon Rajiv's writings from a few years ago on identity formation of Indians in America. In particular, Rajiv
draws our attention to the importance of studying "whiteness" as a means of fully understanding Western culture and its claims of universalism. [Here's the e-group link to the December 2012 discussion cited].

January 26 
"Guardian article dividing Hinduism on Republic Day
Ganapathi shares:
".... article appeared in left-liberal newspaper The Guardian of UK, against Hinduism once again making an artificial division in..."

January 26
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (Jehovah's Witnesses) Leaks
Chirayu shares: Anybody researching on Jehovah's Witnesses may find this interesting. Recently the hackers collective known as anonymous hacked into the JW's servers and released about 700 MB of data. You can download the release from here ..."

1 comment:

  1. Rajiv Malhotra's Huffington Post article on whitewashing of Bobby Jindal:

    Followup MSNBC video: