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The Hindus- An Alternative History: Penguin burns its fingers by hurting Hindus
It happens but once in a blue moon. The reputed international publisher, Penguin commissioned and published a book titled The Hindus- An Alternative History authored by Wendy Doniger and it hit roadblock after roadblock from day one. There were massive protests and what killed the goose was a case filed in a court of law against the author and the publisher for hurting the sentiments of the Hindus in particular and all Indians in general.

The plaintiffs pointed out and proved successfully that the author knew nothing about the Hindu religion. Wendy Doniger misinterpreted the Ved mantras, the folklore and the religious texts of sects and sub-sects to the extent of denigrating gods, goddesses and followers. The Penguin had to cut a sorry figure because their editors had goofed and edited the book in a state of stupor.

The Hindus- An Alternative History turned out to be a work of fiction far removed from history or metaphysics. It did not touch the Dharma of the Hindus even with a barge pole. The author showed little understanding of the true faith of the Hindus. She did not have even the remotest idea of what the Ved mantras were all about.

She borrowed an iota of truth from one place and mixed it with her fiction, a sheer product of her sick mind saw the light of the day in the form of a pulp that has created a lot of sound and fury by self proclaimed Defenders of the Faith, signifying nothing.

One wonders how the Editors of the Penguin let it go in its present form. What a hocus-pocus she produced? She should be ashamed of the fictitious work that bears her name as the writer. Consequently the product of her labour was neither fish nor fowl.

The book annoyed the large community of the Hindus to such an extent that the Penguin feared a terrible backlash. The publishers cowered and submitted to the demand of the Hindu community that the book must be withdrawn from the market immediately and the residual copies on the shelf of publishers be destroyed forthwith.

Thus the said book became a non-existent piece of fiction badly conceived and poorly written for the readers in India. The plaintiffs had this court-backed settlement and went home satisfied with their achievement.

Wendy was kept posted with the latest happenings and she had little choice but to acquiesce. Penguin, the major player in the game had to eat the humble pie for their own doings that amounted to dereliction of duty on the part of the editors and supervisors.

There is a strong rumour doing the rounds that some Western Christian lobbies are working overtime to denigrate the Hindu religion because the latter is deeply influencing the heart and mind of men and women presently professing the Christian faith.

The growing popularity of Yoga and Vedic philosophy of life in the western countries has indeed alarmed the Roman Catholic clergy and they are out to strike at the roots of the Yoga. It is for the Vatican to confirm or deny the aforesaid perception about the clash of cultures.

Of course, some pseudo-secularists and leftist elements in the writer community beat their chest and tore their hair for the court's wrong doing in pronouncing a judgement that pleased the hearts of the Hindus.

For the chest beaters it was a case of too little and too late. They got a little publicity in a section of the left-leaning media but suffered the ignominy of being ignored by the vast majority of Indians who concurred with the view that Wendy had badly hurt the feelings of the Hindus.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Hinduism is the way of life of the people of ancient India and is closely related to nature. It has great absorbing power. Hinduism has never rejected the import and acceptance of ideas. It has even accepted ideas from such diverse religions as Christianity, Islam, etc. In fact, Hindus are the people who have lived in this great country called India or Hindustan i.e. land of the Hindus. Now one who believes in idol worship is a Hindu, one who does not believe in idol worship but only in the ancient scriptures, Vedas i.e. Arya Samajis are also Hindus. One who believes in one god is a Hindu and one who believes in many gods is also a Hindu and one who believes in no god is also a Hindu i.e. atheists are also Hindus if born in India. Then there are agnostics like me who believe in a creator but do not believe in His worship nor do they believe in past Karmas or future life or heaven or hell. Well, we agnostics are also Hindus because we are born in this country, our India. So, Hindus are the most democratic people allowing people to profess different ideologies and still be called Hindus. Hindus never fight amongst themselves as they allow different ideas to flourish. Hindus believe in maintaining the balance of the nature and they believe that if we act against the nature then nature would attack us and ruin us. They believe that God is in nature. Hindus also believe that creation and creator are synonymous. According to most of the Hindus, the powers of the creator are unlimited and He is not only the creator but also the destroyer so that Hindus believe that every creation involves destruction also. Hindus believe that there are many earths other than this earth and many universes other than this universe and our knowledge is very limited. Hindus like Muslims and Christians also believe in fasting for the purification of soul and realisation of the fact how a hungry man feels. Hindus thus want to have all round experience. Hindus believe that God can assume many forms including the human form and yet he can be one. Some Hindus feel that there is no God and it is our will that prevails and not some unknown God's will. They say that we are responsible for our actions and must bear the consequences of our actions whether good or bad. A Hindu is satisfied in the minimum things of life and believes in simple living and high thinking. He believes that there are many different ways of looking at the different aspect of life and every life is precious. Hindu is peace loving and avoids war but is ready to defend himself when attacked. He is both a nationalist and internationalist.
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