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Why are Indians so angry with Wendy Doniger?
The Indian state machinery is being lambasted online for being chauvinistic in banning Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus: An Alternative History. I have read the book and truth be told, I have read all of Doniger’s books. I have to agree that Professor Doniger is a meticulous researcher and a very good writer. Her English is free of jargon; she cites her references and she suffers a certain scholarly anxiety with her predecessors of whom she targets Joseph Campbell.

Why does she attack Campbell in her own corpus? Is it possible that she does so to gain a foothold within the academic hierarchy? It is a much discussed truth that most, if not all subaltern studies’ scholars, sat abroad in the First World (I have no issues in still calling India, a Third World nation- rather be politically incorrect and cover up our failures by calling ourselves, a developing nation) and either felt sorry for us who choose to not go abroad or to endlessly lampoon the shortcomings of India.

Now, it is necessary to digress- the Marxists in India or Christians in India need to remember some basic teachings of Marxism and all varieties of Christianity. Recall Che Guevara, who is now a Marxist icon, or recall Antonio Gramsci - they did their cultural/revolutionary work in their own lands. Che Guevara died resisting; Gramsci wrote his best works in jail.

Within the paradigms of Christianity, both the Major and the Minor Prophets hardly travelled more than Jesus ever did in His lifetime. But the objection to these facts from both Marxists and Christians will be that during those periods of history; travel more than these distances was impossible. The answer to this objection would be if that were the case, then how was it possible for the Exodus event to occur? And during Guevara’s lifetime travel was easy. And Guevara unlike the Castro brothers refused to become a part of the bureaucratic apparitichik.

The Prophets refused to be subsumed by historical contingencies arising out of power politics- every Christian including the Amish in America, is called to be prophetic in her or his life. The point of this digression is to foreground the hypocrisy of both the Marxists who pontificate equality while being elites in a land not their own to begin with. The Christians have forgotten the main thrust of contemporary Christian theology, so apparent in Liberation theology- one must bloom as a person of the Holy Ghost from where one originally comes and not feed hatred by sneakily converting those most unsuspecting.

Because the Christians do run the most coveted educational institutions, they have foreign faculty who mix truth and lies and brainwash the young in the guise of secular education. For instance, they increase the quanta of doubt about Hinduism in Hindus- when these victimized Hindus speak against Christianity (since they mistake permission for criticizing Hinduism as permission to criticize Christianity; criminal cases of defamation are lodged in the courts.

It is unhealthy for both Marxists and Christians to try to serve other peoples when their own suffer. It is within this context that we must question the motives of the Left inclined Wendy Doniger. Why does she prey on Hinduism and show Hinduism in a bad light? How is it a wrong if I say that Jesus Christ is a historical construct and was never resurrected? Is it possible that Doniger chooses Hinduism to eschew more plain matters in the semitic religions practised in the Baptist Belt?

She makes a travesty of not only our religion but of our idea of a nation. Some scholars, namely the ones who have made their careers abroad by bashing India even today dole out airfare etc.(known as scholarships) to academics in India who in turn lampoon the very nation whose University Grants’ Commission pays them monthly and handsomely.

The vicious circle is like this: if one does not get invited by the Left coterie ruling our universities and pay obeisance to Christian sentiments in our country without question; we will be deprived of both academic prestige as well as the right to proclaim that we agree that there is an India. I had the misfortune of attending a workshop by the National Translation Mission in 2013 at Kolkata, where under the auspices of Government money (paid by the tax-payers) both students and white-headed professors (under the UGC) lambasted the concept of India.

Many in our country will lose their status as intellectuals if they do not do three things: disown their own Hinduism by negating the nation; agree with white theoreticians and to proclaim an unswerving patronage for all things normatively Western. They do not realize that what they mistake as Western secularism is in fact a discourse about the Torah by Jewish intellectuals. The discussion of this is beyond the scope of this opinion-piece.

At this juncture I may only repeat myself: India bashing is the only way forward for both humanities and social-sciences’ scholars in India (since they do not obey Guevara, but rather their own ideas of Marx); they must agree that the semitic religions are the true religions ( there are works seeing Christ in the Third World which quotes the atheist and nation-breaker Romila Thapar over and over) and Hinduism is merely a construct which will ultimately not stand the test of time.

Lastly, if one does not agree with Doniger, one is not welcome in the journals that Doniger adjudicates in, by extrapolation to hallowed places like the Indian Studies’ centre at Shimla. This is the reason why Doniger cannot tolerate Campbell, mentioned above; Campbell was for finding harmony and was a genius- Doniger can only build her reputation by destroying the reputation of others, gaining her fifteen minutes of notoriety. So she violates the tenets of both Marxism and Christianity.

She is in fact the new Hegelian force out to destroy a living faith community- the Hindus. I may say here very truthfully that I am a Christian by academic training; a hater of fanatics (including Hindu fanatics) and a Marxist in belief. It is incidental that I am born a Hindu.

My contention with those who support Doniger are the following:

  • The academicians who are hoarse with shouting for her; have they read this book? Do they agree that Kashmir is NOT part of India?

  • If they think that India as a nation-state is chimeral, then why do they take money as their salaries from something which is a blot on this earth? Had not Sartre asked all of us to live in good faith, de trope?

  • If God is really God or the Atman; is it possible for any discourse to structurally scrutinize this entity? If the question itself does not arise then the logical fallacy is why bother even to unsettle the faith of millions? Is it not simply a case of insulting the many who are drugged by the opium of faith (the problem with this is how does one know that one is not herself in deep sleep? How can we tell who is awake and who is not?) How is it that Doniger does not scrutinize the semitic religions? Why does she take to reform our religion?

  • Is it not now a given in academics circles that whenever First World academicians speak of the abject East; they are colluding with colonial hegemonic powers? (vide Orientalism by Edward said)

All the above was against Doniger. Now what can I say about myself- well, I am a male chauvinist pig! But in Orwellian fashion, I am a pig which is grateful to the hand that feeds me. Also as a caveat, I am happy with the quantity of food I get from my pay-master, India and I don’t either fleece Doniger or beg for doles from white intellectuals. Please keep in mind, if you take money from your white master, you cannot disobey him.

The time of reckoning has come; and those whose pay-masters are whites (or tellingly black)will have to perforce toe neither Marx, nor Jesus, but their pay-masters. If Doniger gets angry, I do not care being in the back of nowhere; but if you were in the US and really felt like bashing the whites (sic) you’d spew venom on me. To my mind, Doniger is right and honest in bashing us. We had wagged our tails and went to her. (Those intellects who have not read Doniger will miss the point of the dog here.)

I end my article not with references to Om (which has no meaning for me; but meaning for those who believe in Om), but bringing to mind the high ideals of the likes of Guevara, Gramsci and Jesus (especially, the Beatitudes). Christ had said that he who does not proclaim Him publicly; the Father too will forget. My Freudian Fathers are Marx and Jesus.


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COMMENTS (3)
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Jaiwantika Dutta Dhupkar
Just one thing I'd like to point out here, most of all. To quote : "I have no issues in still calling India, a Third World nation- rather be politically incorrect and cover up our failures by calling ourselves, a developing nation" You might like to know that India is most certainly a developing nation and is also a third world country. The term 'developing economy' and its substitutes- 'developing nation' and developing country'- are essentially economic terms, calculated on the basis of very clear indicators of material progress, and calculated in comparison to other economies. A 'third world country' on the other hand, has come to denote everything from a country with a poor standard of living, to an asian country to a country which has political instability. However, the "Third world" essentially consisted of those nations who refused to take sides in the US-Russia standoff during the Cold war. They consisted of several small nations who would be adversely affected by either super power and therefore the third World took an alternate economic stand, as well as an alternate stand on war itself [opting for disarmament]. India, then, was nation fresh and confident from her new-found independence. Now however, matters are different. With neocolonialism and neoliberalism putting the sovereignty of several small nations in question and their economies in jeopardy, there probably will be no "Third World", consumed as it may be by the Superpowers. To conclude, the terms "Third world" and developing economy" are not conflicting, but are actually complimentary. Regards.
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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