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Doniger's book - demand withdrawal

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Doniger's book - demand withdrawal
#1
You must have heard the phrase about Indologists love for Hindus/India is akin to pedophile's love for children.

Wendy Doniger's epitomizes that and much more.



[url="http://www.dailypioneer.com/239869/Online-campaign-seeks-ban-on-Doniger%E2%80%99s-book-on-Hindu-history.html"]Pioneer article[/url]

Quote:Online campaign seeks ban on Doniger’s book on Hindu history



PNS | New Delhi



An online campaign has been launched to demand the withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s book, ‘Hindus: An Alternative History’ on the grounds that the book was “rife with numerous errors..perhaps intended to mislead students of Indian and Hindu history”.



The petitioners have asked the publishers to apologise for the publication of the “factually incorrect and offensive book”.



They further added, “The Hindus: An Alternative History is rife with numerous errors in its historical facts and Sanskrit translations. These errors and misrepresentations are bound and perhaps intended to mislead students of Indian and Hindu history.”



The petitioners claimed that Doniger had analysed the “revered Hindu Gods and Goddesses using her widely discredited psychosexual Freudian theories that modern, humanistic psychology has deemed limiting. These interpretations are presented as hard facts and not as speculations.”



Doniger, according to them, has made various faulty assumptions about the tradition in order to arrive ‘at her particular spin’. In the process, the beliefs, traditions and interpretations of practising Hindus were simply ignored or bypassed without the unsuspecting reader knowing this to be the case, they said.



The petitioners have charged that the book was “clumsily written, each chapter is a shocking and appalling series of anecdotes which denigrate, distort and misrepresent Hinduism and the history of India and Hindus. Doniger uses selective quotations from obscure and non-original, peripheral and ignorant references with a bizarre emphasis on sexuality and eroticism.”



They have taken umbrage to a reference where, in their view the author says that in Rigveda 10.62, it is implied that a woman may find her own brother in her bed! “The hymn has no such suggestion. It is offensive to suggest that the sacred text of Hindus has kinky sex in it,” they said.



The petition draws attention to a comparison made in the book, likening the Vedic devotee worshipping different Vedic deities with a lying and a philandering boyfriend cheating on his girlfriend(s). “It ignores the fact that in the Rigveda, the Gods are said to be all united, born of one another, and from the same source,” the petitioners pointed out.



The online petitioners have also strongly objected to the comments supposedly taken from an epic that “Dasharatha’s son is certainly ‘lustful’... Rama knows all too well what people said about Dasharatha; when Lakshmana learns that Rama has been exiled, he says, “The king is perverse, old, and addicted to sex, driven by lust.” While contesting the observation, the petition said, “The highly acclaimed and critical edition of Valmiki’s Ramayana records no such statement attributed to Lakshmana. An imagined phrase, ‘kama-sakta’ is mistranslated as ‘addicted to sex’ by the author whereas it normally means ‘filled with desires’. Valmiki uses a phrase ‘samani-madhah’ (trans. Possessed of passion).



The petitioners have listed out several other instances of ‘facutal errors’ and ‘insulting’ accounts of ancient Hindu history in demanding a withdrawal of the book.



BJD MP demands book withdrawal



The controversy over the contents of author Wendy Doniger’s book, ‘The Hindus: An Alternative History’ found an echo in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab demanded during Zero Hour the withdrawal of the book by its publishers.



Mahtab said the Government should press upon the publishers, Penguin, to withdraw the book. The contents were in bad taste, he claimed, adding that it showed Hindu Gods in poor light. He urged the Central Government to ban the book from circulating in the country and avoid communal tensions. Mahtab also asked the Government to alert the enforcement agencies for prevention of entry/import of the book from other countries.
  Reply
#2
email from yahoogroups

Quote:Hindus urge Penguin USA to withdraw book on them



STAFF WRITER 7:48 HRS IST



Washington, Mar 3, 2010 (PTI)



Hindus living in the United States have urged the Penguin Group to

"immediately" withdraw noted scholar Wendy Doniger's book on the community,

alleging that it has numerous errors in its historical facts and Sanskrit

translations.



However, there has been no immediate comment on the issue by the publisher

Penguin USA.



An online petition, which is currently being signed in the US, has alleged

that "errors and misrepresentations" in the book 'The Hindus - An

Alternative History' are "bound and perhaps intended to mislead students of

Indian and Hindu history."



"Throughout the book, Doniger analyses revered Hindu Gods and Goddess using

her widely discredited psycho-sexual Freudian theories that modern,

humanistic psychology has deemed limiting. These interpretations are

presented as hard facts and not as speculations, " it says about the book

which was published in 2009.



http://www.ptinews.com/news/544752_Hindu...ok-on-them



http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock...18096.html



http://www.ndtv.com/news/world/hindus-ur...-17128.php



http://news.chennaionline.com/newsitem.a...NAME=INTER



http://in.buzz.yahoo.com/article/1:ndtvc...ok-on-them



http://india-news-online.com/hindus-urge...k-on-them/



http://tweetmeme.com/story/661448919/hin...ok-on-them



http://tweetmeme.com/story/661546414/hin...marketscom



http://hindu.theuniversalwisdom.org/hind...-book-them



http://international.zeenews.com/inner1....37&sid=HEL



http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis...e=Newsfeed



http://www.littleindia.com/news/168/ARTI...03-03.html



http://twitter.com/IndiaNews247/statuses/9913456654
  Reply
#3
Superb point by point rebuttal of Wendy's 'research'.

Reviews of 6 chapters of the book are now online. More coming..

http://vishalagarwal.voiceofdharma.com/articles/thaah/
  Reply
#4
Sign if you agree

http://www.petitiononline.com/dharma10/petition.html



Quote:Demand for withdrawal of a flawed book on Hindu History published by PENGUIN

http://www.petitiononline.com/dharma10/petition.html



To: Penguin Group USA Penguin Books India

SCANDALOUS cover jacket of the book - copy for ready reference at http://www.scribd.com/doc/26565460/Scan-0002



To:

Ms. Susan Peterson Kennedy

President , Penguin Group (USA)

375 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014, USA



Mr. Mike Bryan,

CEO & President, Penguin Books Pvt Ltd.

11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110 017

India



Dear Ms. Peterson Kennedy, Mr. Mike Bryan,



The following is a petition from concerned signatories to the Penguin Group asking for an apology for the publication of the factually incorrect and offensive book “The Hindus-An Alternative History” by Wendy Doniger. We expect Penguin Group to withdraw the book immediately.



“The Hindus: An Alternative History” is rife with numerous errors in its historical facts and Sanskrit translations. These errors and misrepresentations are bound and perhaps intended to mislead students of Indian and Hindu history.



Throughout the book, Doniger analyzes revered Hindu Gods and Goddess using her widely discredited psychosexual Freudian theories that modern, humanistic psychology has deemed limiting. These interpretations are presented as hard facts and not as speculations. Doniger makes various faulty assumptions about the tradition in order to arrive at her particular spin. In the process, the beliefs, traditions and interpretations of practicing Hindus are simply ignored or bypassed without the unsuspecting reader knowing this to be the case. This kind of Western scholarship has been criticized as Orientalism and Eurocentrism. The non Judeo-Christian faith gets used to dish out voyeurism and the tradition gets eroticized.



A. FACTUAL ERRORS



The following are a just a SMALL SAMPLING of examples of the factual errors that run rampant through this disgusting book. By due diligence that is badly overdue from your editors, you can either find for yourself, or we will be glad to direct you to, scholarly references so that you can verify these errors yourself and withdraw this obscenity.



[Page number precedes a reference to inaccurate statements in the book. This is followed by a comment citing verifiable facts.]



Maps in front pages: Maps titled ‘India’s Geographical Features’ and ‘India from 600 CE to 1600 CE’

COMMENT: In the first map, the Waziristan Hills area is marked erroneously as ‘Kirthar Range’. The Kirthar Range is at least 200 miles further south. In the third map, Janakpur, Nagarkot, Mandu and Haldighati are marked several hundred miles from their correct geographical location.



Pg. 67 - It is claimed that the entire Harappan culture had a population of 40,000!

COMMENT: This is estimated as the population of Mohenjo-Daro alone. The population of the entire culture is estimated around 500,000.



Pg 112 - Wheat is mentioned as a food item in the Rigvedic period.

COMMENT: Wheat is not mentioned in the Rigveda at all. It first occurs in the Maitrayani Samhita of the Yajurveda.



Pg 130 - The author claims that there are no Gods in the Vedas who are Shudras.

COMMENT: It is anachronistic to assign castes to Rigvedic deities, but nevertheless, Pushan, Vesmapati and others have been considered Shudra deities in later times.



Pg 194 fn.- Gandhi's commentary on the Gita (a sacred Hindu scripture) was titled 'Asakti Yoga' (translated as ‘the science of deep attachment’).

COMMENT: The title of Gandhi’s work is 'Anasakti Yoga' (trans. ‘Science of non-Attachment’).



Pg 206 - The book wrongly states that the Hindus had only a triad of passions.

COMMENT: Hindu scriptures list six main evils and the concept of shadripus (six internal enemies) is very well known.



Pg 441 - The book claims that Firoz Shah redeemed a number of Hindu slaves…

COMMENT: A misrepresentation of the fact that he employed (not ‘redeemed’) 12,000 of his 180,000 slaves forcibly in royal factories for producing articles of consumption by Muslim elites. No “manumission” was involved.



Pg 445 - Dates of Saint Kabir are given as 1450 – 1498.

COMMENT: His demise is believed to have occurred in 1518, and the traditional date of birth is 1398.



Pg 448 - In 713 Muhammad ibn Qasim invaded Sind.

COMMENT: Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sind in 711.



Pg 450- It is claimed that Emperor Ala-ud-Din Khalji did not sack temples in Devagiri.

COMMENT: His contemporary Amir Khusro clearly mentions that the Emperor sacked numerous temples and raised mosques instead.



Pg 459 - King Ala-ud-din Husain of Bengal patronized Saint Chaitanya.

COMMENT: Saint Chaitanya never met the king, and left his kingdom to avoid persecution, as did his disciples. The king had destroyed Hindu temples in Orissa.



Pg 532 - Emperor Akbar moved his capital from Fatehpur Sikri to Delhi in 1586.

COMMENT: Emperor Akbar moved his capital to Lahore in 1587, and thereafter to Agra.



Pg 537-8 - The Sikh teacher Guru Govind Singh was assassinated in 1708, while 'attending Emperor Aurangzeb'. Emperor Aurangzeb died in 1707.

COMMENT: Guru Gobind Singh was assassinated in 1708 during the reign of Aurangzeb’s successor, Emperor Bahadur Shah I. It is insulting to say that the Guru was ‘attending’ on the Emperor.



Pg 550 - The book claims that Mirabai lived from 1498-1597, and then on p. 568, the author claims that Mirabai lived from 1450-1525!

COMMENT: Both dates are wrong and the commonly accepted dates are 1498-1547.



Pg 552 - The book claims that the Ramcharitmanas was written at Varanasi.

COMMENT: Both modern scholarship as well as tradition accept that the work (or at least most of it) was written in Ayodhya.



Section on Bibliography: “Shekhawat, V. “Origin and Structure of purushartha Theory: An attempt at Critical Appraisal.” Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 7:1 (1900), 63-67.”

COMMENT:The correct issue and year of this Journal issue are actually 8:2 and 1991. The bibliography has dozens of errors. Some references cited by Doniger simply do not exist.



B. DEROGATORY, DEFAMATORY AND OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS



Clumsily written, each chapter is a shocking and appalling series of anecdotes which denigrate, distort and misrepresent Hinduism and the history of India and Hindus. Doniger uses selective quotations from obscure and non-original, peripheral and ignorant references with a bizarre emphasis on sexuality and eroticism. Cited below are only a handful of quotes along with our understanding and interpretation, with references from Hindu scripture.



[Page number precedes the quote from the book. This is followed by a rebuttal comment.]



Pg 40 – “If the motto of Watergate was ‘Follow the money’, the motto of the history of Hinduism could well be ‘Follow the monkey’ or, more often ‘Follow the horse’.”

COMMENT: Very derogatory and offensive. The motto of Hinduism is to follow the truth and unite with God.



Pg 112 - The author alleges that in Rigveda 10.62, it is implied that a woman may find her own brother in her bed!

COMMENT: The hymn has no such suggestion. It is offensive to suggest that the sacred text of Hindus has kinky sex in it.



Pg 128 - The book likens the Vedic devotee worshipping different Vedic deities to a lying and a philandering boyfriend cheating on his girlfriend(s).

COMMENT: This is offensive and ignores that fact that in the Rigveda, the gods are said to be all united, born of one another, and from the same source.



Pg 225 -“Dasharatha’s son is certainly ‘lustful’... Rama knows all too well what people said about Dasharatha; when Lakshmana learns that Rama has been exiled, he says, “The king is perverse, old, and addicted to sex, driven by lust (2.18.3)”

COMMENT: Sri Rama is revered and worshipped as a deity. The highly acclaimed and critical edition of Valmiki’s Ramayana records no such statement attributed to Lakshmana. An imagined phrase, 'kama-sakta' is mistranslated as 'addicted to sex' by the author whereas it normally means ‘filled with desires’. Valmiki uses a phrase 'samani-madhah' (trans. Possessed of passion).



Pg 467 - Harihara and Bukka (the founders of the Vijayanagara Empire that saved Hindu culture in S India) ‘double-crossed’ the Delhi Sultan when they reconverted to Hinduism.

COMMENT: The brothers committed apostasy as they had been imprisoned and forcibly converted to Islam, and immediately reverted to Hinduism when they were 1000 miles from the Sultan, under the influence of a Hindu ascetic.



Pg 468-469 -“…The mosque, whose serene calligraphic and geometric contrasts with the perpetual motion of the figures depicted on the temple, makes a stand against the chaos of India, creating enforced vacuums that India cannot rush into with all its monkeys and peoples and colors and the smells of the bazaar…”

COMMENT: It is simply unacceptable that a scholar can flippantly, pejoratively and derogatorily essentialize the Hindus as “monkeys and peoples, colors and smells.., and chaos” in most insulting manner with the aspersion thrown at the entire Hindu culture and community all over the world. Such generalization has no place in serious scholarly work.



Pg 509 - ”Shankara and the philosopher’s wife…This tale contrasts sex and renunciation in such a way that the renunciant philosopher is able to have his cake and eat it, to triumph not only in the world of the mind (in which, before this episode begins, he wins a series of debates against the nonrenouncing male Mimamsa philosopher) but in the world of the body, represented by the philosopher’s wife (not to mention the harem women who clearly prefer Shankara to the king in bed).” The author attributes the tale to Shankaradigvijaya of Madhava and to Ravichandra's commentary on Amarushataka.

COMMENT: The author concocts the story as a sexual orgy in which the Saint Adi Shankara and King Amruka take turns making love to the latter’s wives after he is tired. Both her sources however state that the King was already dead and the Saint transferred his soul into the dead King’s body through his yogic powers. There is no suggestion in the texts that the queens ‘prefer Shankara to the king in bed’.



Pg 571- It is alleged that in a hymn from Saint Kshetrayya’s poetry, ‘God rapes’ the women devotees.

COMMENT: The hymn merely presents devotion using spiritual metaphors and the hymns of the Saint seen collectively depict it as a passionate love affair between the God and the devotees. No rape is implied in this hymn at all.



Again, the above is simply a sampling of the scandalous and offensive statements in the book. By her own admission in the book, Doniger has no credentials as a historian and the title of the book is misleading as the book is not on the “History nor an Alternative History” of India. This shows that the author is not an authority on the subject as she is not able to understand the deep meaning of Sanskrit verses or Indian Concepts. These cast serious doubts about the author’s integrity as a researcher and ability to interpret accurately. Additional examples of the author’s shoddy scholarship will be made available upon request.



We emphasize that this defamatory book misinforms readers about the history of Hindu civilization, its cultures and traditions. The book promotes prejudices and biases against Hindus. Can Penguin’s editors really be incompetent enough to have allowed this to pass to publication? If this is not deliberate malice, Penguin must act now in good faith.



As concerned readers, we ask PENGUIN GROUP to:



1. WITHDRAW all the copies of this book immediately from the worldwide bookshops/markets/Universities/Libraries and refrain from printing any other edition.



2. APOLOGIZE for having published this book “The Hindus: An Alternative History”. This book seriously and grossly misrepresents the Hindu reality as known to the vast numbers of Hindus and to scholars of Hindu tradition. PENGUIN must apologize for failure to observe proper pre-publication scrutiny and scholarly review.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

<http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?dharma10>



http://www.petitiononline.com/dharma10/petition.html
  Reply
#5
Misleading headline by Pioneer.



From the news I have been following Hindus are only demanding that the publisher Penguin withdraw the book which is not the same as a ban.



A ban is when gov't gets involved and forcibly enforces this demand.
  Reply
#6
came in email

Quote:Namaste,

The Vedic Friends Association (VFA) supports the endeavor to bring attention to the derogative work against Hindus and the Vedic tradition of Wendy Doniger, especially her newest book "Hindus--An Alternative History." She has been working this way for some time, and if this book would be addressed toward Muslims or the Koran, you know that there would be an uproar. But people think they can do anything when it is in regards to Hindus. It is time that people should come to know that this will not be so easy, and that Hindus are no longer such soft targets. It is time that all Hindus and followers of the Vedic Dharma speak out against this kind of activity and writing as displayed by this woman, and show how inaccurate is her rendition of the Vedic tradition.

Hari Om,

Steve

President of the Vedic Friends Association





HINDU PROTEST MARCH IN NEW YORK CITY



Purpose: To protest the decision of National Book Critics Circle to Honor Dr. Wendy



Doniger’s latest book titled “Hindus – An Alternative History”



Date: March 10, 2010 (Wednesday)



Time: 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.



Venue: In front of New School University Building



66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011






Brief Information

Dr. Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School. She is the author of several books on Hindu Scriptures. Her focus has been on translating, interpreting and comparing elements of Hindu Dharma through modern contexts of gender, sexuality and identity.



Almost all of her books contain factual errors, mischaracterization s and is loaded with hatred for Hindus. Since most of her books are interpretations of Ancient Hindu Scriptures, which is written in Ancient Sanskrit, at the minimum, she must possess a working knowledge of Sanskrit. Dr. Doniger’s Sanskrit credentials are as good as the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scholarship on the Hebrew Language and the Jewish Scriptures. Renowned Scholars of Sanskrit, from the West and India, have rejected Dr. Doniger’s deceptive claims of being a Sanskrit Scholar. But, due to the support she receives from the University of Chicago Divinity School, a private Christian Institution, and major American Publishers, many have endorsed her books without considering her qualifications and overlooking Hindu Sentiments. Since Hindus are deeply hurt by her writings, we are requesting the National Book Critic Circle to respect the sentiments of a billion Hindus worldwide and withdraw the name of Dr. Wendy Doniger being considered for its prestigious award in the non-fiction category. Her book titled “Hindus – An Alternative History” is a work that promotes bigotry, racism and intolerance. No civilized or decent human being, organization or society will ever support such a book given Dr. Doniger’s persistent verbal violence against the Hindus. We request all Concerned Hindus to join us in the Protest March.



USHA (United States Hindu Alliance), is a national organization of Hindus dedicated to protecting the interests of Hindus Worldwide. We do not believe in any form of violence. We, as Hindus, believe that hurting anyone, whether through speech, the written word or physical action are all forms of violence. USHA will always protest against acts of racism, bigotry and intolerance. The protest march is only a beginning. USHA is garnering worldwide support for further actions against the writer and all those who willingly and deliberately support her Anti-Hindu Agenda, including its publisher – Penguin Books.



IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS: In order to ensure the success of this peaceful protest march, please register by sending an e-mail confirmation to hinduamericans@ gmail.com. Vegetarian Samosas will be served after the March to registered participants. Placards for use during the March will be provided by USHA volunteers at the venue. All participants must adhere to the high standards of USHA and Hindu Scriptures. Even though the book is highly provocative and insensitive to the sentiments of Hindus, the use of any profane, indecent or uncharitable language is strictly prohibited, and for the record, inconsistent with Hindu Belief and Practice. Only pre-authorized Speakers will be allowed to address the participants.





For more information on USHA, please visit our website at www.ushaonline. org

HAF Urges NBCC Not Honor Doniger's Latest Book



New York, NY (February 5, 2009) - The Hindu American Foundation sent the following letter to the President of the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC), Jane Ciabattari, expressing its disappointment of the short-listing of Professor Wendy Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History and urging NBCC not bestow the 2009 nonfiction award to it.



Dear Ms. Ciabattari,



The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), a non-profit advocacy organization for the two million strong Hindu American community, strongly objects to NBCC's short-listing of Professor Wendy Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History as a finalist in the "nonfiction" category. Prof. Doniger is known for seeking and presenting provocative and idiosyncratic sexually explicit and Freudian analyses of Hinduism's holiest books. In The Hindus: An Alternative History she hues to the same, now tiring interpretation of the acts, deeds and words attributed to Hindu deities and included in Hindu scripture and sacred books. This has naturally stirred up strong emotions in the Hindu community in India and in the Hindu Diaspora. Far from encouraging thoughtful, careful and disciplined inquiry into others' histories and belief systems, any award from NBCC for this book would merely fuel negative sentiments among Hindus, and do a disservice to serious academic inquiry.



The Hindus: An Alternative History does not represent nor provide insight into the contemporary practices and interpretations of Hinduism and its scriptures. In the end, rather than offering the reader a depiction of a family of vibrant religious traditions practiced by a billion Hindus globally, Prof. Doniger offers an offensive, shocking, and gratuitous deconstruction of some of the most important epics and episodes in Hindu thought and belief. The pornographic depictions of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in Prof. Doniger's books already grace the websites of some banefully anti-Hindu hate sites with their own varied agendas.



Prof. Doniger denigrates the Gods and Goddesses that Hindus worship. Parallelisms are proffered in this book comparing the sacred stone icon representing Lord Shiva to a leather strap-on sex toy, and Lord Rama, one of the most popular deities of Hindus, is accused of acting out of fear that he was becoming a sex-addict like his father. A Danish cartoonist would be hard pressed to match the disturbing parodies of a believer's faith that Prof. Doniger offers here.



Unfortunately, instead of answering her many Hindu critics, Prof. Doniger sweepingly labels her Hindu critics as Hindu fundamentalists, never bothering to analyze the legitimacy of arguments stemming from adherents of the faith in which she claims scholarship. In her well-received piece, "Oh, But You Do Get It Wrong", Aditi Banerjee, Esq., points out that "Doniger ignores the prolific response to her work by the American Hindu community, including dozens of published articles, countless public conferences, and repeated calls for debate and dialogue between the academy and the Hindu-American community." To add to Ms. Banerjee's last point, Prof. Doniger represents what many believe to be a fundamental flaw in the academic study of Hinduism: that Hindu studies is too often the last refuge of biased non-Hindu academics presenting themselves as "experts" on a faith that they study without the insight, recognition or reverence that a practicing Hindu or non-Hindu striving to study Hinduism from the insider's perspective would offer. While the Foundation believes in the freedom of expression, it takes issue with Prof. Doniger's skewed and superficial analyses and the value, or lack thereof, they bring to the study of Hinduism. A Freudian true-believer, Prof. Doniger may believe that sex, desire and repressed urges animate the human condition, but modern/humanistic psychology has challenged this school of thought as limited and limiting. Using Freudian analysis, then, to retrospectively find psychosexual motivations of Hindu deities seems egregiously inappropriate and deliberately provocative.



HAF urges NBCC not bestow such a distinguished honor upon a piece of work that is not just degrading and insulting to one billion Hindus worldwide but, frankly a distortion of the history of the Hindu faith. Finally, the Foundation and its membership hopes NBCC takes into account the numerous protests from the Hindu community by reexamining its decision to short-list Prof. Doniger's book.



The Hindu American Foundation Board of Directors and staff members are available for an in-depth discussion with you and/or any NBCC Board member at your convenience.



Thank you,

Hindu American Foundation

http://www.hafsite. org/media/ pr/nbccletter

For Immediate Release

March 1, 2010



USHA Urges NBCC Not to Honor Dr. Wendy Doniger



March 1, 2010 – Atlanta - The United States Hindu Alliance sent the following letter to the Board of New York based National Book Critics Circle urging the literary body to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Wendy Doniger for its National Award in the Non Fiction Category for her latest book titled “Hindus – An Alternative History”.



TEXT OF THE LETTER TO NBCC PRESIDENT JANE CIABATTARI:



Dear Ms. Ciabattari,



The United States Hindu Alliance is shocked to learn that a literary organization of the stature of NBCC is considering bestowing one of its prestigious Awards on Dr. Wendy Doniger for her latest work, Hindus – An Alternative History.



Dr. Doniger who claims to be a Scholar of India’s ancient Sanskrit Language may fool those who do not know the Sanskrit Language. But renowned Western as well as Indian Sanskrit Scholars have repudiated her knowledge of Sanskrit. Dr. Doniger has attempted to interpret Hindu Scriptures with her primitive and superficial knowledge of the Sanskrit Language. It may be safe to say that her knowledge of Sanskrit and the religious traditions of Hindus are comparable to the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s knowledge of the Hebrew Language and the Jewish Scriptures.



Moreover, Dr. Doniger has always attempted to analyze and interpret Hindu Scriptures through modern contexts of gender, sexuality and identity. Such an attempt is not only a farce but has no value in understanding the complex and profound philosophical underpinnings and symbolism of one of the most ancient religious traditions of the world. In her effort to impose her perverted views on Hindu Scriptures, she has employed the most indecent, distasteful and provocative language known to writers of any language.



Hindus believe in freedom of thought, expression and worship for all. In the market place of ideas, we as humans are bound to encounter works that go beyond human decency and civility. The world cannot stop writers from expressing, even if they appear abhorrent and repulsive to an entire population. However, a prestigious body like NBCC can insulate itself from the worldwide negative publicity that is bound to be generated if your Board moves forward on the decision to honor a first rate bigot and racist. We hope you and your fellow Board Members will see the pain and anguish this Author of Hate has caused for a billion Hindus. Hence, there are a billion compelling reasons to reconsider your decision and we hope you do so in the interest of mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual love.





Thank you for your kind consideration.



Yours respectfully,



Gokul Kunnath

President
  Reply
#7
via email...



Quote:Wendy Doniger's Cross-cultural Vandalism

by Vijaya Rajiva

Edited and modified by Shree Vinekar



To,

Ms Jane Ciabattari,

President,

National Book Critics Circle,

New York, U.S.A.



Dear Ms.Ciabattari,



Re: National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists, Jan.23, 2010.



It has come to my attention that Dr. Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus : An Alternative History, has been selected as a finalist by the NBCC. in the non fiction segment.



I am writing to you as a Hindu academic, a Political Philosopher, and one well versed both in Western and Eastern Philosophy (specifically Indian Philosophy) and very familiar with the Hindu tradition, especially in its day to day practice by the everyday Hindu.



I would appreciate it if you could circulate among the 20 plus Board members of the NBCC my observations on this selection of Dr. Doniger's book and yourself to kindly take note of the same.



In my opionion the selection of Dr.Doniger's book is seriously flawed for the following reasons:



1. It is not clear whether Ms. Doniger considers her book a work of scholarship or a work of fiction.



It would seem that she wants it to be considered a work of scholarship, albeit a pioneering and controversial work in a non main stream tradition of Hinduism, as she likes to think of it.



However, her qualifications for writing such a work derive from her ongoing work as a Sanskritist. Here her work even as a Sanskritist has been criticised for being inaccurate by Sanskritists and scholars, both Western and Indian.



Hence, the first criterion is : Does she know the mainstream tradition well enough, although she has been working in the field? Merely blurbs, by publishers describing her as the world's foremost authority on Hinduism and Hindus, are not sufficient to establish her credentials.



This lacuna is not uncommon in many scholarly works on India. As an example I can cite A.L. Basham's well known book, "The Wonder That Was India" (1954). In this book the noted scholar who taught in the London School of African and Oriental Studies maintains that the Vedic tradition did not give importance to female goddesses. And yet, a reading of the 1008 plus verses of the Rig Veda, show innumerable important references to the female goddesses and their role in the Vedic rituals.



I cite this an example to illustrate how even an acknowledged scholar can commit errors of scholarship. Hence, Dr. Doniger is equally capable of making errors and these have been pointed out by scholars and critics.



That being the case, her comparative study of the high traditions of Hinduism and everyday Hinduism is at best shaky. Nor does she do much better in her knowledge of the 'little' traditions of Hinduism.



Since her work is inadequate on both counts, her attempts to chart a pioneering course is somewhat dubious, and seems to be the result of what she wants to do rather("wannabe" )than what she is capable of doing. The book, therefore, is neither fish, fowl nor a red herring.



2. Secondly, Dr. Doniger fails to understand that the distinctions she draws between the high and low traditions are not ones that everyday Hindus observe or endorse. After more than 5,000 years of evolution, the everyday Hindu's perspective is one of a synthesis of beliefs, some of it which cannot be extricated, even by careful analysis. A great deal of work has been done on the origins of Hinduism which would challenge Dr. Doniger's own orthodoxy, one which she has worked with during her academic career.



And so, one wonders what value her work has except as a higly eccentric work that falls perhaps only in the category of fiction. (It has no place in the category of scholarly non-fiction books)





3. And if it comes under the category of fiction then the NBCC would be well advised to rely not only on relatively new fiction writers such Pankaj Mishra to evaluate it, but also consult well known and well established writers such as Nobel Prize winner Sir V.S. Naipaul. He is not only one of the foremost fiction writers in the English language but is also a writer of travelogues which establish connections with cultures around the world.



And if Dr. Doniger's book is a hybrid of social criticism and Sanskrit studies then some eminent sociologist might be consulted by the Board for a review. Pankaj Mishra is an interesting and entertaining fiction writer but is simply not equal to the task of a reviewer in this category. The Board has relied on his review. We may suggest Aditi Mitra, Sociologist academician who is familiar with the Hindu tradition to provide a more objective review of this non-fiction work if Doniger wants to categorize it as a scholarly non-fiction work.



4. There is a further dimension to the entire question. Since Dr. Doniger has sailed into the topic of the alternative history of the Hindus without due consideration of the sentiments of millions of practising everyday Hindus who if they came to know about her work would be deeply offended and hurt, it might be advisable to withdraw her work from the list.



Ms. Doniger herself must realise how deep the wound would be to the ordinary everyday Hindu who takes her/his religion seriously.



One has to only see the millions who congregate at the Kumbh Mela or who go on pilgrimages to the temples in Kashmir, despite great risks from terrorism, or those who simply worship their gods and goddesses with deep devotion both privately and publicly.



These are the silent, everyday Hindus whose voices must also be heard. And there are 800 million of them.



Is Dr. Doniger prepared to accept the moral responsibility of this situation, especially when she herself says she loves Hindus and Hinduism ? Is it a responsible position for her to adopt?



This is not simply a question of writing to some peer group (she is in a "69 position" with members of her peer group; see "Wendy's Children" by Rajive Malhotra) who may cheer her on. Or, be part of some charmed circle. It goes to the core of who she is as a human being and a person.



In my view, she should herself decline the honour of an award from the NBCC.



800 million Hindus will undoubtedly survive Ms. Doniger's work, as they have for millenia from other scourges, more deadly than mere fiction or scholarship. But, does she also want to deliver deep cuts, when these same 800 million everyday Hindus are already threatened by a thousand cuts from not so friendly neighbours who have openly used such threatening language.



By no stretch of imagination can her work be considered inoffensive to the sentiments of 800 million Hindus. I do not want to go into the lurid details.



Hindu India has been kind to Ms.Doniger and her Jewish people since time immemorial, especially during their time of travail and woe. Should she not reciprocate at this hour?



I believe that she should do the most honourable thing and withdraw her book herself from the list of books selected for award by the New York Times.





I would earnestly and respectfully request the Director and the Board of NBCC to give serious consideration to the issues I have raised above and withdraw her nomination for the award.





Sincerely,



Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

http://sookta- sumana.blogspot. com/
  Reply
#8
Why no Hindu or Buddhist representation?



By Aseem Shukla

February 25, 2010



Co-Founder, Hindu American Foundation Aseem Shukla Associate Professor in

urologic surgery at the University of Minnesota medical school. Co-founder and

board member of Hindu American Foundation.



Q: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is recommending that the U.S.

government develop a strategy to make religion 'integral' to American foreign

policy. Should U.S. foreign policy get religion?



There is little doubt that U.S. foreign policy apparatchiks have historically

been deaf to religion as a driver of nationalism, foreign policy and eventual

chaotic governmental transitions overseas. Failing to predict the inevitability

of the Shah's overthrow in Iran or unbridled support to the so-called mujahideen

in Pakistan creating our friends, the Talibs (with apologies to the late Charlie

Wilson), are legend in the annals of American overreach, miscalculation and

religious obtuseness. That our foreign policy assets require an education in

global religious literacy is clear and its apparent absence appalling.



This week, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs released a report put forth by

a task force it convened to chart a course for engaging religion as a part of

foreign policy.
But the recommendations released by the task force are

fundamentally erroneous at several levels: from the makeup of the task force

that authored the report, its basic assumptions, and its potentially dangerous

recommendations. Indeed, the entire effort, ostensibly galvanized by President

Obama's similarly flawed address to the "Muslim World," promotes an Abrahamic

framework that fails factually, theoretically and in its myopic parochialism.



Some of the final recommendations are obvious: government officials should be

trained in the "role of religion in world affairs". Others are stunningly

misguided: that the role of the Establishment Clause mandating a separation of

church and state needs to be "clarified" to encourage relationships between our

government with religious groups overseas that would not pass muster

domestically. And absent entirely is a thorough explanation as to how that

dangerous admixture of religion and politics could safely transpire.



No observer will argue that our government officials and our citizens, for that

matter, must increase their understanding of global religions. But whose version

of religion? Hindus, for example, would be mortified if the eroticized,

sexualized spoof of Hindu theology long promoted by this nation's "preeminent"

scholar of Hinduism at the University of Chicago Divinity School, Prof. Wendy

Doniger, was offered as the expert voice to school foreign policy students. They

would much rather that voice be balanced between practicing Hindus and academics

who seek to understand and recognize the Hindu tradition from the perspective of

the practitioner.




Will the U.S. government promote the radically right-wing version of

Christianity aiming to grace Texas schoolbooks, or the Intelligent Design

dominated iteration championed by Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin and their ilk? These

are difficult questions that will set the tone to our policy wonks' dance with

religion.



Try now to digest the concept of our government modulating the hallowed

Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution already under duress from the

aforementioned Texas State Board of Education cabal. It is completely naive to

conceive of U.S. foreign policy and U.S. domestic policy as two separate

entities with little overlap. Take this excerpt from Page 64 of the full report

in arguing for limitations on the separation of church and state in foreign

affairs:



"For example, at one end of the spectrum is the erroneous view that the

Establishment Clause precludes foreign policy initiatives that advance the

freedom of religious practice and belief in other countries."



Read between the lines and the homily to the freedom of religious practice seems

far more insidious. One benign reading would be that the State Department would

promote freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia or Tibet or Malaysia. But an

entirely different fear could be that a Bush Administration redux--freed from

the limits of the Establishment Clause--could use foreign policy as a tool to

promote Christian evangelism and proselytization. Several global evangelical

groups and megachurches already subsidize education and health care, for

example, to new converts in Asia and Africa. Such partisan excesses have been

covered in detail in the Indian press and here.



And another question: Given the intersection between global and domestic policy,

would selective interaction of our government with particular religious groups

overseas not require closer relations between representatives of those religious

groups that are U.S. based? The danger that one religious tradition would be

privileged over others is very real, and there are very valid reasons that the

Establishment Clause serves as a bulwark against such misadventures.



That same danger of privileging certain religious groups over others is manifest

even in the composition of the Task Force. Of 32 religious leaders, academics

and consultants that made the cut, not a single one belongs to a Dharm tradition

-- Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism or Jainism, let alone many thriving indigenous

traditions. Not one. Hindus and Buddhists comprise a growing portion of our

foreign service establishment, and the current administrator of the U.S. Agency

for International Development, Rajiv Shah, is Hindu. But not one made the cut to

sit on this task force recommending how our country should deal in a world where

more than one in five persons is Hindu or Buddhist. (Tom Wright, the task

force's project director, said "We did reach out to leaders in those religious

communities but they weren't able to participate.")



If the ostensible goal of the task force was to eschew the imperialistic

ham-handedness of our previous foreign policy folly, why create a real

credibility dilemma for this panel comprised only of Christians, Muslims and

Jews. And the very co-chair of the panel, Richard Cizik, is the President of the

New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, whose Web site's home page

speaks of their "calling to proclaim the Gospel to all the world." So a task

force headed by Cizik recommends that the Obama Administration "clarify the

applicability of the Establishment Clause"--how's that for spectacular gumption!



This task force recommends not only engaging the Organization of Islamic

Conference (OIC), but actually asks that our nation name an Ambassador level

envoy to this group. Notwithstanding that the OIC's record is dubious at best: a

well-known platform for anti-Semitic outbursts; pushing through the dangerous UN

Resolution against defamation of religion that actually was an international

anti-blasphemy measure meant to suppress free speech and other human rights; and

repeated attacks on the territorial integrity of India's state of Jammu and

Kashmir. The OIC limits membership to a set group of only Islamic countries--the

Muslim world, so to speak, that President Obama has such a penchant for

addressing.



The U.S. has an Ambassador to the Vatican and Israel, and perhaps, soon, the

Muslim world. So we reward those that profess a state religion, persecute

infidels in their midsts and laugh off secularism as an irrelevant relic, and we

relegate the 1.5 billion adherents of pluralistic, non-proselytizing Dharma

religions to no voice at all? Can we reconcile this appeasement to the Muslim

world while we deny the agency of religious ambassadorship to India and

Thailand, that despite their respective Hindu and Buddhist majorities, maintain

democratic and secular governance?



Seek another example of the task force cowtowing to Islamism? Take this excerpt

from the Executive Summary recommending that we engage Islamist political

parties that may hate us:



"Indeed, no Islamist party elected to national parliament has sought to put

greater emphasis on Sharia laws as the source of legislation, despite

pre-election rhetoric to the contrary. Instead, they often become mired in the

day-to-day necessities of ruling, which include making good on commitments to

tackle corruption and provide much-needed public services in order to build a

record of practical accomplishment."



To the contrary, the Hindu American Foundation's annual human rights reports, as

well as the State Department documented thousands of atrocities against Hindus,

Christians and other minorities in Bangladesh immediately after the Bangladesh

National Party-Jamaat Islami combine of parties promoted imposition of Sharia

laws between 2001-2006. The task force condones Islamist parties as actually

untrue to Sharia based on this reading, but are actually do-gooders tackling

corruption and crime! At least they keep the trains running on time, it is as if

we are asked to accept. Of course our government must engage with a multitude of

partners--Hindu nationalists in India and Christian nationalists in our

country--but spare us the paean to Islamism.



In the end, as with too many such task forces or commissions comprised of voices

that fail to reflect a nation they profess to advise, and are steered by clear

ideological preference, this effort terribly overreaches. And such failures can

be miserable. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

(USCIRF), chaired by the head of the conservative Federalist Society and

similarly bereft of Hindus or Buddhists, stirred controversy and a diplomatic

firestorm when it recommended that the State Department place India on a watch

list reserved for the likes of Iran and Syria.



There is no argument that religious literacy must be improved and our foreign

policy be flexible enough to deal with the shifting sands of religious

nationalism and extremism. But let us never compromise the core values of our

Bill of Rights and Constitution--indeed we must, as we always have, uphold them

as a paradigm for others. We were not attacked on 9/11 because we failed to

flatter the Islamists and extremists enough, it is because our attackers were

nurtured in environs that had no Constitution as free as ours. And, finally, let

us privilege the voices of the pluralists, the pragmatics and those that are

religious to the core but secular in governance--for those will be our true

allies as we meet the challenges of a changing world.



Views expressed here are the personal views of Dr. Aseem Shukla, and do not

necessarily represent those of the University of Minnesota or Hindu American

Foundation.



http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfai.../02/recomm

endations_without_representation_misguided_task_force_overreaches.html
  Reply
#9
[url="http://www.lokvani.com/lokvani/article.php?article_id=6329"]Dr Tilak and Vishal Agarwal's interview on Wendy[/url]
  Reply
#10
[url="http://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/wendy-doniger-does-a-doggie-shrinivas-tilak/"]Doniger does a doggie[/url]

Quote:Let me begin with a clarification of the title, which was suggested by an “adult” film that had gained certain notoriety back in the 1970s. Called, “Debbie Does Dallas,” the film depicted exploits of a sex worker named Debbie with members of a professional sports team based in Dallas, Texas. I did not see the film but recollect from the newspaper accounts of the time that colloquially, the “doggie” trick alludes to one of the more popular “positions” in the sex act.



“Doniger” in the title refers to Wendy Doniger, who is the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Chicago. The connection between “Debbie” of the film and Professor Wendy Doniger (hereafter Doniger) is that they both are in the business of providing entertainment involving sex. Both employ bodies: Debbie her own; and Doniger the bodies of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
  Reply
#11
[url="http://rajivmalhotra.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30:risa-lila-1-wendys-child-syndrome&catid=20:american-education-reform&Itemid=26"]Rajiv Malhotra: "Wendy's Child Syndrome"[/url]
  Reply
#12
Quote:Chapter Reviews of Wendy Doniger's "The Hindus, an Alternative History".



Reviews of Chapter 8 (on Upanishads) and Chapter 18 (on Vedanta) are now available as PDFs at



http://vishalagarwal.voiceofdharma.com/articles/thaah/



Another author has also completed her review on chapter 10 ("Violence in the Mahabharata) and some other chapters are also being completed. These will be uploaded during the next few weeks.



Not only do factual errors and anti-Hindu biases abound in the book, its interpretations are pornographic and will promote stereotypes about Hindus.
  Reply
#13
[url="http://chitraraman.voiceofdharma.org/book-reviews/wendy-doniger/review-of-the-hindus-an-alternative-history-chapter-10.html"]Review of "The Hindus - An Alternative History" (Chapter 10) [/url]
  Reply
#14
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfai...yways.html



Aseem Shukla of HAF puts it all together.
  Reply
#15
Quote:From: Arvind



Wendy Doniger seems to be a hero among Nazis. Check out the site where they post their hateful messages. Someone posted asking what could be done to spread hatred against Asians and someone else responded claiming that they could use Wendy Doniger's book if the original poster meant Indians when (s)he asked about Asians!



http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=690954



Quote:

Originally Posted by jorrdannn

I go to a school which is heavily diverse and liberal, (dont worry im leaving for texas in 4 months). I expressed my beliefs particularly on asians and recieved many 'dont hate' speeches and was called a joke. How do I get my point across standing alone?



Use references by Professors who have written about Asians. Not sure which group of Asian you are talking about (Middle Eastern, Indian, Far Eastern), but Prof. Wendy Doniger of the University of Chicago has written a lot about Indians and Hindus that annoy them. She is a true White Nationalist soldier which is why Microsoft Encarta targeted her and once removed her article from their encyclopedia.



Check her out though -- http://divinity.uchicago.edu/faculty/doniger.shtml



I should also add that she is one of the WNs who is from the left (there is another thread which deals with the subject of whether one can be a White Nationalist and a Communist). Her method is primarily to point out the negative influence that Hindus have had on the world in general, but this does not mean that she does not highlight White pride. She does that too in her books when she gets the chance.



If you were talking of Middle Eastern Asians, you should be able to use he works of any number of scholars. If it is the far-eastern Asians you speak about, then it is a little more difficult to find scholarly stuff on them.



Using authoritative works by Professors always convinces most students. That is what you should do.



http://rajeev2004.blogspot.com/2010/03/w...-nazi.html
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