It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Hindu Fundamentalists ban scholarly book in India!

page: 1
8
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 10:11 AM
link   
Penguin Books has withdrawn University of Chicago scholar Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus: An Alternative History from the Indian market. (It is still available elsewhere.) This is only the most recent instance of censorship instigated by the Indian right. India is now ranked 140th out of 180 countries for free speech by Reporters Without Borders.

Why has this book received the ire of Fundamentalists? First, it points out that the very word "Hindu" was invented by the British to describe a wide variety of colonial religious practices and beliefs. She then charts the evolution of these practices, pointing out that, contrary to patriotic Indian thinking, there is absolutely no evidence that the Indus Valley civilization contributed anything to Indian culture. Whatever language they spoke does not seem to have survived, and nothing is known about their religious beliefs or mythology. She then points out the the Vedas arrived with horsemen from the north, repressing the local Dravidian culture. The Vedas depict brutal horse sacrifices, some of which may have involved trans-species miscegenation. (I can see why people find that upsetting!) Meanwhile, the Dravidian culture, which the fairer skinned "Aryans" denigrated, evolved the "forest wisdom" of the Upanishads. It is this philosophy that most westerners think of when they think of Indian philosophy. She also points out that the earliest versions of the Mahabharata date to the Medieval period, offending those who believe that they are actual records of ancient events. Oh, and Sanskrit is an artificial language. And classical Indian sculpture is the result of pagan Mediterranean artists fleeing persecution by the newly christianized Roman Empire. The list goes on.

The point is: no religion has the right to censor free speech. No religion should outlaw research into its history. Even if you believe the Bible is literally true, it does not give you the right to prevent scholars from analyzing its sources. Even if you believe the Hadith are all true and accurate, you cannot stop historians from examining other sources for the Prophet's biography. And just because you want to believe that Medieval fairy tales are true, you cannot silence an academic who understands the history of your religion better than you do.

For further reading:

indiatoday.intoday.in...

hinduism.about.com...




posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 12:48 PM
link   
reply to post by DJW001
 


This is very interesting. While I myself have never had much of an interest in Hinduism, or the history of India, I do take an active interest in the cultural evolution of religious and mythological thought.

While my primary focus has always been the ancient Near East (cultures like the Halaf, Ubaid, Sumerian, etc.), the links and summary you've provided here have piqued my interest.

I'm not sure how much input I'll be able to provide as this thread grows, but I wanted you to know it's caught the eye of at least one individual.


~ Wandering Scribe


edit on 23/2/14 by Wandering Scribe because: typo



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:12 PM
link   
What India does in their nation is their business. If the citizens of India doesn't like what is being done then it is their place to rise up and do something about it. Every nation including America has books they have banned.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:31 PM
link   
Out of curiosity ... when the US gets involved in things overseas, everyone howls that we have no right to do so, so what are you suggesting be done in this case? Isn't it the right of other nations and cultures to self-determine?



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:33 PM
link   
So pretty much, ancient Indian and Hindu history didn't originate in Indian but was instead brought there by others.



She also points out that the earliest versions of the Mahabharata date to the Medieval period, offending those who believe that they are actual records of ancient events.


So like, writing has been around in India since BC times. You would think that one of those books in the Mahabharata would have been written down.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:36 PM
link   

buster2010
What India does in their nation is their business. If the citizens of India doesn't like what is being done then it is their place to rise up and do something about it. Every nation including America has books they have banned.


So... are you actually defending censorship?



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:42 PM
link   

ketsuko
Out of curiosity ... when the US gets involved in things overseas, everyone howls that we have no right to do so, so what are you suggesting be done in this case? Isn't it the right of other nations and cultures to self-determine?


Yes, of course. But I also believe that a small number of religious fanatics should not determine national policy. It does not matter if it's the BJP in India, the Mullahs in Iran, the Ultra-conservatives in Israel or the Christian Right in the US. Scholarship should not be subject to censorship. Period.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:42 PM
link   
reply to post by DJW001
 


I'm not defending it, but I am saying that this is what it means to let other countries self-determine. If that is the policy you want to take - non-intervention - then it has to be non-intervention in truth and for everything, not just non-intervention so long as they do things you agree with.

This is what isolationism means.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:44 PM
link   
reply to post by DJW001
 


So, basically, you dislike religion and want non-intervention so long as everyone else moves away from religion? How is that any different from our policy now which is basically non-intervention so long as everyone does things we like and agree with?



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:46 PM
link   

ketsuko
reply to post by DJW001
 


So, basically, you dislike religion and want non-intervention so long as everyone else moves away from religion? How is that any different from our policy now which is basically non-intervention so long as everyone does things we like and agree with?


Where do I call for intervention?



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 01:53 PM
link   

DJW001

buster2010
What India does in their nation is their business. If the citizens of India doesn't like what is being done then it is their place to rise up and do something about it. Every nation including America has books they have banned.


So... are you actually defending censorship?


I don't approve of censorship. But countries have the right to run their nation as they see fit. Until the nation you live in no longer has any banned books then you shouldn't complain about another nation banning books. So do you approve of censorship in your nation but don't approve of censorship in other nations? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 02:10 PM
link   

DJW001

ketsuko
reply to post by DJW001
 


So, basically, you dislike religion and want non-intervention so long as everyone else moves away from religion? How is that any different from our policy now which is basically non-intervention so long as everyone does things we like and agree with?


Where do I call for intervention?


Then why complain?

India decided they did not like that book. They decided not to allow it there.

You come here and complain about it.

What conclusion are we to draw?



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 03:48 PM
link   
This is sad news as I had read in another scholarly text about suspicions concerning the origin of the modern interpretations of Hinduism and now folks acting in a typical fashion are hindering a full investigation which could lead to a deeper understanding of how their society came to be.

I saw this thread and checked out a copy of the book from my local library and it is very interesting, but you really need to do your homework on the history of the region to start picking up on its significance.

I strongly recommend others taking the time to check it out.

This likely is greatly influenced by the religious and regional turmoil between Islamic Pakistan and Hindu India;
Religious conflicts in India
en.wikipedia.org...



Before 1947

The conflict between Hindus and Muslims in the Indian subcontinent has a complex history which can be said to have begun with the Umayyad Caliphate in Sindh in 711. The state of Hindus during the Islamic expansion in India during the mediaeval period was characterised by destruction of temples, often illustrated by historians by the repeated destruction of the Hindu Temple at Somnath[1][2] and the anti-Hindu practices of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.[3]

From 1947 to 1991

The aftermath of the Partition of India in 1947 saw large scale sectarian strife and bloodshed throughout the nation. Since then, India has witnessed sporadic large-scale violence sparked by underlying tensions between sections of the Hindu and Muslim communities. These conflicts also stem from the ideologies of Hindu Extremism versus Islamic Extremism and prevalent in certain sections of the population. Since independence, India has always maintained a constitutional commitment to secularism. The major incidences include the 1969 Gujarat riots and the 1989 Bhagalpur riots.

Since 1992

The sense of communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims in the post-partition period has been compromised in the last decade with the razing of the disputed Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. The demolition took place in 1992 and is said to have been perpetrated by the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and organisations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad. This was followed by tit for tat violence by Muslim and Hindu fundamentalists throughout the country including Bombay with the Bombay Riots and also the 1993 Bombay Bombings, amongst those allegedly involved in these atrocities were the Muslim Mafia don Dawood Ibrahim and the predominantly Muslim D-Company criminal gang.

In 2001, a high profile attack on the Indian Parliament by Islamic militants created considerable strain on community relations.

Some of the most violent events in recent times took place during the infamous Gujarat riots in 2002 where it is estimated one thousand people were killed, most of whom allegedly Muslim, some sources claim there were approximately 2,000 Muslim deaths,[4] there were also allegations made of state involvement.[5][6] The riots were in retaliation to the Godhra Train Burning in which 50 Hindus pilgrims returning from the disputed site of the Babri Mosque, which burnt alive in a train fire at the Godhra railway station. The incident was a planned act carried out by revengeful and extremist Ghanchi Muslims in the region against the Hindu pilgrims according to Gujarat police.[7] The commission appointed to investigate this finding declared that the fire was an accident. In 2006, the High Court decided the constitution of such a committee was illegal as another inquiry headed by Justice Nanavati Shah was still investigating the matter.[8] The Nanavati Shah commission has already given its first report, in last week of September 2008, where it has said that burning of train in Godhra was pre-planned and petrol of large quantity was bought by a group of Muslim people for this purpose.
The skyline of Ahmedabad filled with smoke as buildings and shops are set on fire by rioting mobs. The riots, which took place following the Godhra train burning incident, killed more than 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus, including those killed in the Godhra train fire.[9]

There was widespread communal violence in which Muslim communities suffered. In these riots, the role played by chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, and some of his ministers, police officers, and other far-right Hindu nationalist organisation has been criticised. Narendra Modi was even accused of genocide.


It is interesting that the usual suspects from ATS who decry religious oppression are absent, wonder why?

-FBB
edit on 23-2-2014 by FriedBabelBroccoli because: 101



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 05:29 PM
link   
reply to post by DJW001
 


According the article, Penguin Books had no choice but to pull the book.


Penguin, for example, cited “a moral responsibility to protect our employees against threats and harassment” in withdrawing Ms. Doniger’s book.



“The Hindus: An Alternative History” is only the latest assault on free speech in India. The publisher’s move is likely to encourage more demands for censorship.

India’s 1949 Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression. But colonial-era laws restricting that freedom are eagerly being exploited by self-appointed guardians of religious orthodoxy. Penguin India said it pulled the book by Wendy Doniger off the market because it faced criminal and civil suits under a 1927 amendment to British India’s 1860 penal code, which makes it a crime to outrage “the religious feeling” of Indians.


India's freedom of speech problems are coming from offended religious people wanting to silence criticism.


Meanwhile, simply reporting the news in India has become a potentially dangerous undertaking. In a report published last week, Reporters Without Borders ranked India 140th for free speech out of 180 countries surveyed. Journalists regularly face pressure, including direct threats, to tread lightly when reporting or commenting on Hindu-nationalist views or candidates.

The wanton abuse of laws restricting speech is creating a climate of fear. Enemies of free speech have pledged to get even more books banned.


This is why religion and government don't work well together.


edit on 23-2-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 05:41 PM
link   

buster2010

DJW001

buster2010
What India does in their nation is their business. If the citizens of India doesn't like what is being done then it is their place to rise up and do something about it. Every nation including America has books they have banned.


So... are you actually defending censorship?


I don't approve of censorship. But countries have the right to run their nation as they see fit. Until the nation you live in no longer has any banned books then you shouldn't complain about another nation banning books. So do you approve of censorship in your nation but don't approve of censorship in other nations? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.


I will try to remember this the next time you start on about Israel's policies. As for books being banned in the United States, to the best of my knowledge, no publisher has had to withdraw a book from publication due to government or political pressure in the last fifty years. There are some local school boards which have banned certain books for completely arbitrary reasons, but the United States federal government does not ban books based on supposedly offensive content.



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 05:44 PM
link   

ketsuko

DJW001

ketsuko
reply to post by DJW001
 


So, basically, you dislike religion and want non-intervention so long as everyone else moves away from religion? How is that any different from our policy now which is basically non-intervention so long as everyone does things we like and agree with?


Where do I call for intervention?


Then why complain?

India decided they did not like that book. They decided not to allow it there.

You come here and complain about it.

What conclusion are we to draw?


You could draw the conclusion that I am bringing a violation of human rights to light. If there are any ATS members in India, I urge them to work to overthrow this law. Members in other countries may follow their conscience in terms of their response. I definitely want the BJP to know that the rest of the world finds their behavior intolerable!



posted on Feb, 23 2014 @ 11:06 PM
link   
reply to post by ketsuko
 


This thread isn't "complaining," so much as it is a call to reason.

The book in question presents an alternate view of the origin of Hindu practices, both cultural and religious. It seems that the big reason the book is being blocked is because fundamental purists do not want there to be any challenge to their beliefs.

How can you not see that as wrong?

Should we ban any book that presents an alternative view to a topic?

Should any work from Samuel Noah Kramer, a famed Sumerologist, be banned if it happens to include a translation of the Atrahasis myth, which recounts the Biblical flood myth, minus Yhvh, several thousand years before the Hebrew Bible?

Should any volume detailing the history of Joseph Smith and Mormonism as anything other than his actually having read solid gold plates that told of Israelite encounters with Native Americans?

How about the numerous deaths associated with Scientology? Should no one ever write about those, or try to expose the Church of Scientology for the Ponzi scheme that it is?

Better yet, should ATS even exist? This website is dedicated to alternative views that go against mainstream acceptance. According to you, nothing on ATS should be allowed to exist, right?


~ Wandering Scribe



posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 06:08 AM
link   
Foriegn intellectuals have been teaching Indians about their own history. In this process, Indian history and culture ends up becoming discounted. distorted and denigrated. The aryan invasion myth, which was the result of misinterpretation of hindu texts and archalogical findings, is a prime example. This isn't about free speech as much as it is about pushing peoples buttons.



posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 06:32 AM
link   

sk0rpi0n
Foriegn intellectuals have been teaching Indians about their own history. In this process, Indian history and culture ends up becoming discounted. distorted and denigrated. The aryan invasion myth, which was the result of misinterpretation of hindu texts and archalogical findings, is a prime example. This isn't about free speech as much as it is about pushing peoples buttons.


Yes, I agree that modern scholarship arose in Germany in the early nineteenth century, and that it often reaches erroneous conclusions. Nevertheless, one of the strengths of the academic method is that one researcher's findings can be freely disputed by another. This process of disputation is held in public, whether in lecture halls or publications. India has long had its own tradition of public disputation. Why are the Right Wing, who pride themselves on their conservatism, now abandoning this noble tradition of public disputation in favor of censorship? It is not only hypocritical, it is un-Indian!



posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 07:12 AM
link   

@ DJW001.....

one of the strengths of the academic method is that one researcher's findings can be freely disputed by another. This process of disputation is held in public, whether in lecture halls or publications. India has long had its own tradition of public disputation. Why are the Right Wing, who pride themselves on their conservatism, now abandoning this noble tradition of public disputation in favor of censorship? It is not only hypocritical, it is un-Indian!
In the present, only a micro-minority of Indians are inclined towards things like ''public disputation'' and debates etc. The overwhelming majority of Indians are extremely receptive to any idea thats projected onto them...especially ideas about ancient history because they percieve it as being irrelevant to their daily grind. Things like cultural identity on a NATIONAL scale and HISTORICAL context don't matter to the average Indian.



new topics

top topics



 
8
<<   2 >>

log in

join