April 2010


One hopes that our PM, who normally spends sleepless nights over the distress of  Indians overseas (albeit when it makes a difference in vote bank politics) and his government’s effort to offer legal help makes some difference for these hapless Indians.

Seventeen Indians given death sentence for allegedly killing one Pakistani.

Perhaps that’s what the perceived value of a non-muslim Indian, in the Islamic Middle East, is, despite the best daydream of our now-disgraced-and-expulsed  Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr Shashi Tharoor, that another Middle East country, i.e. Saudi Arabia, could act as a “valuable interlocutor” between India and Pakistan.

One wonders why India, the reportedly the  second largest business partner of UAE  cannot be more assertive.

Why can’t our so called liberal, investigative, sting-loving  media raise public awareness on this issue?

Is it because there are no secular browine points or no page three appeals in fighting for these poor, unglamourous Indians?

 

Amnesty slams UAE for ‘torturing’ Indians

IANS / Abu Dhabi

Amnesty International has urged the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to investigate the alleged torture and forced confession of 17 Indian prisoners accused of killing a Pakistani.

The detainees were found guilty last month over the murder in the emirate of Sharjah and were sentenced to death.

This is a mockery of justice. These 17 men have been tortured, forced to confess and sentenced to death based on a faked video,” Amnesty’s deputy director for Middle East and North Africa Hassiba Hadj Sharaoui said.

The rights group has asked the UAE authorities to probe the allegations of torture and abuse and ensure the 17 men receive a fair trial on appeal, Press TV reported Saturday.

Citing evidence provided by Indian rights group Lawyers For Human Rights International (LFHRI), Amnesty said: “The 17 men were beaten with clubs, given electric shocks, deprived of sleep and forced to stand on one leg for prolonged periods.”

The group also condemned UAE officials for notifying the prisoners about their death sentences 16 days after the verdict was issued. The accused have lodged an appeal and are due to be heard in court May 19.

Authorities in the UAE have made no comment about the allegations.

 

Families of those on UAE Death Row meet in Punjab village, send out SOS

Amrita Chaudhry Posted online: Thursday , Apr 01, 2010 at 0332 hrs

Jaitu (Faridkot district) : Arvinder Singh, 21, could have been among the 17 sentenced to death by a Sharjah shariah court for killing a Pakistani man and injuring three others. He was among 70 people picked up soon after the incident in January last year. After spending about three months in jail, Arvinder was released. But he is not celebrating. His brother, Sukhjinder Singh, 22, is among those handed the death sentence.

Sixteen of the 17 accused hail from Punjab. Most families gathered today in Jaitu, about 115 km from Ludhiana, to launch an appeal asking both the state and Central governments to intervene in the case.

Among them was 96-year-old Anek Singh, grandfather of Arvinder and Sukhjinder. “Both the state government and the Indian government must intervene as soon as possible and help bring our sons back. They are innocent. We have 15 days to appeal,” he said.

Arvinder, who returned to his home in Patti district in June last year, claims that all the accused have been framed. “We were all picked up from different places and named as accused. Many of us did not even know each other. Some were picked up from the airport, while they were returning to India after their contracts had ended. Others, like my brother and me, were picked up from our homes,” said Arvinder.

“I have no clue about this fight or where it took place. My brother and I were sleeping in our room with other men when the police raided our place and rounded us all up. I am free but my brother is facing death sentence. I have to get him back home,” he said.

Barring the 17 on death row, all the rest have been released. “The worst thing was that we never knew what was happening. There was nobody to explain anything to us. We were never taken to court and were informed about the proceedings of the court in jail itself,” said Arvinder. “For the first three days, we were kept in police remand. All of us were tortured and not given any food or water. The situation became better when we were sent to jail,” he said.

On reports that the fight was over the illegal liquor business in the Al Sajaa area of Sharjah, he said: “There were some people who used to sell liquor to construction workers living in the area. We would often go and work with them when we did not have any other job.”

The families are set to meet Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur on Thursday. The minister said today that the government would extend all support to them.

Ranjit Kaur’s husband Dharampal is among those facing death sentence. “For almost a year, I never knew he was in jail. It was just a few months back that he told us he was in jail, after his company stopped paying us his salary,” she said.

“I talked to him on Sunday, he sounded fine. He assured me that he would be back in a month or so. The news about the death sentence shattered my world,” said Ranjit, who has two minor children,

Another accused is Baljeet Singh, who was the sole breadwinner of his family. His widowed mother and younger brother are living with his uncle Daljeet Singh in Aitiana village near Raikot, Jagraon. “Baljeet has always maintained that he is innocent. He said he didn’t even know what the charges against him were. This is like a bad dream,” said Daljeet.

Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Patti, said: “My brother Kulwinder Singh told me that they have been framed. They were picked up by the police from their room at night. My brother was not involved in the fight, but nobody is listening to him. Language is also a huge problem.”

“We are all poor, and have no access to the people in power. It is sad that neither Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal nor Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal have come to our help. The government is our only hope now,” said Jagdev Singh, father of Sukhjot Singh, 23, who is among the accused.

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Sylvain Levi (1863-1935), French scholar, Orientalist and Indologist:

 ….from Persia to the Chinese sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!

Pierre Sonnerat (1748 – 1814), French naturalist and Explorer:

.. India, in her splendor, gave religions and laws to all the other peoples; Egypt and Greece owed to her both their fables and their wisdom…. Ancient India gave to to the world its religions and philosophies…. it is known that Pythagoras went to India to study under Brahmins, who were the most enlightened of human beings

Friedrich Majer (1771-1818), English statesman:  

It will no longer remain to be doubted that the priests of Egypt and the sages of Greece have drawn directly from the original well of India,

Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire (1694-1774), French writer and philosopher:

I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, – astronomy, astrology, metapsychosis,.. It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganges to learn geometry…But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins’ science not been long established in Europe…It did not behove us, who were only savages and barbarians when these Indians were civilised and learned, to dispute their antiquity.

 

India – The Mother of Western Civilization

 Radhasyam Brahmachari

 

Whenever the Western scholars begin a discussion on any branch of their knowledge such as literature, philosophy, science, mathematics, astronomy etc., they always start from Greece. Thus they try to convince that the Greek or Hellenic civilization is the fountainhead of today’s Occidental wisdom and people like Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras etc. were the authors of their cultural heritage. In this way they try to project that the present Western civilization grew independently in Greece and hence it was not indebted to civilization of any other group of people.

But Sir William Jones, the founder of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta, put a big question mark on the above Western notion. Sir Jones was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in Calcutta by the East India Company and he therefore came to Calcutta in 1773. After day’s work, he started to learn Sanskrit in the evening and appointed Pundit Jagannath Tarkapanchanan to assist him as a private tutor. As soon as he entered the vast treasure of Sanskrit literature, Jones could discover many similarities between Sanskrit and the ancient European languages like Greek, Celtic, old German, old Saxon and so on. He could also notice that many Sanskrit words had entered Greek and Latin vocabulary without little alteration. He could detect that the English ‘mother’ has been derived gradually from ‘modar’ in old English and old Saxon, ‘moder’ in old German, ‘mathir’ in old Irish, ‘motre’ in old Albenian, ‘mair’ in old Armenian, ‘mater’ in Latin, ‘meter’ in Greek and ultimately from ‘matri’ in Sanskrit.

In a similar manner, today’s English word ‘father’ has been derived from ‘fader’ in old English, ‘faeder’ in old Saxon, ‘fater’ in old Armenian, ‘pater’ in Latin and Greek and ultimately from ‘pitri’ in Sanskrit. In a similar, ‘brother’ from Sanskrit ‘bhratri’; ‘vagina’ from Sanskrit ‘bhagni’; ignite, ignition etc. from Sanskrit ‘agni’; ‘night’ from  Sanskrit ‘nakta’ and so on. A comprehensive list of such similarities is so vast that it given birth to a new branch of knowledge called Comparative Philology.

But vanity and European pride of Sir Jones prevented him to confess the truth that Sanskrit was the mother of all the European languages including his mother tongue English. So he had to invent a trick to save his face and said that all the European languages and Sanskrit had been derived from a still older language, which has now become obsolete. Thus he tried to establish a theory that the said older language is themother of Sanskrit and all the European languages of today and hence the Sanskrit and the European languages belong to a same group called Indo-European group of languages. To make his theory credible, he also said that a group of people, perhaps used to live in Asia-minor and speak in that language. This hint was later on utilized by Max Muller and according to him the said group of people were Aryans who finally scattered over a vast stretch of land and built up a civilization known as Arian civilization. And thus he laid the foundation stone of the so called Aryan Invasion Theory, which has now been rejected by most of the historians of the world.

So long India was under the domination of the British, they could successfully distort the thought process of the people of this country by introducing all these lies into school and college curricula. As a result, many of the so called educated Indian still believe that a group or race of people called Aryan, came from outside India nearly 2500 or 3000 B.C. and they occupied this country by defeating its sons of the soil, and at the same time, they destroyed the Harappan civilization of the Dravidians. But the discovery of the ancient River Saraswati has shattered all those fabricated stories of the Western scholars. World famous archaeologist Sir Laurelstein excavated nearly 1600 sites on the bank of the River Saraswati and conclusively proved that the Saraswati Civilization was a part of the vast Vedic Civilization and the civilization now known a the Mahenjo-daro or Harappan Civilization was simply a part of the Vedic Saraswati Civilization. Many has also been able to decipher the arappanHarappan scripts and succeeded to prove that it was nothing but an ancient version of Brahmi and the language of the text was Sanskrit.

So, it has become evident today that the said Aryan Invasion Theory was a fraud and had been invented by the European scholars and later on propagated by the colonial British rulers simply to subdue the people of this country and also to establish their illegal occupation of India on an ethical ground. It has also become evident today that the all the European languages, which, according to William Jones were the members of the so called Indo-European group of languages, had been derived from Sanskrit. Furthermore, scholars also agree that, migration deed take place, not to India but, from India to almost all over the world and these Indian immigrants carried Sanskrit with them. The also agree that the word Europe was derived from Sanskrit ‘surupa’ and these Indian immigrants were the authors of  ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, Rome, Greece, North and South America and so on.

Every Indian should be proud to know that Parasya, the original name of Persia or Iran, was derived from Sanskrit ‘parasu’ the battle axe which Lord Parasu Ram, an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, used to carry.  He should also be glad to know that the great Roman Empire was the creation of immigrant ksatriyas of India, who settled in Italy and founded the city of Rome, named after Lord Rama, the king of ayodhya. One should also notice that in Italian it is spelled Roma, not Rome, still today. According to E. Pococke, originally the name of the city was Rama and later on, Sanskrit long ‘a’ was replaced by ‘o’. There is another city in Italy, Ravenna, which many believe, has been derived from Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka. Ancient Romans used to wear dhoti and cremate the dead. Still today one finds numerous statues of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha and the most spectacular statue of Lord Shiva is standind beside a public fountain at a road square in Bologna. Roman priests were called ‘Pontiffs’ and scholars  believe that the word has been coined from Sanskrit ‘Pundit’. They are also convinced that the word ‘Vatican’ has been derived from Sanskrit ‘Vatika’.

Once upon a time, the two countries Norway and Sweden, collectively called Scandinavia, were ruled by Shri Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva. It is well known that, Skanda was the other name of Shri Kartikeya and the land was therefore called Skandanavi. And scholars agree that today’s Scandinavia is a corrupt of Sanskrit Skandanavi. Similarly, the Caspian Sea was named after Rishi Kasyapa and words like August, Augustine, Augustus etc. were derived from Rishi Agastya. Arka is the other name of the sun and Sanskrit arka became arak in the West, just as dharma became dharma and karma became karam in Northern India. Gradually this arak became araak and finally today’s Iraq. In a similar manner, Surya the sun became today’s Syria.

It would be really perplexing to every Indian to know that Lord Krishna, the son of Devaki, became Apollo in Greece. Radhakanta is the other name of Lord Krishna and, as Radha is a woman and abala (physically weak), He is also known as Abalakanta, and this Abala gradually became Apollo in Greece. Scholars also agree that the Greek god Zeus was no other than Lord Shiva of Kailash. They also agree that early Indian settlers in Greece came from Rajagriha of Magadha (today’s Rajgir in the state of Bihar). As they migrated from Rajagriha or simply ‘griha’, were called ‘Graihkas’ or ‘Graihakos’. Through passage of time, this ‘Graihako’ became ‘Graecus’ and finally ‘Greek’. In a similar manner, Sanskrit ‘griha’ became Greece.

As said above, the early Indian settlers were from Magadh, and people from Magadh were called Madadhan in Greece. After passage of time this ‘Magadhan’ became ‘Makedan’ or ‘Macedan’, and finally ‘Macedonia’, the birth place of Alexander. Where from the name Alexander had been derived?  A man of incomparable beauty in this world is called ‘Alokasundar’ in Sanskrit and after passage of time, Sanskrit ‘Alokasundar’ became ‘Alexander’ in Greece. It may be mentioned here that there are many variations variuations in spelling of Alexander in Europe and a few of them are Alexandre, Aleksander, Aleksunder and so on, and these variations supports the above view.

Thousands of years ago people belonging to the tribe of Bhil left their dwelling place Hamman in Afghanistan and settled in Greece, where there chiefs were called Bhilpos, a corrupt of Bhilpati. Gradually this Bhilpos became Philips, the tribe to which Alexander belonged. So, it becomes evident that fore-fathers of Alexander originally were inhabitants of Hamman in Afghanistan, who later on migrated to Greece.

There is a small place called Attak lying on the bank River Indus and nearly 942 miles north of the Arabian Sea. These people, after migrating to Greece, named their new dwelling place as Attak-sthan, which after passage of time, gradually became Atakthan Or Atthan and finally Athens, the great ancient city of Greece. The migrants from Ayodhya were called Ayodhan (people of Ayodhya) in Greece. Later on, this Ayodhan became Ionan and from Ionan, names like Ionian Island, Ionian Sea were derived. These migrants from Ayodhya were also known as Cul-ait-Ram (Family of Ram), which ultimately became Call-id-Romos. Scholars believe that a group of these people, later on, migrated to Italy and founded the Roman Empire and the city of Roma. And another branch of them migrated to Peru in South America.

Shali is a kind of fine rice and desh-shali stands for the place where this kind of rice  is cultivated. Such a place of desh-shali in Greece became Thessali, a province in Greece. Himadri is the other name of Himalay, where ‘him’ stands for cold and ‘adri’ stands for a mountain. And from this ‘adri’, the name of the sea between Greece and Italy was named the Adriatic Sea. Falguni or Phalgooni was the other name of Arjuna. This Phalgooni in Greece became Phalgoonus and the settlement of the descendants of Phalgoonus was called Phalgoonia. Today, the place is called Pelagonia, which forms a part of the province of Thessali. Another name of Arjuna was Ajeya or the undefeatable. In Greece, this Ajeya became Aegeus and his descendants were called Aigaios. And from Aegeus, the adjoining sea became Aegean Sea.

The early settlers in Greece were also known as Pelasgians and scholars believe that the word was derived from Pelargos. But pelargos has several meanings. Firstly, Pelargos means sea and hence some scholars beliueve that they were called Pelasgians as those early settlers came to Greece by the sea. Secondly, ‘pelo’ means ‘to till’ and ‘argos’ means ‘land’. So, many believe that those early settlers were tillers of the land, or agricultural people. A third group of scholars believe that those early settlers came from the state of Bihar in India. In those days, Bihar was also known as Pelas, and hence they were called Pelasgians.

Why did the Indians start migrating to Greece and other Western countries in large numbers? And when? Scholars believe that, after the Kurukshetra War the Kshatriya tribes, who fought for the Kauravas and survived the War, began to migrate in large numbers to escape humiliation and persecution by the winner Kshatriyas. According to the most modern estimate, the said War was fought in 3067 B.C., and hence the said migration took place nearly 5000 years ago.

Hella is the other name of Greece and many believe that the name was coined from the mountain Hela, situated in Baluchistan in today’s Pakistan. They also believe that the people of that locality were the first among all other Indian tribes to reach Greece. The contribution of these people from Hela mountain, who were sun worshippers, played a vital role in Greek history and civilization. From this Hela, the Greek name Helios for the sun was derived. The settlement of these Hela people was called Hela-des or land of Hela, which ultimately became today’s Helados.

 There was a group of people who lived near the mouth of River Indus, who were experts in long distance sea voyage. These people worshipped snakes and hence were called ‘Phanish’ or king of snakes. Afater passage of time, they were called the Phoenicion sailors. In Greek, word ‘cori’ stands for the mouth of a river. So the people, who migrated from the mouth of Indus were called ‘cori-Indus’. Later on, this ‘cori-Indus’ became ‘Corinthus’ and their settlement became the city of Corinth.

Many believe that the name of the Caucasus mountain was derived from Kaikeyi, the mother of Prince Bharata, the younger brother of Lord Rama. Similarly the names like Christ, Christine, Christopher etc were derived from Krishna; Adamson, Adams etc. from Sanskrit ‘adim’ and  Andrew, Andrews etc. from Sanskrit ‘Indra’. Scholars agree that English ‘man’ and old English ‘mon’ were derived from Sanskrit ‘Manu’. Scholars also believe that names like Harry, Harris, Harrison etc. were corrupts of Sanskrit Hari. The renowned German scholar Max Muller was fully convinced that, ‘Max’ was a corrupt of Sanskrit ‘moksha’ and whenever he wrote a letter in Sanskrit, he used to sign it as Moksha Muller. Furthermore, during his stay at Oxford, he used to write ‘Gotirtha Nagar, in stead of Oxford. 

In Sanskrit, the word ‘kulish’ stands for lightening and Harikulish was the other name of Lord Balarama. In Greece, this ‘Harikulish’ became ‘Hercules’. Hara is the other name of Lord Shiva and, in Greece, this ‘Hara’ became ‘Haro’. Scholars also believe that the English words ‘hero’, ‘hurrah’ etc were derived from Sanskrit ‘Hara’. The English word ‘amazon’ stands for a woman warrior, or more commonly for a tall, strong and masculine woman. Scholars agree that the word was derived from ‘Uma’, the wife of Lord Shiva. In Sanskrit, ‘Umasuta’ means son of Uma. In Greece, this ‘Umasuta’ became ‘Umasuna’ or ‘Umasun’ or ‘Umasoon’ and hence ‘Umasoona’ stood for Uma’s daughter. With passage of time, ‘Umasoona’ became ‘Umazoona’ or ‘Umazona’, and ultimately “Amazon’.

In Sanskrit, ‘ap’ means water. In many places, including Northern India and Arabia, this ‘ap’ became ‘ab’, and thus the land of pancha (five) ‘ab’ became Punjab. In a similar manner, the sacred water of the well Zem Zem in Mecca became ‘ab-e- Zem Zem. Scholars believe that the name of the Russian River Ob is also a corrupt of Sanskrit ‘ap’. They also believe that the name of the River Volga was derived from Sanskrit ‘falgu’. They are also convinced that the name of the River Danube was derived from Sanskrit ‘dhanya (paddy)+ ob’ and hence it implies that once upon a time, paddy was cultivated on the banks of the River Danube. In Sanskrit, ‘dhara’ means flow and ‘am’ means mighty and the name of the River Amu Darya is a corrupt of Sanskrit ‘am + dhara’ and similarly, the name of the River Syr Darya is a corrupt of Sanskrit ‘Sri + dhara’. Scholars also agree that the name of the River Nera in Yugoslavia was derived from Sanskrit ‘neera’ (water); River Odra in Poland from Sanskrit ‘ardra’ (wet); the Siberian river Uda from Sanskrit ‘udaka’ (water) and the river Vah in Czechoslovakia from Sanskrit ‘vah’ (to flow).

Most of the scholars agree that the Greek epics Iliad and Odyssey are nothing but imitations of Ramayana. The prime story of Ramayana is abduction of Sita by Ravana and liberating her from captivity by Rama. Similarly the Greek epics narrate abduction and liberation of Helen, the Queen of Troy.

How were the names of the celebrated Hellenic scholars derived? Scholars believe that Sanskrit ‘arya’ became ‘aristo’ in Greece and from this ‘aristo’ names like Aristotle, Aristarchus and English words like aristocrat, aristocracy etc have been derived. They also believe that Socrates was a corrupt of ‘Sukracharya’ or ‘Sukra’. In Sanskrit, ‘vidyapith’ means a place of learning and ‘vidyapith guru’ stands for a teacher or ‘acharya’. In Greece, this ‘vidyapith guru’ became simply ‘pith guru’, which after passage of time, became ‘pithgoras’ and from this ‘pithgoras’, finally the English word Pythagoras was derived.

So, it becomes evident that the scholars who believed to have authored the Greek or Hellenic civilization, were, in fact, Kshatriya immigrants from India. And hence it can safely be said that, India is the mother of civilization, which is now known as Hellenic or Greek civilization. Or in broader sense, India is the mother of today’s Western civilization.

 For Further Reading: 

  • India in Greece, By E. Pococke.
  • The History of Greece, By G. Gronte. 
  • The Social Conditions of the Greeks, By Rev. J. B. Ottley.
  • Sanskrit and Modern Medical Vocabulary, By A. Bagchi. 

Wendy Doniger denigrates Hindus once again

 

Arindam Bandyopadhyay.

  

The latest book of Wendy Doniger, the portrayed western expert of Hinduism, lecturer and author of many books and articles, and a leader with many followers including a stream of PhDs,  The Hindus – An Alternative History, (THAAH) has been on the news in recent times, earning praise and condemnation, alike from relevant circles. However a lot of Hindus, of whom, she intended to narrate an alternative history, are not quite impressed by her efforts. Many believe that the book is a false representation of Hindus and would perpetuate the demeaning representation of Hinduism that prevails in western beliefs and literature. Some have already expressed their resent in various forms including letters, articles and even protest marches.

The book which was considered by New York Times for the National Book Critics Award in the nonfictional category, thankfully, failed to make it.

Wendy Doniger’s homepage at the University of Chicago Divinity School website clearly states that, “Wendy Doniger’s research and teaching interests revolve around two basic areas, Hinduism and mythology. Her courses in mythology address themes in cross-cultural expanses, such as death, dreams, evil, horses, sex, and women; her courses in Hinduism cover a broad spectrum that, in addition to mythology, considers literature, law, gender, and psychology”.

Her Oxford dissertation was “The Origins of Heresy in Hindu Mythology.”

Some of her other works includes, Asceticism and Eroticism in the Mythology of Siva; The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology; Women, Androgynes, and Other Mythical Beasts and Tales of Sex and Violence: Folklore, Sacrifice, and Danger in the Jaiminiya Brahmana.

The titles of her books confirm that she likes to play with Hindu sentiments with a sort of perverted, demeaning, sexual titillation.

She claims she loves Hinduism but she is not a practicing Hindu. It is quite obvious that there is a particular aspect of Hinduism that she is more interested to explore and has spent her whole career building on it.

The aspects of Vedic knowledge and wisdom, spirituality and philosophy; cosmology and astronomy; contributions to science, medicine and mathematics; literature, music and arts does not find much place in her depiction of Hinduism, unlike other scholars who had better understood and acknowledged India and Hinduism. For example, William James (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher, had commented, “From the Vedas we learn a practical art of surgery, medicine, music, house building under which mechanized art is included. They are encyclopedia of every aspect of life, culture, religion, science, ethics, law, cosmology and meteorology.”

According to Wendy Doniger however, “Intoxication, though not addiction, is a central theme of the Veda, since the sacrificial offering of the hallucinogenic juice of the soma plant was an element of several important Vedic rituals.” (THAAH, Chapter 5, P 122, line 1)

The statement as well as its reasoning is amusing but not when one feels that this is what a so-called authority has to say about the Vedas. It seems nothing but a deliberate malicious statement. It is distasteful and disgusting to even attempt to counter such an argument. 

It is true that the understanding of Hindu scriptures depends on one’s level of understanding. A skeptic’s interpretation is not expected to be the same as that of a faithful one. A common man’s understanding would be quite different from that of the revelation of an enlightened yogi.

In Chapter 1 of her book, Doniger wrote quite at length to answer her own question as to who is a Hindu. It is worth remembering that the French philosopher and writer, Alain Danielou (1907-1994) had once said, “I believe any sensible man is unknowingly a Hindu…”

One can argue that, “He, who believes he is a Hindu, is a Hindu”. Unlike other major religions of the world, Hinduism is spontaneous – no compulsion, no allurement, no proselytizing, no soul harvesting. Hindus accept and embrace different paths that lead to dharma, truth and righteousness. There is no dogmatic book or prophet; there is no collective council of religious leaders trying to separate convenient distillate of truth from uncomfortable mixtures of facts, deceptions and arguments. The followers of Hinduism, one of the most ancient religions of the world, do not protest with mass violence or do not issue fatwas. They have no problems in tolerating other religions but expect reciprocal respect for their own.

There are many histories of Hindus that have been written and many translations of scriptural texts that have been made. Scholars have made various interpretations of these original and translated versions to further elaborate their ideas.

Unfortunately, topics of Hindu’s and Indian history that had preoccupied most of such scholars were the desire to minimize the glory and worldwide significance of Indian civilization, the perceived conquest of India by the so called Aryans and other variations of the Aryan invasion theories, polytheism, idol worshipping, brahmanical tyranny and casteism, sati and women oppression and of course eroticism including Kama Sutra, Shiva Lingam and the naked demonic goddess, Kali, to name a few.

Wendy Doniger does not deviate much from this common theme but tries to make it appear more scholarly with her ‘academic’ touch. Her interpretation and representations of Hinduism, based on speculations and research of questionable websites and equally dubious books, written often by debatable personalities, some of them being her own students, is skewed and far away from what true Hinduism, as perceived by other eminent scholars and intellectuals, Hindu or non-Hindu, is.

A century ago, Louis Francois Jacolliot (1837-1890), French diplomat & author, had said, “India of the Vedas entertained a respect for women amounting to worship; a fact which we seem little to suspect in Europe when we accuse the extreme East of having denied the dignity of woman, and of having only made her an instrument of pleasure and of passive obedience…  What! Here is a civilization, which you cannot deny to be older than your own, which places the woman on a level with the man and gives her an equal place in the family and in society.”

Doniger, of course, does not agree with that.

In the preface of her book, THAAH, (page 1), she introduces, “It tells a story that incorporates the narratives of and about alternative people – people who, from the standpoint of most high-caste Hindu males, are alternative in the sense of otherness, people of other religions or cultures, or castes, or species (animals), or genders (women). Part of my agenda in writing an alternative history is to show how much the groups that conventional wisdom says were oppressed and silenced and played no part in the development of the tradition – women, Pariahs (oppressed castes, sometimes called Untouchables) – did actually contribute to Hinduism.”

This narration says it all.

She straightaway starts with caste, fancifully divides Hindus into conventional and alternative, paints the ‘High caste Hindu males’ as conventional (villains?), lumps everybody else as alternative, including other religions too and in the process equates animals with women, claims they were silenced and not allowed to contribute but then refutes her own claim by projecting her agenda to show us how they did contribute.

One would like to ask her whether the contribution of the alternative group is in her imagination alone. For if there is a true contribution then the very basis for her imaginary division into conventional and alternative people falls apart.

True, she is absolutely entitled to make her choice but what she forgets is that, as a non-Hindu, she is dissecting the faiths and believes of the followers of the world’s third largest religious group of over 900 million people, belonging to one of the ancient religion that has been around for 10000 years.

She first describes most stories as mythological but then tries to look at their aberrations and presents and interprets them as truth, an effort that is contradictory by itself. Then she interweaves them into history, society and religiosity of Hindus with clear intent of denigration.

Like most of her predecessors, a large part of the book deals with eroticism and sexuality as well as character assassination of important figures in Hindu scriptures and history. Sex is not a taboo in Hindu literature. But even when a ‘scholarly mind’ tries to use sex and the limited tool of Freudian psychoanalysis, (itself a controversial theory with many opponents) as the main means of interpreting life, including spirituality of the whole human race, across ages and cultures, it is not surprising that it will incur mistakes and misrepresentations.

It is difficult for a believer in Hinduism to keep on reading the book without feeling repulsed on every page. One can possibly go on and on to enlist its numerous misrepresentations, its deviations from the truth, its biased presentation and its sensationalized story-telling but it becomes a futile exercise.

Besides, even a cursory reading reveals casual and factual mistakes mentioned in the book, such as,

a)    Chapter 16, page 456, Line 10 mentions Mt. Abu in Gujarat when actually it is in Rajasthan.

b)    The elixir of immortality from churning the ocean of milk, as mentioned in chapter 17, Page 470, Line 23, was not Soma, but Amrit

Coming from a perceived authority, it is not only disturbing but it raises serious questions of the motive of such ‘scholarly’ writings.

Wendy Doniger claims her training is not as a historian (THAAH, Chapter 1, P 3, line 20) but she writes an ‘alternative’ history. Neither is she an archeologist but she does dig into the Hindu history, culture and religion to explore filth.

 One can only request her to leave the Hindus alone.  Hindus are happy with their traditional view; they do not want to appreciate such biased alternative history and explanations.  She should feel fortunate that she got away with such cheap and derogatory remarks about a religion followed by over billion people and did not feel the wrath that the Danish Cartoonist or Salman Rushdie are facing today.

Also read

Hinduism and Zionism

For those who still believe in ‘sanity’ in Christianity.

 

Benedict XIV: Papal Infallibility to Moral Frailty  

Sandhya Jain

31 Mar 2010

 

The Promised Land is a far horizon; what beckons is a treacherous infamy. The imperious Pope Benedict XIV, once the awesome Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and head of Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (read Inquisition, 1981-2005), is at the receiving end of an Inquisitorial Flock demanding his Shepherd’s baton.

Perhaps the alleged Nostradamus Prophecy is coming true, and the end of the Catholic Church is nigh.

And not a day too soon, in my opinion, as the wrack and ruin accompanying the rise and spread of the Roman Catholic Church over two millennia in Europe, the Americas, Canada, Australia, Africa, is now creeping dangerously into the Asian landmass, home to the world’s great ancient and living civilisations.

Given the intimate relationship between church, empire/kingdom and trade/monopoly, the historical timing of the demand for the Pope’s resignation (read virtual defrock by outraged public opinion) is apt.

It accompanies the decline of American post-Second World War global hegemony, the irreversible economic decline of the West despite all manoeuvres to stave off the coming collapse, and America’s military inability to control a Stone Age people like the Afghans despite its shock and awe armoury. [The Fall seems likely to adversely affect all of Abraham’s offspring, their being too inextricably intertwined with each other to disengage safely, but that need not detain us here].

 

Cannibals of the Creation

In just the last two decades, the Catholic Church’s (and other church denominations) history of sexual abuse of men, women, minor boys, minor girls, married women, youth, even the physically challenged, have been spilling out of the cupboard, shattering its carefully constructed visage as an army of Christ dedicated to the mission of taking the Word and the Light to the dark corners of the world (read Asia).

As every continent and country, virtually every parish, shudders with anguished screams of victims of priestly lust, what has unravelled is an edifice of Apostolic continuity in perpetuating crime and cover-up. At the epicenter of the conspiracy of silence is the Vatican itself, and its crimes are millennia-old. The Soviet Gulags may look like a teddy bear’s picnic once Vatican Archives are opened for public scrutiny; that may happen in this very century. Bliss will it be in that dawn to be alive…  

It’s ironic but apt that the Abrahamic Civilisation – where the God of the Creation made everything in creation a consumable for Man’s enjoyment, and forgot to forbid Man from eating his own kind like some of the lower animals – is falling prey to its own cannibalistic tendency! Priests and Bishops with ‘power’ over their flock literally feasted on the lambs, using their minds and bodies as consumable delicacies and raping, abusing, sodomising with impunity any and all who took their fancy. The institution of Confession – far from aiding the spiritual evolution of the faithful, proved a potent instrument of blackmail of the isolated and atomized individual, and perpetuated the most horrendous traumas a religion can impose upon its own folk – and for no real or imagined crime(s).

With hindsight, it is easy to see why Sigmund Freud, father of modern psychology, viewed every psychological problem of his patients as evidence of a repressed sexual fantasy. What he meant but could not openly say in that era, was that they were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of those they dared not accuse in public. He must have helped them come to terms with the abuse and have closure or at least some solace in their personal lives.

That Western psychology has more or less stuck to this path with minor modifications vindicates my view that Freud invented psychology as a method of helping Church victims of sexual abuse to speak to non-priests about their traumas. It is not surprising that when victims of the church began to go public about their anguish in recent decades, the method by which they established their claims in court was via the psychiatric clinic – through childhood regression, hypnosis, counselling, and so on.

What a denouement – the church is the Original Revolution that has devoured its own children! Her other victims she cares little about, but now, with Biblical precision, her own children shall rise and call her wretched, the flesh-devouring witch of a childhood tale…

 

The Pope must go

Pope Benedict is up to his holy ears in the sex scam hush-up policy; hence the rising chorus for his resignation. The scandal gets murkier by the day. Even the rape of the patriarch Noah by his own son, or the rape of Lot by his own daughters, indigestible as those Biblical truths were, cannot match the dimensions of the current problem.

Only last week, three separate stories suggested Benedict’s direct role in the conspiracy of silence. Father Lawrence Murphy of Wisconsin abused nearly 200 boys at a Milwaukee school for the deaf. Arthur Budzinski, a victim, went public with accusations against the pontiff. His daughter Gigi, said: “The pope knew about this. He was the one who handled the sex abuse cases. So, I think he should be accountable, because he did nothing” [Mike Whitney, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25101.htm, March 29, 2010]

For years now, reams have been written about how the Vatican moved sexual predators from parish to parish, refusing to call the police and give justice to the victims, refusing the defrock the guilty and spare the innocent, and using its doctrinal superiority to perpetuate what must be the worst mass crime in history. It’s a fit case for the Criminal Tribunal at The Hague – if it can be persuaded to prosecute white Christians, that is.

Throughout its long history of sexual abuse, the prime concern of church authorities has been to avoid litigation, specifically, to avoid paying for its crimes by handing over the guilty to the law and giving compensation and therapy to its victims.

In 2009, 67 former students of the Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf in Verona signed a statement describing the sexual abuse, pedophilia and corporal punishment they suffered from the 1950s to the 1980s – yes, 30 years, a lifetime! They named 24 priests, brothers and lay religious men. (“Sex abuse scandal in US, Italy taints papacy,” Nicole Winfield, AP)

As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger was in charge of the escalating crisis, and his response was to silence priests who might talk. He wrote to the Bishops in 2001 to keep sexual abuse allegations secret under threat of excommunication of both the accused priests and the victims of sex crimes; he demanded “a perpetual silence.” (Washington Post)

[Is this is the Cross – or dagger – that he wants to plant in Asia?!]

Benedict has been implicated in the case of Munich priest Father Peter Hullermann, who was suspended in 1979 and rehabilitated in 1980 ‘without restrictions’ even after a psychiatrist described him as a potential danger [the Pope was then the Archbishop of Munich!]. In 1986, Hullermann was convicted of molesting boys in Bavaria.Recently the Pope apologised to Catholics in Ireland for decades of cruelty and abuse. But the fact is that Benedict knew about the abuse, and let it happen. Worse, even as Vatican faces the gravest crises of its modern history, he declared he would not be intimidated by critics, petty gossip, or dominant opinion, and shrugged off calls for his resignation.

An anguished Barbara Blaine, president, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), asserted: we are men, women and children who are in deep pain, having been raped, sodomized and assaulted by Catholic clergy and often betrayed by Catholic officials. Our trauma – past and present – should never be trivialized by anyone, much less by those who profess to be caring shepherds.

Talk of ‘petty gossip’ really hurt because it came from the Pope himself. She said the thousands of victims were doing a public service by courageously speaking out and thus making the church, and society, safer for children by exposing predators and long-hidden secrets and corruption. The Catholic hierarchy can’t pretend to care about victims and also attack them. http://www.snapnetwork.org/snap_statements/2010_statements/032810_pope_talks_today_of_petty_gossip
_clergy_sex_victims_are_hurt_insulted.htm

 

Undaunted Church

Many demand the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady, head of the Irish Church. The stories of child abuse by priests are particularly ghastly, with accounts about victims bashed up for pleasure who later simply ‘disappeared.’ The religion itself protects these sadistic priestly perverts, charges Eamonn McCann [Belfast Telegraph, 25 March 2010. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/eamon-mccann/its-religion-itself-that-protects-these-sadistic-priestly-perverts-14739959.html]

The complete dimensions of the scandal are unknown. Cardinal Sean Brady personally knew of the abuse of at least two children and instead of calling the police, forced the victims to keep quiet about the crime [standard church protocol]. His predecessor, Cahal Daly, was informed in writing about the horrific abuse of an 8-year-old girl, who lost her mind because of the trauma; his response was to promise to pray for the family, and that’s it.

The religion of love!!!

Truly unforgivable is the fact that the night before the rapist arrived in the parish, a senior official of the diocese visited the parochial house where he was to stay and warned the priests there to ‘keep an eye on him’ and try to ensure he never visited homes with children alone. In other words, his history was known (to at least two Bishops), and yet children were wantonly endangered.

In Ontario, Canada, pedophile priest Monsignor Bernard Prince was appointed secretary general of Vatican’s Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith in 1991, despite knowledge of the allegations against him. He retired in 2004. In 2008, he was convicted of molesting 13 young boys between 1964 and 1984; he was defrocked in 2009. http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/786550–vatican-knew-of-allegations-against-ontario-priest-victim

Such stories are now coming out of every parish across the globe. Within India, Dr. Sister Jesme Raphael shattered the conspiracy of silence by speaking out against the sexual abuse and moral depravity in the Kerala Catholic church. In an autobiographical account of her own knowledge and experiences, “Amen” [Malayalam], Sister Jesme bore witness to what happened to her and to other nuns who entered the church in good faith, expecting to lead lives of virtue and service to god and society. What happened behind closed convent doors was rampant exploitation of nuns by priests and same sex relations [Mote and the beam, Sandhya Jain, 3 March 2009, www.vijayvaani.com]

Her story confirmed allegations that church authorities made use of a notorious institution called the Divine Life institution to declare recalcitrant nuns insane. Her frontal assault upon the misdeeds of the church closely followed the arrest of two nuns in the Sister Abhaya rapecum-murder case, which the Catholic Church struggled to suppress for 16 long years; the suicide of Sister Anupama Mary in Kollam and the allegations by Mary’s father of sex abuse by convent superiors.

The History

Whether or not Sex is Man’s Original Sin, it seems to be the oldest and most chronic activity encountered, and forbidden, by the Catholic Church – that too, in vain. This is the suppressed truth of the church, scrupulously documented by three priests in “Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes. The Catholic Church’s 2000-year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse,” [Thomas P. Doyle, A.W. Richard Sipe and Patrick J. Wall, Volt Press, Los Angeles, 2006].

Written after scandals and lawsuits began to rock America, the book demonstrates that sexual abuse of minor boys, girls, women, by priests can be traced back to the time records were kept! A conspiracy of silence was institutionalized, and this allowed the sexual abuse to prosper. Only the recent pressure of exorbitant lawsuits and settlements that endangered church assets triggered church concern about rampaging sexual predators in its ranks. 

–        The oldest known instruction to Church officials, the Didache, dates from the second century AD and commands, ‘Thou shalt not seduce young boys’. [What an interesting Commandment]

–        The Council of Elvira, 309 AD, the earliest recorded gathering of bishops, spelt out 81 Canons; 38 dealt with sex. It excluded from receiving communion ‘bishops, presbyters, and deacons committing a sexual sin’, ‘those who sexually abuse boys’, and ‘people who bring charges against bishops and presbyters without proving their cases’.  

–        St. Peter Damian’s Book of Gomorrah (1051 AD) attacked the sexual immorality of the clergy of his time and the lax superiors who failed to curb it. He condemned priests who defiled men or boys coming for confession, and priests who gave the sacrament of penance to their own victims. He urged Pope Leo IX to act to redress the damage caused by offending clerics – the response was a model of inaction, a prelude to the experience of our own era.

–        Why would the early Church mention such things if they were not rampant?

–        After his elevation as Pope, the first US prelate granted a personal audience with Benedict was Cardinal Bernard Law, who three years previously had resigned in disgrace as archbishop of Boston following revelations that he had systematically moved predator priests from parish to parish, never alerting parents to the danger in which their children were being put. Yet Benedict chose to honour him just 12 days into his papacy.

–        The same attitude was on display in his response to the report three years ago on abuse of children in Ferns, Wexford. In a 271-page document, retired US Supreme Court judge Frank Murphy identified more than 100 allegations against 26 priests. The judge found that the diocese was silencing the victims and protecting the abusers from the law in conformity to standard instructions from Rome. Benedict claimed horror at the behaviour of the priests but made no comment, or apology, at the finding against the Vatican.

 If an institution is found by its own people to protect and nurture rotten apples, can it be permitted to function with impunity in the public domain? With what face does the church talk of the Spirit when the sons of the church are smitten with the sins of the flesh? How can any country permit church officials to operate freely amongst potential victims? The public debate on the future of the church must be truly international for a correct picture to emerge.

 The author is Editor, www.vijayvaani.com

 

Also read

Vatican, Pope and Child Abuse

Catholic Church, Witchcraft and Child Abuse

Goa Inquisition: an example of Christian Terrorism