- (december 2013)
Hindu fundamentalism is funny. (May 2015)
One of the most important books ever published on Hinduism,
Wendy Doniger's 683-page "The Hindus - An Alternative History" (2010), still
cannot be found in India.
The ultra-nationalist political agitator Dinanath Batra sued its
publisher and the publisher withdrew the book from the Indian market.
The lawsuit was based on a law (Hate Law Speech Section #295A, enacted in 1927
by the British under pressure from the Muslim community)
that de facto allows courts to punish religious blasphemy.
This Dinanath Batra has a history of Hinduist propaganda and anti-Hinduist
censorship. Far from being an isolated crazy nut, in 1999 the Indian government
appointed him to sanitize school textbooks in order to emphasize Hinduism.
The result is very close to what Nazism and Communism did in the old days in
Germany and in the Soviet Union.
the very state of Gujarat, the state long ruled by India's current prime minister
Narendra Modi, adopted six hilarious text books written by Batra that belong
to the infamous tradition of Indian revisionist history, the school of thought
according to which ancient Indians had already invented the atomic bomb,
used airplanes for transportation,
had calculated the speed of light with absolute accuracy,
were already familiar with genetics, and,
of course, had discovered America way before Columbus.
If these things had happened in a Muslim country, the West would be up in
arms against the religious bigots, extremists and radicals.
And if a Muslim minority tried to influence the textbooks used in Western schools,
the Western media would devote endless debates to the intolerance of Muslims.
Surprise: Indian groups in the USA have in fact demanded that textbooks be
changed to remove historical references to the caste system and to the practice
of suttee (the burning of women on their husbands' funeral pyres); a fact
that has gone mostly unnoticed in the USA (admittedly because Indians, unlike
some Muslims, don't blow up blasphemous people).
Meanwhile, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are persecuted in India the
same way they are in Islamic countries: most of them are run by Christians
and the Hindu nationalists accuse them of trying to convert Hindus to
Christianity. This is exactly what happens in the Islamic theocracy of Iran
and in the Islamic fascist regime of Saudi Arabia; and, lo and behold, in
nearby Pakistan, another Islamic republic.
One wonders if Hinduism, that used to be one of the most tolerant religions
in the world, could be going down the way of Islam; i.e. if today we could
the birth of the Hindu equivalent of the Wahabi sect that eventually spawned
the violent Islamic fundamentalism of our days.
Will my website be banned in India if i write that all the stories about Shiva, Vishnu,
and all the other Indian deities are as accurate as the stories about
Spiderman and the Fantastic Four the same way my website is banned in Saudi Arabia
because i wrote that Mohammed was not a prophet?
- Articles on India before 2015