17 February, 2014


Anand Mathur

It's unfortunate that there has been much hue and cry after Penguin recalled Wendy Doniger’s book, The Hindus. India has a policy of free expression, but one cannot accept blatant insult to its sacred deities and the culture of its land.

All of Wendy’s special works, including The Hindus, revolve around slandering Hindu Gods and Goddesses and the subject of sex in Sanskrit texts. Gods & Goddesses are as sacred to the Hindus as Prophet Muhammad is to Muslims and Jesus Christ is to Christians. Just as one cannot attack Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ, one cannot attack Hindu Gods & Goddesses.

It is the intention behind Wendy’s writings which is questionable. Will she show the same creativity and the same spirit with Islamic heroes and would she then be able to avoid getting beheaded or getting a fatwa issued in her name?

One also fails to understand why most of our intellectuals, aptly called Wendy's children by Rajiv Malhotra, have different criteria for Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen on one hand and Wendy Doniger and her ilks on the other. Will Arundhati Roy and Ramchandra Guha support Wendy if she were to write about the Prophet’s penis size or discuss his prolific sex-life with similar fervor?

Double standards, bias and hatred describe Wendy’s children. I sincerely hope that Arundhati Roy and Ramchandra Guha ask Penguin to cancel their book contracts so as to stop littering of the Indian intellectual street with poop.


sivaraman m.r said...

Obviously she will not as she will be hounded to death. But that is no reason to discard a view point. It is a fact there is kamaautra and the uapnishads co existing in iIndia .that itself speaks volumes for the tolerance of the hinsu religion..
Let wendy and others have their say on hindu religion and that let lead to our better appreciation of our own religion and way oflife
Sivaraman former ED IMF

Narendra Nath Mitra said...

A book has to survive the test of time, so why ban and give unnecessary publicity and moreover it is an individual's view point and if you disagree or defy, please write another book, if required.

suman said...

We may raise our voice intellectualy first, articulating views and then orchestrate such views widely , against such perverted writing. But nowhere we should create an impression of being intolerant,like the practitioners of Semitic Creeds.

Apurba Majumdar said...

I wonder whether these seekers of knowledge (of Hindu religion) who have surfaced after Penguin pulped what seems to be an erotica, have read Radhakrishnan, Surendra Dasgupta, Basham, Kane, or the epics in original.

PN said...

Everybody seems to be repeating the same argument that Wendy may be wrong in trampling Hindu sentiments but that she has a right to her view and must be heard. We ignore the intensity nature and motive of her alternative view. For example if she were to say that Rama Krishna and Vivekananda were not on amicable terms. We would have listened and asked for her reasons for saying that. But instead she says that Rama Krishna and Vivekananda were gay partners. Where is the scope for listening to this sacrilegious alternative view. It is based on a set design of maligning a religion.

Anonymous said...

Book was NOT banned. It was withdrawn and copies pulped once it was found out that it HAD FACTRUAL ERRORS. You can't have a science book selling which says Earth is centre of Universe. Same deal here. All the commentators are missing this simple point!

Anonymous said...

What ever neutral comments/arguments are being given to support Wendy's book; could you please tell me what treatment would be metted out to her had she published a similar book projecting Prophet Muhammad in bad light or write in similar fashion about Jesus Christ. Its simple. Deities being considered sacred for any religion should be left apart from such writings.

Atul Rawat said...

Even if Wendy Doniger's book is not banned and has only been withdrawn by the publisher, one may logically ask the supporters of Wendy Doniger if they would support to remove ban from Pandit M. A. Chamupati's book "Rangeela Rasool" (it was written with almost the same flair as Wendy's book but was targeting Islam while Wendy targeted Hinduism) or Ram Swarup's book "understanding Islam Through Hadis" (both purely a scholarly works) or for that matter any of the banned works of Taslima Nasreen or Salman Rushdie. Why the issue of academic freedom and freedom of expression are not raised in reference to these books? Why it is okey to lampoon Shiva but not okey to make cartoons of Mohammed? That is why for Hindus this is a moral victory first and foremost as it exposes the secular double standards. Intellectually and legally secular counter arguments are sealed and that is why so much of impotent rage on part of the secular lobby.