Tuesday, November 3, 2009

is it worth it?

Actually, i see all the information available about her and conclude that engaging with her ideas will make me so angry that it wont be worth it.

i'll give you a sample. Apparently she came across the Jeffrey Kripal piece about Ramakrishna and Vivekananda maybe being sexually involved, and this shattered her world view because she's worshiped them since she was a child (i.e. people you feel strongly about must never behave in ways that you will disapprove, particularly historical figures who have minds the size of the universe and basically, and rightfully, in my opinion, don't give a shit what you think)

I quote the piece to which i refer:

"Invading The Sacred - By Aditi Banerjee

In college, I was exposed to Jeffrey Kripal's "theory" of Sri
Ramakrishna as a homosexual who had homoerotic feelings about (and possibly abused) Swami Vivekananda. It was presented to me not as speculation but as an academically established and authoritative truth. All my life, I had looked upon Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda as holy saints who had revived Hinduism during colonial rule in India. I had a picture of Sri Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi to which I daily offered aarti, and I eagerly read Swami Vivekananda's complete works--one of the few compilations on Hinduism widely available in English that is written from a Hindu perspective. They had been my portal to Hinduism, but I felt shaken by these academic allegations. Instinctively, I knew such claims were baseless, and yet, these claims were made and vouched for by bona fide professors with Ivy League credentials, so they could not be completely wrong.

Could they?"

Ok, shes:

1. Definitely NOT like me

2. Believes sex (possibly homosexual sex?) is dirty

3. Does not believe that gods should have sex (odd, since she's a Hindu, seems to me thats a lot of what our gods do, and good for them too)

4. Still believes that challenging ideas with Ivy League credentials is a subversive act. No, seriously, this is a little shocking, considering the rest of the planet does it on a regular basis, with thought and action.

Also, she inhabits a very self-congratulatory community, favoring hindutva, on which such ideas are bandied around, with a deep seriousness:

And i quote again:

"Tavleen Singh wrote a nice little piece on Invading the Sacred in todays IE http://www.indianexpress.com/story/203405.html. Like Tavleen, I am a sceptical of Indians starting the fight back in India
I re-emphasize - if this is going to be turned around it will have to start in the West. Even Herculean intellectuals such as Sita Ram Goel or Ram Swarup could not turn the tide in their own life-time. The following problems apply

1- In India - there is institutional sanction to certain beliefs - aka 'JNU Knows Best'
2- Institutions that propagate said 'only truths' have all been taken over by leftist intellectuals- e.g the ICHR, NCERT etc.
3- Leftist intellectuals believe in two essentials - no original intellectual endeavor on their part;and verbal terrorism on anyone doing original thinking (KS Lal, SR Goel, Ram Swarup, Arun Shourie, Gurumurthy, Bhyrappa - need I go on?)
4- To keep their own backsides stuck to gilded chairs in said institutions - the leftist borrow heavily (also known as 'inspiration' to the likes of Anu Malik) from Hindu studies in the West. They rehash the same works - with many footnotes added to make it look scholarly
5- The Western gurus of Hinduism are prejudiced (by missionary cant) when not hampered (by lack of growing up Hindu). It is easier for them to walk the easy path and merely keep repeating nonsense.

Hindus in the West have some advantages.
1- They are educationally more accomplished having come through the immigration sieve (Rajeev calls it the Innumeracy of the Indian Leftists vs. the Numeracy of the IIT-ians).
2- They are more susceptible to organizing under one umbrella - given that they are a mionority.
3- They have access to a better judicial system from which to launch the challenge.
Once you get a critical mass of successes there - it will inspire the millions back home to take up arms. Heck the ones back home - they love to celebrate Sunita Williams- so I am sure they may like it when Hindus start being anti-establishment rebels."

These comments caused much congratulation for the writer, and serious discussion.

Oh and on a funny note, she's worried that if she does not embrace her status an an 'American Hindu', Hinduism will die:

"Why? Why have and adopt a Hindu-American identity? First, because it is necessary for the survival of the religion. Religions that are stagnant and refuse to change with the times, to adapt to the society in which they are living, die away."

um, theres the population figures. How many people do you think are afraid that hinduism will die out?

No, i am not going to engage with this person. It would be a waste of my time.



Beq said...

well put...in fact, thank you. When I read her screed, I was damn depressed. This goes a long way in raising the gloom.

Sue said...


Sue said...

Heaven preserve us from these NRI wannabe Shiv Sena types.

shonedeep said...


kochab said...

Please, these holier than thou types make me sick. Does she and her ilk know that when we pray to a shivling we are actually praying to what is supposed to be Shiva's phallus? I'll bet that little bit of information will make her faint. Embracing her identity as "American-Hindu" so as to not let Hindusim die? Hindusim is too ancient a religion to die and besides, look at our population there is no way Hindusim (or anyother religion practiced in India) is going to die, there are too many of us!!
And honestly the part about NRI's going to though the immigration seive making them smarter (or whatever she meant), huh? Delusional? or severely in need of help? America has a lot of shrinks who can help her.

RBC said...

My God which stone did she crawl out from under. I actually find the thought of Vivekananda and Ramkrishna finding affection with each other extremely touching. It shows they were really human and don't deserve to be hung on walls with flowers around them and one of those tacky flickering electric diyas in front of em. Poor things. There are few fates worse than being deified by the Hindus.