This is a response to the essay – Hindutva’s science envy, by Meera Nanda.
Disclaimer: I am a practitioner of Sanatana Dharma, who is definitely ticked off by the openly HINDUPHOBIC stance of the gatekeeper cabal. I do not have any political affiliation, nor do I have any personal animosity to any member of the cabal, despite their long checked history of Hinduphobia. My response is a mere adherence to my Dharma to defend Sanatana Dharma.
To make sense of this response essay, one must understand this cabal, its motives, its track record and their impact.
Identifying the gatekeeper cabal
This cabal is not made of few handpicked ones. Anyone who is a Hinduphobe has free unlimited access to the cabal. Media outlets like The Hindu group of publications (owners of Frontline magazine where Meera Nanda’s article has appeared), which practically act like an agency which will not allow any counters or rejoinders to such ridiculous articles are part of this cabal.
This cabal also includes western content creators like Sheldon Pollock, Wendy Doninger, their sepoys like Ananya Vajpeyi and Devdutt Pattanaik. They have their amplifiers and portal owners like NDTV, Barkha Dutt, Sagarika Ghose, Rajdeep Sardesai, who are openly and unashamedly Hinduphobic. Add to these gatekeepers another set of actors like Romila Thapar or Irfan Habib, who being academicians can provide credibility. A good case in point, throwing lines of Aryan Invasion at will to keep the pet theories that are manufactured by other content providers or amplifiers to brainwash the masses.
Various literary festivals conducted in Bharat, where only select authors and actors who are toeing the Hinduphobic angle get a seat at the table, are part of this cabal. The most publicized events are the one dominated by the Hinduphobes.
The actions of this cabal, together or uncoordinated, are simply to keep the other voices out. The cabal has been painting anyone who talks about Hindu Dharma as a Right Wing Hindu or more derisively as a ‘Bhakt’ and looking down upon it as a crime. They bring political color to their arguments. They have reduced even a noble path of bhakti to a ridiculous derogatory political term ‘bhakt’. This chauvinism is now reaching the abyss of its existence. These sepoys shamelessly display this as a badge of honor. The cabal deploys persistent ideas to shame.
But the reason why they need to be cautious is that the tides are changing. There is more awareness about the gatekeepers thanks to undaunted intellectuals like Rajiv Malhotra. There is an increasing understanding about the modus operandi of the gatekeepers and their damaging role to Bharatiya society.
Critiquing the essay
The author makes cheap and deliberate choice of words like melechha. This word is not in use since the ancient times. Will the author dare call the Muslims infidels/heathens or the Christians kafirs, derogatory terms used by Christians and Muslims respectively? Invoking choice of such outdated words only reveals the deep animosity buried in this vitriolic Hinduphobic essay.
Politics is one lens to view society, but if politics is the only lens like the author and her cabal use, it makes no sense.
The tragedy of the author lies in her inability to respect the achievements of our past and learn from it. Today’s Bharatiya cities are a far cry from the well planned cities of the Saraswati Valley Civilisation. Those cities had civic amenities of sewer and water in every household. The danger in highlighting it is the cabal will start decrying about today’s poor conditions. The same argument made by the West and West leaning sepoys when Bharat successfully undertook Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan, when they asked why we should do this when we have so many poor.
Should this cabal be dictating how 1.2 billion should be living?
Meera Nanda is thoroughly confused when she states
“We want the science of the materialist upstarts from the West but cannot let go of our sense of spiritual superiority which makes us think that we are entitled to the status of jagatguru.”
Why should we let go our spirituality and at the same time not make progress in science? Does it mean the Hindu culture came with no worthwhile inventions? What is wrong in reminding the society to be proud of its heritage?
Our roots are the real reason why we have a chance to be great. If we severe it, based on the communistic atheistic cabal working as agents of the West, we do not have any chance to prosper.
Meera’s understanding is based on her big fallacy of holding on to the mythical Aryan theory. She says
“This lethal mixture of desire, envy and a sense of innate “Aryan” superiority has characterised India’s encounter with modern science and technology from the very start.”
This ridiculous outdated idea which has been proven to be a hare’s horn is still touted as her the basis for all her arguments. The outlandish invoking of Hindu leaders only shows how desperate the cabal is to invoke anything to strike fear. Someone who has not contributed anything worthwhile to the society is critiquing the likes of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyaya or Radhakrishnan. Someone who has made a living criticizing Vivekananda or Dayananda Saraswati without even being qualified to read their literature, let alone critique it is the tragedy of being the gatekeeper. What has the author even remotely contributed except rabble rouse or spread rabid rubbish?
The cabal has successfully trained a large section of Hindu society to question our very roots. They realize once the society starts respecting the heritage, their game is over.
Pathetic bigoted understanding
She writes a big argument criticizing Rajiv Malhotra’s idea of Shruti and Smriti. What the ego and prejudice in the author doesn’t understand is that even in Manu Smriti, the very first Smriti, there is a clear mention that the framework of interpretation needs to be updated to suit the times and geography. This was a tradition and that is how Yajnavalkya Smriti or Parasara Smriti even came about. Many great Mahatmas have highlighted the need for new smriti. Swami Sivananda went even further in singing glories to that sage who will do that in the future, hopeful anticipation at best.
The author merely demonstrates her personal animosity with Rajiv rather than displaying even the basic understanding of Shruti or Smriti.
Science is agnostic and doesn’t get wedded to concepts, unlike the bigotry and chauvinism displayed by the author. Science which was grounded in Newtonian ideas gave way to new insights when Einstein came around. It is a fact that Nikola Tesla was influenced by ideas of Swami Vivekananda. The author, if open minded can check this out here. So is there anything wrong to see science through the Hindu Worldview, how can this be criminal?
The author desperately wants to attack anything Hindu or Vedic just to prove her political cause. Folks with such cheap motives, coupled with the gatekeeper status, can be assured, their days are numbered. Can she disprove the fact that not only Sanskrit but also Tamil ancient literature have repeated mention of extremely large and small numbers? Why would they even have numbers if they had no need?
Is the author able to offset her bias and use rationality to explain it?
Distortion of rationality
Frontline displays as much rationality in allowing such an author to publish. Frontline published pictures of proof of fire altars in ‘Harappan Surprise‘. Of course one cannot expect the poor author suffering from so much ego, bigotry and prejudice to overcome it and understand that there are tons of images and solid proof of fire altars matching the Vedic rituals in the Saraswati Valley Civilization. What is more interesting is, there is a continuous trend of similar altars (many, not all) being used throughout the times lasting to the modern day. Hopefully the author will not hit a new low by claiming the invading Aryans learnt these fire rituals before eliminating them and the Aryan superiority claiming portions of Bharatiya society may still practice it.
The author attacks Rajiv Malhotra, when ironically, Rajiv is one of the strongest voices that question quackery. Listen to this. It is tragic that Meera Nanda can question the integrity of a man who has supported the following science projects – here is a sample list of Infinity Foundation Projects. Rajiv has attracted the best talent to do original research into ancient Bharatiya history. Would Meera Nanda care to highlight her contribution besides mere critiquing greats from Swami Vivekananda to the contemporary?
Is it envy of Hindutva or the gatekeeper cabal’s desperation?
Let us examine the author’s distorted time machine.
Why such gleeful gloating if earlier tablets related to the Pythagorean theorem were found? The author should be questioning why it is still named as Pythagorean Theorem instead of turning her ire and fire against Baudhayana. If one were to study the fire altars of Sarasvati Valley Civilisation, one cannot help but question how they built complex altars without such an understanding. Just because we do not find such tablets in this civilization, can the author rule out that such a possibility exists. This means that not only we had an understanding, but also how to implement it. Interestingly the author despite quoting Euclid is not campaigning to call it Euclid’s theorem or Babylonian.
The desperation of the author is more than evident when she jumps from one civilization to another to labor that Baudhayana was not the first. I admire her attempt in science, yet like to register her contempt and her motive seems despicable at best. Does the author feel that the fact that we had excellent town planning even during early Sarasvati Valley Civilization was also a fluke, a feat we are unable to reproduce even today in modern Bharat? Does the author feel that if we have had a glorious past, we should be either suspicious of it or should not take pride to aim at those past standards of excellence?
Will the author stop using the buttons in her dress as it was also a Bharatiya invention? You never know, she might switch to the more Western Velcro. Such is the power of ego and prejudice.
What I found amusing was the choice of immaculate birth obsession while describing zero? While the author is invoking this, she should be going after that myth. Knowledge of certain science and technology have interesting ways to pop out. Same inventions could be created across geography or time, with or without cross communication. While the Babylonian placeholder was an equivalent of a zero predecessor, the author cannot prove that it was the source of the so called ‘Hindu virgin zero’. The cheap choice of words like virgin or immaculate or mlechcha only proves her obsession to deliberately rile these Hindutva forces, so that their anger can be used to justify her prejudice.
The author accuses Hindus of blinding IndoCentrism, whereas she has given her life to decades of Hinduphobic trail. Do we laugh at this irony or condemn such a motive?
Absence of Value
History is a subjective interpretation, based on evidences available. No one can be certain about everything back in time. While it is obvious that even America’s discovery by Columbus is suspect, the elephant in the room is that there have been generations of Native American people living before Columbus. Such is the irrationality, as only the white man’s discoveries are applauded. This lack of values is also evident when we see even today numbers are called Arabic numerals when it is proved to be a Bharatiya idea.
Her open Hinduphobic approach can be understood by her attack on Swami Vivekananda whom she paints as saffron. Her misplaced bigotry when it comes to Hindus is a matter of deep concern, as she has shown no respect or regard even for the likes of Swami Vivekananda.
Mixing up Hinduphobia with scientific rationale
The way she edifies Modi as a scientific person to invoke Karna-Ganesha must be very gratifying to Modi. Modi is a politician not scientist or historian, if she cannot even understand her basics, why write such a big article. Is she not able to understand it that Modi is entitled to his opinions? There are numerous instances in our Puranas and Itihasas which defy even the most modern explanations. If someone calls for Mahaharata nuclear bomb and Ramayana aerial planes, they automatically become the representatives of Hindus! It is ludicrous for someone to label oneself as scientific and rationale and be so morbidly Hinduphobic every step of the way.
She can be happy that she is drawing a parallel by mixing her solid Hinduphobia with scientific investigation.
The author is definitely confused in her understanding of Varnas. Varna was a social set up and not hereditary – in the sense caste is being branded in the last couple of centuries. Varna is clearly defined by Krishna in Bhagavad Gita and also Yudhishtra in multiple instances of question Answer sessions. (Refer Varna – a journey to its roots). Meera Nanda would do better to peruse the same Smritis she condemns, where it is repeatedly claimed that different varnas can and do intermix. As an expert in genetics, she should be able to study the genetic studies that claim there is not much genetic disparity between the varnas in Bharat. There is enough genetic research material to silence the most Hinduphobic critic.
She seems to be lashing out at all claims of Hindus. Does she forget to count that even the surgery she is ridiculing was perfected by Charaka and Sushruta and the British were too glad to learn things from rhinoplasty to inoculation. Any person with common sense would respect a civilization that has standardized weights and measures over several millennia which lasted into the 20th century from Sarasvati Valley times till the government forced people to take to the metric system. So they didn’t contribute anything?
What does this Hinduphobic article teach?
It is evident that Hinduphobic forces are weakening. Rajiv Malhotra in his path breaking book few years ago, brought the necessary spotlight on these Breaking India forces. As we see more and more people awakening to the realities of these forces, it is natural to have an aggressive display of Hinduphobes in the form of articles like these.
In summary, the swan song of the gatekeeper cabal has already begun.
Questions to Ms. Meera Nanda
- Why should we not show any respect to the recent discoveries in the Saraswati River Valley, as highlighted by Michel Danino in Lost River: On the trail of the Sarasvati.
- She seems to be eager to be the poster child of desperately wanting to attack anything and everything Hindu, why spew so much venom? Suggest her to read Rajiv Malhotra’s new book – ACADEMIC HINDUPHOBIA.
- Let the author explain why is it a sin to be a Hindu? She paints it as if being a Hindu or supporting Hindu causes is bigger than Adam and Eve’s primordial sin. Can she explain her obsession?
- With decades of her Hinduphobia and being a sentry in the gatekeeper cabal, what is her lasting contribution? When compared to intellectual giants like Swami Vivekananda what is her long lasting contribution besides criticism? What is her achievement after a life of Hinduphobia?
- How did she miss out Mahatma Gandhi on the list of Hindu leaders, political calculation? Gandhiji, though felled to an extremist’s bullets was still considered too much of a Hindu chauvinist himself.
Thoughts for the ones who are serious about Sanatana Dharma
- Educate yourself about Breaking India
- Do not ingest Hinduphobic material without due diligence of the author’s past and motives.
- Do not go bombastic in your claims which science cannot prove, but at the same time do not let go of your heritage. Investigate it rationally. Can we take a cue from the Christian research into Bibilical history? Can we do more research scientifically to back the wealth of literature we have.
- Sanatana Dharma is all about the individual practicing the values, not imposing on the society or the masses or buying tickets to heaven for the ones who do not want to.
- Spend some time with your inner self while reading the scriptures with a guru from your respective parampara.
For more of my views on Sanatana Dharma – please visit http://satchitanandareflections.blogspot.com
HinduPost Note: Please also educate yourself with Meera Nanda’s past work in this IndiaFacts article http://indiafacts.org/eight-anti-india-intellectuals-academics-must-aware/
(Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and the Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content. HinduPost will not be responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information, contained herein.)