WE NEED THIS TO PREVENT FUTURE SABARIMALAS
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That Sabarimala was mistakenly associated with menstruation was NOT AN ACCIDENT.
Our civilization is the only civilization in modern times whose self-understanding has been mediated by another civilization, namely the Western, largely through British rule over India for two centuries. This mediation continues to the present day, through the dominance of English as the language of higher education and intellectual discourse in contemporary India.
It has now become clear that the Western understanding of our history and culture is seriously distorted, and through the influence the West has over us, our understanding of our own culture has also been compromised. This is manifestly so not only in the Western media and the academia, but also in our own. Within the academia, it is apparent both at the level of secondary and tertiary education, again both in India and abroad.
Some examples of such distortion, picked at random, are provided below to convince the sceptic: That India was never a country; that India has no philosophy; that Hindus and Muslims can’t live together; that the Shiva-linga is a phallic object; that Ganesh’s trunk is a limp phallus; that Durga is a whore; that Ramakrishna was a latent homosexual; that Mahatma Gandhi was an actual homosexual; that Sanskrit as a language was invented by the Indians in imitation of Greek. Nor are such misrepresentations limited to Hinduism. It has even been claimed that, according to Islam, women do not possess a soul (NEW YORK TIMES, December 9, 1973, section 10, p.1). More evidence cannot be shared here but may be readily obtained from such sources as Dilip K. Chakrabarti, Colonial Indology (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1996); Koenraad Elst, Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate (New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1999); Rajiv Malhotra, Academic Hinduphobia (New Delhi: Voice of India, 2016); Aditi Banerjee and Krishnan Ramaswamy, Invading the Sacred (New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 2007); Vamsee Juluri, Rearming Hinduism (Chennai: Westland, 2014); K.Singh and K. Maheshwari, Making Children Hinduphobic: A Critical review of McGraw Hill’s World History Textbooks (Chennai: Infinity Foundation India, 2018) and so on. The last book cites the following passage from a U.S.A. textbook: “Hinduism is not a voluntary association, and the structure of its practices, some of which are inegalitarian, make exit very difficult”.
A perusal of these sources will reveal that the misrepresentation of India, and India’s religions and its culture, endemic earlier, has now assumed epidemic proportions. This development is rife with serious consequences both in India and abroad, and for India’ relations with other countries. In India, it distorts our self-image and hampers us from seeking our own solutions to our problems. In fact, it even comes in the way of identifying our problems correctly. For instance, for years we blamed our poverty on our population during and after British Raj when the real culprit was lack of economic development. Overseas, it creates a mistaken impression about who we are and damages our image. It threatens our relations with other countries, as illustrated by the reputation that Delhi developed as the rape capital of the world, when, in fact, the incidence of rape in India in 2013 was 2.6 per hundred thousand as compared to, for instance, the U.S.A., where it was 35.9.
WE,THE UNDERSIGNED, THEREFORE REQUEST THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, THROUGH THIS PETITION, TO APPOINT A COMMISSION WHICH WOULD REPORT TO IT ON THE EXTENT AND NATURE OF THE MIS- REPRESENTATION OF INDIA, AND SPECIALLY HINDUISM, IN THE WESTERN AND INDIAN MEDIA AND ACADEMIA, AND TO PROPOSE APPROPRIATE REMEDIAL MEASURES.
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