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Safeguarding the many histories of India CHAPAL MEHRA The Hindu

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prasad1

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It’s hard to tell the truth, harder still to accept it. The truth by its very nature is neither polite nor palatable. But for a country that equates the truth with victory, we seem to be increasingly intolerant of it. A growing conservatism seems to be upon us with the intention to reduce our ability to debate, argue and differ. The recent out-of-court-settlement between Penguin India and a right wing Hindu outfit that resulted in the decision to pulp a scholarly work on Hinduism by Wendy Doniger signals the growing dominance of a conservative and intolerant section of Indian society.


This conservatism can be traced as far back as the ban on Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. The ban is significant because it provided political legitimacy to intolerance and censorship. The fundamentalists were quick to realise the need to manufacture intolerance and attack our diversity and freedom of expression, their arch enemies, on the basis of religion. Not surprisingly, since then, the attacks on our cultural freedoms have only increased.


A quick skim through recent acts of cultural intimidation is revealing. Oxford University Press, a leading academic publisher, buckled rapidly under pressure and withdrew an excellent academic book on Shivaji because it hurt regional sentiments. India’s noted painter M.F. Hussain lived and died in exile, hounded by fundamentalists because of what he painted decades ago. But the most recent and shameful act was when India’s celebrated poet academic A.K. Ramanujan’s work on the Ramayana was removed from the Delhi University syllabus and later withdrawn from print by OUP.

..........................

This conservatism that arm-twisted Penguin into pulping this book must be made to realise that India’s diversity is non-negotiable. If we don’t fight this, our ability to debate and argue will slowly vanish. We will then be left with only one version of history and a broken idea of Indianness, because it’s not about Hinduism or Doniger but what we represent as a people. If we cannot exist with tolerance and diversity, what else defines being Indian?
Safeguarding the many histories of India - The Hindu
 
History is one; bur misinterpretation by the communists, secularists, western indologists and perverts need to be highlighted and fought. The hindu is known for its selective reporting and colouring of events. The Hindu's leaning on JNU, communist historians and support for people who attack hindus is well known.

Every instance cited in the article has a big history too! Lies repeated ad infinity by the media. The don't publish when they are criticised or alternate views are put.

Salman Rushdie was hounded in many countries too and had to live in hiding. Hussain chose to live and took a new citizenship on his own and was not willing to face court cases against him. He himself is on record that he opted for a muslim country's citizenship to pursue his project and financial support. He was not exiled. Ramanujam's book is available in all book shops; one poem was removed from the syllabus. Excellent book on shivaji was full of lies on shivaji, his parenthood, love life etc. That is why it was objected to.

As long as we have people who espouse that anything derogatory about hindus must be allowed under the freedom of expression act and hindus must swallow every insult, such one sided articles will appear. At least hindus protest violently, which is not the case with other fundamentalist secularists.

Even today's events are twisted and misrepresented by the secular press. Recent event is the story of kashmiri students and cricket match.
 
When M are in minority, they want secularism!

When M becomes majority they want fundamentalism

This is the only truth that we have seen in undivided India, now India ,Pakistan and Bangladesh!
 
And the disgusting part is the badmouthing of indian history and its tolerant tradition under the guise of selective freedom of expression, secularism and what not. They will never give the same freedom to hindus to retaliate. Hindus never attack, only fight back occasionally.

Another instance of kashmiri students getting evicted from the hostel in meerut has surfaced. Has any paper published dissenting students' version. It will not happen because quite likely the cheer slogans had more stuff in them.

The situation is not the same as indians in australia or uk supporting indian team.
 
One has to dig in to get some more information, intentionally ignored by the main stream media. Generallly zindabad does not stop with that slogan only. A bit of light on the kashmiri students:

Quote:

The trouble began on Saturday when a group of local and Kashmiri students were watching the India-Pakistan match in SVSU's Madan Lal Dhingra Hostel.

A group of Kashmiri students allegedly celebrated Pakistan's victory over India and a few of them shouted slogan "Pakistan Zindabad" on the way back to their rooms. Their act triggered tension in the university.

The university management initiated a three-tier inquiry and questioned other Kashmiri students who refused to divulge the identity of those who were involved in the incident. As a result, the management suspended all 67 Kashmiri students residing in the hostel.

The suspended students were asked to vacate the hostel and go back to their homes in Jammu and Kashmir. They were dropped at Ghaziabad and Delhi railway station under police security.

The news about sedition charges had also evoked speculations that those who were supporting the errant students by concealing their names could have been also charged with conspiracy under section 120 (b).

The registration of case under 124(a) would have blocked the possibility of revoking the suspension of students who have been pursuing courses in technology, law and business administration in the university. The charges have now been dropped.

Another report:

Police apparently investigated the students, all from Indian-administered Kashmir, after they were threatened with the charges following the Asia Cup clash between the two nations. University officials’ complaint against the students, who were cheering Pakistan’s victory after the match, prompted the investigation.
The police chief Omkar Singh stated that the university administration submitted a written complaint against unknown persons for indulging in anti-national activities and creating a ruckus on the university campus. They then registered a case and if evidence was established against the accused, the law would proceed as usual against them. The police then said that though the charges of sedition would be dropped, they would still investigate damage to property.
 
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It’s hard to tell the truth, harder still to accept it. The truth by its very nature is neither polite nor palatable. But for a country that equates the truth with victory, we seem to be increasingly intolerant of it. A growing conservatism seems to be upon us with the intention to reduce our ability to debate, argue and differ. The recent out-of-court-settlement between Penguin India and a right wing Hindu outfit that resulted in the decision to pulp a scholarly work on Hinduism by Wendy Doniger signals the growing dominance of a conservative and intolerant section of Indian society.


This conservatism can be traced as far back as the ban on Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. The ban is significant because it provided political legitimacy to intolerance and censorship. The fundamentalists were quick to realise the need to manufacture intolerance and attack our diversity and freedom of expression, their arch enemies, on the basis of religion. Not surprisingly, since then, the attacks on our cultural freedoms have only increased.


A quick skim through recent acts of cultural intimidation is revealing. Oxford University Press, a leading academic publisher, buckled rapidly under pressure and withdrew an excellent academic book on Shivaji because it hurt regional sentiments. India’s noted painter M.F. Hussain lived and died in exile, hounded by fundamentalists because of what he painted decades ago. But the most recent and shameful act was when India’s celebrated poet academic A.K. Ramanujan’s work on the Ramayana was removed from the Delhi University syllabus and later withdrawn from print by OUP.

..........................

This conservatism that arm-twisted Penguin into pulping this book must be made to realise that India’s diversity is non-negotiable. If we don’t fight this, our ability to debate and argue will slowly vanish. We will then be left with only one version of history and a broken idea of Indianness, because it’s not about Hinduism or Doniger but what we represent as a people. If we cannot exist with tolerance and diversity, what else defines being Indian?
Safeguarding the many histories of India - The Hindu

I don't think Doniger was writing any alternate history of India, hindus or hinduism but was only giving her points of view about certain aspects or facets of hinduism and hindu scriptures; this is not "alternate history". While I have no vested interest in any religion, I think we should abide by the rule that books should not cause wounding of the religious sentiments of any people. Same will apply to any book about Judaism, Doniger's religion.
 
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