Hindu bashing article in a UK Daily

via HHR Press Release published on October 4, 2006

Sign of the Times: Soho wild fantasies of a University ‘vice’ Chancellor


In the week when religious controversy and violence led to calls for mutual respect and an apology from the spiritual leader of one of the great world faiths, the well established and normally respected Times newspaper decided to publish an article by Terence Kealey entitled “Why is a Hindu Temple like a Soho Phone Box? Must I draw you a picture?” Kealey begins this highly provocative article, reminiscent of the prejudices of colonial times, by drawing the reader’s attention to the fact that there are some Hindu temples that have erotic sculptures and closes the paragraph by asking the question “How can a religion be so pornographic?”    Kealey then goes on to say that Hindu temples acted as brothels and writes as if temple prostitution and ‘suttee’, the self-immolation of widows on their husband’s funeral pyre were a universal phenomenon, and a part and parcel of Hinduism in spite of the fact that these practices were not common even thousands years ago and find no sanction in Hindu texts. In a nutshell Kealey paints the picture that Hindu Dharma is the spiritual codification on sexual exploitation of women by a chauvinistic patriarchal power system. In needs to be noted at the outset that there is nothing actually unique in this slander of Hinduism, most notably from Chicago University’s self-professed Hinduism “expert” (sexpert?) Wendy Donigger who in seeing sexual license in Hindu texts looks like she is following in the footsteps of the city’s most notorious individual in her Al Capone like assault upon the very subject she ‘teaches’.


The first counter-question arises as to how can the example of a few medieval sculptures characterize Hinduism as a whole? The author fails to point out is that these erotic temples account for a very tiny proportion of Hindu temples as a whole. But in writing his article, he creates the impression that the vast majority of temples are like these. It is very poor ‘science’ to take a minority and use it to draw conclusions of the whole. The way the article is written, a lay British reader would think that the average Hindu temple is like a brothel, including the hundreds of Mandirs present in the UK. In fact, none of the numerous Hindu temples in Britain are particularly erotic, but as a result of Kealey’s misinformation, many Britons will see these Hindu temples as possible centers of erotic cults, thus contributing to prejudice and misinformation.


Kealey is not just content with reducing Hindu spirituality to nothing more than a network of brothels and sexual exploitation. He goes on to give credibility to the highly debated Aryan Invasion Theory as if it were fact although volumes have been written, both for and against it, and many scholars believe that no such invasion ever happened, more so with the new information that is forth coming with technological advancement. However disregarding all that Kealey writes:
DNA testing has confirmed that upper- caste females in
India are genetically indistinguishable from lower-caste females, because pretty hoi polloi girls have always been imported into the palaces. But the upper-caste males of India — who are the descendants of the Aryan conquerors of 5,000 years ago — have never allowed male proles to marry their daughters, and they remain genetically distinct. They have, therefore, retained the spoils of conquest for themselves and their sons.


The highly debated nature of the Aryan Invasion Theory aside, Kealey in fact contradicts himself within the couple of sentences that he writes. How can the males be distinct but the females not!? Did these genetically distinct Aryan men not have mothers? Well how can sons be genetically different from their mothers? But in Kealey’s world we have an Indian population with gender determining differential genetics.  This is the thoroughly unscientific way in which Kealey tries to get himself out of a fix, but in fact goes to display his lack of research and intellectual inability to write two scientifically coherent sentences consecutively.


Now anyone who thinks that giving academic respectability to disputed racist and eugenic ideas of Aryan race and “Aryan conquerors of 5000 years ago” is a harmless cerebral exercise and that Kealey should have the right to his views should remember that the Rwandan genocide. The genocide in Rwanda both in 1994 and the less well known one in 1959 just before decolonisation, was the result of Belgian administrators and anthropologists propounding the myth of inferior Bantu Hutus and the superior Tutsis, with the latter given all sorts of bizarre origins to “prove” their racial superiority: Hamite, Israelite, even Persian Magi. And To anyone who witnessed the mass killings of Tutsis by extremist Hutu militia that followed, pseudo-academic racist anthropological ideas manifested itself in the form of a blood soaked machete blade. Even today we find these race theories inspiring and giving ideological boosts to neo-Nazis, for example observe the recently rising phenomenon in Russia of neo-Nazi  skinheads.


Kealey may just have been putting across his opinions but one should realise that the sad and disturbing manifestations of the acceptability in vilifying and denigrating Hindus for spiritual, cultural and racial reasons leads to the apathy we witness when Hindus are ethnically cleansed from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir, when they are persecuted in Malyasia, and when they are the excluded right here in Britain from even low level participation in the process for social and community cohesion on a par with other communities. It is unfortunate that in the very week where the Pope’s remarks were deemed to have cause unacceptable offence, anti-Hindu prejudice can run rampant in the pages of a national newspaper as the Times which has reduced itself to intellectual tabloidism by publishing such a prejudicial and disoriented article, drawing far-fetched conclusions based on thoroughly unscientific methodology and that too as part of its ‘Science Notebook’ column, thus paraded as a rational and objective analysis. Is this the Sign of The Times?



Hindu Human Rights,

Serving Hindus Worldwide


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