The Rig Veda and the US Senate

via H.Balakrishnan published on August 10, 2007





Reference the excellent Article “Rigveda belongs to world,not just India”- (TNIE-10 AUG). Its such a rarity to read in these ‘secular times’, a well researched treatise that eulogizes our ‘civilisational ethos’. The writer wonders at the reaction of a few ‘Christian fundamentalists’ who heckled the purohit who led the prayer at the start of the current Senate session.


To understand the hatred spewed at Sanatana Dharma by the Senate  hecklers, one needs to understand the systemic creation and distribution of such one-sided “data” by an army of “scholars” whose mission is to  bolster the image of Sanatana Dharma as a danger to the American way of life. Unraveling this requires understanding Hinduphobia’s nexus in the American academy and seminaries. This is the subject of a well-researched eye-opening new book, titled, “Invading the Sacred: An analysis of  Hinduism Studies in America” (Rupa & Co). One is then in better position to understand the ‘heckling’ in the Senate.


Rajiv Malhotra,President,Infinity Foundation,N.J.,U.S.A,was the moving spirit behind the book.In a powerful Article entitled: “Was the US Senate Attack on Hinduism an isolated Instance?”, he makes some telling points and puts the issue in perspective ( ).He wrote:


” As Indian-Americans stand out for their individual success, while U.S.economic standards deteriorate, we may one day regret having neglected the projection of a positive civilizational image. Unlike many other ethnic and religious groups, we have not adequately engaged U.S. universities, schools, media and think-tanks deeper than the pop culture layer of cuisine, Bollywood and fashions. On the contrary, many Indian writers have fed the “caste,cows, curry” images of India .Liberalism in America is about egalitarian economic and race policies, and is not a rejection or even a departure from the nation’s majority religion, i.e. Christianity. Indian intellectuals have misunderstood America’s Christian psyche because the Indian notion of secularism in India is very different to that of the American. Indian secularism requires distancing from the majority religion, i.e. Hinduism, by one or more of the following ways: by espousing a “generic spirituality” without any specific religious identity, by condemning any Hindu identity as a mark of communalism with BJP links, or by explicitly blaming Sanatana Dharma for all sorts of human rights problems”.


 There we have the reasons for the Senate incident which cannot be wtritten off as an aberration.



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