USHA Urges NBCC Not to Honor Dr. Wendy Doniger

published on March 5, 2010

Atlanta – The United States Hindu Alliance sent the following letter to the Board of New York based National Book Critics Circle urging the literary body to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Wendy Doniger for its National Award in the Non Fiction Category for her latest book titled “Hindus – An Alternative History”. 

TEXT OF THE LETTER TO NBCC PRESIDENT JANE CIABATTARI:

 

Dear Ms. Ciabattari,
 

The United States Hindu Alliance is shocked to learn that a literary organization of the stature of NBCC is considering bestowing one of its prestigious Awards on Dr. Wendy Doniger for her latest work, Hindus – An Alternative History.
 

Dr. Doniger who claims to be a Scholar of India’s ancient Sanskrit Language may fool those who do not know the Sanskrit Language. But renowned Western as well as Indian Sanskrit Scholars have repudiated her knowledge of Sanskrit. Dr. Doniger has attempted to interpret Hindu Scriptures with her primitive and superficial knowledge of the Sanskrit Language. It may be safe to say that her knowledge of Sanskrit and the religious traditions of Hindus are comparable to the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s knowledge of the Hebrew Language and the Jewish Scriptures.
 

Moreover, Dr. Doniger has always attempted to analyze and interpret Hindu Scriptures through modern contexts of gender, sexuality and identity. Such an attempt is not only a farce but has no value in understanding the complex and profound philosophical underpinnings and symbolism of one of the most ancient religious traditions of the world. In her effort to impose her perverted views on Hindu Scriptures, she has employed the most indecent, distasteful and provocative language known to writers of any language.
 

Hindus believe in freedom of thought, expression and worship for all. In the market place of ideas, we as humans are bound to encounter works that go beyond human decency and civility. The world cannot stop writers from expressing, even if they appear abhorrent and repulsive to an entire population. However, a prestigious body like NBCC can insulate itself from the worldwide negative publicity that is bound to be generated if your Board moves forward on the decision to honor a first rate bigot and racist. We hope you and your fellow Board Members will see the pain and anguish this Author of Hate has caused for a billion Hindus. Hence, there are a billion compelling reasons to reconsider your decision and we hope you do so in the interest of mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual love.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Yours respectfully,

Gokul Kunnath
President
 

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