Sunday 16 February 2014

Wendy Doniger and her views on Hinduism and all that….

Wendy Doniger and her views on Hinduism and all that….


A year ago I tried to plod through Wendy Doniger's "The Hindus: An alternative history" at a senior friend's recommendation. I found the book full of trivia, shock value and sensationalism and many instances of mis-translation or mischievous translation. It was clearly intended to provoke a reaction...for example she translates "tapas" as "producing internal heat" and not the usual meaning of penance, intense meditation etc. the reason for this obvious mischievous or mis-translation became clear when she says 'Parvati produced internal heat to distract a Shiva in Yog Samadhi' (I am paraphrasing) giving a erotic twist to the puranic and literary episode (Kuara Sambhava, Girija Kalyana etc)..there are many instances of trivialisng or eroticising or psycho analytical / sexual interpretation of Hinduism. Where there is some interesting insight ...I found it has been borrowed from some one like A K Ramanujan. Since I was looking for genuine scholarship to learn about the Indian philosophy and tradition, I stopped reading the book after pushing myself to read about 500 of the 780 pages.....Should some one take her to court for hurting their sentiments? Should it be banned ?Should one ignore it or should one tear it apart in a debate like Rajiv Malhotra has done quite effectively in many of his writings?.....
I have limited time and energy and have "changed the channel" and moved on to reading what will educate me and thereby enrich me.....

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