Friday, April 15, 2016

The Religious War Against American Scholars of India

By Elizabeth Redden
Cover of Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus: An Alternative History.
A cultural and religious war is raging in which Western academics are the enemy. Disputes over alleged mischaracterizations of Hinduism and India by Western scholars are long simmering and boil over from time to time. And now again in 2016. In February scholars in India initiated a petition calling for the removal of a major Sanskrit scholar, Columbia University’s Sheldon Pollock, from the general editorship of a Harvard University Press series of Indian classical texts on the grounds that his writings “misrepresent our cultural heritage” and that he had “shown disrespect for the unity and integrity of India” (this of a scholar who has received the Indian president’s award for Sanskrit, as well as the Padma Shri Award, one of the Indian government’s highest civilian honors). [link]
Hindu Americans protest proposed changes to the social studies curriculum in California's public schools. COURTESY OF THE HINDU AMERICAN FOUNDATION.