Behind the Hostility in Academia towards Narendra Modi: An Interview with Vamsee Juluri

The petition by several US-based academics (mostly of Indian origin) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming…

The petition by several US-based academics (mostly of Indian origin) against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Silicon Valley has understandably garnered enormous attention. Counter petitions have been floated, counter activism, articles, blogs, and debates continue to be generated.

As recent history is witness, anti-Modi activism is nothing new. The most recent of such academia-originated anti- modi activism was the stopping of (then Gujarat Chief Minister) Narendra Modi’s video address to the students at Wharton. All of this anti-Modi activism and campaigns stems directly from the decade-long, agenda-based witch hunt against him for his alleged complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots from which Indian courts have exonerated him.

And so, in an effort to understand an insider’s perspective as to what still motivates academics to continue this witch hunt, IndiaFacts Editor Sandeep Balakrishna contacted Dr. Vamsee Juluri, Professor of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco in an email interview, the full text of which follows.

Prof Juluri is the author of five bestselling books including his recent Rearming Hinduism, an important work that discusses a range of issues facing Hindus, Hinduism, and the overall narrative on Hinduism in the academia and public space.

Sandeep Balakrishna (SB): There has been a lot of interest of late in the state of humanities in the US given the fact that much of the antipathy to India, Hinduism and Modi is coming from these fields- most of the anti-Modi petition supporters are from there. What is your experience with the general state of humanities in US Academia?

Vamsee Juluri (VJ): My experience is that while there are certainly concerns about the institutional future of humanities in general, mainly from a professional and economic perspective (given how much more expensive college is in the US), I don’t think there is any disrespect for the humanities as a whole in academia or in society. There is a sense that humanities keep us human! So colleges encourage even students who don’t major in these fields to take some classes in these fields as Gen Ed requirements in the first two years.

Coming to the Hinduphobia problem now. It’s important for the community to recognize how the people in these fields view what they are doing. The humanities and social sciences in US academia have typically been a place for recognizing voices marginalized in mainstream media and political discourses. Naturally, the present moment of civilizational interest and rediscovery that is animating India and the diaspora should have been welcomed and nurtured in the academy too, rather than dismissed blindly as fascism or fundamentalism.

Unfortunately, there is a near breakdown in understanding and mutual engagement when it comes to Hinduism between Hindus and the academia. A lot of this is because of the peculiar relationship between Hinduism and South Asian studies and the people these fields study. In most area and identity studies fields, there is a close link between the scholars and the actual humans involved with it – for example, you won’t find students or faculty in women’s studies being implacably hostile to women, and so on, which is what makes the state of affairs in Hinduism and South Asia studies generally puzzling.  The experts in these fields of course maintain that they are not against Hindus or India, and they are speaking for the poor masses of the region. This is a groundless argument, in my view. But it needs careful debate to be defused.

SB: Why do these guys seem to be so interested in politicking rather than churning out good, decent and intellectually honest students and scholars?

VJ: Politics has come to acquire a different meaning in these fields than what it means in everyday life, or in the sciences, where we often see objectivity and politicking as opposite things.  Readers might recall the “Academic Mayasabha” chapter in Rearming Hinduism where I discuss this point.

American social sciences was very much about objectivity just like the sciences and engineering till the 1960s or so (and still is in many quarters), but the problem was that objectivity in many situations was not real—it was mere ethnocentrism sustained by power. It took a political effort from students and scholars to challenge the old myth of objectivity.

The idea of neutral or objective knowledge became discredited, and in many cases went to postmodern extremes. Any knowledge-claim became suspect, and this led to celebrated run-ins between postmodern academia and others such as the Sokal Prank <> .  There are several scholars and activists though, who haven’t abandoned the idea of objective social scientific research altogether, even as they maintain a political position, usually of a progressive nature, aimed at addressing injustices of race and class and gender in Western societies.

So, politics is not seen as antithetical to objective scholarship any more, but its very essence. If it is done correctly, in my view, there is no problem in that, and it is actually good for the world, and for previously marginalized communities who never had a voice in the discourse. Unfortunately, in South Asia studies, it is not done correctly. The dominance, if not inherent evil, of “Hindu” identity is taken as a mere given, and everything else (petitions mostly), dances grotesquely around it.

SB: Why do these academics find it so compelling to interfere in an alien nation’s affairs? After all, India doesn’t tell the US or any other nation who to elect, what their foreign policy should be, what their notion of religious freedom should be, how they should conduct themselves etc.

VJ: There is a strange and contradictory position that exists in academia today on the state of the nation. Since capitalism, neo-liberalism and such are seen as transnational forces, there is a tendency to view the nation is nothing more than one face of these oppressive forces. That is why many scholars and activists in this tradition see nothing wrong in viewing nationalism as a bad word, and in taking actions that average citizens might view as meddling in another nation’s affairs.  Many of these scholars do believe they are helping the poor majority of the world for whom the nation-state and national sovereignty don’t mean anything.

The truth of course is that even in a highly globalized world, the nation is still real and relevant, for rich and for poor. The terror attacks of 26/11 for example, which were portrayed by many South Asianist writers as some kind of poor-Muslims fighting back against rich-Hindus Robin Hood moment showed us all that the poor suffer as much as the rich, and actually far more in this age of state-supported international terror (just think of the Mumbai railway terminus victims).

It is ridiculous to think that the way to protect the poor of India against the violence of some paranoid megalomaniacal elites ruling another country is by abandoning the idea of Indian sovereignty and security altogether! Yet, this bizarre fantasy of India as somehow being an inherently oppressive idea that can be mitigated only by celebrating a mythical notion of “South Asia” remains.

The biggest contradiction in this approach to nationalism though, is a fact that’s obvious to most intelligent and honest observers today. We are living in a world in which transnational and global forces and contexts are important. From that perspective, it would be more accurate to view India, and Hindus, in a global context and understand why there is so much concern among Indians about the South Asianist fantasy as it exists today. The mythical picture of Hindu majoritarianism and alleged tyranny that South Asianist dogma paints does not really make sense if you view the reality of India in a global context.

Wendy Doniger

There is no real, accurate or locally rooted “progressive” South Asian account of India today; it is an utterly derivate discourse which replicates the American model in India, substituting Muslims with African-Americans and Brahmins with Whites (recall Doniger’s phrase “Dead Male Brahmins” for instance).

SB: And more importantly, what is the source of their rabid anti-India and anti-Hinduness?

VJ: This is a very interesting question, both in the way it is framed and the different ways it is being answered by Indians and Hindus today.

First, I will address it from my position as an academician who has a fundamental disagreement with the academic consensus today, and yet also has professional obligations in terms of how that disagreement can be expressed. In academia, it is difficult to approach this problem as one of a “rabid anti-India or anti-Hindu” feeling. It would be considered a personal judgment or aspersion. Moreover, many South Asianist faculty insist they are not against India or Hindus but only against Hindutva, which they view extremely simplistically as an Indian version of Nazism (there was a further response recently on the academe blog by the original petitioners petitioners to the various counter-petitions which reiterated such claims).

I therefore approach the problem of Hinduphobia in the way that makes sense to me within the scope of my field as a scholar of media and cultural studies, and there are a small number of other scholars too who share a similar outlook towards the problem. I view Hinduphobia basically as a form of orientalism, a colonial system of power and knowledge over colonial subjects; which in the case of Hinduism and Hindus simply did not get decolonized even though most other formerly colonized communities succeeded in doing so.

The second approach to Hinduphobia, and this is where there is a great deal of energy right now, is in the general Indian and Indian diasporic community. This consists of an eclectic and diverse range of voices, talents, and ideas (and ideologies) and is playing out outside academia and the official or privileged public sphere (mainstream newspapers, conferences, lit fests and the like) in social media, weekend meetings at temples and schools in suburban America, and the like.

It consists of several intellectual trends which overlap and sometimes diverge; a largely economic, libertarian approach which sees Hinduphobia as part of the old socialist baggage, a more blunt and critical civilizational conflict view which sees Hinduphobia as a continuation of a conflict between Abrahamic and dharmic religions, and several variations of the same, including a nascent attempt to offer a critique of Hinduphobia from within the terms of a modern Hindu or dharmic worldview.

So there are different counter-discourses, so to speak, about Hinduphobia. Some have popular and mass support, but that often lends to them rough edges that can easily be used to deny entry by the mainstream public sphere’s gatekeepers. Others have academic finesse, but also need much greater public participation and support to translate it into any real change.

SB: What is the way forward? Was there anything different about the response to the present petition from previous ones? Finally, what do Hindu activists who tend to be mainly in engineering and sciences need to understand about the liberal arts and non-engineering academia so that we do get the right kind of academic paradigms and institutions in place?

VJ: The counter-petitions are a watershed moment in the struggle against Hinduphobia in academia. The illusion that the Hinduphobic South Asian “consensus” is opposed only by “Hindu nationalists” and “trolls” has been effectively decimated by the fact that several hundred academics have spoken up at this time against it.

Two petitions explicitly critiqued the original petition and were strongly supported. Another petition did not mention the original argument but gathered a very large number of faculty supporters for its welcome message to Prime Minister Modi. All in all, it’s a clear sign that things will have to change.

How this change will actually take place is a very challenging question. There is a lot of energy and excitement outside of academia at the moment, but the problem is how do we professionalize it?

There is some disagreement in the community on how to deal with academia as it exists today. Some believe that high-level investment in higher education will change things and others with considerable wisdom and experience are cautioning against it. My own initial optimism about this idea has somewhat faded. It is good in theory, but a discourse simply cannot be bought like this. Neither investment nor an understanding of academic nuance are very deep among organizations attempting this. It is however a start, and we can hope for the best.

The key point of change will have to be the ways in which academia is engaged by the community, and its organic intellectuals and leaders. It is an amazing thing that the whole field of what ought to have been postcolonial Hindu cultural studies has emerged not inside academia like the other area and ethnic studies did but outside it, and mostly in opposition to it.

Having said that, I will have to say that there is much more that we have to do as a community, as intelligent interlocutors, if we want to overthrow one of academia’s last colonial legacies. This cannot be a management solution, like funding or creating institutions, alone. This will require a close understanding of the worldview, the habitus of academia and the humanities and social sciences, for starters. It is not enough to simply describe academia as some conspiracy theory and leave it at that. The truth that is driving the movement today is much bigger than terms like that.

There are many nuances still inside the discourse that are not immediately apparent to those who have not been trained in these fields. Many enthusiastic writers and lay intellectuals have studied in America, but rarely in the undergraduate setting or the non-engineering classroom, which is where the tone and substance of the discourse comes from. Without this knowledge, a lot of the general (“internet Hindu” if you will) criticism of Hinduphobia in academia gets dismissed very easily.

Now I understand the temptation to say it doesn’t matter, or that academia is irrelevant and the internet is the future. The internet has got us a long way no doubt, but the next stage will have to be a different one. We cannot simply create a parallel academic universe like a Trishanku swargam (but I do understand the righteous anger than informs such ideas). We will have to lay upon academia’s doorstep a far higher threshold than what it can handle in trying to keep the change out!

At the moment, to use a somewhat militaristic metaphor, the Hindu movement is hitting academia with both arrows and boomerangs – some of it is coming right back at the launchers! There has to be a more precise and self-mastered approach to this task from now. Words should not be used loosely – that is the single biggest problem today.

It is utterly inappropriate for example to take out one’s anger or frustration by blindly emailing faculty or university administrators simply because of a disagreement with their views. It looks like a complaint to management being made by someone who wasn’t even a customer in the first place!

The more encouraging suggestion I would like to end with is for all those dedicated people who are writing articles on the internet and keeping a relentless eye of scrutiny on Hinduphobia. Their work is very important, but it will become real only when it enters the threshold of the mainstream public sphere.

At the moment, it will not be allowed by most gatekeepers: that is a fact. One reason for that is the reality we all know, it won’t change right away. The other reason though is something that is very much in one’s own hands – that is the ability to practice restraint and civility in language. I can offer a simple example.

As a media scholar, I feel very happy when I see the active media criticism that is coming out of India and the diaspora against Hinduphobia. In its insightfulness and passion, it is exactly like the media activism that several previously marginalized social groups have pursued to challenge unjust and untrue narratives over them (and have since brought them into institutional settings; academic majors and minors, courses, conference interest groups, journals etc.).

But the key difference is that most of the articles we have on the internet today cannot be cited or circulated into academic or mainstream discourses in their present form. It is an uphill task for the handful of sympathetic scholars and writers who do have a mainstream presence to get these new ideas more play when it is framed as a personal, or even an inter-religious attack, rather than a professional argument for truth.

So civility, and making arguments about ideas rather than people, is extremely important. The truth is that many good ideas and arguments being made today against Hinduphobia are not reaching their potential impact because of words in them like “presstitutes” or “libtards” and the like. I am not unaware of the lack of civility on the other side. But if you have a sense that your sense of truth is important or sacred, then it is important to do what it takes to get it out there. May language be our friend and guide!

IndiaFacts Staff articles, reports and guest pieces
  • Sriram

    I have thought about this many times. Most of us have been conditioned to accept casual and derogatory references to Hindus and India/Indians. We also never had platforms like twitter and Facebook.

    One of the many things we should definitely do is to strongly call out Ever such instance. We have a great bunch of twitterati who are doing this but we must support on every forum possible. Calling out hypocrisy, abuse, disingenuous arguements, false equivalences, and casual denigration.

    This has to happen at all levels. Academic, social, political and wherever else possible.

    Hindus are non violent unlike Abrahamics and cannot apply violence like them.

    We therefore must support all Hindu / Indian “activists” including all like Prof Juluri, Rajiv Malhotra, Twitter actvists like Unsubtle Desi on the one hand, Ketan Bhate, Humor handles like Eminent Intellectual etc.just to name a few representative people of a great growing set of wonderful persons.

    I personally think Smriti Irsni has a most difficult job and is absolutely great (I have been associated with education purely pro bono)

    We must support each other without “buts”. Some woll be civil, some rude and some abusive but WE MUST NOT BE DEFENSIVE. We must learn this one trait from the Abrahamics.

    This apart all suggestions on this forum are also equally important.

    Great thread

  • Someone

    The simple solution for this problem is that Young India need to study Sanskrit. But how many young Indians really study Sanskrit. Even, within the Sangha Parivara – how many are there who at least know the simple Sanskrit. What about the 2 million strong ABVP – all are young and (so called) educated – can’t they learn simple Sanskrit ?. Can’t they take help from one of their own member of the Parivara, Samskrita Bharati ?, Can’t this be done in the next 2 years time frame ? – it is certainly possible, doable and should be done. If we do this then we will have a 2 million strong Sanskrit speaking (at least understanding simple Sanskrit) young crowd in India. Even if 1% of these 2 million then go towards studying Shastra (the originals with traditional commentaries and not some 4th hand English translation), then we will have sufficient number of spokespersons for Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) among common people. This group then can really protect any intellectual attack on Hinduism and not just that, they can also remove many of the superstitious practices gathered over time.

  • Dr. MS

    Where were these academics when I was in the US talking about these very same issues? Hindu women are a neglected, abandoned misunderstood, and sometimes mistreated, people in India and around the world? They are either absent or invisible, or they are presented only as victims that Western men and women must rescue. They forgot that I was a feminist way before I went to the US, way before I got my Ph.D. and way before I entered the US academe. But the Indian immigrant population was mostly made up of arrogant macho, or confused Westernized, engineers, doctors, business guys and IT professionals. These men were not only absent in many of my discussions on how to recover Hinduism for its women, but they were too cowardly to stand up and speak up and/or fight for their own academic, smart and daring women.

    Well, well, well…come to the table boys. You are behind me by twenty or thirty years.

    Now lets promote more women priests, rishis, acharyaas, yogis, gurus, intellectuals, social scientists and academics.

    You want me at your table…you come to mine too…

    Making Hinduism global and globally better understood requires its thinking daring exploring women to be in leadership roles, as well as in the driver s seat.

  • NK Sarma

    Talking about civility, wasn’t the original petition by the academics full of personal attacks on one Mr.Modi? Did it have academic scholarship when it attacked this man with same old baseless allegations? I guess academics can be uncivil but non-academics must be civil even when personally insulted in superlatives.
    And Mr.Juluri is completely misplaced when he generalizes all nonacademic indians as someone who are uncivil using twitter terms like prestitudes and libtards.

  • shankar

    It will be a long tough battle…

    Every battle has all kinds of warriors. Commander-in-Chief, Strategists, Generals, Commanders & finally Foot-soldiers. Each segment is important to the battle and the ultimate cause.

    No matter how experienced the General is, it is the foot-soldier who does the dirty job at the end of the day.

    No matter how motivated the foot-soldier is, he/she might jeopardize the whole battle if the bigger picture is not known. That is where the Strategists & Generals are part of the scene.

    The battle is no longer confined to the Ivy Leagues & Intellectual spaces. It has long spilled onto the streets…..

  • Kailash

    This whole anti-Hindu scholarship phenomenon and its opposition by practicing Hindus has be looked at, studied and resolved by using pragmatic approaches.
    There are two parties to it:
    The Victimizers (anti-Hindu Scholars) vs The Victims (practicing Hindus).
    The Doctors (anti-Hindu Scholars) vs The Patients (practicing Hindus- here the disease is started and spread by doctors themselves).

    If ‘intellectual properties’ have rights and are protected/safeguarded by laws, why shouldn’t the “distortion, demonization and mis- interpretation of any Heritage, Traditions and Sanskriti should be protected/safeguarded at least by giving/ensuring due representation in the discourse to practicing Hindus to whom this Heritage, Traditions and Sanskriti belongs and the discourse is about?

  • Someone

    Juluri’s views are valid and meaningful. Yet what he fails to educate us is that how this kind of problems can be handled by the Tech-educated Indian diaspora in US. Those Indians, who are in the humanities or south Asia studies are a minuscule minority. We need a strategy to tap into the large pool of Silicon valley Indians and encourage them to write on Indology related topics. This will reach a larger audience among tech community, who are indeed at the receiving end (their children) when Hinduism is distorted by these academicians who nurture Hinduphobia.

    • guest

      I think he has some positions that he talks about in his book rearming hinduism. he also shares some of these things in many of his interviews presented on youtube. here they might be limited by space and time. and in addition, ideas are shared bit by bit. you are also right about the powerful hindu community being the techies and they need to stand up. let us not forget it was an IITian who started SPICMACAY

      • Someone

        SPICMACAY is a Tech person’s startup and the other Tech person who first opened the issue is Rajiv Malhotra – he is a Techie first, also Dr. Subash Kak and scores of other influential and level headed Indians are in the Tech community. What we are lacking is a person who is strong in Sanskrit, Shastras and also well connected with the Tech communities in US including TiE. I am looking for a strategic organisation in Indology like VIF to spearhead the cultural leadership rather than the RSS groups – they seem to do more harm.

        • guest

          Thanks for these notes, I did not know about Subhash Kak and just read up on him. Yes that it the interesting thing….abrhamic religions are not supported by scientists as much as the dharma….which is often questioned by those in the humanities, so that is something to think about….

        • guest

          So, also checked out VIF, although I knew a little about it I looked at their website and realized that they do not give grants or scholarships….may that is what needs to strengthened to garner an entire generation of those who are the academics and the public intellectuals.

  • Krispy K

    Juluri’s emphasis on maintaining “civility” in discourse amounts to nothing more than a directive that, once again, we must play by THEIR rules – rules which incidentally they themselves choose to dilute or disregard as and when they see fit without censure. He himself acknowledges this (“I am not unaware of the lack of civility on the other side”) but strangely all the responsibility for civility, thoroughness and veracity appears to lay at the feet of Hindus.

    The problem again comes down to the Western grip on the global narrative, which renders any potential disruptors of the status-quo dependent upon the moral and intellectual fortitude of the guardians of that narrative – i.e. Westerners. One would have to consider whether such characteristics, and by extension the system they serve, are sufficient to facilitate the redressal that is desperately needed. Moreover, why would we want to help correct a foreign system of “intellectualism” that is essentially a key component of their global dominance, when our goal should be to replace it completely with our own?

    It is my view that ultimately our objective should be to erode/dismantle the centrality of the Western global narrative in the world and put our own in its place, rather than continuing to indulge it. I think that starts at home by overhauling and strengthening our education system and scholarship in general, according to our values and traditions rather than Western. This would provide a base for the dissemination of the proper narrative outwards to the rest of the world, and empowers us to dislodge, eliminate and replace the status quo. This sounds to me like a better strategy, and a more laudable goal, than what is essentially continuing to beg white people not to lie about us.

    • Appreciate your logic and reasoning.

    • guest

      Great ideas. Although I do agree with Juluri about civility since that is ‘technically our mark as well, as an indian and a dharmic civilisation.’ But I do agree with dismantling western centrality and replacing it with a dharmic one. Please share your have ideas. I am serious, and interested. thanks.

      • Krispy K

        Civility has a time and place; i.e. with other civilised people. If that wasn’t the case, violent wars would never take place and our civilisation would have been buried a long time ago. As it stands, whether we like it or not, our political independence does not change the reality that a long-term war is still being waged against us, one which has been going for centuries and is nowhere near ending. The military component of that war may have subsided but the component taking the guise of “scholarship” still thrives.

        I feel that maintaining “civility” with people who exude belligerence behind a thin veil of “scholarship” is a self-indulgent and ultimately fruitless policy that betrays the need of the hour, which is greater forcefulness and ruthlessness. I certainly don’t feel Hindus should continue to beg for greater integrity, prostrate and all “civilised” with hands clasped, at the pedestal that fraudulent Western “scholars” have built for themselves, and which their contemptible Indian slaves continue to work loyally to keep alive. That is merely perpetuating the distasteful mentality of deference that facilitated our enslavement in the first place.

        We must destroy the existing corrupt system and replace it, not continue to feed it. The rightful state of the world is one where WE control the global narrative, not THEM, and we should work relentlessly towards this goal. Overhauling domestic education to bring our real values, philosophy and history back to front-and-centre has to be a primary goal, as well as establishing unparalleled economic and military strength as enabling pillars. Anything less is a cop-out in my opinion.

        • guest

          Ok, understood (i think) and agreed. So, where do we start? as of now, even changing academic books is receiving such negative press. Then it is a matter of preserving our languages. As of now, the Indians speak neither their own languages well, and that should go for all languages except the rural people who live in really remote areas and have been blessed by being away from english, –and there are more and more ‘english speaking’ schools with strange names that keep sprouting in all major cities. then there is the matter of using temples for real education rather than just kirtans and lighting candles on diwali. Hindus should not beg, but for that to happen we need to feel pride in being a hindu. anytime one mentions the word, the terms that follow from the other side are, caste system, sati, dowry deaths, and women ill-treatment. and many more being added everyday. while we make movies like PK and OMG, and others, movies like Noah, Passion of Christ and Risen and now the young messiah are being made. I do not disagree with you, but I think it will take a lot of us to leave our regular jobs and jump head on into this work…and that becomes a bit tricky…regardless, we need to continue with this. Western education has messed up our minds and they need to be scrubbed.

          • Krispy K

            Where the traitorous “liberal” scumbags desperate to keep us under foreign boots and still infesting our education and media are concerned, everything Hindus do will be furiously resisted. The first step will be in changing our mindset from one of defense to offense. And that is done by first focusing on correcting the perception of Indians and generally fixing things at home, rather than wasting time trying to get Westerners to correct their hollow universal declarations about what is moral/immoral/correct/false etc.

            For one thing, the government has a lot to do to delegitimise the media, but have seemingly done very little/nothing to craft a tighter set of rules and regulations to impose on them and their irresponsible behaviour which has a direct impact on people’s lives. In general, the corrupt and criminals in the media and politics are seemingly not being dealt with as sternly as we hoped. Modi seems to be more concerned about not projecting an image of toughness rather than doing what needs to be done. But perhaps he will get around to it. In any case, leaving the scum free to come back later and undo everything is just plain stupid in my view. They are the first line for the enemy and need to be dismantled completely and utterly.

            As for other things, a start has been made. Modi is working towards building our economy, encouraging self-sufficiency in the military, and although of course there is a lot of disdain from the usual suspects we are making a start in correcting our history books and education. Pushing Sanskrit as our link language and making foreign languages optional (for practical rather than ideological reasons) is a must in my view. Whatever it takes, whatever the resistance, these all need to be done and the government needs to go all out in conveying sound arguments for doing this to convert those who are unsure but are not ideologically opposed. Those who are ideologically opposed must somehow be sidelined, although I don’t claim to know all the solutions.

            Overall, like I said, once that mentality changes from defence to offence things will start falling into place. And then we start to influence the world, rather than engaging in constant firefighting against belligerents who will never stop in the goal of destroying everything we hold dear.

          • atul mukerji

            But the weakest link here is the team which Modi leads.
            Can you name a single person in his team with the ideological moorings or the commitment to the cause.
            Dr. Swami could have been one such person, even he is not getting any younger.
            Another person I know is Govindacharya, but his views on economy are all to well known.
            Not very sure alone how far will he be able to take the cause forward.

          • Krispy K

            This is also what worries me.

          • hello321

            KrispyK – You’re an indian, an indian-american (american-born), a hindu-american, and by your handle, I’d venture a guess, south of the mason-dixon line?

            yes, no, maybe?

            (let’s have that debate you suggested…)

          • hello.again321

            Or, if you’d (understandably) not speak about location at all, then, still, let’s have that debate…..

          • Rajalakshmi J

            That should not worry us Hindus.

            Svami Vivekananda says the THOUGHTS of an Enlightened Person can work wonders even if such a Person does not take part in tv discussions , does not involve himself / herself in active politics.

          • guest

            I had to think about what you wrote (and also work does not allow to write). I would not like to leave any info here neither would ask you, but would like to connect (time and work permitting) to see –what we as ordinary people can do to start a movement wherever we are. I think these articles and papers such as this, and Dr. Swamy, CK Raju, Claude Alvares, and R Malhotra are doing much work. But I think ordinary people need to do it. Until a few months ago when I came upon these articles and similar attempts and started watching some youtube videos I thought I was alone in this. Watching TV or Bollywood sank my heart. Like an ostrich I wanted to bury my head and not think about it. But seeing that people are rising, gives me hope and i think we can work together. But we must also take advantage of this government change. Many nincompoops are following AAP (I did too for a short while –really impressed by their slogans and ideology…not anymore….). but those who come to these sites, have common values can get together and create something. i am serious. thanks,

          • Shubhangi Raykar

            I agree with you entirely. We should start by having small community gatherings where Hindus and others meet regularly. The basic course in Hinduism can be designed where the basic tenets can be explained.Some basic shlokas verses can be recited and a lot of other things apart from dressing in traditional clothes etc. Generally giving positive strokes about being Hindus.My daughter who lives in London has a Ganesh festival every year and the response is very good.Hindus, non Hindus, Maharashtrians and non Maharashtrians all attend and recite Aaratis and the atmosphere is charged with a deep sense of devotion.

          • Krispy K

            What can be done that existing movements don’t already do? I don’t have any first-hand knowledge of groups like VHP and HAF, but don’t they already do such things?

            I feel that there are existing movements that can act as a vehicle for the change we want at a person-to-person level, but they just need to be nudged in the right direction. Also we can put pressure on the PM to effect the changes that are required – namely, more assertive action against enemies of the state. I can’t see how ignoring them will help, and going through the motions with existing mechanisms is either too slow or too ineffective. I still hope all of this is on his schedule.

            Like I say, the main priorities should be: (1) mentality – defensiveness to offensiveness; (2) overhaul of our academic infrastructure; (3) more funding into research to revitalise and rediscover our knowledge of our true history and heritage.

            In the process of doing these things, we must not indulge the squawking of home-grown traitors and their foreign masters. Our focus should be on correcting ourselves on our own turf, rather than fighting on their turf in a vain attempt to correct them. Rather than expend energy writing academic articles countering Western delusions, according to a peer-reviewed process which they control, go on the offensive and write articles exposing their cultural shortcomings and backwardness. Rajiv Malhotra calls this “reversing the gaze” and he is doing a great job, but it’s what we should also be doing aggressively for INDIAN audiences rather than foreign ones. Ensure our non-English (and hopefully eventually English) media regularly inform our public about the backwardness of foreign nations, within the context of OUR values and traditions. Tighten regulations for Indian “media” and prosecute them aggressively for breaking them. Make them understand their bullshit will no longer be tolerated. Do not be intimidated by the inevitable reaction – being cowed down by their false rhetoric has been a bane for our people.

            If we work towards re-establishing our civilisational self-confidence and re-direct our gaze at home outward, rather than constantly being on the defensive, I feel we can eventually re-establish our position at the top of the world, where we should be. How much of this the common man can contribute to this at this stage is up for debate.

          • Rajalakshmi J

            It is Krispy K who has better ideas. What Svami Vivekananda calls “FEELING” is there in Krispy K.

            Which is absent in many.

            A Hindu in India can easily turn off the tv , attend many Sathsangs , read Valmiki Ramayanam etc etc.
            Sri.Nochur Venkatraman a Devotee of Ramana Bhagavan is one of the BEST.

            Unlike politically correct art of living sssravishankars , ammachis etc.

            Sri.Nochur Venkatraman has a thorough grasp over Vedic Dharma Shasthrams also. As Swami Omkarananda of Theni.

            Whereas tv anchors , romila thapars , indologists & various panelists are TRASH. Thoroughly dispensable TRASH.

        • Shubhangi Raykar

          I read Wamsi Juluri’s “Rearming Hinduism” and was somewhat disappointed by it. It is repetitious, written in a very excessively popular style with one eye on not offending the “Western scholars” so that the arguments are compromised one way or the other.The term ” Hindu fundamentalism” is not explained properly as essentially there is no such a thing.One naturally becomes assertive if constantly and deliberately bashed one way or the other. It does not say anything about the religious colonialism of the American Evangelical Mission.

          • Krispy K

            The automatic compulsion not to offend Westerners has become shamefully ingrained in the Indian mind. We *must* rid ourselves of it.

  • kuntimaddi sadananda

    This guy did not address so many of the professors who signed against Modi’s visit are of Indian Origin. They are completely ignorant of the actual affairs and how the NGO funds are being used against anti-Hindu and anti Modi. I am Scientist retired in US and now live 6 months of the year in India and 6 months in US. I am seeing lot of Indian papers who do not report the news as they occur but everything is distorted as anti-Hindu- the reason is most of the papers are being supported by NGO funds. Modi is trying to stop the channeling of funds supporting anti-Hindu. Hindutvam is only are reaction due to these so-called secular forces which are very more pro Muslim and Pro-Christianinty. This is what I get after observing for a long time.

  • Raj

    So true…… one view on the failure of Buddhistic studies is beacause the invading uneducated muslimsliterally destroyed the universities along iwht libraries and the TEACHERS !!!!!! thus erdicatign a few generatiosn of learning……stored in Nalanda, pataliputra and Kashmir ( Sharada Peeth- which is just a neelum valley today in Pakistan)….

    We need to stop Indians from this culture of divisive education they acquire in places liek JNU and commie/evangelical funded places…….Then create alternate centres anddiscourses… in terams ofresearch and PUBLISH,PUBLISH, PUBLISH…… this can be one strong way to dilute alternate views but not the only view…

    There can be no one way to overpower the vily evangelical driven /funded indologist like wendy….. They have to be handles in multiple tracks…. funding being one of them….. and providing them lesser and lesser avenue to publish their sexual hinduism….as VEDAS……