Thursday, February 13, 2014

Call for US Commission of Inquiry into Hindu studies in US academe


I call upon President Obama to institute a Commission of Inquiry into the status and practices of Hindu studies in US academe. 

Repeated instances of insulting 'scholarship' couched as 'Hindu studies' cause tensions in the relationship between two sovereign nations: USA and India. 

It is time to put an end to this theater of the absurd to sustain US leadership in academia the world-over. Wendy Doniger's and Publisher Penguin's recent case is a flash in the pan. There have been many instances in the recent past highlighting US academics indulging in blatant exhibition of anti-hindu phobia. 

India is destined to reach back to the status she had in 0 CE contributing to over 25% of the world GDP. See Angus Maddison's historical study presented as a histogram. Let USA join India in a partnership for world peace and democracy recognizing the increasing role India is destined to play in the Indian Ocean Community of over 59 nations along the Indian-Ocean-Pacific rim

US will ignore the imperative of harmonious relations with Hindu who account for over one billion people, only at its peril. Hindus in USA have made notable contributions to US socio-cultural-economic edifice. President Obama who lighted a lamp on Diwali day knows the importance of India to knowledge systems of the globe exemplified by contributions of eminent Americans including Nuclear Scientist Robert Oppenheimer, philosopher-historian Will Durant, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, RW Emerson, and scores of other scholars. 

Here are some snippets of quotes of American, French and Chinese thinkers:
  1. Will Durant, American historian: "India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all".
  2. Mark Twain, American author: "India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only."
  3. Albert Einstein, American scientist: "We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made."
  4. Max Mueller, German scholar: If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.
  5. Romain Rolland, French scholar : "If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India."
  6. Henry David Thoreau, American Thinker & Author:Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climbs, and nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. When I read it, I feel that I am under the spangled heavens of a summer night.
  7. R.W. Emerson, American Author: "In the great books of India, an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence, which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the questions that exercise us."
  8. Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA: "India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border."
  9. Keith Bellows, National Geographic Society : "There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won't go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds... I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor."


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