'The Enemy at the Gates'
Dr. Vijaya Rajiva
March 3, 2012
The 'enemy at the gates', so to speak, is no longer the barbarian hordes of earlier times but the Inculturators (and their agents) and the American brown sahibs, as some diasporic Hindus have been called recently by their critics. In some respects they are more dangerous (in the opinion of this writer) than the enemy whom you can recognise as such. The two categories referred to above are more opaque and not easy to detect and yet the Hindu Samaj owes it to itself to raise questions about them. In a previous article 'From Sanatana Dharma to Jesus' (kalyan97blogspot) the present writer has pointed out that Frank Morales who is now President of Sanatana Dharma Society has done a clear u turn from being an ardent advocate of Sanatana Dhaarma's unique status to someone who produces tapes that glorify Jesus and the Bible. The generic Church (as it has been called) will be delighted with his antics. Similarly, many people are now openly questioning author and writer Rajiv Malhtora for what can be perceived as his version of the u turn from exponent of the dangers that India faces, to someone who has made common cause with the self same 'enemies', with his agenda of interfaith dialogue. Some have even have gone as far as to ask that he do a prayaschitta. It is time that the Hindu Samaj seriously raised the question of whether a second front is being opened up against Dharma, wittingly or unwittingly. The present writer has written articles on this u turn.
Why is Shri Malhotra's trajectory not helpful to the Samaj? Why in fact may it be detrimental to the Samaj? And the same question can be applied to the new avatar of Frank Morales. Both can be viewed with a similar (not identical) lens. It has been suggested by some wise observers that ignoring them might be the right way to go since both want attention. The present writer disagrees with that. Both want attention but both are not simply attention hogs. In Morales's case the attention is absolutely necessary for his agenda of Inculturation (so the writer believes). In Shri Malhotra's case the attention may be the offshoot of the vanity and egoism of a writer, but is not (it appears) his sole aim. One has the impression that he is involved with the process of explaining Sanatana Dharma to both Western audiences and deracinated Hindus. The problem, however, is that he is ill equipped to do so. In either case, whether malafide motives or involuntary defects, the objective impact on the Hindu Samaj must be looked into. As Hindus are increasingly under siege (to borrow a phrase from Dr.S. Swamy) they cannot ignore the tell tale first signs.
This can be seen in the u turns of Rajiv Malhotra's trajectory. First, there is the ill starred defence of the indefensible, the case of Nityananda. Anyone who has donned the ochre robes of a sannyasin cannot in good conscience have behaved the way that Nityananda did. To defend this conduct showed a lack of judgment and knowledge of the Hindu traditions of sannyasa. This is similar to the type of writing that William Broad of the New York Times did in linking yoga to Tantra (this has already been replied to by some Hindus). Broad displayed an equal ignorance both of Tantra and Yoga. In the same way Mr. Malhotra was at a disadvantage in defending Nityanand and he ought to have stayed away from the entire enterprise.
Be that as it may, the second problem of the involvement with Hindu Christian dialogue (clearly stated in his Huffington Post blog) and the public encounter with Dr. Francis Xavier Clooney the Jesuit priest and scholar from Harvard, and Malhotra's own disclosure that his book Being Different had been read through and endorsed by Clooney has raised doubts about his capability to deal with the agenda of the Catholic Church, through its representatives. The present writer has written on several occasions on this problem. He may want to be considered an honest broker for Hindus, but does he have the capbability to be one, and is he on the other hand, playing into the hands of the enemies of the Hindu Samaj ?
Then, equally serious there are his frequent criticisms of the alleged ignorance of the traditional acharyas of nonHindu scriptures, specifically Western ones. The present writer has written on many occasions that the traditional acharyas must be left to do what they have habitually done and done exceedingly well, namely, the exposition of Hindu scripture and rituals. They are the backbone of Hindu civilisation. They must not be tampered with, unless the intent is to weaken them and ultimately defeat them, coinciding with the Church's ancient dream of doing so.
The recent devastating critique by GP Srinivasan comes from someone who is well informed at least on one level with the Hindu sources. He has also, he tells us, consulted Hindu scholars within India itself. The reader is referred to his article ('Being Different with many u turns of the author- A Critique of the book' Hindu Voice, March 2012, p.13 ).
With ongoing criticism of the Malhotra project, the Hindu Samaj has to sit up and take notice.
(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university. Her academic training is in Philosophy, Literature, Political Science, Political Economy& History).