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Eight anti-India Intellectuals and Academics you must be Aware of

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Eight anti-India Intellectuals and Academics you must be Aware of

1. Angana Chatterji

angana

 Books:

  • Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present; Narratives from Orissa
  • Land and Justice: The Struggle for Cultural Survival in Orissa

Pronouncements:

  •  In Gujarat, Hindu extremists killed 2,000 people in February-March of 2002. Muslims live in fear there, victims of pathological violence. Raped, lynched, torched, ghettoised. A year and half later, Muslims in Gujarat are afraid to return to their villages, many still flee from town to town. Ghosts haunted by history. Country, community, police, courts — institutions of betrayal that broker their destitution. This is India today.
  • Grassroots movements in resistance to the debacle of nation making are combating the sangh. Where Dalits, Adivasis and others are allied in subaltern struggles for land rights and sustenance, Hindutva intervenes, seeking to divide them. Grassroots democracy threatens upper-caste Hindu dominance and contradicts elite aspirations. To domesticate dissent, the sangh invigorates militant nationalism. In village Orissa, emulating Gujarat, the sangh works to create enmity between Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians. Progressive citizen’s groups have initiated opposition, including the ‘Campaign Against Communalism’ in Bhubaneswar.
  • In Orissa, egregious infringements of human rights are taking place with the disintegration of Adivasi and other non-Hindu cultures through their hostile incorporation into dominant Hinduism.
  • After being nominated Chief Minister of Gujarat in October 2001, Mr. Narendra Modi incorporated the teachings of Hindutva in his governance of Gujarat. According to a Times of India article, entitled, ‘In Modi’s Gujarat, Hitler is a textbook hero’, tenth grade school texts: ‘present a frighteningly uncritical picture of Fascism and Nazism.
  • Controlling Kashmir requires that Kashmiri demands for justice be depicted as threatening to India’s integrity. India’s contrived enemy in Kashmir is a plausible one — the Muslim “Other,” India’s historically manufactured nemesis.
  • Who are the Indian forces? Disenfranchised caste and other groups, Assamese, Nagas, Sikhs, Dalits (erstwhile “untouchable” peoples), and Muslims from Kashmir, are being used to combat Kashmiris. Why did 34 soldiers commit suicide in Kashmir in 2008, and 52 fratricidal killings take place between January 21, 2004 and July 14, 2009? Why did 16 soldiers commit suicide and two die in fratricidal killings between January and early August in 2010?
  • Laws authorize soldiers to question, raid houses, detain and arrest without bringing charges, and to prolong incarceration without due process. They blur distinctions between military/paramilitary, “legality”/“illegality.” Citing “national security,” Indian forces in Kashmir shoot and kill on uncorroborated suspicion, with impunity from prosecution.

(Links 1, 2 & 3)

Career Summary

  • In 1989, Chatterji became involved with the work of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA, “Save the Narmada Movement”).
  • She is one of the leading lights of the radical Leftist outfit called Forum of Indian Leftists (FOIL), which supports violent and banned organizations that regularly carry out guerilla wars against the Indian state. As part of FOIL and its extremist offshoot, Friends of South Asia (FOSA) she advocated that the people of Kashmir to rise against the imperialist Indian state.
  • She equates Islamic terrorism with local communal incidents. In her view the Kandhmal communal hostilities between Hindus and Christians prove the Hindu majority to be fascistic.
  • She is the great-great-granddaughter of Gooroodas Banerjee, the first Indian Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta. Her formal education comprises a BA and a MA in Political Science. She also holds a PhD in the Humanities from California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).
  • Chatterji has served on human rights commissions, testified at briefings and hearings, including to United Nations Bodies, the European Parliament Human Rights Subcommittee, United Kingdom Parliament, and United States Congressional Commissions and Task Forces. She has provided expert testimony and affidavits to commissions, asylum hearings, and review boards, and conducted workshops and lectured at various universities and organizations internationally.
  • Chatterji is the Co-chairman of the Research Project on Armed Conflict and People’s Rights at the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, University of California at Berkeley aimed at protecting people’s rights in situations of internal armed conflict in India.
  • Chatterji co-founded the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir with Parvez Imroz in 2008 and served as Co-Convener from April 2008 to May 2012.
  • Angana Chatterji was suspended from CIIS on 19 July, 2011 and on 25 October the CIIS Academic VP has recommended her termination. This was due to her links with Ghulam Nabi Fai, an ISI mole in the USA.

2. Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar:

Books:

  • Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations, 1978
  • Cultural Pasts: Essays in Early Indian History, 2003; Oxford University Press
  • Cultural Transaction and Early India: Tradition and Patronage
  • Dissent in the Early Indian Tradition
  • Early India: From Origins to AD 1300

Pronouncements:

  • Early India: “Some settlements in the north-west and Punjab might have been subjected to raids and skirmishes [by the Aryans], such as are described in the Rig Veda…
  • “I do not see the medieval period as one where the Muslims are the conquerors. It was a period of creation of communities. Muslims came in various ways. They were traders, they were pastoralists, they were conquerors, they were missionaries, and they created different kinds of communities all over the subcontinent…The trauma of Mahmud of Ghazni’s raid on Somnath was never experienced at the time or even for centuries thereafter. This trauma has been appropriated from the reading of the British version of this event.”

Career Summary:

  • After graduating from Punjab University, Romila Thapar earned her doctorate under A. L. Basham at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London in 1958. Later she worked as Professor of Ancient Indian History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. In the past she has served as a visiting professor at Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the College de France in Paris.
  • She was elected General President of the Indian History Congress in 1983 and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 1999. At present she is one of the members of the high profile Delhi Urban Heritage Foundation due to her proximity with Najeeb Jung, Lt. Governor of Delhi.
  • Her standing and influence as a historian was largely based on repeating the discredited theory of Aryans invading India.
  • She attempted to prove the non-existence of a temple in the disputed site of Ayodhya. She attempted to prove that in ancient India the Nastika savants were in constant loggerheads with the Vedic thinkers.
  • Romila Thapar’s name prominently figures in the factual expose by Arun Shourie in his path breaking book Eminent Historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Her credibility as a scholar of ancient India came unstuck when Sita Ram Goel,  Arun Shourie and similar scholars brought to light the fact that she does not know Sanskrit.

3. Father Cedric Prakash

Father Cedric Prakash

Books : Yes, We Can! Book series. (Books on moral science)

Notable articles:

  • Let Us Not Be Naive About Naveen Patnaik
  • Can the election on April 16 in the Kandhmals ever be free and fair?
  • Vibrant Gujarat: Lies, Half Truths and Illusions
  • India: Gujarat Government Continues With Communal Agenda
  • Gujarat Carnage: Seven Years On . . . Seven Major Concerns and More

The aforementioned articles are mainly about the Kandhamal violence and the Gujarat government then headed by Narendra Modi.

Pronouncement:

In June 2002, he testified before the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in Washington. His testimony is very revealing, “In the name of the thousands of [Gujarat riot] victims…I earnestly appeal to you, to make all necessary interventions…” a clear case of an Indian citizen asking an alien nation to intervene in India’s domestic affairs in any manner it chose to intervene.

Career Summary

  • Father Cedric Prakash is a Jesuit Priest of the Gujarat.
  • He graduated from St. Xavier’s College in 1972.
  • He worked full time with the AICUF (All India Catholic University Federation) in Chennai and then spent a year with the TAIZE community in France helping to prepare the World Council of Youth.
  • He is currently the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace which he founded on October 2nd, 2001.
  • Following the Gujarat Carnage of 2002, Fr. Prakash has been a vocal critic of Narendra Modi, often in collaboration with eminences like John Dayal and Teesta Setalvad.
  • He was also associated with the US-based think tank, Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), which has a long history of promoting and influencing anti-India sentiments within several successive US Governments. As part of expanding this, it has managed strategic visits by Cedric Prakash—who also labels himself as a human rights activist—as a liaison for the Local Capacities for Peace Project at the Harvard University. ­
  • Cedric Prakash was also invited to Luxembourg in 2002 and later, to London for discussions with the European Union and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government.

Prakash has won several awards including:

  • The Kabir Puraskar by the President of India in 1995.
  • The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award by the Indian Muslim Council (USA) in June 2003.
  • Chevalier de la Legion Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by the President of the French Republic in July 2006.
  • Minority Rights Award from the National Minority Commission, Government of India in December 2006
  • The Human Dignity Award from the Diocese of Ahmedabad in February 2010.

4. John Dayal

John Dayal

Notable books:

  • Human Rights: A Close Look.
  • Justice & Peace Commission, All India Christian Council: Gujarat 2002: untold and re-told stories of Hindutva lab.
  • John Dayal : A matter of equity: freedom of faith in secular India.

Pronouncement:

When the US based advocacy group Policy Institute for Religion and State (PIFRAS) held a South Asia Conference, sponsored by “United Methodist Board of Church and Society and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA” John Dayal, as a participant, had contended that “minorities could not count on the Indian state to protect them, or to prosecute crimes committed against them.” 

Career Summary:

  • Closely associated with the activities of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC), which was instrumental in several nation-wrecking legislations.
  • As a member of the National Integration Council, he gave a completely negative picture of Indian polity in his testament as a witness to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC)’s hearing titled “Plight of Religious Minorities in India” held on 4 April 2014 in Washington D.C.
  • John Dayal also had a significant role to play in the NAC’s nefarious attempt at evolving a flawed and skewed Communal Violence Bill.
  • The likes of John Dayal in a way condone and support external interference and interventions into the internal affairs of India, as long as their agenda is served. As the renowned scholar Dr. Anirban Ganguly notes, “The John Dayal types belong to that intellectual underworld – supported, sponsored, nurtured and protected by the Congress party.”

5. Vinay Lal:

Vinay Lal

Books:

  • Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy
  • The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India
  • Empire and the Dream-Work of America.
  • Introducing Hinduism

Pronouncement:

Labelled the Ramayana as a sectarian text that spoke of a clash between Shaivites and Vaishnavites because Ravana is a follower of Shiva and Rama is believed to be an avatar of Vishnu. He also dubbed the Puranas as sectarian texts.

Career Summary:

  • He was a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku).
  •  Presently associate professor of history at UCLA.
  •  Earned his B.A. and M.A., both in 1982, from the Humanities Center at The Johns Hopkins University and wrote his Master’s thesis on Emerson and Indian philosophy.
  •  Studied cinema in Australia and India on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship before commencing his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he was awarded a PhD with Distinction from the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations in 1992.
  •  Was William Kenan Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University in 1992–93.
  •  In his blog titled Lal Salam (Red Salute, making no secret of his commitment to Communism), he describes himself thus: His views on American foreign policy and the pax Americana have earned him a place in David Horowitz’s book on the 101 ‘most dangerous’ professors in America today, while his critiques of extreme Hindu nationalism have made him a target of Hindutva venom in the US. These are reliable indicators, to his mind, that he is performing some useful public service, and that academics and scholars must remain vitally engaged in the wider public domain.

6. Martha Nussbaum:

Martha Nussbaum

Books:

  • Cultivating Humanity
  • Sex and Social Justice
  • From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law
  • Plato’s ‘Republic’: the good society and the deformation of desire
  • The clash within: democracy and the Hindu right
  • The new religious intolerance: overcoming the politics of fear in an anxious age

Pronouncements:

  • In India, the perpetrators of violence are not Muslims (who are usually poor and downtrodden, but not involved in perpetrating violence, except in the special case of Kashmir) but Hindus who sought ideology in Fascist Europe and who model their stance on European anti-Semitism of the 1930s.
  • A Hindu nation is not a benign establishment like the Lutheran Church of Finland.
  • The people who spoke Sanskrit almost certainly migrated into the subcontinent from outside, finding indigenous people there, probably the ancestors of the Dravidian peoples of South India. Hindus are no more indigenous than Muslims (The clash within: democracy and the Hindu right)
  • What has been happening in India is a serious threat to the future of democracy in the world.

Career Summary:

  • She is the current Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, a chair that includes appointments in the philosophy department and the law school.
  • She also holds associate appointments in classics, divinity and political science, is a member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a board member of the Human Rights Program.
  • She studied theatre and classics at New York University, getting a BA in 1969, and gradually moved to philosophy while at Harvard University, where she received an MA in 1972 and a PhD in 1975.
  • Her interest in India started while working for Amartya Sen with whom she shared an intimate relationship, a fact she herself has bragged about.
  • Her views on Indian society are no different from the ones presented by leftist distortionists.
  • She does not have any qualification or training in archeology, Sanskrit, geology, or metallurgy, yet writes with authority about the dating of the Vedas.

7. Vijay Prashad

Vijay Prashad

Books:

  • The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South
  • The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World
  • Arab Spring, Libyan Winter
  • Uncle Swami: Being South Asian in America

Pronouncements:

  • Modern Hinduism is fascism and racism.  It is the origin of what we would call modern fascism.  Based on a religious caste system that is Aryan in origin, it divides up the world into three castes, warriors, priests, merchants, and in a slave class, the Dalits or Untouchables.
  • Between Hindus and Muslims there has not been an endless rivalry for social power. When Islam enters the subcontinent, it does not come in the saddlebags of the Ghaznis or the Ghouris, but amongst the rumble of goods brought by traders. Early conversions are not by the sword but by the merchants .There was killing, but that was as much for reasons of warfare and plunder as for reasons of God and tradition. An interested reader might want to look at the distinguished historian Romila Thapar’s superb book ‘Samantha: The Many Voices of a History’ (Penguin, 2005). …..There, Professor Thapar shows us that Mahmud Ghaznis destruction of the Shiva temple in 1026 was driven not so much by a fanatical religious belief but because his father, Subuktigin (sic), needed money to sustain his faltering kingdom in Central Asia. Now it is certainly true, as historian Mohammed Habib put it, that there was ‘wanton destruction of temples that followed in the wake of the Ghaznavid army…..An article on Hindu Holocaust (News India Times, Sept. 25, 2009)

Career Summary:

  • Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies, at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • Prashad is one of the founding fathers of the FOIL and is the author of several books regarding South Asia, and has often written articles and papers on US imperialism and capitalist hegemony and impacts of this across the world.
  • In case of India he has often supported Kancha Ilaiah who made his academic repute by tossing out ill-informed interpretations of Indian mythology, presenting them as ‘Aryan-Brahminical’ conspiracies against the down-trodden, while simultaneously claiming to be a follower of the rationalist Ambedkarite school of thought.

8. Meera Nanda

Meera Nanda

Books:

  • Breaking the Spell of Dharma and Other Essays
  • Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and the Hindu Nationalism in India.
  • Postmodernism And Religious Fundamentalism: A Scientific Rebuttal To Hindu Science
  • The God Market

Pronouncements:

  • The roots of “Vedic science” can be traced to the so-called Bengal Renaissance, which in turn was deeply influenced by the Orientalist constructions of Vedic antiquity as the “Golden Age” of Hinduism. Heavily influenced by German idealism and British romanticism, important Orientalists including H.T. Colebrooke, Max Mueller and Paul Deussen tended to locate the central core of Hindu thought in the Vedas, the Upanishads and, above all, in the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Shankara. Despite the deeply anti-rational and idealistic (that is, anti-naturalistic) elements of Advaita Vedanta, key Hindu nationalist reformers – from Raja Ram Mohun Roy and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee to Swami Vivekananda – began to find in it all the elements of modernity. Vivekananda took the lead in propagating the view that the monism of Advaita Vedanta presaged the future culmination of all of modern science. Since modern science denied the role of any supernatural force outside nature, Vivekananda claimed that only Vedantic monism was truly scientific for it treated God as an aspect of nature and did not invoke any force external to nature…. (Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and the Hindu Nationalism in India)
  •  The Hindutva literature is replete with glowing tributes to Hindu “renaissance”, which they claim to be similar to the European Renaissance that ushered in the modern age in the West. What they forget is that the Renaissance in the West re-discovered the humanistic and naturalistic sources of the Greek tradition that had been overshadowed by the Catholic Church – the Renaissance humanists rediscovered this-worldly philosophy of Aristotle and critical-realist Socrates over the other-worldly philosophy of Plato. The neo-Hindu “renaissance”, in contrast, re-discovered the most mystical and anti-humanistic elements of the Vedic inheritance – Advaita Vedanta – that had always overshadowed and silenced the naturalistic and scientific traditions in Hinduism and Buddhism. Neo-Hinduism is no renaissance, but a revival. There is no denying that the neo-Hindu “discovery” of modern science in ancient teachings of Vedas and Upanishads had a limited usefulness. Since they had convinced themselves that their religion was the mother of all sciences, conservative Hindus did not feel threatened by scientific education. As long as science could be treated as “just another name” for Vedic truths, they were even enthusiastic to learn it….. (Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and the Hindu Nationalism in India)
  • Far from being considered the crown jewel of Hinduism, yogic asanas were in fact looked down upon by Hindu intellectuals and reformers—including the great Swami Vivekananda—as fit only for sorcerers, fakirs and jogis…. “Not as Old as You Think… …nor very Hindu either. There is telling evidence to debunk this nationalistic myth”, Open The Magazine, Online Edition,

Career Summary:

  • Meera Nanda is an Indian writer, historian and philosopher of science with a PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She was a John Templeton Foundation Fellow in Religion and Science (2005–2007).
  • From January 2009, she became a Fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Study, in the Jawaharlal Nehru University for research in Science, Post-Modernism and Culture besides being a visiting faculty of history and philosophy of science at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali.
  • The bulk of her writings is a critique towards any attempt to study Hinduism in the light of science. Interestingly as she was associated with the John Templeton Foundation, she did praise the Protestant work ethic whereas the notion of Practical Vedanta is criticized.

IndiaFacts Staff

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