Best of 2016: IndiaFacts’ articles that made a difference
2016 has been exciting and a very fulfilling year at IndiaFacts. We have published a large number of well-researched semi-academic articles focusing on a number of key areas in Indology, Hinduism, Cross-civilizational discourse, political commentary, and ecology, to name a few. We have also published a few very important reports like the government funding of the Churches in Karnataka or the riots in Kaligram, West Bengal. 2016 also marked our entry into publishing in Indian languages. We have now published articles on Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, and Gujarati.
With 2017 just around the corner, here is the list of twelve best articles published in 2016 that we feel made a difference.
1. Hindu View of Menstruation
This 6-part article by Nithin Sridhar explored the less treaded topic of Menstruation as it is perceived in Hindu culture and tradition. It focused on various aspects of the issue like ashaucha, austerity, self-purification, and celebration.
IndiaFacts also published two-part article by Sinu Joseph, which explored the issue of menstruation with respect to sportswomen and how Ayurveda can help them cope up with menstrual issues.
2. Demystifying Tantra
This series by Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay consisting of 5 articles explored the relevance, vastness, and beauty of Tantras. Tantras have long been a much maligned and controversial topic. The series tried to clear the confusion regarding this subject through an in-depth analysis of its various facets.
3. Media, lies and searches on Sindhu’s caste
This widely shared article by Sankrant Sanu exposed how media manufactures news. When PV Sindhu won the Silver Medal at the Olympics, some media websites reported that a large number of Indians searched for her caste on Google. This article exposed the myth and showed how the report was based on shoddy analysis of data from Google Trends.
4. How India went from World’s Education Capital to Depths of Illiteracy
This article by Sahana Singh explores how India’s indigenous education system, including its large frameworks of Gurukulas and universities were dismantled and India itself reduced to illiteracy. The first part, which has been published as of now, gives a brief review of flourishing system of Indian Education during pre-colonial India.
5. Prana, desha, anna
This 2-part article by Rahul Goswami explores the dharmic basis for agriculture, harvesting, distribution, and for the consumption of the food.
IndiaFacts also published an article on Hindu roots of ecology by Viva Kermani.
Another article examining the difference in the treatment of animals in Dharmic worldview on the one hand, and in the Abrahamic and Secular worldview on the other hand by Akash Ravianandan also deserves attention.
6. How Karnataka government is spending crores of rupees on Churches
In this report, IndiaFacts exposes how the Karntaka government has been spending crores of tax-payers money each year on the renovation of existing churches and construction of new Christian community halls, thereby aiding expansion of Christianity and Christian proselytization.
7. In the Beginning
In this 3-article series, Dr. Nicholas Kazanas, examines the real situation regarding the religio-philosophical frame of belief in Ancient India and particularly in the Vedic period. The articles particularly burst the myth that Vedas evolved from primitive beliefs in Samhitas to profound philosophy in the Upanishads and shows how high philosophy of the Upanishads can be traced back to Rigveda itself.
8. Flawed Sheet Anchors of Indian History
This on-going series on Indian History by Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy asks many hard questions regarding the currently accepted chronology of Indian history. He not only points out various inconsistencies in the dating of the Buddha, or that of Guptas, he also attempts to reconstruct a new chronology that better reflects the primary evidences. Nine articles have been published in the series till date, including the latest one on Materialism in Ancient India.
9. Understanding Manu Smriti
This on-going series by Acharya Ramanuja Devanathan explores various controversial verses from Manu Smriti and presents to the reader the true meaning and import of those verses. Acharya lucidly explains, using traditional commentaries, the nuances present in various teachings of Manu Smriti and how they have often been misinterpreted and misrepresented. Three articles have been published in the series till date.
IndiaFacts has also published on article by Sinu Joseph, which explores how Manu Smriti’s teachings on sexuality can help fight sexual violence.
10. Articles on Religious Demography
A series of articles analyzing the changing religious demography in various states of India co-authored by Shanmukh, Saswati Sarkar, Digkaj and Aparna.
11. हिन्दुधर्मः १ – धर्मः च रिलिजनः
This is the first article in the new series being published in simple Sanskrit that contrasts tenets in Hindu Dharma with tenets in Abrahamic religions. The series is being written by Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay.
12. A brief study of possession in Hinduism
This 2-part article by Rajarshi Nandy examines the less explored issue of possession as enunciated in Hindu tradition. It highlights how possession is not always a negative condition and how we should differentiate between forceful possessions by the spirits and beneficial possessions by the deities.
The above list is by no means exhaustive and misses many equally well-written and well-shared articles, be it Abhinav Agarwal’s insights on Mahabharata, Vishal Agarwal’s series on Gurus, Jijith Nadumuri Ravi’s rebuttals to Devdutt Patnaik, Ashay Naik’s take on the conflict between the tradition and modernity, Christopher Tompkins elucidation on the ancient origins of Surya Namaskara or Pankaj Saxena’s articles exposing Scroll.in.