Her intention is bad


For more insight into the horrible mind of Dinanath Batra, president of Shiksha Bachao Andola and the plaintiff in the ridiculous yet successful lawsuit against Penguin and Wendy Doniger, there’s a little interview he did for Time.

TIME: What are your objections to Wendy Doniger’s book, The Hindus?

Batra: Her intention is bad, the content is anti-national and the language is abusive. Her agenda is to malign Hinduism and hurt the feelings of Hindus.

He doesn’t know that. He’s not a mind-reader. Also, it’s not true – Doniger admires Hinduism.

Why does it matter so much to you about what someone writes about Hinduism?

If someone makes a cartoon of the prophet Mohammad,  Muslims are outraged around the world. So why should anyone write anything against Hinduism and get away with it? It matters because this book is hurting the sentiments of Hindus all over the world. I am a Hindu. When I read the book, I felt hurt. It hurt my sentiments.

No comment necessary.

Will you protest against every book that doesn’t fit your idea of Hinduism?

We are against anything that hurts people’s religious sentiments. Our movement is aimed at cleansing distortions from education in India. We have also taken on the Indian educational boards for wrong facts in their textbooks. We will protest against any book that portrays a negative image of our society.

Don’t you worry that your objections might seem outdated in today’s modern world?

We are not against modernity, but we are against westernization. Max Mueller once said that they conquered India once and that they will do it again but through education. Through westernization, there’s a renewed effort to enslave our country. Hindus all over the world should stand up against this. In the tiny world we live, we have to try and create heaven out of hell.

There. Now you have more insight into the horrible mind of Dinanath Batra.

Comments

  1. says

    “We will protest against any book that portrays a negative image of our society.” Thank goodness he’s here to decide what’s negative: Dinanath Batra, divinely sanctioned arbiter of good and evil.

  2. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    Will you protest against every book that doesn’t fit your idea of Hinduism?

    We are against anything that hurts people’s religious sentiments.

    Well then. ALL Hindu books of any kind offend some brands of Christians, and some brands of Muslims are offended by anything Christian. I guess no one can print any religious books ever now!

  3. Omar Puhleez says

    “When I read the book, I felt hurt. It hurt my sentiments.”

    He did not get his arm, leg, or any other part of his tangible anatomy hurt. What did cop it was that collection of mystical anatomical entities he calls his “sentiments”. This translates to my mind as him being put out by some statement challenging a core belief that helps him to get by and belong in the world at large.

    Easy solution: come up with a review or counter-statement refuting once and for all the offending and upsetting passages in the book. Then publish both in an accessible form. The effect of this line of attack is always far more devastating for the offending original than simply chucking the latter on a bonfire.

    The Nazis and others burned books that they could not argue against in any effective way. They found it thus more effective to try and keep the offending ideas out of peoples’ heads by preventing anyone from reading the books containing them.

    But book publishers, of all people, should be aware of the risks involved in appeasement of this kind.

  4. Shatterface says

    We are not against modernity, but we are against westernization.

    It’s the only argument they have but they can use it anywhere.

    Theres a semipermeable membrane between East and West which allows the benefits of western civilisation (education, human rights., etc) to pass through to the upper echelons but not to the poor, who must be kept ignorant in order to preserve ‘Eastern’ cultural identity.

  5. Shatterface says

    When I read the book, I felt hurt. It hurt my sentiments.

    When I lick batteries I get an electric shock – so I don’t lick batteries.

    I don’t want batteries banned.

  6. DennisinBaltimore says

    Hi Ophilia,

    I am a Lurker who reads you 1 or 2 times a week. And, I would like a little more detail on what Hindus and Buddhists believe. I have read bits of the Vedas and Krishna and took a course in philosophy of Religion at University of Hawaii taught by a Muslim professor, not into polytheistic religions. I lived in Morocco for four years as a child so have some direct influence from maids and yard keepers, my father was a US Navy officer at Kenitra Morocco in the fifties and early sixties’ I was 9 or 10ish. My father was brought up as an Irish Catholic in the US but lost his religion when his pastor refused to marry his wife, my mother, because she wasn’t Catholic. Mixed marriage- the horror!

    Anyway, I would like a little more insight when you and Iveciena (I hope I spelled his name right).talk about Hinduism or Buddhists. I have no cultural experience with these religions and so when they are referenced I don’t know what the baseline is. I don’t mean write one column, but explain what feature you are discussing each time.

    Thanks
    Dennis

  7. says

    Hi Dennis. Well I’m no expert on Hinduism or Buddhism myself, and much of what I do know comes from people like Doniger herself (but more, really, from secular South Asians).

    But in this post, for instance, I’m just pointing to what Nussbaum wrote. I think it’s pretty easy to follow what she says without in depth knowledge of Hinduism.

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