The following is a petition from concerned signatories to the Penguin Group asking for an apology for the publication of the factually incorrect and offensive book The Hindus-An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger. We expect Penguin Group to withdraw the book immediately.
The Hindus: An Alternative History is rife with numerous errors in itshistorical facts and Sanskrit translations. These errors and misrepresentations are bound and perhaps intended to mislead students of Indian and Hindu history.
Throughout the book, Doniger analyzes revered Hindu Gods and Goddess using her widely discredited psychosexual Freudian theories that modern,humanistic psychology has deemed limiting. These interpretations arepresented as hard facts and not as speculations. Doniger makes variousfaulty assumptions about the tradition in order to arrive at her particularspin. In the process, the beliefs, traditions and interpretations of practicingHindus are simply ignored or bypassed without the unsuspecting readerknowing this to be the case. This kind of Western scholarship has beencriticized as Orientalism and Eurocentrism. The non Judeo-Christian faith gets used to dish out voyeurism and the tradition gets eroticized.
Yes let’s handle all books that way – petition the publishers to withdraw every book that we think gets it wrong, or “offends” us, or isn’t as entertaining as we’d like it to be, or has not enough or too many pictures. Books that we personally don’t like have no right to exist.
The petition gives a long list of claimed mistakes, with commentary, and then sums up with its demands.
We emphasize that this defamatory book misinforms readers about the history of Hindu civilization, its cultures and traditions. The book promotes prejudices and biases against Hindus. Can Penguins editors really be incompetent enough to have allowed this to pass to publication? If this is not deliberate malice, Penguin must act now in good faith.
As concerned readers, we ask PENGUIN GROUP to:
1. WITHDRAW all the copies of this book immediately from the worldwide bookshops/markets/Universities/Libraries and refrain from printing any other edition.
2. APOLOGIZE for having published this book The Hindus: An AlternativeHistory. This book seriously and grossly misrepresents the Hindu realityas known to the vast numbers of Hindus and to scholars of Hindu tradition.PENGUIN must apologize for failure to observe proper pre-publication scrutiny and scholarly review.
It’s just unbelievable.