A book that counters the Hinduphobia of the west
Most of us Indians are well aware that Hinduism is not respected in the west. My brief discussions about Hindusim with both Christians and Muslims got far too sticky for me to pursue. In any case I knew that I was far too ignorant about my own religion to start explaining it to anyone else.
What I do know however is that Hinduism is a great religion with deep roots in philosophy and spirituality. Unfortunately those who do not understand Hinduism tend to quickly relegate it into the realms of superstition.
What has thrilled me is at last there is a scholarly work called Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America, that analyses and presents the bias against Indian culture and Hinduism because of “negativity caused by rigorous training in Indian languages and cultural nuances”. The book is a scholarly work and as this overview of the book says:
India, once a major civilizational and economic power that suffered centuries of decline, is now newly resurgent in business, geopolitics and culture. However, a powerful counterforce within the American Academy is systematically undermining core icons and ideals of Indic Culture and thought.
Biased writings about Indian culture have influenced public perceptions in the west…through the media, the education system and the policymakers. The book tears apart these writings and destroys the very basis of the “evidence’ on which such writings are based. It presents these writings as mere opinions of people who are incapable of understanding an ancient culture and religion so widely different from their own.
The book is politically impartial and has been written after years of research. It basically unravels the mystery behind “Hinduphobia,” which originated in the American academia.
The contributers of the book are Aditi Banerjee, Antonio T. de Nicolas, Alan Roland, Arvind Sharma, S.N. Balagangadhara, Pandita Indrani Rampersad, Kalavai Venkat, Krishnan Ramaswamy, Vishal Agarwal, Ramesh N. Rao, Sankrant Sanu, Yuvraj Krishan, Yvette C. Rosser. You can read more about their background here.
This link gives more details about this Hinduphobia of the west.
The book is not available at Crosswords, which is supposed to be one of the biggest bookshops in India. I guess there is no option but to buy it online.