[Advaita-l] Re: institutionalization of religion

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Jul 27 03:50:48 CDT 2006

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, Abhishek RK wrote:

> Also, on the main point of this thread, viz, the stigma associated
> with the word "Hindu", an interesting quote from "Decolonizing the
> Hindu mind", by Dr Koenraad Elst, is:
> "Until a decade ago, most observers and even enemies of Hinduism were
> prepared to concede to it a certain harmlessness an benevolent
> tolerance tolerance as quintessentially Hindu qualities; today, even
> that little credit has been taken away. Hindus used to take great
> pride in Swami Vivekananda's triumphal speech at the parliament of
> Religions... but the celebration of its 100th anniversary in
> Washington DC was embarrassing because the Ayodhya demolition was
> generally considered to have disproven Vivekananda's description of
> Hinduism as tolerant. Hinduism is now never discussed without
> mentioning "Hindu fundamentalism", at best to disclaim this phenomenon
> as part of genuine Hinduism, but more often to prove that Hinduism is
> just as conducive to fanaticism as Islam and Christianity are. The
> credit for for this additinal blot to the fair name of Hinduism must
> go to the Sangh Parivar, not because it has taken up Hindu causes, but
> it has handled them so mindlessly.

I'm no fan of the RSS but I don't think Elst is on the mark here. 
Secularists were willing to tolerate Hinduism when it was powerless, 
merely a picturesque decoration to bring in the tourists which would just 
wind down and eventually disappear.  But contrary to how they imagined, it 
is secular ideologies like communism and nationalism which are on the 
wane.  Now they are aware they have competition for hearts and minds and 
they will brook no rivals.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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