[Advaita-l] Fwd: {भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्} Lecture by Prof SN balagangadhara 20.5.18 at 11 AM aksharam, Bengaluru

Raghav Kumar Dwivedula raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Sun May 20 05:21:11 EDT 2018

An excerpt from a Marxist critic of SN Balagangadhara,
(Excerpted from Rajan Gurukkal (rgurukkal at gmail.com) an article by  a
historian of ancient India and a member of the
Indian Council for Historical Research.) link given late on in this post.

" S N Balagangadhara, a professor of philosophy at Ghent University,
Belgium, has argued
over the last two decades, as part of the
project of “decolonisation”, that social
sciences and history written in Europe
as well as elsewhere in the world mis-
represent the cultural context of human
affairs in south Asia, especially India.
At this Congress he took an explicitly
communal repositioning of his positions.
He had put on the internet, some time
earlier, an essay suggesting that the past
as recorded in the Rāmayan. a and
Mahābhārata is what Indians need rather
than the history that historians and
social scientists do.1
 His decolonising
project, though hackneyed, is now being
restated with a communal overtone in
the World Hindu Congress and, given
the contemporary political context, it
necessitates a critical reappraisal of his
entire views published in the two books:
Heathen in His Blindness (1994) and
Reconceptualising India Studies (2012).
Doing a doctoral study (1991) entitled
“Comparative Science of Cultures and
the Universality of Religion: An Essay on
Worlds without Views and Views with-
out the World”, S N Balagangadhara put
up the thesis that religion is an intelligible
explanation of the cosmos and the term
applies only to the Jewish, Christian
and Islamic traditions. The term religion
could never have anything to do with
Indian traditions, which are pluralistic
and thus preclude all efforts to privilege
any one account definitive."

Another excerpt from


"Balagangadhara and Malhotra find common ground in the claim that our
understanding of Hinduism is constructed through the Orientalist lens. In
his previous book *The Heathen in his Blindness *
Balagangadhara advanced this argument as part of a broader thesis that
religion is not a universal phenomenon but rather a Western—specifically,
Christian—construct foisted upon colonial subjects, one resulting in a
prejudiced evaluation of Indian culture, mores and morals.
Colonial/Orientalist scholars took Christianity to be the archetypal
religion—a system of beliefs equipped with theistic doctrines, deities and
practices; religion was presumed a cultural universal; and the complex and
varied practices observed in the Indian subcontinent were then shoehorned
into this mould. Hinduism appeared as but a depraved Christianity mired in
idolatrous practices, its followers were indicted of systematic adherence
to false beliefs, and a romantic vision emerged of a stagnant, childlike
India, caught in the caste system's inexorable vice, a land crying out to
be rescued by the West cast as saviour, bringing succour to the heathen.

And naturally the Marxists etc., attack SN Balagangadhara - for example -



On Sun 20 May, 2018, 7:40 AM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Veeranarayana Pandurangi <veerankp at gmail.com>
> Date: Sat, May 19, 2018 at 11:52 PM
> Subject: {भारतीयविद्वत्परिषत्} Lecture by Prof SN balagangadhara 20.5.18 at
> 11 AM aksharam, Bengaluru
> To: bvparishat <bvparishat at googlegroups.com>
> ಈ ಭಾನುವಾರ May 20th 2018 ರಂದು ಬೆಳಗ್ಗೆ 11 ಗಂಟೆಗೆ,  "ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತೊಂದನೇ ಶತಮಾನದ
> ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ಪಂಡಿತರ ಮುಂದಿರುವ ಎರಡು ಸವಾಲುಗಳು" ಎಂಬ ವಿಷಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಪ್ರೋ॥ ಬಾಲಗಂಗಾಧರರ
> ಉಪನ್ಯಾಸವು
> ನಡೆಯಲಿದೆ.
> ಈ ಉಪನ್ಯಾಸವು ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ಭಾರತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಣಾಟಕ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾಲಯದ ವತಿಯಿಂದ
> ಎರ್ಪಡಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.
> Prof. SN Balagangadhara will address students, scholars and enthusiasts of
> Samskrit on Sunday, the 20th May 2018 at 11 AM.
> Title of the talk: "Two challenges confronted by Samskrit scholars in the
> 21st century".
> This lecture will be in Kannada. This lecture is jointly organised by
> Samskrita Bharati and Karnataka Samskrit University
> Venue:
> Aksharam, 8th Cross, 2nd Phase, Giri Nagar, Bengaluru - 560085,
> Google maps link https://goo.gl/maps/aPgAn2AL9tz
> Call for assistance: 9880634594
> About the speaker:
> S. N. Balagangadhara (Balu) is a professor at the Ghent University in
> Belgium, and director of the India Platform and the Research Centre
> Vergelijkende Cutuurwetenschap (Comparative Science of Cultures).
> Balagangadhara was a student of National College, Bangalore and moved to
> Belgium in 1977 to study philosophy at Ghent University, where he obtained
> his doctorate under the supervision of Etienne Vermeersch.
> Balagangadhara has been researching the nature of religion. His central
> area of inquiry has been the study of Western culture against the
> background of Indian culture. His research programme is called in Dutch
> "Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap," which translates into "Comparative
> Science of Cultures". He has held the co-chair of the Hinduism Unit at the
> American Academy of Religion (AAR). He also gives lectures to the general
> public in Europe and India on issues such as the current (mis)understanding
> of Indian culture and the search for happiness.
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