Lies, Damned Lies and Meera Nanda

My wait didn’t go in vain. I knew it the moment the world learned that the Norwegian lunatic-killer took inspiration from a vast range of literature critical of Islam, Marxists and their fellow travellers and that literature included writings that emanated from people sympathetic to Hinduism. I knew someone would make a connection between Anders Behring Breivik’s heinous deed and Hinduism and everybody who’s ever spoken or written in support of Hinduism.

And so, the JNU-visiting Gorgon emerges once again on the pages of Open magazine to regurgitate her Hindu hatred. Unlike in her previous utterances of incoherence about Yoga, she doesn’t restrict her attack to anything or anyone specific. This time, she spares none. Her piece is like the textual equivalent of Breivik’s shooting rampage.

Before we get into the specifics of Nanda’s venomous anti-Hindu outpouring, it helps to examine how Open magazine has framed the article’s context. Take a look at the following pictures that appear at the beginning of the piece.

Picture 1: Photograph of what looks like an RSS camp with members doing PT drills

Meera Nanda 1

Open’s caption: PARALLELS OF PARANOIA The European Far Right shares something with its Indian counterpart: a vivid and highly vocalised fear of ‘Islamisation’

Picture 2: Photograph of prominent RSS guru and leader Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar

Meera Nanda 2

Open’s Caption: GROUPTHINK Guru Golwalkar of the RSS drew inspiration from Europe’s Nazis in the 1940s

What’s more significant is that Open has filed this story under the Bigotry category. A typical reader hurriedly glosses over seemingly innocuous phrases like parallels of paranoia and the Orwellian GroupThink but these small things send out powerful subconscious messages and create lasting associations. Ask anybody in the advertising industry. It’s also a vile form of chicanery in that these are mere assertions with no basis in either history or fact as we shall see.

At the outset, Nanda argues that Breivik was a product of “years of immersion in a worldwide web of anti-Islamic ideas espoused by cultural purists and nationalists of all stripes” and that India “figures quite prominently in this web of hate.” From here, she embarks on leaps of logic, distortion of history, selective quoting, and emitting copious amounts of bile against anybody who’s sympathetic to Hindu causes and revivalism and reserves special-quality bile to those that criticize Islam.

Two points are immediately apparent. The first is Nanda’s usage of the term “anti-Islamic ideas,” which simply means that even well-reasoned criticism of Islam is branded as anti-Islamic and therefore not worth examining. The second is linking Breivik’s mindless violence to these criticisms. If we apply the same reasoning to Meera Nanda’s nonsensical “critiques” of everything Hindu (from water conservation to Yoga to Ayurveda), can we make a reasonable case for a hypothetical Marxist nut who goes on a killing rampage of say Yoga teachers? If that sounds absurd, let’s see what she says in her now-familiar tone of supremely misplaced confidence.

THE SIMPLE FACT is that some of the most revered personalities of the Hindu Right have actively cultivated and nurtured links with the European New Right. We don’t have to go as far back as the Nazi-loving founding fathers of the Sangh Parivar.

The simple fact is that Meera Nanda is a liar. First, the reasons why Savarkar and Golwalkar admired Hitler are different but the burden of proof is on Nanda (if she believes in things like proof) to show otherwise. Second, Golwalkar disowned the book he wrote admiring Hitler, a fact Nanda cleverly conceals. What she also conceals is that the same Hitler was engaged in a sinister deal with the greatest Left Wing Satan of all time, Stalin. Nanda’s resume amply demonstrates her service to the cause of the Left. And thus it proceeds, the exercise of first laying the foundation based on untruths and insinuation. From demonizing Savarkar and co, she turns her attention to what she calls

…a newer generation of Hindu chauvinists that raves and rants against ‘Semitic monotheistic religions’—Islam, above all. This new Hindu Right has managed to move beyond the old Nazi fixation on racial purity to a new ideology of hate based on cultural and religious purity that is proving to be attractive to ‘crusader nationalists’ such as Breivik and his fellow ‘patriots’ from Europe, North America and Israel.

To her vomit-stained glasses, every critique of Islam becomes a “rant and rave” and a “hate-filled ideology.” This tarnishing technique is aimed at preempting attempts by people who want to study Hindu revivalism and/or critiques of Islam. Which becomes very evident because she devotes a bulk of her venomous piece to pouring dung on what has emerged in recent times as one of the most definitive critiques of Islam and Christianity, and equally, a forceful and authentic exposition of various aspects of Hinduism spawning history and politics among others. In a negative tribute of sorts, she says:

The new Hindu Right has been honing its radical critique of Islam and Christianity from the perspective of ‘yogic spirituality’ largely through books published by the Delhi-based publishing house Voice of India (VoI), which was founded in 1981 by two ardent Hindu revivalists and anti-Communists, Ram Swarup and his friend, Sita Ram Goel (both now deceased). VoI’s goal is to produce ‘bauddhik kshatriyas’ (intellectual warriors), who will defend Hindu society against the triple ‘threat’ of Islam, Westernisation and Marxism. The signature theme of VoI thinkers is to attribute these three ‘evils’ to ‘Semitic’ or monotheistic religions that are ‘inherently intolerant’ because they believe in One True God, One Truth and One Book.

And the underlined words show Meera Nanda’s signature theme of naked deceit. VoI thinkers do not attribute the intolerance because Islam & Christianity believe in One God and One Book but because the One God-One Book proponents insist that that is the only God and all other Gods are false and must be destroyed. Of course, Meera Nanda doesn’t mention the inconvenient latter part. It’s again a familiar trick: demonize everybody whom the so-called Hindu Right respects. Thus it’s unsurprising that Meera Nanda’s Galaxy of Hindu Villains stars such people as Sita Ram Goel, Ram Swarup, Koenraad Elst and David Frawley among others. Koenraad Elst gets five-star treatment. Here’s how.

Evidence of the global reach of the VoI-school of Hindutva can be found in the 1,518-page-long manifesto titled 2083: European Declaration of Independence that the Norway killer posted on the internet just hours before he went on his rampage. The manifesto makes two references to a Belgian writer, Koenraad Elst.

What is amazing is how she concocts phrases like VoI-school of Hindutva as though that is a self-evident truth. VoI or those who run it haven’t—in my readings—claimed themselves to be Hindutva votaries. Even if they did, it doesn’t blunt the kind of work they’ve done. If anything, the solid and sometimes, original research produced by VoI hasn’t ever been refuted anywhere so far. The likes of Nanda have merely ground their teeth in impotent rage and cursed the research but haven’t refuted it. Here’s a sample:

The first time Elst is mentioned is as the authority behind the highly contested claim that Muslims enslaved Hindus and drove them to their death in the Hindu Kush mountain ranges, now in Afghanistan. (This reference appears in an article by Srinandan Vyas, which is reproduced in the manifesto.)

Highly-contested claim eh? Now let’s see what exactly Elst has said, which Nanda has quoted in her putrid piece.

On p.140, an article by Srinandan Vyas quotes me as explaining that Hindu Kush, the name of a mountain range in Afghanistan forming the border of historic India, is Persian for “slaughter of Hindus”. Originally Hindu Koh, “Indian mountain”, it was amended to Hindu Kush because, as Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta explained, numerous Hindu slaves on transport would die there from the cold. So the name does not refer to the mass killings of Hindus by the Muslim invaders, of which there have been many, but to another factor of the bleeding of India by Islam, viz. mass enslavement.

(For those who want to read the scholarly version of the Hindu Kush event, here’s Elst again:

As for another compelling evidence that nails Meera Nanda’s “highly-contested” lie, we can ask her to look up Muslim Slave System in Medieval India by K.S. Lal. But then K.S. Lal is also published by VoI and in the Meera Nanda Cult of Logic, it stands as invalid proof.  But back to Elst, who Nanda quotes again:

Elst is quoted here to suggest that though Islam is in decline, it can still take over Europe before it collapses. (Here Elst is quoted in an article by Fjordman, the anonymous Norwegian blogger well known for his anti-Islamic views and greatly admired by Breivik).

As before, let’s see for ourselves the exact words of Elst.

On p.339, an article by Fjordman on Brussels Journal quotes me as predicting the impending implosion of Islam, then paraphrasing me as warning that before the end comes, Islam can still come to dominate Europe. Islam’s intention to take over Europe is well-documented, and like other historical facts it is not susceptible to being altered by Breivik’s irrational crime. As it happens, my thinking about the magnitude of the risk of Islam succeeding in taking over Europe has evolved, I am now less pessimistic about it than in the 1990s. But either way, it is perfectly legitimate to think about these serious matters. So no, I do not feel embarrassed in any way by seeing these observations of mine reproduced by any of Vyas’s or Fjordman’s readers. As the French saying goes, la vérité est bonne, “truth is a good thing”. It never causes harm by being known.

On the contrary, if I could turn the clock back, I would try to save Breivik’s victims by advising Breivik to read the Brussels Journal. There he would have learned that the threat is not quite as dramatic as he imagined, indeed quite manageable by normal democratic means; and that killing Muslims (let alone non-Muslims) is not the way to counter the expansion of Islam.

Meera Nanda quotes him correctly but partially and selectively. Read the underlined words above and draw your own conclusions. What was Meera Nanda banking on: the non-availability of information, ignorance, laziness—or all of the above—of her readers who would, like in the old days, take her word at face value? She heaps more scorn on Elst linking him with think-tanks and organizations and parties and blogs that espouse hatred of Islam. Guilt by association, etc. But there’s a reason why she has reserved the worst of her demonic ire towards Elst: because of this scholarly whacking of yet another old masterpiece of Nandaesque Nonsense. And on and on she harps about VoI authors interspersing her rant frequently with “right,” “right wing,” “extreme critics of Islam and Christianity” before finally arriving at this:

… the founding fathers of VoI also tried to encourage the revival of pre-Christian and pre-Islamic pagan religions on the assumption that these ancient Indo-European religions shared the polytheism and ritualism of Hinduism.

On the assumption Ms. Nanda? Really? For all her unquenchable Hindu hatred, we must regard her as a scholar even if her scholarship is in the disservice of truth. On that basis, what kind of a scholar uses the word “assumption” as loosely as she’s done here? There’s a vast body of scholarship that has shown—with proof unlike Nanda’s Scholarship-by-Assumption & Assertion—parallels in the so-called pagan religions. Google for “pre-Islamic Gods in Arabia.” Also, why do we find so many similarities in “nature Gods” in ancient Hinduism and the Greek mythology/culture? And why do “pagan” cultures like Hinduism regard Feminity with reverence and why Semitic religions have only a Male as God? And why except for Hinduism, none of these “pagan” religions and cultures have survived. It’s because Hinduism has lived to tell the tale.

From here, she embarks on an even viler journey.

NOW THAT BREIVIK’S manifesto has revealed the names of anti-Islamic authors, bloggers, websites and groups that shaped his thinking, the great washing off of hands has begun. Just about everyone named by Breivik has issued stern statements distancing him/herself from his violent deeds.

This statement is unmatched for its pure villainy. Washing off of hands? Those named by Breivik have done the right thing, the decent thing, the moral thing. Is it their fault that Breivik took a reasoned criticism of Islam to an extreme level? Nanda characterizes this extreme behaviour as “shaped his thinking” by which she tries to imply that Elst et al brainwashed him. Which is perfectly accurate given Nanda’s worldview, which works in the reverse.  If that’s villainous, wait till you read the next sentence where she quotes Elst again:

Elst himself posted a statement stating that ‘The Brussels Journal never ever carried calls to counter Islam by means of bombs and shoot-outs… It only carried criticism of Islam, but that is a perfectly legitimate exercise.’

And here’s Elst’s complete statement:

Beirvik’s manifesto contained the reproduction in full of some articles from the Brussels Journal, a libertarian-conservative blog website. Predictably, the Belgian and some international media, which never liked the website’s consistent stand for freedom of speech in the face of Islamic attempts at muzzling it, have tried to impute responsibility for Beirvik’s hideous act to this defender of freedom of expression. But in reality, the Brussels Journal never ever carried calls to counter Islam by means of bombs or shoot-outs, whether of Muslims or non-Muslims. It carried criticism of Islam, but that is a perfectly legitimate exercise. As Karl Marx put it, criticism of religion is the start of all proper criticism. Enemies of the freedom to criticize religion are simply enemies of freedom.

So Nanda’s omission of Elst’s mention of media criticism is necessary to hide her real grouse against Elst. He’s a vocal critic of Islam and makes no bones about it. And that’s Nanda’s biggest problem. Like her Marxist compatriots worldwide, she cannot digest any criticism of Islam. She exhibits the same intolerance to its criticism as a famous Left lunatic who wrote about how the US “invited” 9/11.  If Islam doesn’t assimilate in a host country, it is somehow the problem of the host country. If Taliban wants to impose Islam, it’s because the US is bad.

A term that’s recently become popular among these intolerant defenders of Islamism is Islamophobia. The term simply means that if you criticize Islam in any way, you deeply fear it.  So everybody from Shivaji to Swamy Vivekananda to Sita Ram Goel to Pat Condell to Ayan Hirsi Ali to Koenraad Elst to Daniel Pipes to Geert Wilders are Islamophobes. This term although essentially meaningless is actually a shield to deflect, deter, and put a sense of shame into people who want to critically examine Islam. This term is a stock favourite among the self-proclaimed multiculturalists who were lions in the heydays of Marxism and who’ve now been reduced to wearing multicultural sheep-clothing. Meera Nanda offers a ready exhibit of this sheep-bleating:

…the agenda of the Islamophobic Right is much larger than spilling blood in the streets. As he made clear over and over again, Breivik’s primary objective was to ‘create a platform to consolidate anti-Marxist forces before Europe is overwhelmed demographically by Muslims’.  In other words, his first priority was to take down ‘cultural Marxists’ or multiculturalists, who are supposedly ‘appeasing’ Muslims…Breivik advises his Hindu nationalist brothers to first go after the ‘cultural Marxist government’ and its left-wing sympathisers

The truth is on the wall. Let’s take India’s case where the Marxist brain operating for 60+ years has systematically and comprehensively polluted public discourse, appeased the Muslim vote bank(eminent examples are Kerala and West Bengal, which have handed over large parts of these two states to rabid and violent Islamists who now have the power to make laws), and are in the process of creating an entitlement economy (the NAC and its toxic schemes constitute rear-entry Communism). This selfsame phenomenon is prevalent in differing degrees across Europe. Why doesn’t anybody ask the question that until Muslim immigrants flushed its lands, postwar European society was relatively stable and conflict-free? Perhaps Meera Nanda doesn’t realize how ridiculous this sounds coming from her, but let’s hear her out. This is pure comedy.

But what exactly do Breivik and his stormtroopers have against these multiculturalist ‘cultural Marxists’? The answer is simple: cultural Marxists say ‘all cultures and religions are equal’. The problem with cultural Marxists, Breivik says, is that they are egalitarian and want to create ‘a society not merely of equal opportunity, but equal condition’. But it is ‘evident’ to him that all people are not equal, because all cultures and religions are not equal. Multiculturalists and cultural Marxists are, therefore, guilty of spreading the ‘politically correct’ but false ideology of tolerance and equality of all faiths and all cultures.

This equality is not acceptable to cultural nationalists: if all cultures are equal, how can they oppose the influx of what they see as inferior cultures? If all cultures are equal, how can they carry on their ‘consciousness-raising’ campaigns against The Quran and Sharia? If all cultures are equal, what is special about their own Christendom?

Instead of my observations, here’s an excerpt from one of the best critiques of multiculturalism that I’ve read (Recommended reading).

Multiculturalism rests on the supposition—or better, the dishonest pretense—that all cultures are equal and that no fundamental conflict can arise between the customs, mores, and philosophical outlooks of two different cultures. The multiculturalist preaches that, in an age of mass migration, society can (and should) be a kind of salad bowl, a receptacle for wonderful exotic ingredients from around the world, the more the better, each bringing its special flavor to the cultural mix. For the salad to be delicious, no ingredient should predominate and impose its flavor on the others.

Even as a culinary metaphor, this view is wrong: every cook knows that not every ingredient blends with every other….These practices send the message that newcomers to Britain have no obligation to learn English—indeed, that the obligation is the other way around: that the British state must make itself clear in Arabic, Farsi, Russian, Somali, Swahili, and many other languages…We must persuade, not coerce or indoctrinate, and to do so we must first disabuse our intellectuals of the notion—frivolous but damaging—that society should be a cultural salad.

It takes only a Marxist to not recognize a commonsense fact that cultures are not equal because people are not equal and that criticism of a culture or religion doesn’t mean criticism of its adherents. Or the fact that there is such a thing as a violent religion. Using her own leaky logic, can we conclude that Meera Nanda hates Hindus? But we digress. From eulogizing multiculturalism a.k.a. Marxism, Nanda turns her attention yet again on the dreaded Hindutva folks. Guess who she picks on this time? Subramanian Swamy for his ill-advised piece in DNA and then claims that

What distinguishes the VoI-brand of Hindutva—and pushes it into the global network of Islamophobia—is its staunch opposition to the mantra of sarva dharma samabhaav, the Hindu equivalent of multiculturalism. Hinduism, they assert, is not any ordinary religion, but rather contains the very essence of religion itself: it is sanatan dharma, the Eternal Cosmic Truth. To equate Hindu dharma, this mother of all Truth, with violent, materialistic and monotheistic ‘creeds’ like Islam amounts to equating dharma with adharma,..As Sita Ram Goel, the founding member of VoI, put it, “To entertain samabhaav (equal regard) for Islam and Christianity, by giving them the status of dharma is to extend [an] invitation to doom… These ideologies are not worthy of being called dharma in any sense of the word. Contrary to this, they are brimful [sic] of imperialistic expansion.”

All of this is accurate and is backed by mountains of historical proof. If Islam was a religion in the true sense of the word, why did the warriors of Islam who went about conquering the world report to the HQ a.k.a the Caliphate for a few centuries? That’s imperialism, in case Nanda doesn’t know the definition. Why did the Church need to wield political power if its primary job role was disseminating spirituality? Alien Islamic invaders as well as fully-Indian Sultans regularly sent gifts and slaves to the Caliphate. Contrast these with an Alexander who invaded India but didn’t impose his belief system on Indians. Also, Dharma at the very basics is that which is in consonance with a natural order and forbids encroachment of another person’s property or beliefs or lifestyle. Most with commonsense would agree that this is a recommended approach to life and religion, which is why it is valid for all times and hence called Sanatana or Eternal. It takes only a Meera Nanda to spew poison against people who uphold a religion that espouses it.

And then she fires her final salvo where she draws a neat equation of Breivik=Elst. In her own words:

Once they got rid of the mantra of sarva dharma samabhaav, VoI militants declared an open war against Islam. Their new consensus is that rather than ‘appease’ Muslims by pretending to respect their religion, Hindus need to debunk the claims of the ‘false’ and ‘monstrous’ doctrines of Islam. Indeed, Koenraad Elst has himself applauded this new war on Islam…he has proclaimed that, “Every Muslim is a Sita who must be released from Ravana’s prison. We should help Muslims in freeing themselves from Islam.”

This is exactly the agenda of the Norway killer—to ‘educate’ Norwegian society, including Muslim immigrants—that ‘Islam is not a religion but a political ideology.’ 

If Meera Nanda had even a shred of decency or honesty in her, she’d ask these questions:

  • Why are so many Westerners angry and/or scared of Islam and Muslims?
  • Why didn’t we see issues like the Minarets ban, burqa ban and Londonistan even 30 years ago?
  • Why has the United Nations’s resolution on Freedom of Speech invited such stark and widespread criticism?
  • Why is outrage generated over building a mosque at Ground Zero?
  • Several such similar questions but you get the gist

Instead, she does what cowards are best at doing: she evades the issue by demonizing the people who are unafraid of telling the truth and using that demonization as a weapon to prevent people who seek it. Come to think of it, Breivik has delighted the likes of Meera Nanda. Imagine if it was a crazed Islamic fanatic who had done the shooting. Meera Nanda & co would have had sleepless nights trying to brew some “explanation” about how Norway treated its minorities badly etc. Instead, the shooting was done by a self-confessed Right-wing Nationalist much to their glee.

Hence this toxic piece.

Postscript: For all her self-righteous verbal dysentery against anybody who criticizes Islam, Meera Nanda must read her own piece. It drips copiously with words like “violent,” “anti-Islamic,” “Islamophobia,” “extreme,” “hatred,” “Islam-bashers,” “Nazi-loving,” “exterminate,” and so on.

Some multiculturalist.

167 comments for “Lies, Damned Lies and Meera Nanda

  1. x
    August 14, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    >>>”take a course in reading comprehension”

    After the grand pontifications- “we must also focus on the upliftment of the poorer and rural sections of our country. We the upper classes have basically left the poor and the lower castes to their own devices”, Mr Knowall also fancies himself qualified to dish out free advice to his brethren, similar to how the evangelist itches to show the path to the heathen.
    These west-influenced, travelling the path of their superiors- the western mlecchas!

  2. August 14, 2011 at 12:28 AM


    I hardly know about Savarkar or Golwalkar, but Sandeep says latter had “disowned” his book praising Hitler, so maybe he didn’t admire Hitler after all? And would it help to rephrase your question – “what aspect(s) of Hitler did they admire”?

  3. August 14, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    Really, really well-researched article. And written with great flow (as has become expected by now). I’m ashamed to admit that had I read her article, which I didn’t, I might’ve taken some of her claims at face value, without verifying them the way you did. :(

  4. August 13, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Malavika, thank you for your comment. Only, it didn’t answer the question. May I repeat it?

    Savarkar and Golwalkar admired Hitler? Why?

    I’d be grateful for an answer. Thanks.

  5. neelkanth
    August 13, 2011 at 7:25 PM


    “”It is the idea that is being attacked. Thanks.””

    Dude, take a course in reading comprehension. You need help. Seriously. Thanks.

  6. x
    August 13, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    >>>”we must also focus on the upliftment of the poorer and rural sections of our country. We the upper classes have basically left the poor and the lower castes to their own devices. ”

    How magnanimous. The west-influenced sure have high opinion of themselves, though, entirely misplaced. Fact being that the upper class lives are subsidized by the poor and rurals. The western exploitative system, established by the brutish in India(and earlier by islamic mlecchas), and carried fwd by their inheritors, whose part the upper classes today form, expropriated from the people of this land, making them poor. It is that hegemonic postion that provides the so-called upper classes access to even more privileges in return for colluding to consolidate the exploitative system further.

    “We the upper classes have basically left the poor to their own devices” is a joke. We the upper classes, enjoying our luxurious lifestyle, serving to consolidate that expropriating system that facilitates that lifestyle, thereby impoverises people everyday, making more and more people destitute.
    Thousands of Niyamgiris have happened in past without a murmur, rendering millions destitute, for consolidating the system of which so-called the upper class claims part of.

    Dont fool anybody that you r all ready to play the good samaritian to your poorer brothers. It is the delusion of the west-influenced, similar to that of the commie-creeps.

  7. x
    August 13, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    >>>”I agree that our spiritual greats are the core of our religion, but inspite of them we have suffered greatly in the last 1000 years. ”

    Yup. blame them. Stockholm syndrome in a way.

    It was all the fault of those rishis, who instead of sitting on their backsides, if only, they had wielded a sword or two, heck, we would all hav been saved.

    >>>”One big reason for our existence today is because certain sections of our people took up the sword.”

    Yes, and those rishis had nothing to do with the people who took up sword. For e.g., Mr Shivaji with sword never heard of a Swami Ramdas. Guru Nanak and other Gurus had nothing to do with rise of Khalsa or the subsequent Sikh empire. Hakka and Bukka Raya never heard of a Madhvacharya. Remember, Sri Krishna advised Arjuna to sit on his backside and bray. thats what arjuna did too, according to some neo-Indians.

    >>>>”If the common man sits on his backside ”

    The common man of India is well aware of his dharmik heritage. It is the west and the west-influenced that outsources salvating powers to a son of Dog from heaven, waits for messengers to point out the heathens to kill or convert.

    Bharatiya realize themselv as Brahm. But the west-influenced would never understand what realization is. They live in a world of duality, of their own making, where there is a Dog in heaven and then there is them, somehow separate, yet the Dog is supposed to be all encompassing and everything. Dichotomy passes over their heads.

    Personally, nothing against the commenter here. It is the idea that is being attacked. Thanks.

  8. August 13, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    @Dilip D’Souza

    “Savarkar and Golwalkar admired Hitler? Why?”

    Pope and his Cardinals acted as handmaidens of Hitler. After Holocaust they even helped Nazis escape to South America. Why?

    Where as Hindus never persecuted Jews, PArsis ever.

  9. Ranvir
    August 13, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    “Savarkar and Golwalkar admired Hitler? Why?”

    This canard has been dealt with by Elst here:

  10. cricfan
    August 13, 2011 at 5:49 AM

    @Ava thanks for the link. almost equally interesting is a talk at the same forum by Dr. Subramanyam Swamy where he provides persuasive logical arguments and more context for his seemingly radical DNA piece (and showcases his legal brilliance and political skills as well :)

    A key component of his solution to preserve SD (that most would agree with) is for Indians to learn Sanskrit. As long as Sanskrit is alive SD DNA will always survive on this earth somewhere, so my first lesson starts this weekend :)

  11. Keerthi.N
    August 13, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    Great article Sir, we need people like you and Malhotra Sir to show us the correct path.

  12. ava
    August 12, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    I never would have thought that the Lutheran Church in Scandivania was at the center of such activities, the Catholic Church you hear a lot about, but interesting, I had no clue about the agenda of the Lutheran church. Need to convert to go to a Christian College, does this happen in India? Is is fair to take advantage of the poor in such a manner?

  13. ava
    August 12, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    Rajiv Malhotra has some good ideas, one of which is that in order to be a good debater, you must know the opponent’s position very well, not just his position as the opposition’s own internal critiques put forth, but his position as obtained from a thorough study of his ideas, this requires a study of the opponent’s history and civilization at a deeper level, something very few in our part of the world people do, as it requires a lifetime of study and dedication…Only then can our critiques amount to something and not just meaningless terms like “Western thinking” and so forth which are loaded terms with very little precision…It seems we have forgotton what our own tradition teaches as far as debates are concerned….

  14. ava
    August 12, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Sorry to be off topic but here Pankaj Mishra says he feels safer in a Mosque in Kashmir than in parts of London. To which people replied why don’t you just go to a Kashmiri mosques instead of lecturing to us….Westerners have got to hate those who lecture them while residing comfortably in their cities and justifiably so instead of living in their own countries…I mean he is not going to be safe in an English church?

    Now compare the above Mishra’sliberal article to a conservative viewpoint about the same riots by Max Hastings. Which do you think has more veracity?

  15. neelkanth
    August 12, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Cricfan’s post:

    “”but instead rely on our Atmic strength to raise ourselves.””

    I agree that our spiritual greats are the core of our religion, but inspite of them we have suffered greatly in the last 1000 years. One big reason for our existence today is because certain sections of our people took up the sword. If the common man sits on his backside confident that our yogis will do everything, then he fails to do his duty.

    Life on earth is meant for action. Let the spiritual greats perform their actions and let us perform ours in accordance with our capacity.

  16. August 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    The fact that it was filed under the Bigotry category, tells a lot. And you are very intelligent in finding the reasons.

    It becomes a “highly contested claim” for her to accept the truth behind Hindu-Kush mountains. It is a shame that she tries to appear intellectual but labels uncomfortable truths with tags like “highly contested”.

    On the issue of multiculturalism, I have held the opinion that it is not a flawed concept in itself, but it becomes ineffective when Muslims come into picture. There are people or groups (Muslims becomes main ones) who it seems will never try to adjust and would be intolerant to protect anything that was there centuries ago, to the extent that multiculturalism becomes a failure.

    You have torn apart her article and whatever she thought she had; if she reads your article I am not sure if she can tolerate it :)

  17. August 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Savarkar and Golwalkar admired Hitler.

    Savarkar and Golwalkar admired Hitler? Why?

  18. ava
    August 12, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    Think how sister religions to Hinduism such as Buddhism spread, through the dedication of the learned classes, the Buddhist monks in particular went everywhere to teach people….Unless we see people like this again, I do not see much hope….A religion only flourishes ultimately when the most intelligent and capable are dedicated to its cause …also it is difficult when the State does not patronize the traditional culture, as is the case with India. Unless private individuals step in, this policy of the state cannot be countered . Religion also has to be made relevant to the lay people, so relevance to the times in which we are living is also a big part of its revival…For example, many young people are not going to be moved by old farts extolling the virtues of cow urine, while the fundamental principles of the Hindu religion do not change, the manner in which people can identify with in at particular points in history is liable to change…

  19. cricfan
    August 12, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    Interesting to read chapter 7 of the English translation of the introduction to Dharma. thanks to Nash for posting the link.

    This chapter has an amazingly scientific, uplifting, and practical take on the troubling issue of conversion and re-conversion and what the best response to this is. I post a couple of paras:

    “Producing men of such noble qualities from amongst us is the way to make our religion flourish. It is not necessary to carry on propaganda against other religions. The need is for representatives, for preceptors, capable of providing an example through their very life of the teachings of our religion. It is through such men that, age after age, sanatana dharma has been sustained as a living force. Hereafter too it will be through them that it will continue to remain a living force.

    If a militant proselytizer appears on the scene, I shall not be able to gather a force to combat him. Nor can I spend crores and crores like those religious propagandists who build schools and hospitals to entice people into their faith. Even if I were able to do so, conversions carried out in such a manner would be neither true nor enduring. Suppose a group comes up that has more muscle and money power; it will undo my work with its superior force and greater monetary strength. We should not, therefore, depend on such outward forces to promote our religion but instead rely on our Atmic strength to raise ourselves. In this manner our religion will flourish without any need for aggressive propaganda or the offer of inducements. “

  20. ava
    August 12, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    Hindus cannot ignore the politics involved in religion. Once converted, it is extremely hard to reconvert the converted….at a very crude level it is a numbers game. If Hindus cannot get the poor to be attracted to their religion, they need to try harder, such as helping through education and social services. Xtians have a lot of money backing them, Hindus have to outdo them, the upliftment of the poorer sections based through social networks that encourage traditional culture and civilization, is the only way if Hindus are to survive. Look at Abdul Kalam, he credits his encouragement to education to the Buddhist monks who he came into contact with in early childhood…. The biggest barrier is the apathy of classes who can do something to make a difference, but contribute nothing as far as action is concerned….

  21. NASH
    August 12, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    some interest i noticed above

    “Hindu Dharma” is a book published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan which contains English translation of two volumes of the Tamil Book “Deivatthin Kural”; which is a collection of invaluable and engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji.

    book available online

  22. padma kumar
    August 12, 2011 at 3:56 AM

    Starting dharmic civic centers in each taluq/mandal area is a start ,on the lines of TTD’s dharma prachar parishad.Civic centers can request the services of local movie fans associations, ramana kendra,ramakrishna mission and other assortive organisations as well and make it look secular, just as the church does it in India or in the west. This should be done on a pan indian scale for homogenous purposes.

  23. cricfan
    August 12, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    @vv, The book ‘Breaking India’ may give us the most detailed and data-driven answers to these three questions, and they are pretty disturbing.

  24. vv
    August 12, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Open magazine tends to collect this people. The question to ask in NOT why the open magazine tends to attract and collect such people. The question to ask is who is funding them? Where does the money come from? Who is their audience?
    For example, when I read this piece, I know its crap right away. So obviously I am not the intended market for the publishers of the open magazine. But I do not know who is…. do you?

  25. cricfan
    August 12, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    @neelkanth. that was very helpful and constructive. thanks and i hope to put this to good use.

  26. neelkanth
    August 12, 2011 at 12:17 AM


    “”how can SD be introduced and debated reasonably and succinctly in simple English to children and those wishing to learn more, both in and outside of India? “”

    The amount of literature available is massive, we just lack the will to do something with it. The Ramakrishna Mission has excellent publications both extensive and short, advanced and simple. Their publications are more than enough for anyone to get a good idea about the philosphies and practices in Sanatan Dharma. Swami Vivekananda’s Raja Yoga is a good start especially because it demonstrates the scientific temperament which can be applied to religious practice. The link is pasted below, but reading from the book is better. It will be available at any RK math bookstore for Rs. 25.

    Aurobindo Ashram also has excellent publications, especially the teachings of the “mother”. Paramahansa Yogananda’s organisation also has publications of his teachings.

  27. neelkanth
    August 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM


    From your post in the other thread:

    “”This restriction does take away a lot of options that organized religions’ survive on:…each one is a form of violence.””

    Yes quite right, all those things are violence in one form. Conversion is also politics, which is why many Hindu spiritual organisations may be reluctant to get into it.

    But We need not necessarily convert people. If we can simply spread knowledge of the the basic philosophies and practices of Hinduism, mainly vedanta and the various branches of yoga, and make Indians understand that this heritage belongs to them, and get them to identify with it, then we have largely mitigated the ill effects of deracination. The root of the problems with those who have converted is that they firstly have lost all connection with their original tradition, and therefore know nothing about it, and secondly they see Hindus and everything Hindu as something “other” and “foreign”.

    It is not entirely their fault that they do not know anything about Sanatan Dharma, because even a large number of Hindus are in the same boat. It is our fault that we have done little to spread the wealth that we are sitting on. So perhaps the time has come to focus on spreading the philosophical ideas and practices of hinduism. There is nothing adharmic about this, and we are certainly capable of doing it. We just have to get more aggressive about it.

    Along with this we must also focus on the upliftment of the poorer and rural sections of our country. We the upper classes have basically left the poor and the lower castes to their own devices. This is not only selfish but also foolish for we weaken our position by leaving them vulnerable to proselytisers. If all the lower castes and classes convert, we are all going to be in big trouble. It is nothing short of a miracle that they have not all been poached by now. I am not sure how the religion is so strong amongst them, perhaps it is due to our mythology, because the precise purpose of mythology is to spread the higher philosophical ideas amongst the masses. So perhaps the mythology has been doing its job. But we cannot afford to take it for granted.

    So my basic idea is that Hindus need to become more aggressive about three things: economic upliftment of the poor, their education and the spiritual education of all Indians.

  28. cricfan
    August 11, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    @AP Kesari:
    much appreciated your valuable comments, sir. I’m trying to understand Sanathana Dharma (and for no other reason), could u pls elaborate on:

    “Sanatana Dharma is extremely liberal”

    1. what with all these labels thrown about by media experts today, ‘Liberal’ itself seems fairly confusing. Does this imply “anything is acceptable in SD” ?

    2. It seems that Dharma itself cannot be or has not been correctly translated into English and if so, how can SD be introduced and debated reasonably and succinctly in simple English to children and those wishing to learn more, both in and outside of India?

    would appreciate thoughts/useful links on these basic questions from anybody. thanks.

  29. A P Keshari
    August 11, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    You have posed some good questions.

    Indeed, this whole ‘left’ and ‘right’ of centre notion — a Western import — simply does not apply to the Indian landscape. Unlike Islam or Christianity, governments or rulers never waged wars to harvest fresh souls in the name of Sanatan Dharma. We need to realize that the dividing line between what the Westerners refer to as liberals and conservatives is organized religion that is rigid in its dictats. Sanantan Dharma is extremely liberal and the quarrel here is between liberal Hindus and the illiberal jehadi or crusading forces and their sympathizers inimical to the idea of India. So the term ‘Hindu Right-wing’ is an oxymoron, badly fitted to a Western construct that evolved under the aegis of christendom. Reminds me of the Procrustean bed.

    All fascist movements were and are left-wing (communist/socialist) driven, and in fact prior to WWII, fascism had chiefly leftist adherents in Europe and elsewhere.

    Indeed, the term ‘Nazi’ was nothing but an abbreviation of ‘Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei’ (National Socialist German Workers’ Party).

    As George Orwell rightly put it, over time, the term fascism lost its original meaning and descended to the level of becoming a label to signify “something not desirable” – this label is even today hurled at anyone or any group that the communists or extreme leftists despise.

    As some Indian ignoramuses attempted fit Western narratives and constructs to the Indian socio-political landscape, they turned things topsy-turvy, branding the actually liberal Hindus and their groups that were fending off incessant assaults from jihadists and crusaders, as fascists. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

  30. A P Keshari
    August 11, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    What a brilliantly and cogently articulated dissection of Meera Nanda’s dishonest, flawed, and outrageious worldview! Thanks Sandeep, for your time and effort. What I also liked about your piece was that your writing comes across as a cool-headed response backed by logic, as opposed to an angry outburst (which tends to be the case sometimes when a hapless Hindu sees someone uttering complete lies and getting away with it). Defenders of India and her Sanatan Dharma have much to learn from individuals like you.

    Coming to Ms Nanda, her nonsensical and mischievous effort to link everything Hindu to a Christian nutcase in Norway on the basis of his rants (in which he praised the endeavours of the Hindus to fend off jihadists and crusaders) is silly. Tomorrow, if a jihadi writes a 10-page memo praising Ms Nanda (for being soooo sympathetic to his cause) and then blows himself up in a busy bazaar, should one similarly assume that Meera Nanda was in cahoots with him? Nehru came up with the idea of hindi-chini bhai bhai, when Mao was very much around in China, so should one see him as the Father of Indian Maoism? Give me a freakin’ break!

  31. August 11, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    How very true.. The Norwegian’s crazy actions have just given fodder to the pseudos..

  32. Suhas
    August 11, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    Joe Stalin, it’s quite simple, actually. Except in the Islamic world, right-wingers tend to take a dim view of Islam. Especially when Islamists migrate from the Middle East and try to transform places like modern-day UK into 7th century Arabia. The same right-wingers are also political opponents of the lefties, which means the lefties and the Islamists have the same enemy.

    On a global scale US, Israel and India form “the Great Satan” from the point of view of Islamists, and lo and behold, they have the same status for the left.

    It’s just the idea that “enemy of my enemy is my friend”. If only the lefties realised this was a Faustian bargain. If only they saw the incompatibility of their irreligious doctrine with an aggressively religious one. That is probably too much to hope for from most leftists.

  33. mukund tanksale
    August 11, 2011 at 6:22 AM

    great work sandeepji u can b little bold also

  34. cricfan
    August 11, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    @Joe Stalin, perhaps because they aren’t even true commies, merely freeloaders who traded in their conscience for a self-serving knowledge of English.

  35. Joe Stalin
    August 11, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    Jooske and others on the left why is it that the left does not have any problems with Islamo fascism ,terrorism and jihad and indeed runs propaganda for it while demonizing everyone else ????

  36. Amit
    August 11, 2011 at 3:35 AM

    neelkanth wrote:

    “She will refute them in the same way that she does here, by merely stating the position of her opponents, and saying, “See, this is what these bad people say” as if what they say is self-evidently evil. She might also blatantly attribute false motives to their actions.”

    Unfortunately, you are correct. People like Meera Nanda have built their “careers” on the foundations of bigoted anti-Hindu agenda, with fellow cabal members providing encouragement and peer reviews to each other in an incestuous manner. Any of them is unlikely to admit her/his fault or display of poor logic, and the only response will be to brazen it out and call names – anything other than that will result in her membership to the cabal getting revoked and her cushy “career” in tatters. Intellectual dishonesty is the norm in these academic circles and acquiring degrees gives such intellectual dishonesty a sheen of legitimacy.

  37. Jooske
    August 10, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Is there such a thing as the Hindu Right?

    Is there such a thing as the right wing Hindu ?

    Is there such a thing as the Hindu New Right?

    Is there such a thing as a fundamentalist Hindu?

    Is there any answers to these questions?

  38. Prashanth K.P.
    August 10, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Sandeepji, If this wonderful response does not help Meera Nanda understand what it is and how it is to write an article or blog, then it is as good as futile to her marxian way of life. Pity her, is all I can say.

    Great response.

  39. Jooske
    August 10, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Subramanian Swamy piece in DNA maybe ill-advised but here is what Media Crooks had to say:

  40. Jooske
    August 10, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    As usual another great article from Sandeep.The best part is this:

    “If anything, the solid and sometimes, original research produced by VoI hasn’t ever been refuted anywhere so far. The likes of Nanda have merely ground their teeth in impotent rage and cursed the research but haven’t refuted it. ”

    Yes through research,like in:

    and ofcourse the famous one:

    The Calcutta Quran Petition

    None of this has been refuted scholarly refuted.The authors have only been called nasty names.

  41. Maverick
    August 10, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Sandeep, I hv no words for praise, for writing such a strong rebuttal. From where do you get the time man to write such blog, with detailed references, et al. Gold Standard.

  42. Jooske
    August 10, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    “Instead, she does what cowards are best at doing: she evades the issue by demonizing the people who are unafraid of telling the truth and using that demonization as a weapon to prevent people who seek it.”

    Yes in other words do not discuss what the authors write and try and refute what is written , but just give them bad names,labels etc. that is playing the man and not the ball.

  43. Jooske
    August 10, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Maybe she is picking on Elst because he gave her one of the best scholarly whacking one could get.Read it .She has not forgiven him for that. He wrote it in a hurry but still knocked her out for six.

  44. rajkumar
    August 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    SUPERB… hope meera nanda and the leftists have any guts,facts and IQ to write detailed piece against this article….will all these leftists/liberals get ready to shoulder responsibilty for leftist violence ? if not ,how else can u join RSS with brievik ,read/watch this … watch the mediafake who acts like an apologist for muslims..really good one..
    now these leftists have taken to curbing freespeech in the name of shouting/violence of mind/hate speech etc …
    all that they have in their articles is names calling such as racist/hate mongoueror/nazi/ etc… and want to browbeat those who strive for truth,with such names. great effort… i also read a few of your articles in kannada prabha newspaper…excellent … hats off for the patience and effort u put in these articles… LET FREE SPEECH WIN..

  45. neelkanth
    August 10, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Great piece Sandeep. You have covered pretty much everything.

    Amit wrote:

    “”It’d be amusing (in a sad way) to see the rationalizations Meera Nanda comes up with to dismiss the criticisms of Islam by Muslims (one ex) in these two books.””

    She will refute them in the same way that she does here, by merely stating the position of her opponents, and saying, “See, this is what these bad people say” as if what they say is self-evidently evil. She might also blatantly attribute false motives to their actions. Perfect example in the below two paragraphs.

    ===But what exactly do Breivik and his stormtroopers have against these multiculturalist ‘cultural Marxists’? The answer is simple: cultural Marxists say ‘all cultures and religions are equal’. The problem with cultural Marxists, Breivik says, is that they are egalitarian and want to create ‘a society not merely of equal opportunity, but equal condition’. But it is ‘evident’ to him that all people are not equal, because all cultures and religions are not equal. Multiculturalists and cultural Marxists are, therefore, guilty of spreading the ‘politically correct’ but false ideology of tolerance and equality of all faiths and all cultures.

    This equality is not acceptable to cultural nationalists: if all cultures are equal, how can they oppose the influx of what they see as inferior cultures? If all cultures are equal, how can they carry on their ‘consciousness-raising’ campaigns against The Quran and Sharia?===

  46. August 10, 2011 at 6:34 AM

    Meera Nanda clearly can’t refute the veracity of the data presented by VOI publications. She has been taken to pieces by Elst more than once. So now she uses the false proxy of Breivik to release some pent up steam. The fact that Nanda attacks VOI through empty rhetoric instead of scholarly discourse speaks volumes of the Goel-Swarup legacy. It also points to the importance of cultivating such intellectual titans. Now if only some of the Hindu organizations get the vision and foresight to encourage and mentor even a fraction of their members to walk the path of a Goel, Swarup, Elst, Sarkar or Majumdar…

  47. gopi
    August 10, 2011 at 5:53 AM

    Also, why did Rushdie had to live a secret life for so many years just for a chapter in a big book and Ibn Warraq still has to?

  48. cricfan
    August 10, 2011 at 5:46 AM

    MN is an alimentary mistake of nature who’s bowels and incontinence are jumbled upside down. In other words, please use your own pen during her book signing events.

  49. Amit
    August 10, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    Sandeep, excellent evisceration of Meera Nanda’s logic. I have to give props to you that you have the patience to actually sift through and analyze her brain-droppings. Along with your list of questions that Meera Nanda should reflect on, I’d add:
    1. Why did a Muslim woman, Irshad Manji, write a book titled “The Trouble With Islam”?
    2. Why did Ibn Warraq write “Why I Am Not A Muslim?”?

    It’d be amusing (in a sad way) to see the rationalizations Meera Nanda comes up with to dismiss the criticisms of Islam by Muslims (one ex) in these two books.

Leave a Comment