HistoryIndiaIndian CulturePoliticsReligion

Indology Nonsense from Univ of Chicago's Martha Nussbaum!

Martha Nussbaum is the Professor at University of Chicago for Philosophy. Here she is talking about the Gujarat riots after Godhra. It is amazing the way the Leftist view is taken and the history is made a mockery of! Let me deal with her points – in italics here.

First, Aryan Invasion is not a convincing theory (YES Theory is what it is) yet. There are many holes in it. So to say that one set of Hindus – north of a certain line are Aryans… and South of a certain line are Dravidians is mischievious and a mischief that was perpetuated by that guy called Max Muller. I have read his letters to his friends and he does come out as a guy driven to make sure that Indians get a certain hue of our history…. that makes us mental and intellectual slaves of the West always. It was important because India was SO OVERWHELMINGLY ahead of the West in economics that this would put all that behind! The truth is that India was way up in the world for 1000 years before the Mughals came in. And then the decline started! The wealth was suddenly concentrated in the ruling class and the common man was worse off. What was created in the Mughal times? Palaces and big forts! Have you seen any major palace – ostentatious at that – of any period before the Mughals? At best they created temples in South.. which benefitted the common man if at all. And THAT brings me to my point also… if Aryan Invasion theory was true.. then this will be the first time in history that two people separated by miles and ages came up with the SAME RELIGIOUS framework and GODS and GODDESSES!! There are other aspects of why the Aryan Invasion theory is a complete fabrication and was used as a tool by the Brits, which I shall deal with in a separate article later.

Second, Yes, the Hindu society has the ills of caste and also class. But "Hindu" society is not alone. It is the same with every society! If you want to see the problems in a Muslim society.. look at the mayhem in Iraq. At the very least, we dont go out killing the others! And if you think the Christians are the ones with peaceful Halo… go read on the struggle in Northern Ireland!

Also read:  Asia has no Religion, its a Western construct

Third, yes there are regional differences between the "Hindus" but what aggression and hostilities is she talking about? Is she saying that a Punjabi Hindu will go kill a Gujarati Hindu just because they are "different"?? That is absolute NONSENSE!! Hostilities happen on regional basis, if at all, for economic and other reasons.. it has nothing to do with religion at all!!

Fourth, I also believe that Hindus and Muslims should and can live peacefully.. but there are only two instances of that – Akbar’s 50 year rule and Sufi traditions. Now, in both the cases, Spirituality with a high tolerance, and indeed, understanding of spirituality from all the traditions was the key! Is that the case in today’s Islamic societies??? For the co-existence to happen, tolerance is important. Today’s Islamic societies are nowhere living or thinking on the lines of Sufis at all!! They are actually, if at all, going the Wahabi way.. a tradition that was adopted by Aurangzeb. So to talk of a generation that swears by Aurangzeb’s philosophy and to give them the treatment that happened when Akbar propogated HIS version (which Aurangzeb revolted against).. is again.. NONSENSE!!

These "philosophers" like Martha are good to make the clueless Americans – who did even know if Afghanistan War of Bush was success or not (and it wasnt as it is being shown amply now) – happy and knowledgeable.. but she really comes out with complete nonsense!

The Hindu right’s view of history is a simple one. Like all simple tales, it is largely a fabrication, but its importance to the movement may be seen by the intensity with which its members go after scholars who present a more nuanced and accurate view: not only by strident public critiques, but by organized campaigns of threat and intimidation, culminating in some cases in physical violence. Here’s how the story goes:

Once there lived in the Indus Valley a pure and peaceful people. They spoke Vedic Sanskrit, the language of the gods. They had a rich material culture and a peaceful temper, although they were prepared for war. Their realm was vast, stretching from Kashmir in the north to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in the south. And yet they saw unity and solidarity in their shared ways of life, calling themselves Hindus and their land Hindustan. No class divisions troubled them, nor was caste a painful source of division. The condition of women was excellent.

That peaceful condition went on for centuries. Although from time to time marauders made their appearance (for example, the Huns), they were quickly dispatched. Suddenly, rudely, unprovoked, invading Muslims put an end to all that. Early in the 16th century, Babur, founder of the Mughal dynasty, swept through the north of Hindustan, vandalizing Hindu temples, stealing sacred objects, building mosques over temple ruins. For 200 years, Hindus lived at the mercy of the marauders, until the Maharashtrian hero Shivaji rose up and restored the Hindu kingdom. His success was all too brief. Soon the British took up where Babur and his progeny had left off, imposing tyranny upon Hindustan and her people. They can recover their pride only by concerted aggression against alien elements in their midst.

What is wrong with that picture? Well, for a start, the people who spoke Sanskrit almost certainly migrated into the subcontinent from outside, finding indigenous people there, probably the ancestors of the Dravidian peoples of South India. Hindus are no more indigenous than Muslims. Second, it leaves out problems in Hindu society: the problem of caste, which both Gandhi and Tagore took to be the central social issue facing India, and obvious problems of class and gender inequality. (When historians point to evidence of these things, the Hindu right calls them Marxists, as if that, by itself, invalidated their arguments.) Third, it leaves out the tremendous regional differences within Hinduism, and hostilities and aggressions sometimes associated with those. Fourth, it omits the evidence of peaceful coexistence and syncretism between Hindus and Muslims for a good deal of the Mughal Empire, including the well-known policies of religious pluralism of Akbar (1542-1605).

Story Link

Also read:  Delhi University - Where men are an After-thought!!

Powered by Qumana

Get Drishtikone Updates
in your inbox

Subscribe to Drishtikone updates and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

Related Articles

2 thoughts on “Indology Nonsense from Univ of Chicago's Martha Nussbaum!”

  1. There is no archaeological evidence of an Aryan invasion into India. See quote “archaeology knows of no Aryans, only linguistics knows of Aryans.” from a famous international archaeo-linguist Mahadevan http://www.harappa.com/script/….
    While he claims the Aryan invasion happened, he concedes there is no archaeological evidence anywhere to support it. The Vedas also claim their origins in/near the Indian subcontinent.

    As for caste system, the caste system in the west is evident in the treatment of most non-white people; mainstream whites shun blacks and hispanics in their housing communities, rental apartments and most social interactions. Until the late nineties there was no black coach in American Football even though 80 pct of the players were black(!).

    Hispanics (and Indians) discriminate similarly with blacks (search google for “black hispanic violence in LA”). Blacks also do it in retaliation.

    The differences in Hinduism’s sects are mostly due to selfish misinterpretations or avoidance of the seminal Vedic texts over the ages. There is still lots of commonality in all the sects including the underlying tolerance which has still ensured peaceful coexistence of the sects.

    Islam’s intolerance is evident in the fact that for almost all of the Mughal period except for the 60 odd years of Akbar, there was ‘jaziya’ tax (non-believer’s tax) imposed on hindus in their own land. That is not quite a desirable ‘peaceful coexistence’.

  2. There is no archaeological evidence of an Aryan invasion into India. See quote “archaeology knows of no Aryans, only linguistics knows of Aryans.” from a famous international archaeo-linguist Mahadevan http://www.harappa.com/script/mahadevantext.html.
    While he claims the Aryan invasion happened, he concedes there is no archaeological evidence anywhere to support it. The Vedas also claim their origins in/near the Indian subcontinent.

    As for caste system, the caste system in the west is evident in the treatment of most non-white people; mainstream whites shun blacks and hispanics in their housing communities, rental apartments and most social interactions. Until the late nineties there was no black coach in American Football even though 80 pct of the players were black(!).

    Hispanics (and Indians) discriminate similarly with blacks (search google for “black hispanic violence in LA”). Blacks also do it in retaliation.

    The differences in Hinduism’s sects are mostly due to selfish misinterpretations or avoidance of the seminal Vedic texts over the ages. There is still lots of commonality in all the sects including the underlying tolerance which has still ensured peaceful coexistence of the sects.

    Islam’s intolerance is evident in the fact that for almost all of the Mughal period except for the 60 odd years of Akbar, there was ‘jaziya’ tax (non-believer’s tax) imposed on hindus in their own land. That is not quite a desirable ‘peaceful coexistence’.

Get Drishtikone Updates
in your inbox

Subscribe to Drishtikone updates and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Close
%d bloggers like this: