Colonial-Minded Academic Questions Eco-Friendly Credentials of Hinduism

Hindu haters know no boundaries and have no shame

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Those engaged in Hindudvesha are fiendishly creative. There is hardly anything pertaining to Hindus and India, no matter how routine or trivial, that the foot soldiers of Hindudevsha will not hesitate to use in order to denigrate Hindus. A case in point is a 2005 paper by a University of London academic named Emma Mawdsley.

This paper purports to analyze a 1990s campaign by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in India against a dam that was being built on the Ganga River in Uttrakhand, India. The VHP took the position that the dam would alter the fundamental nature of the river. It was also concerned that if the dam were to fail, the resulting disaster would submerge many of Hinduism’s holiest sites as well as drown thousands of downstream inhabitants.

The VHP’s arguments did not sit well with Ms. Mawdsley. Deploying a variety of old colonial tropes and tenuous logic, she makes a couple of baffling conclusions in her paper.

These conclusions are:

  • The VHP campaign was an attempt to frame the dam as a communal issue – a threat by Muslims to the Ganges and hence to Hinduism
  • The often-vaunted positive relationship between Hinduism and ecology is questionable because the references to ecology in Hindu scriptures are open to interpretation.

Her colonial mindset can be readily gleaned through this brief excerpt from her paper:

“…Most scriptures, commentaries, poems, legal treatises, and so on, reflect the views of their authors, who were usually elite, high caste, educated men. Although they provide a valuable source of material, interpretations of past environmental values or behaviors cannot be inferred simply by reference to Brahminic…texts and treatises”

In the same paragraph, without a hint of irony, she goes on to quote a number of Western authors whose commentaries on India’s ancient texts she accepts at face value.

It is unfortunate that, after more than a half-century of the demise of that abominable British enterprise called the “Raj,” these Western academics continue to peddle the tired-old twaddle that the likes of James Mill promulgated about India and Hindus.

This only goes to show, once again, that Hindu haters know no boundaries and have no shame.

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Dr. Jai Bansal is a retired scientist, currently serving as the VP Education for the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA)

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