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Sita Ram Goel (Hindi: सीता राम गोयल Sītā Rām Goyal) (1921 – 2003), writer and publisher in late twentieth century. He had Marxist leanings during the 1940s[1], but later became an outspoken anti-communist. In his later career he emerged as a commentator on Christianity, Islam and Indian politics.

Contents

Life

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Early life

Sita Ram Goel was born to a non-traditional Hindu family in Haryana, in 1921; though his childhood was spent in Calcutta. The family looked upon Sri Garibdas, a nirguna saint comparable to Kabir and Nanak, as its patron saint and his verses, "Granth Saheb"[2], were often recited at their home.[3]

Goel graduated in History from the University of Delhi in 1944. As a student, he was a social activist and worked for a Harijan Ashram in his village. His sympathies for the Arya Samaj, the Harijans and the Indian freedom movement, along with his strong support for Mahatma Gandhi, brought him into conflict with many people in his village;[4] Goel also learned to speak and write Sanskrit during these college days.[5]

Direct Action Day

On August 16, 1946, during the Direct Action Day riots in Calcutta that were instigated by the Muslim League shortly before Partition of India, Goel, his wife and their eldest son narrowly escaped with their lives. In his autobiography, "How I became a Hindu", Goel writes that he "would have been killed by a Muslim mob" but his fluent Urdu and his Western dress saved him. He further relates, that the next evening they "had to vacate that house and scale a wall at the back to escape murderous Muslim mobs advancing with firearms."[6] He subsequently wrote and circulated a lengthy article on the riots, titled "The Devil Dance In Calcutta", in which he held Hindus and Muslims equally responsible for the tragedy.[7] His friend Ram Swarup, however, criticized him for equating Muslim violence with Hindu violence, claiming that Muslim violence was "aggressive and committed in the furtherance of a very reactionary and retrograde cause, namely the vivisection of India".[7]

Communism to anti-communism

In mid-1940s Goel met members of the CSP (Congress Socialist Party), translated writings by Narendra Deva and Jayaprakash Narayan into English, and was offered a position as an editor of a CSP publication. But his first editoral for the weekly was deemed to be pro-communist, and he had to stop writing for the weekly.[6]

Sita Ram Goel had developed a strong Marxist leaning during his student days and was on the verge of joining the Communist Party of India in 1948. The Communist Party, however, was banned in Bengal on the day he planned to officially become its member. He read Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, Harold Laski's "Communism", and "came to the conclusion that while Marx stood for a harmonised social system, Sri Aurobindo held the key to a harmonised human personality."[5] Later, books by Aldous Huxley, Victor Kravchenko, and Suzanne Labin ("Stalin's Russia") convinced him to abandon communism.[8] Subsequently he wrote many books critical of communism in Calcutta, and worked for the anti-communist "Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia" (SDFA).[9][10] According to Goel, when he wanted to apply for a passport in 1955, he was told that his case was receiving attention from the Prime Minister himself, and his application was not granted.[11]

'Nehruism' and Censorship

Goel wrote regularly for the "Organiser" weekly, whose editor K. R. Malkani was his friend. In 1961-1962 he used the pseudonym Ekaki (solitary) while writing the series "In Defence of Comrade Krishna Menon", critical of Indian National Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru.[12] Although the series was widely read and praised, he was later admonished by a leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for being too focused on Nehru, and the series was discontinued.[12][13] The collected series was published in December, 1963 by Vaidya Gurudatta [12] and an updated version released as "Genesis and Growth of Nehruism" [14] thirty years later. However Goel's writings about Nehru in the Organiser cost him his job [15] and disillusioned him of the RSS.[12]

According to Goel, he was under surveillance by the Indian government during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. He was not arrested, even though this was according to him demanded by some government leaders, including future Prime Minister I. K. Gujral.[12][16] In November, 1962 he was recruited to participate in a guerilla war against Communist China, but he refused, saying "that so long as Pandit Nehru was the Prime Minister of the country, I could be only a traitor to it." [12]

During the 1980s Goel worked on a series titled "Muslim Separatism: Causes and Consequences", but some passages from his articles were censored by the Organiser.[12] He discovered that his series was considered too controversial by the RSS leadership who thought that it was alienating Muslims from the party, and Goel had to stop writing for the Organiser after the completion of the series "Perversion of India's Political Parlance". K.R. Malkani, who was the editor for the Organiser for three decades, was sacked because of his support for Goel.[12][17] Goel also noted that on other occasions that some of his articles, e.g. his article on the Vedapuri Iswaran Temple controversy, were suppressed in the Indian media.[18][19]

Publisher and writer

Goel founded the publishing house Biblia Impex India (Aditya Prakashan) in 1963, which published books by authors such as Dharampal, Ram Swarup, K. D. Sethna and K.R. Malkani.[16] Sita Ram Goel joined the non-profit publishing house Voice of India in 1982.[20] Voice of India was founded in 1982 by Ram Swarup,[21] and published works by Harsh Narain, A.K. Chatterjee, K.S. Lal, Koenraad Elst, Rajendra Singh, Sant R.S. Nirala, and Shrikant Talageri among others .[12]

Early versions of several of Goels books were previously published as a series in periodicals like Hinduism Today, Indian Express or the Organiser. Goel speculates that, a series of article he published in Indian Express in 1989 regarding the destruction of Hindu temples by Muslims, may have contributed to the firing of its editor Arun Shourie the following year.[12] In August 1990 while releasing two books published by "Voice of India", Bharatiya Janta Party leader L. K. Advani chided Goel for using strong language.[12]

Goel also worked as a part-time secretary for the All India Panchayat Parishad whose manager was his friend Jayaprakash Narayan. Narayan was impressed by Goel's Hindi book "Samyak Sambuddha" and said to Goel, "If Sanatana Dharma is what you say it is, I am all for it. You can count me as a Sanatanist from today. You can say to whomsoever you please that JP has become a Sanatanist."[12]

Goel was fluent in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, English and Sanskrit, and read Persian.[22]

Opinions

On alleged rewriting of history books

Goel claimed that there was a "systematic distortion" of India's history which the Marxist historians of Aligarh and the JNU had undertaken.[23 ] In particular, he claims that the history of medieval India and the Islamic invasions is being rewritten. He described it as an "experiment with Untruth" and an exercise in suppressio veri suggestio falsi.[24] According to him, the Ministry of Education has extended this experiment to school-level text-books of history. Goel called it "an insidious attempt at thought-control and brainwashing" and argued that the NCERT guidelines are "recommendations for telling lies to our children, or for not telling to them the truth at all."[24]

On Indian secularism

Goel has criticized Indian secularism, alleging that "this concept of Secularism is a gross perversion of the concept which arose in the modem West as a revolt against Christianity and which should mean, in the Indian context, a revolt against Islam as well."[25 ]

On Media bias

Goel claimed that there is a Media bias in India, in particular with regard to criticism of Islam or people like Nehru. In 1955 Goel asked one of his friends, who was supportive of Nehru and who had published in many international and national journals, to write an article critical of Nehru's policies. But the Indian publications didn't accept his critical article, and he claims that his standing as a scholar in India suffered thereby.[25 ]

Goel described an incident during a seminar on "Hurdles To Secularism" in 1963 which Goel attended, and which was presided over by Jayaprakash Narayan. As Goel tells it, most participants in the seminar criticized only "Hindu communalism". But when one Muslim speaker took up the issue of Muslim communalism, he was shouted down by the other Muslims of the seminar, and had to stop talking.[26]

On Indian nationalist organisations

Goel criticized Hindu nationalist organizations like the RSS. He claimed that with few exceptions they "shared the Nehruvian consensus on all important issues", and that "the RSS and the BJS stalwarts spent almost all their time and energy in proving that they were not Hindu communalists but honest secularists." He also claimed that RSS members are worried almost only about the reputation of their organization and their leaders, and are rather ignorant to Hindu causes.[23 ] When a Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) leader asked him to write a book about the BJS, Goel replied that his book "would be pretty critical on the score of their policies."[23 ]

Goel edited the book "Time for Stock-Taking", a collection of papers critical of the RSS.[27] According to Belgian writer Koenraad Elst, Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel wrote in defence of Hinduism, never of "Hindutva".[28]

On Christianity

Goel was outspoken in his criticism of Christianity. Catherine Cornille and others have criticized Goel for his anti-Christian perspective.[29][30]

In 1995 Goel sent Pat Robertson his book "Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression", and a letter in protest to Robertson's remarks towards the religion of Hinduism.[31]

On Islam and Muslims

Goel has criticized the history and doctrines of Islam in some of his writings. His works are also cited by critics of Islam like Robert Spencer[32] and Arun Shourie[33].

Despite his criticism of Islam, he said that he is not opposed "to an understanding and reconciliation between the two communities. All I want to say is that no significant synthesis or assimilation took place in the past, and history should not be distorted and falsified to serve the political purposes of a Hindu-baiting herd."[24] He argues that the Muslims should evaluate the Islamic history and doctrines in terms of rationalism and humanism "without resort to the casuistry marshalled by the mullahs and sufis, or the apologetics propped up by the Aligarh and Stalinist schools of historians", just as the European Christians did centuries earlier with Christianity.[24]

He believed that the "average Muslim is as good or bad a human being as an average Hindu"[24], and warned:

Some people are prone to confuse Islam with its victims, that is, the Muslims, and condemn the latter at the same time as they come to know the crudities of the former. This is a very serious confusion, which should be avoided by all those who believe in building up a broad-based human brotherhood as opposed to narrow, sectarian, self-centred, and chauvinistic nationalism or communalism.[24]

Literary influences

He wrote and published books in English and Hindi. He also translated George Orwell's 1984, three Dialogues of Plato, Denis Kincaid's book "The Great Rebel" about Shivaji and other books into Hindi.

Goel was well read in Western and Eastern literature, and among his most favorite writers or works were Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Aldous Huxley, Plato, Tagore, Bibhuti Bhushan Bandopadhyay, Vaishnava and Baul poets, the Kathamrita written by Mahendranath Gupta (Sri M.) and Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy"[2].[34 ] His most favorite book was the Mahabharata, which he read in the original language.[35]

Sita Ram Goel was influenced by Indian writer and philosopher Ram Swarup. He said that his masters have been "Vyasa, Buddha and Sri Aurobindo, as elucidated by Ram Swarup".[36] He was also influenced by Tilak, Dayananda Sarasvati and Mahatma Gandhi.[34 ]

Banned books

Understanding Islam through Hadis

In 1983 Goel reprinted Ram Swarup's "Understanding Islam through Hadis". The book was a summary of the Sahih Muslim Hadith, and consisted of extracts from the Hadiths. In 1987 he again reprinted the book, but the copies of a Hindi translation were seized by the police and Goel was arrested briefly.[37 ]

In due course, some Muslims and the Jamaat-e-Islami weekly Radiance claimed that the book was offensive. In 1990 the Hindi translation of the book was banned. In March 1991 the English original was banned as well. The criminal case against Goel for printing the book was dismissed after some years on 5 May 1997, but the book still remains banned.[37 ]

Indian intellectuals protested against the arrest of Goel.[37 ] Arun Shourie commented on the criminal case:

No one has ever refuted him on facts, but many have sought to smear him and his writing. They have thereby transmuted the work from mere scholarship into warning. (...)The forfeiture is exactly the sort of thing which had landed us where we are: where intellectual inquiry is shut out; where our traditions are not examined, and reassessed; and where as a consequence there is no dialogue. It is exactly the sort of thing too which foments reaction. (...)"Freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected," it [the Supreme Court] declared last year, "cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group or people." [38]

Hindu View of Christianity and Islam (1993)

In 1993 the MP Syed Shahabuddin, who in 1988 asked for the ban of The Satanic Verses[39], demanded a ban on Ram Swarup's book "Hindu View of Christianity and Islam".[40] Goel and Swarup went into hiding because they feared that they could get arrested. The court accepted a bail, and they could come out of hiding.[41][42] Arun Shourie and K. S. Lal protested against the ban.[43][44]

Colin Maine's "The Dead Hand of Islam"

In 1986 he reprinted Colin Maine's essay "The Dead Hand of Islam" [3]. Some Muslims filed a criminal case against Goel, alleging that it violated Sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code and similar articles of the Indian Customs Act.

The judge discharged Goel and referred to the earlier court precedent "1983 CrLJ 1446". Speaking of the importance of that precedent, the judge in his discussion said: "If such a contention is accepted a day will come when that part of history which is unpalatable to a particular religion will have to be kept in cold storage on the pretext that the publication of such history would constitute an offence punishable under Sec. 153A of the Penal Code. The scope of S-153A cannot be enlarged to such an extent with a view to thwart history. (...) Otherwise, the position will be very precarious. A nation will have to forget its own history and in due course the nation will have no history at all. (...) If anybody intends to extinguish the history (by prohibiting its publication) of the nation on the pretext of taking action under the above sections, his act will have to be treated as malafide one."[37 ]

The Calcutta Quran Petition

Goel published the book The Calcutta Quran Petition with Chandmal Chopra in 1986 and on August 31, 1987 Chandmal Chopra was arrested by the police and kept in police custody until September 8 for publishing with Goel this book on the Calcutta Quran petition. Sita Ram Goel had to abscond to avoid getting arrested.[45]

Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them

There were proposals in November 1990 in Uttar Pradesh to ban Goel's book "Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them".[46]

Legacy and criticism

Sita Ram Goel has been described as an "intellectual kshatriya".[47] David Frawley said about Goel that he was "modern India’s greatest intellectual kshatriya", and "one of India’s most important thinkers in the post-independence era". According to Frawley, "Sitaram followed a strong rationalistic point of view that did not compromise the truth even for politeness sake. His intellectual rigor is quite unparalleled in Hindu circles..."[48]

Koenraad Elst met Sita Ram Goel in India and wrote about his work: "The importance of Ram Swarup's and Sita Ram Goel's work can hardly be over-estimated. I for one have no doubt that future textbooks on comparative religion as well as those on Indian political and intellectual history will devote crucial chapters to their analysis." [4] According to Elst, Goel and Swarup gave a first-hand "Pagan" reply to the versions of history and "comparative religion" imposed by the monotheist world-conquerors.[49]

The Japanese scholar Mitsuhiro Kondô claimed that Golwalkar's views on monotheistic religions "bear a striking resemblance to, and at times are identical to" the views of the Sita Ram Goel. She claimed: "the common structure between these two ideological currents [viz. Golwalkar and Goel/Shourie], separated by several decades as they are, highlights the core of the Hindu nationalist movement: ethnicism or exclusive particularism"[50] Koenraad Elst disagrees with Kondo, and says: "In sharp contrast with the repetitive-nationalistic and Indocentric approach of Golwalkar and the RSS, Goel and Shourie (and Ram Swarup before them) have developed a historical and philosophical critique of Christianity and Islam that has universal validity. It is part of continuum with Western and other foreign critiques of the said religions.[22]

The Belgian scholar Callewaert commented on Goel's book "Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression": It is a well written and well documented book, and without going into detail I can agree with many points you mention. I only take issue with the spirit in which it is written and the conclusions you draw. I worry about the aims you like to achieve, nourishing the feeling you have and that prompted you to write this book. [31] Goel wrote a lengthy reply to Callewaert that is reproduced in his book "History of Hindu-Christian Encounters".

Catherine Cornille has claimed that Goel belongs to a movement that "seeks to return to the pure Vedic religion", which Goel has denied.[29]

Partial bibliography

  • World Conquest in Instalments (1952);
  • The China Debate: Whom Shall We Believe? (1953);
  • Mind Murder in Mao-land (1953);
  • China is Red with Peasants' Blood (1953);
  • Red Brother or Yellow Slave? (1953);
  • Communist Party of China: a Study in Treason (1953);
  • Conquest of China by Mao Tse-tung (1954);
  • Netaji and the CPI (1955);
  • CPI Conspire for Civil War (1955).
  • In Defense of Comrade Krishna Menon: (A Political Biography of Pandit Nehru) New Delhi: Bharati Sahitya Sadan, (1963).
  • Hindu Society under Siege (1981, revised 1992) ISBN 81-85990-67-0
  • The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1982; second revised edition 1994) ISBN 81-85990-23-9
  • How I Became a Hindu (1982, enlarged 1993) ISBN 81-85990-05-0 [5]
  • Defence of Hindu Society (1983, revised 1987) ISBN 81-85990-24-7 [6]
  • The Emerging National Vision (1983)
  • History of Heroic Hindu Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders (1984; 2001) ISBN 81-85990-18-2 (with a review of Ram Gopal's Indian Resistance to Early Muslim Invaders Up to 1206 A.D.)
  • Perversion of India's Political Parlance (1984) ISBN 81-85990-25-5
  • Papacy, Its Doctrine and History (1986)
  • The Calcutta Quran Petition by Chandmal Chopra and Sita Ram Goel (1986, enlarged 1987 and again 1999) ISBN 81-85990-58-1 [7]
  • Sita Ram Goel, In Devendra Swarup, ed.: Politics of Conversion, DRI, Delhi 1986.
  • Muslim Separatism - Causes and Consequences (1987) ISBN 81-85990-26-3
  • Catholic Ashrams, Adapting and Adopting Hindu Dharma, edited by S.R. Goel (1988, enlarged 1994 with new subtitle: Sannyasins or Swindlers?) ISBN 81-85990-15-8 [8]
  • History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1989, enlarged 1996) ISBN 81-85990-35-2
  • Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them (1990 vol.1 ISBN 81-85990-49-2; 1991 vol.2 ISBN 81-85990-03-4, enlarged 1993)
  • Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993) (With a foreword by Philip Spratt, founder of the CPI) [9]
  • Preface to Tipu Sultan - Villain or Hero (1993) [10]
  • Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression (1994) [11]
  • Time for Stock-Taking (1997), (critical of the RSS and BJP)
  • Preface to the reprint of Mathilda Joslyn Gage: Woman, Church and State (1997, ca. 1880), (feminist critique of Christianity)
  • Vindicated by Time: The Niyogi Committee Report (edited by S.R. Goel, 1998), a reprint of the official report on the missionaries' methods of subversion and conversion (1955)
  • Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7 [12]

Hindi

  • Saikyularizm, Râshtradroha kâ Dûsrâ Nâm ("Secularism, another name for treason", 1985)
  • Samyak Sambuddha

Translations into Hindi

Further reading

  • India’s only communalist: In commemoration of Sita Ram Goel; Edited by Koenraad Elst; Voice of India, New Delhi. (2005) ISBN 81-85990-78-6 (With contributions by Subhash Kak, David Frawley, Lokesh Chandra, Shrikant Talageri, Vishal Agarwal, N.S. Rajaram and others.) [14]
  • Elst, Koenraad. India's Only Communalist: an Introduction to the Work of Sita Ram Goel. In "Hinduism and Secularism: After Ayodhya", Arvind Sharma (ed.) Palgrave 2001 ISBN 0-33 79406-0

See also

References

  1. ^ Sita Ram Goel, How I became a Hindu, Published By Voice of India, New Delhi, India
  2. ^ This is a separate collection of hymns by Garibdas and a few other Bhakti saints. Not to be confused with holy-book of The Sikhs
  3. ^ Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 1
  4. ^ Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 2
  5. ^ a b Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 3
  6. ^ a b Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 4
  7. ^ a b Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 5
  8. ^ Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 6
  9. ^ Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 7
  10. ^ Elst, Koenraad, "Ram Swarup (1920-98): outline of a biography" [1]
  11. ^ Sita Ram Goel Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 9
  13. ^ Suzanne Labin said:"I have read your masterpiece, 'In Defense of Comrade Krishna Menon.' It is profound, well-constructed, well argued, an honest, sound and brilliant study." On the dust wrapper of "In Defense of Comrade Krishna Menon"
  14. ^ GENESIS AND GROWTH OF NEHRUISM
  15. ^ Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 8
  16. ^ a b Elst, Koenraad, "India's only communalist - A short biography of Sita Ram Goel"
  17. ^ Goel, Sita Ram, "Freedom of expression: Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy"
  18. ^ Goel:How I became a Hindu, History of Hindu-Christian Encounters
  19. ^ Koenraad Elst. BJP vis-a-vis Hindu Resurgence. ch.17
  20. ^ Goel:Freedom of Expression
  21. ^ Letter by Goel to Hinduism Today, July 1998. Letters
  22. ^ a b "Koenraad Elst Who is a Hindu? (2001)
  23. ^ a b c Goel: How I became a Hindu, ch.9
  24. ^ a b c d e f Goel, Sita Ram, The Story of Islamic Imperialism
  25. ^ a b Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.9
  26. ^ Goel:Defence of Hindu Society. ch.9
  27. ^ Hinduism, Environmentalism and the Nazi Bogey, Koenraad Elst Who is a Hindu? (2001)
  28. ^ Hinduism, Environmentalism and the Nazi Bogey
  29. ^ a b Preface to Goel's "Catholic Ashrams". 1994.
  30. ^ Catherine Cornille. The Guru in Indian Catholicism: Ambiguity or Opportunity of Inculturation, Louvain, 1990, pp.192-93.
  31. ^ a b S.R. Goel:History of Hindu-Christian Encounters, 1996
  32. ^ The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion, Regnery Publishing 2006. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades), Regnery Publishing, 2005.
  33. ^ Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud. 1998
  34. ^ a b Goel: How I became a Hindu
  35. ^ Goel: How I became a Hindu, ch.1, 8
  36. ^ Interview in The Observer, February 22, 1997
  37. ^ a b c d Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7
  38. ^ Fomenting Reaction by Arun Shourie. 8 November, 1990. Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7
  39. ^ Shahabuddin, Syed. "You did this with satanic forethought, Mr. Rushdie." Times of India. 13 October 1988.
  40. ^ In Syed Shahabuddin's letter to P.M. Sayeed, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, 20th August 1993. Sita Ram Goel:The Calcutta Quran Petition., Chapter 1.
  41. ^ S.R. Goel, ed.: Freedom of Expression, 1998
  42. ^ K. Elst: "Banning Hindu Revaluation", Observer of Business and Politics, 1-12-1993
  43. ^ S.R. Goel, ed.: Freedom of Expression, 1998
  44. ^ K. Elst: "Banning Hindu Revaluation", Observer of Business and Politics, 1-12-1993
  45. ^ Elst 1991
  46. ^ Elst 1991
  47. ^ e.g. in India’s only communalist: In commemoration of Sita Ram Goel; Edited by Koenraad Elst; Voice of India, New Delhi. (2005)
  48. ^ Frawley, David. How I became a Hindu
  49. ^ Elst, Koenraad, "India's Only Communalist: an Introduction to the Work of Sita Ram Goel." In "Hinduism and Secularism: After Ayodhya", Arvind Sharma (ed.) Palgrave 2001
  50. ^ Mitsuhiro Kondô: "Hindu nationalists and their critique of monotheism", in Mushirul Hasan and Nariaki Nakazato: The Unfinished Agenda. Nation Building in South Asia, Manohar, Delhi 2001. Koenraad Elst Who is a Hindu? (2001)

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Sita Ram Goel (Devanāgarī: सीता राम गोयल, Sītā Rām Goyal) (1921–2003), author and publisher, is an important figure amongst late 20th century Hindu thinkers.

Contents

Sourced

Catholic Ashrams (1994)

  • Fundamentalism is as foreign to Hinduism as honesty is to Christian missions.

Defence of Hindu Society (1983)

  • As one reads the scriptures of Christianity and Islam with a morally alert mind, one starts getting sick of the very sound of word ‘god’ which word is littered all over this literature like dead leaves in autumn. The deeds which are ascribed to or approved of by this God are quite often so cruel and obnoxious as to leave one wondering that if these are the doings of the Divine, what else is there which is left for the Devil to do.

Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998)

  • Ascribing human brotherhood, social justice, world peace, self-sacrifice and compassion to Christianity and Islam is tantamount to proclaiming that the wolf is a votary of vegetarianism.
  • But what has happened is that the Indian State actively patronizes the exercise aimed at making all religions mean the same things, and persecutes those who defy the exercise. A whole army of 'secularist' scribes in the media and the academia has been employed and paid handsomely for whitewashing Islam and Christianity so that whatever is bigoted in the scriptures and blood-soaked histories of these creeds, is carefully exorcised. On the other hand, whatever is liberal and large-hearted, humane and civilized in the pluralistic spirituality of India is remorseless pruned to the prescribed and proper size. In the process, Christianity has been made to mean only the Sermon on the Mount, and Islam equated with two Quranic sentences torn out of context - "Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion" and "There is no compulsion in religion."
  • For Leftists in general have always opposed Theocracy in Muslim and Christian countries. It is only in India that they have become its unrivalled champions.
  • No newspaper or periodical worth its name in India will publish what I write in the lines that follow.
  • All religions were equal. But Islam was more equal.

Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993)

  • I am placing this book before our people, as I did so many others, simply because I want to be true to my own impulse for action in terms of my own lights. Rest is in the hands of Him who sends Saviours as well as Scourges according to His own inscrutable Law.

Hindu Society under Siege (1981)

  • Thus Hindu society not only presents itself as a prey to these exclusive, intolerant and imperialist ideologies but also acts as a buffer between them. India is secular because India is Hindu. It can be added as a corollary that India is a democracy also because India is Hindu. If Hindu society permits this free for all any further, the days of Secularism and Democracy in this country are numbered. Let the Hindus unite and save themselves, their democratic polity, their secular state, and their Sanatana Dharma for a new cycle of civilization, not only for themselves but also the world.

How I became a Hindu (1982)

  • To me, Dharma had always been a matter of moral norms, external rules and regulations, do's and don'ts, enforced on life by an act of will. Now I was made to see Dharma as a multi dimensional movement of man's inner law of being, his psychic evolution, his spiritual growth, and his spontaneous building of an outer life for himself and the community in which lie lived.

History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)

  • It never occurred to these knaves and fools that the Christian missionary whom they were aping and helping was viewed in the modern West as a maniac whom it was better to dump abroad with a bag of money.
  • In the case of Islam, our effort aims at raising the dialogue from the street level to the level of scholarly platforms. For a long time, Hindus have been flattering Muslims by seeing nothing wrong in the doctrine of Islam. For a long time, Muslims have been taking to the streets and shedding blood whenever and wherever Hindus object to their behaviour pattern. Muslims have never been asked by Hindus to reflect on the dogmas of Islam, and revise them wherever they go against peaceful coexistence. We are appealing to Hindus to start asking some questions about Islam so that Muslims are made to rethink. If asking questions with a view to holding a dialogue is provoking violence, we plead guilty again. Hindus had a long tradition of asking questions even about their own cherished doctrines. I wonder if you are well-acquainted with our acharyas - Brahmanic, Buddhist and the rest. It was only with the advent of Islam and, later on, Christianity that Hindus were terrorised into the habit of remaining silent when faced with wild claims and not asking any questions. We are trying to revive the ancient Hindu tradition.
  • Meanwhile, please pardon us for saying that we have found no music in the language of your letter, no rhyme in your reasoning, no value in your judgments, and no art or education in your performance as a whole.

Perversion of India's Political Parlance (1984)

  • The word secular is defined in the dictionaries as "the belief that the state, morals, education, etc. should be independent of religion." But in India it means only one thing -- eschewing everything Hindu and espousing everything Islamic.

Time for Stock-Taking (1997)

  • The only substantial contribution was made by an RSS lawyer hailing from Anantnag in Kashmir. “I have studied Islam in depth,” he said, “and found it to be a great religion. I cannot understand anyone placing Islam in the dock.” Ironically enough this defender of Islam was literally the first to be shot dead when the ethnic cleansing started in the Valley in the winter of 1989.
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