Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wendy Doniger's modus operandi

I would no more go to Wendy Doniger for knowledge about Hindus than I would go to John Yoo for knowledge about US Constitutional law.  This is because I was there at her unmasking more than twelve years ago.  This was the time of RISA Lila (RISA = Religion in South Asia, an arm of the American Academy of Religion (AAR)), when the power equation in US academia became very clear to Hindus in America.  (Yes, back then, when Hindus painfully learned it, they were apparently whining and biased and fundamentalists and fascists and all the smear words you can throw at.   But the nature of US academia in economics is made clearer, isn't it?  by Paul Krugman's blog and his account of freshwater vs saltwater economists, and what kind of papers are allowed to be published.  So perhaps the Hindu case may meet a little less skepticism. )

What I like about this linked essay is that it goes straight to the heart of the modus operandi of Wendy Doniger and her students.   It also goes to the problem manifest on the Hindu side - the lack of confident scholarship to counter Doniger and company on her playing field.  Too many of them also believe that the study of religion in the university would violate secularism - so India does not have the equivalent of the AAR.   The Indian anglicized elite continues to have a strong case of Macaulayitis as well.