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Washington Post and Hinduphobia by Rajiv Malhotra

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  • gargsam
    Washington Post and Hinduphobia by Rajiv Malhotra http://www.sulekha.com/expressions/column.asp?cid=305924 Excerpt........... Background In our world of
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 20, 2004
      Washington Post and Hinduphobia by Rajiv Malhotra

      http://www.sulekha.com/expressions/column.asp?cid=305924

      Excerpt...........

      Background

      In our world of constant change, many entrenched paradigms and
      worldviews are being challenged by marginalized voices. As a
      patriotic American, I consider these healthy debates as another stage
      in the series of progressive movements, like civil rights, feminism,
      gay rights and other movements that started as underdogs and
      outsiders to the established power structure and had to battle at
      great expense for every bit of progress they won. The 19th century
      Irish fought to be included as equals in America, followed by the
      Jews and various other new groups. Eventually, the efforts of each of
      these groups paid off, and these movements reinvented and
      strengthened our nation.

      However, pluralism should also go beyond the inclusion of different
      racial and ethnic groups within the paradigms of a monolithic
      culture. There needs to be a welcoming of perspectives that both
      complement and occasionally compete with the dominant Western
      mindset. As the recent geopolitical trends reveal, many Americans,
      even at the highest levels of government, academia and media, are
      often unequipped to deal with the growing resistance to the
      imposition of Western frameworks upon other traditions. Globalization
      is not going to be the Westernization of the globe. Budding discourse
      outside the purview of academia is increasingly challenging the
      monolithic and hegemonic position that Western ideals have assumed
      through the past few centuries.

      Particularly misleading has been the West's reliance upon foreign
      cronies (often positioned as institutional "experts") who reproduce
      and propagate the same Eurocentrism (or should we call it "American-
      centrism") that they have learnt by mimicry from Western
      institutions. They do this largely to gain admission into the Western
      Grand Narrative and they do a disservice to long-term American
      interests.

      Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of many Indians who are
      in humanities and English language media, located both in the West
      and in India. They have found that such mimicry serves them well in
      their fast-track quests for greater name recognition and prominence
      than would be achieved if they were to expose the establishment's
      blind spots.

      Globalization requires a challenge to the well-entrenched discourse:
      Dissenting public intellectuals should be given a fair chance to
      articulate from outside the walls of the academic and big media
      fortresses. Given the expanding Indian-American community and the
      increasing importance of India in the American mind, new minority
      Indian-American voices have emerged outside the establishments'
      walls, and these are very slowly being taken note of, if not always
      sympathetically.

      When Washington Post was recently approached by the public relations
      campaigns emanating from Emory University and other supporters of the
      powerful Wendy Doniger, a door was opened for the Post to play a
      responsible role in bringing out serious blind spots of
      Eurocentrism/American-centrism that reside deep in America's higher
      education. As shown below, the Post bungled up this opportunity by
      regurgitating the narratives supplied to it by the establishment of
      India Studies.

      Read the rest :

      http://www.sulekha.com/expressions/column.asp?cid=305924
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