19 March 2010
Hindus in New York denounce Doniger’s book “Hindus: An Alternative History” Narain Kataria in New York A consortium of Hindu organizations, temples and concerned individuals in New York and New Jersey area organized a protest demonstration at New School University Building in New York City on March 10th. The demonstration was against the decision of National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to consider honoring Dr. Wendy Doniger for her book “Hindus: An Alternative History”. [Please note that Prof. Wendy Doniger was not selected by NBCC for the honor. However, because of the very contentious nature of the Doniger award and its ramifications you are requested not to write or call NBCC in any way – positive or negative.] The protesters argued that Wendy Doniger’s book contains numerous factual errors, mischaracterizations, and shows an undercurrent of deep contempt for Hindus. For decades Dr. Doniger has been masquerading as a scholar on Hinduism and in the Sanskrit language. However Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard Michael Witzel has described Wendy’s translations of rig veda, jaiminiya brahmana and manusmriti in these stark terms – ‘lacking common sense’, ‘unreliable’, ‘idiosyncratic’ ,and “a stream of unconnected George-Bush-like anacoluths “. In the words of the BBC, “Doniger is known for being rude, crude and very lewd in the hallowed portals of Sanskrit Academics”. She called the Bhagavad Gita (one of the most sacred Hindu scripture and a classic of world religious literature) a “dishonest book” that “justifies war.” We condemn this book for its gross factual errors and gratuitously hurtful and contemptuous depictions e.g. comparing revered Hindu goddesses to Playboy models, mocking Hindus as unfaithful “serial monogamists”. This
book caricatures Hinduism in a grossly offensive and degrading manner. Doniger wants this book to be used as a “basic textbook” on Hinduism and India. Not only will this book subject students to a warped, false and bigoted version of Hinduism, it will also expose Indian-American youth to ridicule and bigotry. Narain Kataria, President of the Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF), one of the organizers of the protest said that most learned scholars of Hinduism and Sanskrit do not think highly of Doniger. They have totally rejected Doniger’s deceptive claims of being a Sanskrit scholar and they have also stated that her understanding of Hinduism is very superficial and often dead wrong. To repeat, the above book by Dr. Doniger is a work that promotes bigotry, racism and intolerance. According to one Hindu Sanskrit scholar “Her Rg Veda – I own a copy – illustrates her poor knowledge of Sanskrit and her translation is just literal, if at all. She does not have the depth
of knowledge to delve deep into Hindu texts and unravel their real meaning”. We held the demonstration to expose her bogus scholarship about Hinduism and discredit her in the eyes of academia using objective and factual criteria. Our purpose was to caution NBCC to think twice before considering Doniger for any honor. By giving a pornographic twist to Hindu objects of veneration and worship, Doniger is trying to create the illusion that Hinduism is nothing but a crude immoral religion. This has the potential to create disaffection, disillusionment and depression in the minds of Hindu children about Hindu Dharma. We organized the demonstration to protest those who willingly and deliberately support Dr. Wendy Deniger’s antiHindu agenda. In no particular order, the following Hindu organizations/ leaders from the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area participated in this protest: Raju Nanoo, Chairman, Trustee Board, Kerala Hindus of North America; Dr. Vasudeva C. Murthy, President, Kannada Koota; Srinivas Shakelly, Forum for Hindu Awakening; Bidyut Sarkar, International Federation of Bangladeshi Hindus and Friends; Sher Bahadur Singh, Member, Board of Directors, International Hindi Samiti; Sunanda Thali, Hindu Human Rights Watch; Ramen Nandi, Bharat Seva Sangh; Nagendra Rao, President, Sanatana Dharma Pratishsthapana Foundation; Dr. Sudhakar Reddy, Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party (OFBJP); Kamal Pandey of Foundation of Nepalese in America; Sher Bahadur Singh of Rashtravadi Gorkha Seva Dal; Arish Sahani and Nand Ramsinghani of Indian American Intellectuals Forum; and USHA
World’s shortest shortest man man dies dies Indian American Vinod Gupta World’s to pay $7.4 mn penalty for fraud Washington : InfoGroup Inc's Indian-American founder Vinod Gupta, without admitting or denying wrongdoing, has agreed to pay $7.4 million in penalties and a ban from positions of authority in publicly traded companies in a case of alleged fraud.In a settlement announced by the US Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, Vasant H. Raval, former director and audit committee chairman of the Omaha-based d a t a b a s e compilation company, also agreed to a $50,000 penalty without admitting wrongdoing.Also the subject of civil lawsuits filed by the SEC in the US District Court in Omaha were Rajnish K. Das and Stormy Dean, former chief financial officers of InfoGroup. They were accused of rubber-stamping illegal spending by Gupta.The SEC alleged that while chairman and CEO of InfoGroup, Gupta fraudulently used corporate funds to pay almost $9.5 million in
personal expenses to support his lavish lifestyle, according to Omaha World-Herald.He also allegedly oversaw $9.3 million in undisclosed transactions with other companies in which he had a personal stake. The other three men helped hide those transactions, the lawsuits s a y. ' G u p t a stole millions of dollars from I n f o shareholders by treating the company like it was his personal ATM,' said Robert Khuzami, Director of the S E C ' s Division of Enforcement.'Other corporate officers also abused their positions of trust by looking the other way instead of standing up for investors and bringing the scheme to a halt.'The SEC's complaints allege that from 2003 to 2007, Gupta improperly used corporate funds for more than $3 million worth of personal jet travel for himself, family, and friends to such destinations as South Africa, Italy, and Cancun.
A file photo of He Pingping of China, the world's smallest man, sitting on the lap of Svetlana Pankratova, the Queen of Longest Legs at Trafalgar Square in London. London : The world’s shortest man, He Pingping, a native of China has died in Rome at the age of 21. Pingping, who stood just over two feet five inches tall, died after falling ill while taking part in a television programme called ‘The Record Show’ Pingping was born in 1988 in Wulanchabu, China, with a form of primordial dwarfism, and was officially recognised as the world’s shortest man in 2008. Pingping was admitted to a hospital two weeks ago after suffering a chest complaint and died on Saturday, according to BBC. He became
instant world celebrity as the world media splashed the pictures of his meeting with the world’s tallest man Bao Xishun, who also hails from China. Producer of the show Europroduzione said that he had already filmed two episodes of the programme.“He started to feel slightly ill and we decided to take him to hospital. He entered hospital two weeks ago and had all kinds of tests, being a very special person he had to go though all sorts of tests. He went into intensive care three days after he was admitted,” said Marco Fernandez de Araoz, Communications Director for Europroduzione.