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10 Controversial Quotes from Wendy Doniger's 'The Hindus'

10 Controversial
Quotes from Wendy
Doniger's

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Before You Buy This Book


Wendy Donigers controversial book The
Hindus: An Alternative History
(Penguin, 2009) has outraged Hindus
around the world like never before for
allegedly insulting and offending Hindus and
Indians. Seventy-three-year old Doniger is
an American Jewish Indologist and has been
a professor at the University of Chicago
since 1978. Although she is a well-known
authority on Hinduism, her bestseller book
has been pointed out to have many factual
errors and her perspective of things Indian,
Vedic, and Hindu has been questioned time
and again.

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'The Hindus - An Alternative History' by Wendy


Doniger. Penguin

Here are 10 outrageous excerpts from the


book that may explain the outspread uproar
against the Doniger which ultimately led to a
virtual ban of her book in India. Read more about the controversy and join the
discussion.

Expert Videos

1. The Motto of the History of Hinduism: Clearly the twothe animals of the
terrain and the animals of the mindare intimately connected, and both are

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essential to our understanding of Hinduism. If the motto of Watergate was


Follow the money, the motto of the history of Hinduism could well be Follow
the monkey. Or, more often, Follow the horse. Three animalshorses,
dogs, and cowsare particularly charismatic players in the drama of
Hinduism. (Page 39)

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2. The Monkeys and Peoples of India: The mosque, whose serene


calligraphic and geometric decoration contrasts with the perpetual motion of
the figures depicted on the temple, makes a stand against the chaos of India,
creating enforced vacuums that India cannot rush into with all its monkeys and

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God Vishnu
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peoples and colors and the smells of the bazaar and, at the same time,
providing a flattering frame to offset that very chaos. (Page 305)
3. Rape as a Legitimate Form of Marriage: a form of rape that came to be
regarded as a bad, but legitimate, form of marriage: having sex with a
sleeping or drugged woman. It appears that a womans brother too is
someone she might expect to find in her bed, though the Rig Veda severely
condemns sibling incest; it is also possible that the brother in question is her
husbands brother, a person who, as we shall see, can have certain
traditional, though anxiety-producing, connections with his brothers wife.

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25/07/2015 6:17 PM

10 Controversial Quotes from Wendy Doniger's 'The Hindus'

10 Controversial
Quotes from Wendy
Doniger's

Hinduism for
Beginners

http://hinduism.about.com/od/books/fl/10-Controversial-Quotes-...

Hindu Festivals
Calendar 2015

The Story of
Ramayana

for because the god has raped the worshiper, with overtones of the kings

It's All the Rage:


Crime and Culture, by
Wendy

power to possess sexually any woman in his realm. The mythological


possibilities encapsulated in the last two linesso, in your image, / Ill bear
you a sonare staggering; the whole mythology of gods fathering human
sons (think of the divine lineages of the Mahabharata heroes!) is cast in a
different light, for in the end the woman intends to bear the child, not to have
an abortion after all. (Page 369)
5. Dasharatha was a Sex Addict: Rama said, Sita had to enter the purifying
fire in front of everyone, because she had lived so long in Ravanas
bedrooms. Had I not purified her, good people would have said of me, That
Rama, Dasharathas son, is certainly lustful and childish. But I knew that she
was always true to me. Then Rama was united with his beloved and
experienced the happiness that he deserved. Dasharathas son is certainly
lustful is a key phrase. Rama knows all too well what people said about
Dasharatha; when Lakshmana learns that Rama has been exiled, he says,
The king is perverse, old, and addicted to sex, driven by lust. (Page 153)
6. Rama, Sita, Sex & Politics: Rama thinks that sex is putting him in political
danger (keeping his allegedly unchaste wife will make the people revolt), but
in fact he has it backward: Politics is driving Rama to make a sexual and
religious mistake; public concerns make him banish the wife he loves. Rama
banishes Sita as Dasharatha has banished Rama. Significantly, the moment
when Rama kicks Sita out for the second time comes directly after a long
passage in which Rama makes love to Sita passionately, drinking wine with
her, for many days on end; the banishment comes as a direct reaction against
the sensual indulgence. (Page 153)
7. The Sultan As an Incarnation of Krishna: In Bengal in 1418 a Hindu
actually became sultan, Raja Ganesh. His son, converting to Islam, ruled
under his fathers direction until 1431. He was succeeded by an Arab Muslim,
Ala-ud-din Husain (r. 1493-1519), who revered the Vaishnava saint Chaitanya,
in return for which the Hindus regarded the sultan as an incarnation of Lord
Krishna. (Page 299)
8. Humans as Animals: As the Hindu idea of nonviolence (ahimsa) that
emerged from debates about eating and/or sacrificing animals was soon taken
up in debates about warfare, the resulting arguments, which deeply color the
narratives of the Mahabharata on all levels, were simultaneously about the
treatment of animals, about the treatment of Pariahs symbolized by animals,
and about human violence as an inevitable result of the fact that humans are
animals and animals are violent. (Page 170)
9. Vedas Revered Violence: the Vedic reverence for violence flowered in the
slaughters that followed Partition. (Page 627)
10. Gandhi Did Not Utter Hey Ram While Dying: Gandhiwas killed,
apparently with those [Ram Rahim] on his lips*. * The words are inscribed
on a plaque near the place in Delhi where he was shot. There is much dispute
as to whether he said Ram Ram or Ram Rahim when he died. (page 446)
Before You Buy:

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25/07/2015 6:17 PM

10 Controversial Quotes from Wendy Doniger's 'The Hindus'

10 Controversial
Quotes from Wendy
Doniger's

Hinduism for
Beginners

http://hinduism.about.com/od/books/fl/10-Controversial-Quotes-...

Hindu Festivals
Calendar 2015

The Story of
Ramayana

It's All the Rage:


Crime and Culture, by
Wendy

Why Cows Are So Sacred to Hindus


Vegetarianism: Non-violence as Daily Practice
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SEE MORE

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