I was amazed to see how much virulent abuse my counter petition in support of Wendy Doniger received from mostly NRI Hindus (see some of the comments in my earlier post). Both petitions I tried to run were attacked with multiple entries describing vulgar connotations, orgies, sexual perversions and more. This is the wonder of free speech. Unfortunately I had to shut down the petition sites due to all the abuse I received but we did receive 44 great signatories before that happened and the support of that most hated of Indian intellectuals Salman Rushdie who also spoke in support of Wendy’s right to write the book.
I do not know Wendy myself, nor do I belong to RISA or any other organization. I am a practitioner of Advaita Vedanta as taught by Swami Vivekananda and I belong to the school of Hindu philosophy that supports the thesis that all paths lead to the same truth and promotes the idea of inquiry, questioning and personal experience. I also belong to an India where we have always had voices of dissent, questioning and reform in our religion. Whether you think of the Upanishadic seers or Shankaracharya or Vivekananda and so many others. Why should new ideas be banned.
I hope and pray that the book is not banned as it will be the end of the freedom we so love in India and around the world as Indians who believe in debate, discourse and intelligent arguments.
I look forward to a calming of waters but at the same time I continue to support the right for Wendy Doniger to not only write the book but have us all discuss and debate it in the future.