Posted on: 26 December 2016

From Macaulay to Frawley, from Doniger to Elst: Why do many Indians need White saviours?
By Devdutt Pattanaik Dec 24, 2016

Would non-White Indologists evoke such passions as the likes of Sheldon Pollock and Wendy Doniger or David Frawley and Koenraad Elst do?

There is a wound that festers in the Hindutva heart. And it is attributed to Thomas Babington Macaulay.

Macaulay was a British politician who in the 19th century played a big role in introducing English education to India at the cost of indigenous Sanskrit and Persian knowledge systems, because he saw India as primitive and chaotic, in need of civilising.

But if the British in general and Macaulay in particular get blamed for colonising the Indian mind with English, the current problem seems to be more with the Americans.

For some years now, the non resident Indian supporters of Hindutva have been especially angry with American Indologists such as Wendy Doniger, whom they accuse of a perverse reading of Hinduism in sexual terms, and Sheldon Pollock for describing Sanskrit, the holy language of Hindus, as a dead language.

But who does Hindutva turn to for establishing the greatness of Hinduism, and Sanskrit, and Vedas? A European, Koenraad Elst. And an American, David Frawley.

So much for “decolonising” the Hindu/Indian mind. So much for swadeshi.

In 2010, when Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power, Sheldon Pollock was honoured with a Padma Shri award. It so annoyed the Hindutva lobby that once the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, David Frawley was awarded with a Padma Bhushan, a rung higher in the hierarchy of Indian civilian awards. The irony of Indians (resident and non-resident) fighting over two Americans was lost on all.

Does this reveal our deference to White scholarship? Does this reveal Indians are beyond racism? One wonders if African American Indologists or Chinese American Indologists would ever evoke similar passions.

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Not fair to compare Wendy Doniger and Sheldon Pollock to Frawley. First read the material produced by Frawley, he is practicing the religion more than most of us and has a deep insight into Sanatana Dharma .. Doniger and Pollock will remain outsiders and their commentary is superficial at best and degrading our deep and rich culture and religious symbolism

Western indologists fill the vacuum, but they didn't create it. As long as pundits feel themselves victims of this or that "white" person, nothing productive will come out of all this "decolonizing".

We don't need swadeshi indologists... we need a decolonisation of the methods of indology

There is work to be done to bring prominence to Swadeshi Indologists.

Lol.. Out of all people a Sold Out Devdutt is talking about Koenard and Frawley... When you realised your game is over you have staring shedding crocodile tears. We absolutely need Swadeshi Indology and need to Decolonise the minds of especially literate and English speaking Indians...

Devdutt Pattanaik is a sold out student of wendy. he should be the last person commenting on Frawley and Elst, and comparing them with wendy doniger and pollock.

Making of Swadeshi Indologists is just on very recently. We need to bare with status quo for a while.

Uroš Zver a tad simplistic I think but what are your thoughts?

We need our very existence to be validated by the West. It's sad.

Impact of 200 years of Brit rule!! We really need to start taking pride of our culture/religion !

Join hands and publish and promote local litreture, whichever state you are from. Small pocket booklets on state, National heros. Free public distribution so people read Sharad Chandra, Kabir, Adi Shankaracharya etc..

Join hands, find local publisher, fund the project= BHARAT NO. 1

DP is clearly angry with Rajiv Malhotra for taking on his gurus wendy and sheldon..he is spewing hatred for the wounds he has been inflicted by Swadeshy Indology..Rajiv clearly explains whom he calls 'Insiders' and 'Outsiders', while DP along with wendy and sheldon are outsiders to Indic tradition, Koenraad and Vamadeva are both Insiders who have taken Indic culture in positive tone outside..DP is clearly angry that Rajiv has exposed his nexus...

David Frawley can't be called an outsider as he is an ardent practitioner of Sanatan dharma ,and Shakti devotee in particular, more than anyone of us.He experiences things and then comments on them unlike Maxmuller, Sheldon, Wendy Doniger. US-based NRI ,Rajiv Malhotra in his book "Invading the Sacred" and "Battle for Sanskrit" exposes the baseless allegations and self-assumed notions of both Doniger(who portrays hinduism=sexism) and Sheldon(who misquoted our sacred texts). The grievance of people like Devdutt Patnaik is that now in America (and consequently India), their self-theologized facts are facing being vehemently questioned and criticized,and that this criticism does not come from any sadhu or saint but from a modernly-educated NRI businessman-turned intellectual i.e., Rajiv Malhotra (and his Infinity Foundation)."Invading the Sacred" book gives point-to-point logical answers to self-propelled lies of Wendy Dongier and others.

Let us read Mr. Patnaik's works and see if those are incisive and thought provoking by providing a perspective aligned in spirit with our ancient texts, or are those written by a colonised mind...

another trash from devbutt, creating doubts in people whether ramayan and mahabhrat were actual event or simply 'mythology'