Rajiv Malhotra, the Indian-American author and founder of Infinity Foundation which provides grants for research, education and community work, addressed a full hall audience at the Indiranagar Sangeet Sabha on Sunday. He spoke about the dangers of disappearance of Hinduism in its original forms and his upcoming book Indra’s Net.
He stressed that there were several aspects of Hinduism which have found place in the western world and other cultures as well, which are Indian. “While some may feel proud that we, as Indians, have a heritage, bits of which is being adopted the world over, it is not very healthy for the survival of Hinduism,” he said.
Malhotra, who has studied philosophy and religion, believes that this process of absorption or ‘digestion’, as he refers to it, of everything that is Hindu, will cause the religion and culture to disappear.
Speaking at the event organised by Uthishta, which comprises a group of youngsters, mainly from the IT sector, who have come together to serve those who are economically and socially marginalised, he said, “For example, when Dharma Institute, Los Angeles, gave out awards last year, which marked Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary, the person who was felicitated is someone mentioned in my book Indra’s Net as a person whose remarks are derogatory to Vivekananda. This might not be intentional, but he knows nothing about Vivekananda’s teachings. He might say, ‘Vivekananda was so great, he created a new religion from nothing.’ And this will be misinterpreted by others.”
He talked about how there’s Christian yoga and Christian Natyam where, through Bharatanatyam, Mary and Jesus are glorified. “In Bharatanatyam schools abroad, they are taught three version of Bharatanatyam – a Hindu version, a secular version that speaks of human rights violation, feminism or the like and a Christian version – and told to perform according to the audience,” he declared.
He stated that once a particular thing gets ‘digested’ into Christianity as the Pagans were, the original source is demonised and soon disappears. “The Druads, Celtics, they’ve all vanished,” he said. He also added that the concept of bell ringing, monks and monasteries or even Ayurveda have been borrowed from Hinduism.
“There are those who don’t even understand the problem that I’m trying to find a solution to — they say, even if Hinduism is wiped out in India, it will survive in the rest of the world. It’s like saying that even if the goat is eaten by a tiger, it survives in the tiger’s stomach,” he ridiculed.
The talk was followed by an interaction. Responding to a question on whom he would vote for, he cited his tweet, ‘Stop the forces breaking India, vote for Modi for making India’. “AAP might have potential, but it can’t experiment, use India as a guinea pig. With Modi, you know what he’s capable of as he’s already done it in his own state,” he said.
As the evening drew to a close, the Kannada translation of Malhotra’s Breaking India titled Vibhinnate and a condensed version Vibhinnate Sankhsipta were released by Sri Sri Sri Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji of Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math. Justice N Kumar, Karnataka High Court was also present.