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Poses and Poseurs PDF Print E-mail
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By Chitra Raman, on 05-01-2011 00:00

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A recent essay by Wendy Doniger on the website of The Christian Post (December 30, 2010) is titled: Is Yoga a form of Hinduism?  Is Hinduism a form of Yoga? Which leads me to ask: Is American anthropology a form of Donigerism?  Or does Doniger manifest a form of American anthropology? More amazing to me than Doniger's inventiveness is her reputation as an infallible authority on Hinduism.  Many Americans would sooner turn to her than to a Hindu for answers on Hinduism, even if the latter were a scholar. Anyway, what is someone with Doniger's personal and publishing history doing on a conservative Christian website that publishes strongly anti-gay viewpoints?  Hoping she won't be noticed, perhaps?

 

Last update: 12-01-2011 00:07

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"Time" for a Sensitivity Check? PDF Print E-mail
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By Chitra Raman, on 26-07-2010 12:58

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joel_stein_blog_pix.jpgLike many whose responses roiled the blogosphere, I was outraged by Joel Stein's column  in TIME magazine (July 5, 2010) in which he described how Indian immigrants have altered his hometown of Edison, New Jersey. But when I shared the letter of protest I sent TIME's editors, I found to my surprise that several on my email list thought I had overreacted to the column. I found similar sentiments reflected in the Wall Street Journal blog India Real Time. A commentary on the furor by Pranay Gupte appeared in the Indian newspaper, The Hindu. (July 1 2010). In it, Mr. Gupte says "I know Mr. Stein well, and he is scarcely a racist." I'm sure that is true. I'm sure too, that Mr. Stein has soft puppy-brown eyes; that he is kind to his grandmother; and that he writes columns that many find hilarious. All of the above does not change the fact that the column in question is just plain offensive.  Which is why it baffles me when, instead of rapping him on the knuckles for knuckleheaded writing, fellow Indians jump up to provide more creative excuses for Stein than does Stein himself.

Last update: 26-07-2010 15:04

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Calling Her Bluff PDF Print E-mail
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By Chitra Raman, on 15-03-2010 01:00

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poker_dogs_thumb.jpgThere is an old story involving French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. It is said the artist once noticed a woman staring at one of his paintings with a particularly disdainful expression. The painting in question showed a woman with her coat partly off her shoulders; and a man standing behind looking fondly at her, holding the coat in both hands. "How vulgar!" this visitor is said to have exclaimed. The artist asked "Why is it vulgar, madame?" The woman said it was quite obvious from the painting that the woman in it was a prostitute, since the well-dressed man was shown taking her coat off."What if I told you madame, that the man in the picture is the woman's husband; that he is putting her coat on, not taking it off; that his wife has just recovered from a long illness, and he is tenderly helping her get dressed so that he can take her out?"

Last update: 07-06-2010 10:50

Keywords : Wendy Doniger, Hindu, History, India, Dharma
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