Swarajya recently published an article written by its senior editor on the issue of students of BHU protesting against the appointment of a Muslim faculty Firoz Khan. The protesting students were calling bigots who are threat to Dharma which rests on pluralism and assimilation. I had stopped reading the publication long ago when it put a paywall considering the fact that one shouldn’t pay money for reading sub-standard blogs written by amateurs.
In this piece, the author makes the fundamental mistake of confusing someone’s career choice with his actual interests and passion overlooking the motivation of choosing a career. Firoz Khan is glorified as he chose to study Sanskrit, much more in the same way Sheldon Pollock chose to study Sanskrit and Jeffrey Kripal studies Hindu dharma in the Indology departments around the world. The author further moves on to create the false equivalence between a Muslim studying Sanskrit and people like Ambedkar and Dayanand writing on Islam. Yes, most of us are the students of Islam, Christianity or other imperialistic ideologies with the sole motivation of knowing the enemy in the better way. We don’t study each and every detail of Communism because we have an innate affinity for it, but it’s due to the requirement to know the enemy on the intellectual battlefield.
What the author fails to understand is that an Abrahamic studying Shastras and teaching us Shastra later is ceding our traditional authority on the Shastras. Despite the proven track record of Indology departments around the world being the enemy of Dharma, we still assume that the outcome will be different this time. Yes, there may be certain Koenraad Elst and David Frawley which we can determine based on the scholarship, but the person in the question doesn’t have any such record to let us not be skeptical about it.
The author shows his brazen bias against the traditional scholars of Dharma by writing ‘These scholars may have many flaws and their worldview even after coming in contact with our scriptures may be skewed but their contribution in whetting the appetite of natives for better scholarship regarding dharma cannot be understated,’ referring to Indology scholars. In this world view, the scholarship of Kumarila Bhatta, Udayana, Medhatithi and other such formidable philosophers and commentators have no worth as they’re ultimately natives having no sense of scholarship until baptized by the Western scholarship.
The article only gets even more ridiculous when the author can’t differentiate between a Muslim investigating a secular subject such as archeology as he cites the examples of K K Muhammad and a Muslim teaching Hindu kids what will be the meaning of Dharma and Karma in the university classes. For me, the students deserve to be celebrated and applauded as, amidst the gigantic mountain of ignorance, they appear to be the very rare ones not brainwashed by the mainstream leftist academic propaganda. But we don’t expect anything better from those publications for whom temples only mean tourist spots generating revenue. What a fall this publication has witnessed