In a significant development, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP), an apex orgnization representing 20 lakh Hindu Sadhus and Sants and composed of 14 Akharas such as the Nirmohi Akhara (involved in the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute in Ayodhya), has given a ringing endorsement to the new book ‘The Battle For Sanksrit’ by Shri Rajiv Malhotra. In a letter reproduced below, ABAP President Mahant Narendra Giri says,
“After reading the book, The Battle For Sanskrit, the Akhada Parishad realizes the importance of training our sadhus in the modern academic discourse concerning our sanskriti. Only then can we participate and give our responses. It is clear to me that the academic interpretation of our sacred texts has been taken over by scholars who are not properly experienced in the Vedic tradition. We the akhadas are the true insiders of the tradition, and our adhikara should not be replaced by the views of outsiders especially those living a non-Vedic lifestyle.
As the book advocates, we respect the freedom of speech of everyone, including the outsiders. It is up to us as the traditional adhikaris to rise to the challenge being posed by the outsiders. We must respond by presenting the traditional understanding with mutual respect, as the author of the book proposes. I am calling upon our scholars to properly study the writings of Westerners, to have open and fair debates with them on key issues, and to take back the study of Hindu Dharma for the well being of our samaj.
Shri Rajiv Malhotra rightfully provokes us to start our own university of Indology, where we will teach how to do purva-paksha and uttara-paksha on Western indologists.We cannot necessarily change the thinking of outsiders, but we must protect our samaj from becoming intellectually hijacked and infiltrated by harmful lifestyles and values.
I wish the book great success and recommend our akhadas to invite the author and understand his work.
Mahant Narendra Giri
President, Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad”
This move assumes significance as it portends that the intellectual awakening in Hindu samaj has taken deep roots. There is a realization cutting across various classes of Hindu society about the need to tackle the intellectual threat to our Dharma, civilization and heritage, head on. Unlike Western ‘indologists’ such as Wendy Doniger and Sheldon Pollock who resort to distortion, cunning and even outright abuse to further their agenda, and their liberal-leftist sepoys who resort to extreme intolerance and goondaism when their viewpoint is challenged, it is heartening to see Hindu scholars talk about open debate and mutual respect.
This project of modernization within the framework of Hindu Dharma is much needed, and something which will have a far-reaching positive impact on Hindu society.
Shri Malhotra will be addressing 3 public sessions in New Delhi on the book ‘The Battle For Sanskrit’, and the schedule for these events is as below –