Conversion agents, dubious academics and farcical Indian secularism

The farce that is Indian secularism keeps getting even more farcical.

Imagine, the evangelist Pat Robertson going on CNN and being presented by his media host as an activist for secularism. Imagine, Ibn Battuta, the Muslim chronicler who espoused and propounded Islamic supremacy in no uncertain terms and heaped scorn on Hindus being presented as a great agent of secularism, syncretism and composite culture.

As absurd the above scenarios sound, they are actually true in the context of the farce that is Indian secularism. Marxist-secularist historians and their occidental Eurocentric cohorts, in a blatant subversion of history, have long sought to position religious supremacists from medieval period of Indian history as expounders of syncretism and composite culture. Agents of hegemony who found poetic expressions (in support of the hordes of their faith) when Hindus were murdered and enslaved, and Hindu women hounded into harems for lifelong sexual slavery, are today presented as great proponents of syncretism. Sundry Sufi bigots who acted as harbingers of the hordes of deen and post genocide played the role of politically, economically and militarily backed rabid conversion agents, have today been re-invented as a supposed benign facet of the desert dogma [1]. Agents who instituted massive pogroms through cross-continental religious sanctions are today celebrated as saints. All in the service of secularism.

So it comes as no surprise that Praveen Swami, an eminent journalist, invokes a fanatic conversion agent; falsely presented as just an “activist”; and some dubious academics to press his case for (more) secularism. All the while spitting venom on one of the most famous and revered of Hindu cultural symbols, the mahA kumbha melA. [Read Reality Check India’s post for more on the mahA kumbha melA angle.]

Praveen Swami’s article is undermined by his quoting the Christian agent John Dayal who is hand in glove with American evangelists and is at the forefront of spinning atrocity material for his foreign faith-friends. Since John himself is dedicated to advancing his own faith through (defense of) aggressive and often illegal evangelism his pontifications on secularism are sheer hypocrisy. Moreover, this same individual’s writings were top propaganda material for the hate site which called for balkanization of India and violence against Hindus. He has called on various Western (Christian) bodies to intervene in India’s internal affairs [2]. The All-India Christian Council, with which this “activist” is associated, not too long ago presented a list of candidates for elections in Maharashtra. Will Praveen Swami find issue with this Christian religious organization with foreign connections flexing political muscles? Perhaps not, since it is consonant with the farcical secularism Swami supports.

This “activist” has been reported to be tied to direct foreign efforts to alter Indian laws. [3]

When the Indian government felt that the foreign funds of NGOs needed more transparency, John Dayal, who presides over the All India Christian Council and the United Christian Forum for Human Rights, testified against the Indian government at PIFRAS-sponsored hearings and symposiums at Washington.

Not surprisingly, as Reality Check India points out, John Dayal’s essay that Swami refers to, “builds up to a case against FCRA (the act that enables you to find out Christian Aid money flows)”, which of course Praveen Swami conveniently ignores.

John Dayal ignited the global Christian lobby to call for preferences for Indian Christians as employees and in business trade and investment deals at the expense of non-Christians [4]. His “activism” with the US-based (Christian evangelical) “rights” groups however conveniently avoids any mention of Christian militants threatening Hindus and Buddhists, like for instance the western evangelists backed Chrianized Hmars conflicting with the Hindu Dimasas [5].

Swami also refers to Meera Nanda, whom some time back, India-Today rightly pointed out as a Hinduism hater. Nanda’s venomous words have sought to deny Indian scientific contributions. She outrageously says that any claim of Indian culture being scientific is Hindutva and resonates with “deeply Hindu and Aryan supremacist overtones”. Nanda spews mindless venom against Hinduism (and Buddhism) justifying her bile to as driven by rationalism, free-thought, etc., yet finds it fit to accept grants from the very protestant Templeton foundation which is dedicated to advancing Christian idioms like “intelligent design”. Wonder where her rationalism goes then. Interestingly, Nanda in a write-up at India-Seminar even while attacking westerners manages to blame Hinduism. For instance, Rupert Sheldrake who traces his theories to Christianity, is linked to the Indian scientist J.C. Bose, and then attacked by Nanda for his Hindu links. [6]

Praveen Swami fails to mention the “secular” Indian government taking over Hindu temples and channeling its earnings for non-Hindu causes. We can safely assume the likes of John Dayal or Meera Nanda don’t have a problem with this subversion of Hindu institutions so it probably wasn’t worth bringing up.

Even more disingenuous and dangerous is Swami’s reference to Paul Courtright’s explorations of Oedipal undertones in Hindu mythology. What Swami doesn’t mention is Courtright’s mis-translations, manipulations and even inventing of non-existent data from Hindu texts to support his concoctions. By seeking to portray Courtright as a victim, Swami actually legitimizes his dishonesty. I direct readers to go read Invading the Sacred which in a very scholarly manner exposes the academic fraud committed by Paul Courtright and his cabal. Recently, the prestigious Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research published a paper by Prof. Srinivasa Rao further exposing the dishonesty of Courtright and his bedfellows. This malice is deep-rooted in American religious studies academia where such outright hostility and academic dishonesty towards Hinduism by agenda driven “scholars” is often defended using meaningless political arguments. Courtright and his cabal have sought to deflect the erudite expose in Invading the Sacred using the bogey of Hindutva. What does a scholarly expose by Indian Americans of academic fraud in American academia have to do with Hindutva? Or secularism for that matter. This leads one to believe that it is really Hinduism itself that Courtright targets using the euphemism Hindutva. Indeed, this is also true for most votaries of Indian secularism who spare no time in spewing bile on Hindus even when the matter at hand has no direct relation to Hindus or Hinduism. Praveen Swami’s twisted piece is a fine example of this sorry situation.


  1. Read books by Sita Ram Goel and S.A.A. Rizvi for more on the fanaticism of Sufis. Goel describes them as “sappers and miners for Islamic imperialism”, “the most fanatic and fundamentalist activists of Islamic imperialists”.
  2. Malhotra, Rajiv, and Arvindan Neelakandan. 2011. Breaking India : Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines. New Delhi: Amaryllis. (p. 230)
  3. Ibid. (p. 238); [PIFRAS is an overwhelmingly Christian evangelistic organization dressed up as a rights, democracy, etc, group.]
  4. Ibid. (p. 278)
  5. Ibid. (p. 280)
  6. Ibid. (p.262)

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