Joel Stein Attacks Hinduism and Hindus

Joel Stein Attacks Hinduism and Hindus

Joel Stein’s Independence Day Special in Time Magazine:
A Case Study in Judeo-Christian Attitude towards the Hindus

Thayalan Reddy

thayalan_reddy_2“… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. …”

Proclaimed so the founding fathers of the American Republic in 1776. Ever since, the fourth of July every year is celebrated in America as a reaffirmation of that commitment to equality among men. But this year, one columnist, Joel Stein, chose to celebrate his country’s independence by authoring a piece in the premiere publication TIME (“My Own Private India” By Joel Stein, dated July 5th, 2010,    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1999416,00.html ) that exhibited the most virulent racist and atavistic attitude towards fellow men that reminded of a bygone era of lynch mobs in American history.

An attack against American Hindus and Hinduism

“… I question just how good our schools were if “dot heads”
was the best racist insult we could come up with for a group of people
whose gods have multiple arms and an elephant nose. …”
Quote from Joel Stein’s Time Magazine column

There were usual “Indian American” muted and laid-back protests against Mr. Stein and the Time magazine. Consequently, the publication and the columnist issued a clarification roughly on the lines of “Oh gee … I am sorry.”

But there is something more than meets the eye.

American Hindus seldom recognize their socio-political and civilizational existence. Most try to pass off as Indian-Americans. The “H” word is considered perhaps too barbaric to be cognizant of. Nevertheless, the attack against India and “Indian Americans” directly and linearly translated into an attack against Hinduism and American Hindus. Joel Stein could have been dismissed as an ignorant racist, but in this day and age of the Internet, Google and Wikipedia, the thickest of the thick heads would know what it precisely means to pass disparaging remarks against “multiple gods with multiple arms and an elephant nose.” Even when given the usual benefit of the doubt, as a Jew, Mr. Stein wouldn’t have dared call Muslims “followers of a scar faced deranged murderous pedophile Prophet.” Let him try something like that and then forced to live like a fugitive all his life. Moreover, Mr. Stein couldn’t have passed this as only a racist/ethnic slur because Lord Ganesha is not only worshipped by brown-skinned immigrants from India, but by many from his own racial and ethnic background. Mr. Stein’s column is pure and simple, an attack against Hinduism and Hindus. There are no two ways about it. He is just being half-clever in cloaking his sheer hatred for Hinduism in an ethnic/racial packaging.

Mr. Stein, the Time magazine and the whole world knows to take all kinds of liberties with Hindus and Hinduism precisely because they know they do not have a cost to incur. Most Hindus are too timid to even register a whimper of a protest. Those who have tried did so by accepting the racial/ethnic camouflage a priori and responded within that framework. This arrangement actually suits the docile and inert nature of Hindus.

Historical Backdrop of Joel Stein’s attack against Hindus and Hinduism

The case of Joel Stein’s attack begs the question – why would a Jew attack Hindus and Hinduism? The “conventional wisdom” says that Jews are visibly the most persecuted people in the world. So why would member of a persecuted religious community assault another historically persecuted community  (“…the Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. …” — Will Durant in The Story of Civilization)? On top of that, Hindus are perhaps the only people who never persecuted their Jewish minority. But this is where the “convention” needs to be challenged.

Historical victimization and outright murder of millions of Hindus were perpetrated by people of monotheistic religions – not only Muslims and Christians, but also Jews (though not directly). For the most part, the massacres have received little attention because Hindus unlike Jews, Muslims and Christians are generally reluctant to dwell on their sufferings or create elaborate and unending documentations about such episodes. Nevertheless a vast majority of people may be surprised to learn that the Jews had caused the deaths of more Hindus than Hitler had ever done to the Jews. Indeed, the facts are plain that their participation in the corporate affairs of the British East India Company led to the defrauding, deceit and wholesale murder of Hindus throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries. Yet, few can deny that it was the Jewish-Prime Minister of Britain – Benjamin Disraeli – who had presided over the famines, which led to the deaths of upwards of 30 million Hindus in India – that is five (5) times the number of Jews killed by Hitler.  We know now that such famines could not have occurred without the Jewish controlled agency of the British Government being involved.

Simply stated, if Hindus had been left to their own devices, they would have come up with a plan to prevent starvation as they had done in all previous occasions. Hindus throughout their history were competent agriculturalists, who had successfully provided for themselves before Disraeli‘s government took over the affairs of Hindus. All this changed, during Disraeli’s rule.  Hindus were forcibly separated from their families and homeland when they were forcibly shipped to places like Africa, Trinidad, Jamaica, Fiji and other places. The explicit purpose for the inhumane exercise was to fulfill Britain’s need for slave labor in its sugar cane plantations throughout its colonies. We know for sure that many Hindus perished at sea in an attempt to get back to mainland India as soon as they had realized that they had been duped by the Disraeli government.

No doubt, it is hardly difficult to understand the reason that Stein fails to comprehend how a group of Hindus from halfway across the world would “chose a random town in New Jersey to populate.” Evidently, he seems to ignore the fact that the Hindus were the very people whom his ancestors had sought to murder and pillage in order to gain such niceties as spices, gold, diamonds and rubies. Could it be that Mr. Stein is angry because Hindus have successfully occupied his town by the most non-violent means as opposed to the role that his ancestors played in helping to slaughter innocent people, viz. the Native Americans, to steal their lands and resources?

In his article, Mr. Stein mentions India’s poverty as if such a thing is a curse. Evidently, he failed to recognize that as recently as 2 – 1/2 Centuries ago India was the wealthiest country in the world. Again, all that changed when the Jews conspired with the British to wipe out 30 million Hindus in their greed to control the financial affairs of India.

Without question, the Hindu people would have loved to be the friends of the Jews. After all, they share a common threat viz. the Jihadis of Islam. However, no such friendship is possible when people like Stein seek to insult the dignity and integrity of the Hindus.

Religious/racial hatred leads to violence and genocide

The socio-political inert Hindus seem to ignore the likes of Joel Stein and dismiss his diatribes as a useless rant. But they ignore the fact that there is a derivative relationship between hatred and violence. This equation ultimately leads to genocide. This is precisely what had happened with the Native Americans. And it could happen to Hindus in America.

It should be understood that Mr. Stein’s reference to “dot head” is interesting and particularly insulting. Notably, there was a time (1980’s) when frenzied Christian and Jewish youth would insult and beat Hindu women and men for wearing the traditional red dot on their foreheads. According to Anupam Chander, one particular incident in 1987, led to the death of a thirty-year-old Indian immigrant bank manager, Navroze Mody, who was beaten to death by a gang chanting “Hindu, Hindu!” It should not surprise anyone that Joel Stein himself might have belonged to such a gang. Genuinely, a hypothesis that Stein might have been a “dot buster” would hardly be farfetched when one considers the ease in which he mentions the words “dot heads” in his article.  Once again the “dotbusting” is a quintessentially anti-Hindu enterprise – because it is only Hindu women who put a bindi on their foreheads.

Apparently Mr. Stein is the not the only Judeo-Christian supremacist in New Jersey who is building a case for the eventual purging of American Hindus. The Jewish President of Edison Police Union proudly claimed that “Indians (read Hindus) are cockroaches, animals, Illiterates and that Illegal must Go home” (Italics by author). According to Dave Makkar, a distinguished Indian activist,” these slurs were openly made in the presence of Print & TV Media in broad day light under the administration of Governor Jon S Corzine, Mayor Jun Choi and Police Union President Michael Schwartz.

Once an environment of racism and Judeo-Christian supremacy is built, it becomes rather easy for criminals to get away with murder. The perpetrators of crimes against Hindus have many positive incentives to target them. Firstly, they can be assured that the police will engage in shoddy investigations. Secondly, Hindus are reluctant to report crimes because they are aware that many prosecutors and police officers will twist the crime to suit the perpetrators needs. Indeed, it is not uncommon for the authorities to either cover up or ignore a Hindu’s request to bring charges against the police or its chosen citizenry.

Quite obviously, under such tyrannical circumstances, the police department has given the proverbial “green light” to members of the offending community to squash Hindus as cockroaches. This situation ought to be of grave concern to every Hindu, however mild-mannered he or she may be.  Sure enough, many Hindus or their children will someday encounter such corrupt circumstances. As it is one family has already been placed under this unfortunate situation.  The case again is from New Jersey where on June 25th, Dr. Divyendu Sinha was murdered by a gang of what appears to be neo-dotbusters (ref – http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/06/three_arrested_in_group_beatin.html ).

It may well be that the five individuals who were involved in the murder of Divyendu Sinha and the beating of his children, must have taken a cue from the attitude of their police department. After all, the department had depicted Hindus as cockroaches and as someone who did not belong to the United States.

Joel Stein chose to write his hate-filled column round about the same time with a reference to the same neighborhood where this attack had occurred. Is that a mere coincidence? May be. But if a continuum has to be discerned, doesn’t it look like as if a trophy is being showcased in an international publication on account of concrete “accomplishment” at the street level? By no stretch of imagination a material link between the two incidents is being suggested. However, these types of signals transmit at the subconscious levels as well.

American Hindus must protect themselves

American Hindus must clearly understand that they cannot remain silent or wonder who will be the fodder for the next racist police or citizen who wants to take their anger out on them. Professor Sinha’s murder must challenge to seek both appropriate as well as all kinds of remedies to solve the problem.  Hindu organizations that really care for the Hindus must act forthrightly and demand that all cases involving Hindus must be thoroughly investigated and that the charges against the perpetrators of crimes against the Hindus must not include half measures. The entire Hindu community has an obligation to ensure that the people who murdered Professor Sinha must be brought to justice. We cannot afford to wait for another Hindu to be beaten robbed or killed because he merely wants to take a walk outside his house.

This incident also calls for active participation of American Hindus in the mainstream political process. Most Hindus limit their mainstream political experience to attending fund-raisers for political candidates in return for a photo-op. This must change. At least the donors could ask for returns on their investments. American Hindus must also volunteer for political campaigns in large numbers. Volunteer time is as good a political leverage as money. American Hindus must also take on political projects at the local level, e.g. running for school boards, participation in tea and coffee parties etc.

Joel Stein’s article and Prof. Sinha’s murder in New Jersey must serve as a rude awakening to American Hindus to lose their inertia, leave their petty differences aside and do something to ensure that they do not end up like their soul-cousins, “the Indians” from past century – either obliterated or forced to live on reservations. Though it is highly unlikely that the Judeo-Christian supremacists would provide any separate land to build sanctuaries for the people who “worship gods with multiple arms and elephant nose.”

 

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