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details of book (D.N. Jha, Cow)

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Recently, Vishal Agarwal has reacted to my straightforwad information about

D.N. Jha's new book on the Cow in a rather prolific way, including some

unconnected hearsay and baseless rumors about DN Jha (and about K N

Pannikkar, not connected with the question at all).

 

To achieve some balance, I have transmitted that email to DN Jha ( "Prof. D

N Jha" <dnjha ) and have asked for his reaction. Here it

is:

 

>INDOLOGY, Agarwal wrote:

>VA: As far as I am aware, 1-2 district courts have placed a stay

>order on its publication and so the book is not banned technically.

>Books can be banned in one state and can still be sold in other

>states...

 

"Banned" or "not banned", this is obfuscating and neither here nor there:

the book is under a defacto "non imprimatur" and general pan-Indian sales

stop:

 

DN JHA:

"The Jain Seva Sangh and Aadi Vipra Samaj went to a Hyderabad court on 7th

August and obtained a court injunction restraining me from printing,

publishing and releasing the book HOLY COW:BEEF IN INDIAN DIETARY

TRADITIONS. Fortunately, some copies were already sold before the court

order came so that anyone having a copy can perhaps cite it. Now the order

is operative throughout India and the book will not be

published until the court injunction is vacated. Such injunctions are much

worse than the govt.'s executive orders banning books. I am contesting the

court order but I'm not sure if I will ever win the case given the resources

of the Hindutva organisations. The famous Indian writer Khushwant Singh's

autobiography was similarly injuncted and the injunction has been vacated

after more than 5/6 years of leagal battle in Delhi, though the case itself

is still lingering on.My situation is much worse-- I'm fighting the court

case in Hyderabad, not in Delhi!Moreover, I do not have the resources that

Khushwant Singh has.

Also, it might be of interest to you that I have been receiving letters

(copies being sent to the President, Prime Minister, etc) asking me

apologise for writing the book. The VHP and its affiliates and the various

Jain organisations have been very active on this front. "

 

***

 

As for the unwarranted (what connection to writing of cultural history?)

and unwanted rumor mongering, -- unworthy of and inapproriate in an

Indology list - , Agarwal wrote;

 

>Incidentally, Dr. Bharat Gupt recalls a conversation with D N Jha (in

>the 1970's) wherein the latter remarked that he hates music but

>listens to it only because Karl Marx also listened to music. D N Jha

>is considered a 'liberal' historian (the new name of 'Marxist'

>historians after the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union) ...

 

DN Jha:

" Bharat Gupt, I'm told, teaches (I don't know which subject) in an

undergraduate college of Delhi University. I don't remember to have met

this great man during the last twenty six years that I have been in Delhi.So

the question of his ever talking to me remains doubtful. As regards my

love/hatred for music, I am a lover of music.I have a preference for

instrumental music ( e.g.,Ravishankar, Richard Clayderman, Beethoven,

Brahms, etc) and I possess their CDs.In vocal music, I have a liking for

gazals, Mirza Ghalib being my favourite. But all this is part of my private

lifeabout which Bharat Gupt can fabricate as many lies as he likes."

 

 

And what is the connection of the Cow book with this? :

 

Again, Agarwal:

>On a related note, recall that in Kerala, K N Pannikkar, another

>liberal historian, was made the Vice Chancellor of Kaladi Sanskrit

>University by the ex-Communist government of that state.....

 

Best, MW

 

========================================================

Michael Witzel

Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University

2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

 

ph. 1- 617-496 2990 (also messages)

home page: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm

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Help Feed Needy Children in India
If you enjoy these articles please consider helping us to feed needy children in India through the Bhaktivedanta Ashram (FoodRelief.org):

I hope to provide an explanation of my own intent, to balance

Professor Witzel's message. I do not wish to prolong this discussion

hereafter. There is considerable literature on the question of beef

eating in ancient India, and I have made it abundantly clear in the

past that the current evidence from texts and archaeology clearly

supports that beef was eaten in olden times in India.

 

INDOLOGY, Michael Witzel <witzel@f...> wrote:

> "Banned" or "not banned", this is obfuscating and neither here nor

there:

> the book is under a defacto "non imprimatur" and general pan-Indian

sales

> stop:

 

VA: Please refer to your message 1758 on this list wherein you say

that the book has been 'officially banned like the Satanic verses'.

My response merely corrected this terminology. The correct wording

could have been 'unofficially banned'.

 

>

> DN JHA:

> "The Jain Seva Sangh and Aadi Vipra Samaj went to a Hyderabad court

on 7th

> August and obtained a court injunction restraining me from printing,

> publishing and releasing the book HOLY COW:BEEF IN INDIAN DIETARY

> TRADITIONS. I am contesting the

> court order but I'm not sure if I will ever win the case given the

resources

> of the Hindutva organisations.

VA: I personally do not see any connection between the Jain Sewa

Sangh / Aadi Vipra Samaj and the 'Hindutva' organizations. The fact

is that that there are clearly alternative views and interpretations

of many of such passages in Jaina/Buddhist and Hindu cannons and

works such as that of D N Jha quote their sources very selectively.

An objective writing of history and culturally study, especially on

controversial topics, should take into account alternative views and

then support/reject/qualify them. It is wrong to characterize any

objections to these 'liberal' views as 'Hindutva'.

 

 

> As for the unwarranted (what connection to writing of cultural

history?)

> and unwanted rumor mongering, -- unworthy of and inapproriate in an

> Indology list - , Agarwal wrote;

>

> >Incidentally, Dr. Bharat Gupt recalls a conversation with D N Jha

(in

> >the 1970's) wherein the latter remarked that he hates music but

> >listens to it only because Karl Marx also listened to music.

VA: In his response, D N Jha certainly DOES NOT deny his communist

affiliations. It is also possible that Bharat Gupt remembers meeting

him but D N Jha has forgotten what was a chance encounter in a public

meeting (as I understand Dr. Gupt's relevant post elsewhere). My

intent was not rumour mongering, because I had clearly stated the

source of my information. The intent of this message was to show that

such scholarship is not 'unmotivated' or free of 'ideological

affiliations' and that many 'objective' scholars do have political

connections in India.

 

> Again, Agarwal:

> >On a related note, recall that in Kerala, K N Pannikkar, another

> >liberal historian, was made the Vice Chancellor of Kaladi Sanskrit

> >University by the ex-Communist government of that state.....

 

VA: The message was written after reading the words 'officially

banned' in your original message

INDOLOGY/message/1758

I had intended to state that political interference in Academia is

seen in the case of all political organizations in India. For most

part, the Eminent Historians have actually benefited from this

arrangement - monetarily, politically and ideologically.

 

Hope this closes the discussion.

 

Best,

 

Vishal Agarwal

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A Jain point-of-view of the D.N. Jha book is at

http://www.jainsansaronline.com/newsreview/

 

A news-item about the activities of the Hyderabad

Jain Seva Sangh is at

http://www.indiatimes.com/toit/06mhyd8.htm

 

This is one of the two groups that moved the Hyderabad court

against Jha's book, as per

http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/08/09/stories/0209000p.htm

 

A Hindutva connection is not clear.

 

-Arun Gupta

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