Guenon, Maritain, Thomism

Prolegomena to any future Western metaphysics.

Meeting of the Minds

In 1921, the great Thomist philosopher Jacques Maritain criticized Rene Guenon for participating in the rebirth of gnosis, the “mother of heresies”. Guenon responded, “It would make as much sense to speak of Catholicism as the father of Protestantism. In fact, you are simply confusing gnosis with Gnosticism.”

“If you take the word ‘gnosis’ in its true sense, that of pure knowledge, as I always do when I happen to use it … Gnosis so understood — and I refuse to understand it otherwise — cannot be called the mother of heresies. That would be the same as saying that the truth is the mother of errors.”

To be clear, by ‘gnosis’ or ‘wisdom’ as Evola usually called it, Guenon is referring to a state of being, not to a science or a set of doctrines to learn. At that point in his career, Guenon was involved in studying eastern doctrines on the one hand, and Christian symbolism on the other.

On May 25, 1925, Guenon participated in a round table discussion that included Maritain, where Guenon defended Hindu metaphysics. Guenon denied that it was either pantheist or idealist, contrary to academic consensus. Rather, it is connected more closely to the Aristotelian tradition, including the scholastic philosophy of the Middle Ages as exemplified by Thomas Aquinas.

Maritain objected because, from his point of view, this alliance between eastern and Catholic metaphysics is “an inadmissible subordination and the ruin of the distinction between the natural and supernatural order, between nature and grace.” For Maritain, metaphysics is not beyond theology, the “supreme science”.
Although Maritain had an authentic intellectual respect for Guenon, he eventually forced Guenon out of contributing to Catholic journals, and an opportunity was lost to further develop Thomism more fully and completely.

Maritain’s Misunderstanding

First of all Maritain fails to grasp Guenon’s distinction between philosophy and metaphysics, so he thinks from the perspective of the former. Since metaphysics is by definition the study of supernature (“beyond physics”), the distinction between the natural and the supernatural order is preserved. Maritain simply asserts that the supernatural order can be grasped only by faith and not by any sort of gnosis; this is remarkable, since as Guenon reminds us, for “Aristotle and his Scholastic successors .. the intellect was in fact that faculty which possessed a direct knowledge of principles.” In other words, Thomism does indeed admit a gnosis, though its full consequences have not been incorporated into theological thinking insofar as it may present a threat to the primacy of faith.

Further background

Evola also accepts Guenon’s judgment about Thomism, which he sees as part of the process of “rectification”. Interestingly enough, John Woodroffe, although he does not explicitly refer to the Aristotelian tradition (as far as I can recall), similarly denies that Tantrism is “idealist”, but is likewise “realist”. In his “Introduction to the Study of Hindu Doctrines”, Guenon develops this topic more fully. Although at one point he claims that the only Western metaphysics is that of Aristotle and the Scholastics, he clarifies:

We do not include the Alexandrians, however, upon whom Oriental influences came to be exercised in a direct manner.

The Alexandrians would include what we call the Hermetists and the St Anthony the Great.

Future Directions

Where Thomism falls short is that it is a metaphysic of Being. It needs to be enhanced with an understanding of non-being as described in the Multiple States of Being. Catholic theology is hampered somewhat by the Eighth Ecumenical Council which denied the tripartite nature of man as spirit, soul, and body. (The Eastern churches don’t accept this council.) This needs to be overcome, so elements from the Great Triad and Man and his Becoming according to the Vendanta can be incorporated.

In summary: to recreate a Western metaphysic for our time one would:

  1. Begin with Thomism
  2. Incorporate an understanding of non-being, infinity, and non-duality from the Vedanta and Taoism
  3. Develop more fully the understanding of tripartite nature of man
  4. Integrate it with the ancient Hermetic tradition
  5. Integrate this with a spiritual practice so it arises from a true gnosis and does not devolve into yet another intellectualizing philosophy or theology

The young man who will take up this task may already have been born.


Reference: Rene Guenon: Le philosophe invisible by Jean-Luc Maxence. All translations from the French are mine.

70 thoughts on “Guenon, Maritain, Thomism

  1. Perennial,
    “I also agree with you that the Muslim influence on both Western and Indian history is overstated. Only the minimal aspects of Islam influenced the Mughal court, and it certainly had little influence on India.”

    At least you see this unlike most Westerners. Islam brought in thug culture in Northern India, the pesantry was denuded and completely broken by over taxation, and a few members of the Muslim court controlled most of the wealth and poverty in India really begins from this time, most people do not understand Indian history deep enough and think caste is the source of all India’s problems. Many of the bad things found amongst Hindus had to do with Islamic invasions, for example, in Kashmir, when the Muslims took over, people would marry off girls at a young age so they would not be abducted. Even Sati was mostly common among the aristocracy only, such as when a King lost his kingdom, the wife would end her life, but became prevalent even among ordinary folk after the invasions…I mean was it not courageous to jump in the fire rather than be slaves in a harem?

    One just has to read the biography of people like Babar and see he makes Saddam Hussain appear mild by comparison…

    Actually Hindus were so utterly devasted in Northern India, even today the thuggish culture of the North till this day comes to a large extent from these people…The poorest places in India such as UP and Bihar were ravaged the most…
    Westerners see they built palaces (with native craftsmen to do the building and design of course) and gardens and they recited some poetry in the court and think they had culture!

  2. Perennial,
    Also I would like to add that a result of living under foreign domination whether it be Islam or colonialism, has made many Indians lose their sense of generosity and sense of fellow feeling for more unfortunate people amidst their midst. Living under others for a long time creates a lot of mean mindedness and selfishness which you see quite a bit over there. But there are a lot of good people as well, there has always been, and there always will be. It takes a generation or two to change people to rid them of the bad qualities that have arisen as a result of being under foreign domination…

  3. Perennial,
    When someone like Nikki Haley runs for Governor, people still doubt that she is a Christian, and put forth all sorts of questions to her, and rightly so, as the electorate wants to know about a person before voting. In India the Gandhi family have never had do disclose their religious sympathies, or any of their private details such as their educational qualifications and so on, what exactly is it they follow in terms of religion, do you not think an electorate has the right to know, before they cast their votes? This is what I am saying. In America, political candidates are required to disclose these things if they are not clear to people and if the electorate has questions about these things. In India, that is not so. So India is hardly a democracy in terms of transparency. A recent article published in the Hindu, a leftist paper, a few days ago, reported an American think tank claims that the Indian State is more corrupt than corporate India. This is something we have known all along. One party has mostly made laws for India since independence, and I think India’s woes mostly stem from this party and its misguided policies. I am always surprised by how the foreign press never says anything against the Congress government however corrupt, so the media is mostly bogus.
    In India, the fact is upper castes are unlikely to convert to Christianity, as they will have no need to convert. So in places like Himanchal, the missionaries have become tired, as they have not won a single convert despite pouring in massive amounts of money for conversion. Educated Hindus see Christ as a good man who has some good teachings, many of our relatives also have a Christmas tree and give presents even there, that is how it is, it has become fashionable to do so. But just believing in Christ and rejecting their own religion as a Christian is something they are unlikely to do.
    So the tribals and others are usually prey for missionaries. I have noticed, however, even amongst Christian converts, caste consciousness does not seem to go away, even as Christians, however, just as you see caste consciousness even amongst Muslims. I think it is best that people just be left alone so they are absorbed into the native fold gradually into one of the native religions. We have no problems accepting Christ and the good aspects of his teachings, many Hindus I know have Christmas trees for their children during the holidays and give presents because Christmas is celebrated in the US, and they do not want their children to be alienated from the mainstream culture. And as I said, even in India, it has become almost fashionable to have a tree and give presents during this time amongst some people! So Hindus are open people in this respect. They just dislike the exclusivity in a religion, that is all, for religion is a matter of your culture as well and your civilizational heritage, not just a lifestyle change!
    Classical civilization ended in India after the Muslim invasions, India absorbed everyone, with the exception of Islam which cannot co-exist with another religion. The Rajput princes fought bravely; India was prosperous and self-contained, and I think Indians could not really understand these invaders, they were also smug about the outside world as there was prospertiy in India then and life was mild and benign. The weather was mild and you have all year agriculture unlike in Europe. I think Indians could not really understand the Moslem invaders; they introduced the concept of total warfare, Indians had codes of war amongst themselves such as not harming women and children and not fighting after the dark, the Muslim invaders had no such laws. After the NorthWest fell is when India fell, the Rajputs continue to fight, but it is of no avail. Also the division of people into castes prevented all people from fighting, so when the fighting castes could no longer fight, India fell completely. A nation does not have a chance unless all the men are mobilized to fight in the event of war, as history shows. Also being prosperous, Indians had no need to expand in terms of colonies, and Indian culture is absorbed in Indo-China gradually through assimilation not by forcing it upon others. After defeat, the culture is preserved by families who refuse conversion even though the State is controlled by people of a different religion.
    I think Indians just could never understand the nature of Islam and how Islam operates, that was the biggest reason for defeat. Even today, Hindus have a tough time understanding how aggressive monotheistic religions operate.
    As for India, India just needs a tough person in command who has the national interest at heart, he would have a lot of deadwood to remove that has accumulated since independence…It would take at least about fifteen years of a tough government at the center to achieve any visible results. The BJP government had initiated many reforms such as building infrastructure, linking of all the rivers, doing away with archaic laws, reforming the bureaucracy and so on in the five years that it ruled, and Indians for the first time began to have some optimism during its rule. It was this government that opened itself to the West. Now all that has been reversed, the government believes in giving handouts instead of building anything, and it has mastered the art of winning the votes of illiterate people, making them believe that it works for them, when the opposite is true, it wants to make them forever dependent on it through handouts and other failed schemes, so instead of reforming education, you have affirmative action schemes at all levels and so on. People, however, are gradually waking up…But I think the damage done by the Congress is just too great since independence, look at the fourfold increase in population for instance due to lack of social planning after independence, this alone is enough to permanently cripple the country. I do believe that a great deal of human misery coming from lack of social plannig is avoidable…One has to understand the growth is coming from the people and from the private sector, the government actually impedes growth in every possible way. Also one result of the rule of Congress has been the complete dominance in India by leftist ideologies. It is so entrenched and such a monolith that hardly anyone can oppose it, it controls the education (why Indians are not taught their history at schools, but only whitewash), it controls the media (most English media is foreign funded), and it is succeeding in deracinating the young generation gradually…

  4. NOT intending!

  5. I am confused, Matt, did I address something you said? If so it was not intended, as I was addressing only Mrs. Kadambari. I was intending to address any of your comments.

  6. Perennial,

    My comment on Europeanization was about the adaptation of elements of pre-Christian Europe into the Western Church (which is historically true). I personally don’t see how this would be an error since this marriage of the traditional elements in Christianity and the non-Christian traditional elements still alive in Europe led to the Medieval era…the last traditional civilization in the west.

  7. There is only one area where I think we may not see eye to eye still, regarding religion. For reference purposes, I do not recognize protestant missionaries when I speak of Christians, only Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox. I know in the past conversion to at least Roman Catholicism meant Europeanization (an error, in my opinion) unless you converted to the Eastern Rite. Is this still common today? Do you believe converting to the Christian Faith necessitates abandoning your Indian identity? Does the Christian East offer an alternate position?

    Also, I have my own evaluation of India. What do you think if India had been organized like the Holy Roman Empire, a federation of princely states with a nominal (non-British!) emperor, like perhaps the Prince of Hydrabad, or even an elective monarch? Then each region could establish it’s own cultural miliue and not be dictated to from Delhi. This would also to more appropriate policy, I would think, to the missionary question, since more open areas could permit it, and those more opposed could deny it. What do you think?

    I am not aware of anything like your statment regarding America. Ethical questions, even relgiously motivated, are often addressed, but religious ones are not. In fact, our Constitution expressly forbids relgious evaluations. I still think you are avoiding ascribing any “short-comings” (as if defending your religion and culture were a shortcoming!) to Hindus, even on an individual level, but such it is. I find it hard to believe no Hindu has ever been anti-Christian.

  8. @Perennial
    above
    “were to say the the different regions in Italy…”
    Also I have no ill will towards Muslims, I realize that countries like Pakistan have remained the same since independence and are unlikely to change. Wishing the government of India to treat everyone fairly and stop vote bank politics, is different from having a grudge towards any community. It is not Muslims as individuals that are problemmatic, when your culture sends you to be educated at Madrassas and have hostily towards the mainstream culture, you just become a product of that.
    In the West, even if people do not all agree upon Christianity or are staunch Christians, there are laws which are binding on all communities. This is not the case for India. Nationalism in India just means wishing to bring everyone under the same laws, no exception for any community…it is not based on anger towards certain communities as is generally reported in the West, but trying to gradually assimilate everyone. The States which are doing well are benefiting all communities, regardless of religion.

  9. Perennnial,
    I mostly seem to agree with you. Christianity is the basis of the West, and that is just how it is, and it has every right to want to stay that way. However, no religion has the right to destroy the religion of others, which often happens in our areas with aggressive religions. As for Christian persecution, there are many tribals in India. Some have been drawn to the native religions, some have been lured by missionaires. You see infighting between them. Tribals fighting tribals is not the same as Hindus persecuting Christians. This is my take on the matter. We are uncomfortable with the idea of exclusive religions, which is why in a place like India, you see the native religions getting along mostly, but the Abrahamic religions often cause problems due to their aggressiveness and agressive proselytizng. However, unlike China, India does not persecute Christians, a Roman Catholic with no allegiance to the native religions actually leads a major party, would this be possible anywhere else except India? In no other country would this happen except India. The first thing people check of their Governors in America is their religion here and rightly so, why should Christians wish to be governed by non-Christians? But in India, politicians do not even have to disclose their religion, is this fair? Christmas is a major holiday in India, even though less than 2% of the people are Christians. So one cannot claim Hindus are against Christians.
    Considering aggressive missionary work in India, and considering that missionaries are often teaching the tribals to dislike the native religion and culture, I do not think they are having a good impact overall. There is a difference between wanting to help people pure and simple and pushing your religion on people in far away places to aggrandize your religion. The tribals become cut off from the native culture and land, adopting a culture not their own, and you see the highest crime and drug rates amongst them. I believe all peoples should respect the traditions of the land in which they reside, including missionaries.
    The foundations of India that were built after independence are very flimsy and do not reflect the wishes of the majority, but the wishes of a few people who pushed India to be the way it is. From a manageable country with the population of Russia, it has swelled as a result of lack of social planning and lack of planning according to wishes of the majority, I hope one day the government is accountable to millions of people there who are suffering greatly because of its misguided policies since independence. If a country can grow 8% without the government doing anything, then a government reflecting India’s real needs and wishes of the majority can push it to grow easily at double digits.
    Again, regarding Islam, HIndus allowed Muslims in their country due to Gandhi and Nehru even though the country was partitioned on the basis of religion. Hindus realize they have been gradually exterminated in places like Pakistan and Bangladesh, where there is no Hindu minority. In India, their numbers have grown and they have their own civil laws, and they are not brought under the same laws as everyone else because of the shortsightedness of the government which wishes to cash in on their votes to stay in power. This is a recipe for problems in the future. Everyone has to be brought under the same civil codes, so India is not really a “secular” state, but artificially so in reality due to the politics of the government.
    Again India cannot be called a democracy with the way things are run, and even though it is growing, someone who knows the gound realities will understand that most of what is written in the media about it has often little bearing on reality unless the reporter has lived there long enough to understand the country. And India’s own mainstream journalists are deracintated people who have no sympathy for their culture and are shallow leftists, you see their opinions relected in the Western press about India…which is why most intelligent Indians do not bother reading the mainstream English newspapers there, and these newspapers are shamefully misinforming many gullible youngsters…
    As for regional diversity is concerned, India is very diverse. When I go to the South of India, the place can even seem like a completely foreign country in terms of manners, language of the people and even ethnicity, however, there is something I recognize because people follow the same religion, and have an an overall outlook that is shaped by the native religion, so that even though the ethnicity, language, the cultural subtleties might be different, you still feel at home there, and you still feel that it is an extention of the larger Hindu civilization…I brought in the example of Italy in that would Italians not get angry if people were not say the different regions in Italy are not “European” culturally, similary Indians get angry when leftists claim that just because they were divided into different countries before independence, there was no culture belonging to the land, which is a false claim. Anyone who really understands India will understand that the genius of India is Hinduism and the religions that spring from it (Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainsim), and that secularism there is a colonial hangover…

  10. Perennnial,
    I mostly seem to agree with you. Christianity is the basis of the West, and that is just how it is. However, no religion has the right to destroy the religion of others, which often happens in our areas with aggressive religions. As for Christian persecution, there are many tribals in India. Some have been drawn to the native religions, some have been lured by missionaires. You see infighting between them. Tribals fighting tribals is not the same as Hindus persecuting Christians. This is my take on the matter. We are uncomfortable with the idea of exclusive religions, which is why in a place like India, you see the native religions getting along mostly, but the Abrahamic religions often cause problems due to their aggressiveness and agressive proselytizng. However, unlike China, India does not persecute Christians, a Roman Catholic with no allegiance to the native religions actually leads a major party, would this be possible anywhere else except India? In no other country would this happen except India. The first thing people check of their Governors in America is their religion here and rightly so, why should Christians wish to be governed by non-Christians? But in India, politicians do not even have to disclose their relition, is this fair?
    So considering aggressive missionary work in India, and considering that missionaries are often teaching the tribals to dislike the native religion and culture, I do not think they are having a good impact overall. There is a difference between wanting to help people pure and simple and pushing your religion on people in far away places to aggrandize your religion. The tribals become cut off from the native culture, going into a culture not their own in their own lands, and you see the highest crime and drug rates amongst them. I believe all peoples should respect the traditions of the land in which they reside, including missionaries.
    The foundations of India that were built after independence is very flimsy and do not reflect the wishes of the majority, but the wishes of a few people who pushed India to be the way it is. From a manageable country with the population of Russia, it has swelled as a result of lack of social planning and lack of planning according to wishes of the majority, I hope one day the government one day is accountable to millions of people there who are suffering because of its misguided policies since independence. If a country can grow 8% without the government doing anything, then a government reflecting India’s real needs and wishes of the majority can push it to grow easily at double digits.
    Again, regarding Islam, HIndus allowed welcomed Muslims in their country, while they realize they are wiped out in places like Pakistan and Bangladesh, where there is no Hindu minority. In India, their numbers have grown and they have their own civil laws, and they are not brought under the same laws as everyone elese because the government wishes to cash in on their votes. This is a recipe for problems in the future.
    Again India cannot be called a democracy with the way things are run, and even though it is growing, someone who knows the gound realities will understand that most of what is written in the media about it has often little bearing on reality unless the reporter has lived there long enough to understand the country. And India’s own mainstream journalists are deracintated people who have no sympathy for their culture and are shallow leftists, you see their opinions relected in the Western press about India…which is why most intelligent people do not bother reading the mainstream English newspapers there…
    As for regional diversity is concerned, India is very diverse. When I go to the South of India, the place can even seem like a completely foreign country in terms of manners and language of the people and even ethnicity, however, there is something I recognize because people follow the same religion, and have an an overall outlook that is shaped by the native religion, so that even though the ethnicity, language, the cultural subtleties might be different, you still feel at home there, and you still feel that it is an extention of the larger Hindu civilization…I brought in the example of Italy in that would Italians not get angry if people were not say the different regions in Italy are not “European” culturally, similary Indians get angry when someone days that just because they were divided into different countries before independence, there was no culture belonging to the land, which is a false claim, and one made by leftists. Anyone who really understands India will understand that the genius of India is Hinduism and the religions that spring from it (Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainsim), and that secularism there is a colonial hangover…

  11. Just to be clear, when I say Hinduism is not a religion of saints, I wish to add that I mean no religion is made exclusively of saints, not that Hinduism has no pious members.

  12. Mrs. Kadambari,

    I shall address various points you make:

    There is no right to follow your own beliefs. In the Western mind this is an error. There is only the right to follow Truth, and beliefs can be wrong. The Church does not reflect the freedom to profess error as a right, but at best something to be tolerated. I cannot sympathize with your statement, since the RIGHT to follow Truth cannot be confused with the FREEDOM to profess error.

    I will agree that Traditionalism does not speak much to those outside the West. The otherwise poor book, Against the Modern World by Sedgwick, does rightly acknowledge that the Muslim (and Hindu, I would add) world finds little value in Traditionalism, as in these societies Tradition has played a relevant role even to the present. But not in the West, whose Tradition has been in continous decline since at least the 14th Century. Thus we Traditionalists seek to re-capture something already lost to us, but in the East it is more a matter of preservation of what has already been.

    We hear a fair amount about presecution outside India (especially in Sudan) here, so your missionary statement is without merit. I do not wish to go into a prolonged and fruitless discussion regarding Hinduism and it’s virtues, but sufficeth to say Hinduism is not a religion of saints, and the human element is always present in religion. There seems to be an attempt to whitewash Hinduism, which I think does not do it justice. Unless we acknowledge shortcoming, it is useless to meditate on merits. Hinduism can certainly not be judged for having humanity as its base.

    I also agree with you that the Muslim influence on both Western and Indian history is overstated. Only the minimal aspects of Islam influenced the Mughal court, and it certainly had little influence on India. Similar over-emphasis has been made on Islamic influence in the West, particularly regarding Spain, Sicily, and philosphy. On this, I agree with your evaluation.

    To conclude, I wish to express my views on Italy. Being Italian myself, I must observed that Italy, outside of being Roman Catholic, has nothing in common with each other. I am Lombardiano, and I have nothing in common with a Sicilian. Nothing. Not language, not costume, not cuisine, not traditions. Nothing. I think many Italians would agree with me that Italy should be at best a confederation, but preferably should never have united at all. I think the recent successes of Lega Nord attest to this. Metternich, Evola, and Plinio Correa de Olivera all observed that Italy has no national tradition, and never has. I would like to think that such a diversity of regions exists also in India, possibly in the traditional frontiers that constituted the former princely states.

    In any case, I appreciate your additional presepective from India, and I hope you continue your quest posting with us!

  13. Also to be fair, I put Francois Gautier up there because he provides a different perspective on India. However, that does not mean I support everything he says, especially his notion of the Greek religion, I do not support gurus like Ravi Shankar, Gautier can be flawed in his understanding of history, but he is a fair voice on the negative aspects of agressive religions in India…and he provides another voice in the Indian media which is completely dominated by people who are mostly against the native culture, and are mostly of the leftist persuasion, and whose funding is unclear…

  14. Also in a movie like Chess Players, only Hindus can see that all the song, dance and music in the movie, is derived from Hindu culture (such as the dance that the Mulism King watches which is actually a Krishna dance…), this would be lost on Westerners (so much for Islamic culture in the Mogul era, that liberals are so eager to push on us…)

  15. Also Richard Attenborough (the man who made Gandhi) stars in that movie…

  16. @James
    I just feel duty bound to warn Americans of what they are reading. However, for “The Last Moghul” which is perhaps his best book, Darlymple did a lot of research in the Delhi archives, and is actually a good read and well written, as the focus is on the last Moghul emperor and how he was deposed by the British, the ruler’s story is tragic from the point of view of the ruler, but I think most Hindus think good riddance by the British and are not that moved by the his tale although the book is a good read…

    Satyajit Ray’s movie “The Chess Players” however, is fascinating to watch, it is about Muslim aristocrats who cannot stop playing chess even though their kingdom is about to be taken over! Satyajit Ray captures their regressive sensual culture and one can plainly understand why they are taken over… Ray is sympathetic in the portrayal though and just portrays them as they were without prejedice…

  17. Also I think it is worth noting that people like Darlymple are not even liked by the British, for his leftist ideas. I observed on the cover of his book Nine Lives that people like Doniger, Thapar, Pankaj Mishra, Dee Quack Chopra (who makes a living by rehashing HIndu ideas and as if he is their author and selling them to gullible Americans, Eastern spirituality is a big business in America you know!), Ramchandra Guha and other liberal/leftists full of praise. Most intelligent Indians do not even bother reading such junk. However, thanks to Nehru’s focus on technical education, by just establishing some elite techinical institutions and ignoring mass education, Hindus have woefully ingnored the study of their culture and history, and they are finally waking up to the damage these leftists have done as they have dominated the political and intellectual discourse since independence and there is practically no one to oppose this monolith, people like Arun Shourie are from the older generation. The liberal/leftists seem to be well organized and supportive of each other from an ideological point of view from what I see. If you oppose their ideas you are labelled all kinds of things…However, it is important to understand that even if the Hindus turn to the right, the culture being plural in outlook, politics to the right for Hindus means something different from what people generally understand by this…It is important to understand this distinction.
    It is this same political and ideological dominance by this kkind of thinking that has strangulated any prospects of growth for India, and it will be very difficult to reverse the damage these people have done as Hindus are not organized amongst themselves and quarrel amongst themselves. You have ‘elections’ in India, not democracy, Congress has mastered the art of winning elections with packets of rum and handouts for the illerate masses, and since elections are just a numbers game, Hindus who understand what is happening are just left watching. However, in the recent elections in Bihar, the most backward state, people turned down Congress, despite the fact that Rahul Gandhi spent millions there. Hopefully this is a sign of better things to come in India, because with Congress, India can only spiral downwards.

  18. kadambari:

    I bought that Dalrymple book thinking it was Theodore D., the amusingly grumpy conservative. Imagine my horror! At least it was a proof copy for only $.99, hence my unthinking purchase.

  19. I write as certain falsehoods propagated must be corrected.
    It is worth noting that Thapar does not know Sanskrit . Most of her writings have been debunked by serious historians, yet the Western liberal establishment loves her. Arun Shourie’s Eminent Historians and Worshipping False Gods have shown the false claims that these people have been making since independence. The idea is to show that the Congress Party has given unity to a country with no history or unified culture, and Indians must therefore endure every member of the Gandhi family to rule over them, beginning with Nehru, his dictatorial daughter, the son Rajiv, the widow Sonia and then the son Rahul who is to be undisputed leadership of the Congress Party. In what way pray is India a “democracy”? Can you blame Indians for getting tired of this farce? Yes India has been plural, but it had a distinct civilizational ethos which was uniquely Indian and which hovered over the various kingdoms, the culture was essentially borne out of the native religions of India. Even Italy was not a nation until recently, but will someone say it had no unified culture as it was composed of various small kingdoms? Is this not true for Marxists everywhere, they try to destroy the sense of a nation’s past so that their politics is seen as the ultimate good for the nation?
    A more serious historian is Andre Wink who has written about Medieval India and he has also debunked many of the Marxist writers of Indian history. Wink writes without ideology. What is one to do when people like Wendy Doniger offering Freudian interpretations of the Kama Sutra, are now considered the leading Sanskrit scholars! We need the old serious Germans in the West to lead the study of the East again! At least, despite some errors of interpretation which is natural as they were pioneers, they were genuine scholars, and produced Sanskrit dictionaries, translated and edited real texts, and whose idea of scholarship was not just giving one’s “opinions” like Thapar for which she has no backing whatsoever, but doing something constructive in the field. When you see the types passing themselves as scholars these days, one wonders what has become of unselfish scholarship and dedication to the truth! But then understanding these things clearly was never meant for everyone!

  20. William Darlymple is a leftist. He has written a well researched book called The Last Mughal. Romila Thapar is a Marxist historian, who toes the Nehruvian line of the Congress party, she is their official court historian. It is considered politically incorrect in India to speak of the Islamic invasions of India in a negative way. I saw Darlymple’s Nine Lives in the bookstore, when I saw praise by Dee Quack Chopra, and comments by other leftist writers writing for the Guardian such as Pankaj Mishra. Then I quickly realized the book is not worth my time.
    Why are Muslims in India unlike Muslims in Saudi? Living in a HIndu atmosphere makes them that way, although they are quickly getting radicalized with abundant funding from petro dollars.

    Also Hindus are waking up to the lies fed to them by the Marxist historians. Anyone who is willing to find the truth about India, can read the eyewitness accounts of the Muslim historians themselves, nothing is hidden there, and nothing is whitewashed.

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