‘Sir’ James Mallinson, a professor at SOAS (The School of Oriental and African Studies) and an eminent scholar of Sanskrit, was the first westerner to receive the honour to be referred to as ‘Mahant’ in the ancient order of master yogis. Despite having been honoured and showered with love by Indians, he went on to defame Hindutva by signing a letter in support of the Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference.
Earlier this month, scholars and academics, from all over the world, came together to strongly condemn the “campaign of harassment and intimidation” against the Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference. The conference, as these scholars say, intends to examine the “beliefs and actions that constitute Hindutva. However, the entire event is a big farce that attempts to compare Hindus and Nazis in the same breath.
While several left-liberals and extremists went on to support the ‘Hinduphobic’ conference, James Mallinson, who was once showered with garlands, love and had his feet touched by Indians, also signed the letter in support of the Conference.
Sarah L Gates, a Twitter user, criticized Mallinson. He tweeted, “India made ‘Sir’ James Mallinson, a Mahant. He was showered with garlands, love and had his feet touched. He went on to get $5m to trace the roots of hatha yoga from the EU. And what did he give back to India? A signature in support of the Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference.”
India made 'Sir' James Mallinson, a Mahant. He was showered with garlands, love and had his feet touched. He went on to get $5m to trace the roots of hatha yoga from the EU. And what did he give back to India? A signature in support of the Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference. pic.twitter.com/4mJOC2cWX4
— Sarah L Gates (@SarahLGates1) September 8, 2021
From ‘Sir’ James Mallinson to ‘Mahant’
A world authority on yoga and Sanskrit, Mallinson had spent 27 years in India, several of which he resided with Indian ascetics and yogis. Graduated with BA in Sanskrit and Old Iranian from the University of Oxford, followed by an MA in Area Studies (South Asia) with Ethnography at SOAS University of London, he has a public intellectual profile that speaks in equal measure to Sanskrit scholars as well as international yoga practitioners.
His engagement with India and its religious traditions took a turning point in 1992 Kumbh Mela in Ujjain, where he met his guru. In 2015 he was ordained as a Mahant in the yogic sect of the 13 renouncers at the Kumbh Mela, a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which millions of Hindus from around the world gather to bathe in the river Ganges, an epic waterway that holds holy beliefs to the followers of the religion.
Mallinson had once said, “I have three titles — Sir, Dr and Mahant — and I’m not quite sure how they should be arranged, how I should be formally addressed.”
Letter of support for anti-Hindu conference
Despite such honour and love received from India and Indians as well, Mallinson signed the letter in support of the Hinduphobic conference to condemn the campaign of harassment and intimidation against it. According to a letter signed by around 900 academics in support of the three-day conference, “Hindutva is NOT a religion, nor is it a synonym for Hindu cultural identity, or “Hindu-ness.” Hindutva is an authoritarian political ideology that historically drew inspiration from Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Its guiding principle is to transform India from a secular democracy to a religious state where Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities are relegated to second class citizenship.”
The signatories have accused the Indian government of discriminatory policies. The letter states, “In the name of Hindutva ideology, the current government of India has instituted discriminatory policies, including beef ban, restrictions on religious conversion and interfaith weddings and introduced religious discrimination into India’s citizenship laws.”
The letter further shamelessly alleges that “The result has been a horrifying rise in religious and caste-based violence, including hate crimes, lynching and rapes directed against Muslims, non-conforming Dalits, Sikhs, Christians, Adivasis and other dissident Hindus.”
‘Dismantling Global Hindutva conference’
Earlier reported by TFI, ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva conference’ is a 3-day conference cosponsored by 60 plus Departments or Centers from 45 plus Universities mostly from the USA. Through the conference, several Naxal elements globally are seeking an opportunity to launch a full-scale attack on the current nationalist government of the country and in turn, the Hindus.
As per the official website of the conference, a range of topics from ‘What is global Hindutva?’ and ‘Gender and sexual politics of Hindutva’ to ‘Caste and Hindutva’ and ‘White supremacy’ will be discussed.
Several Indian academics, journalists and activists including Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation leader Kavita Krishnan, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, poet Meena Kandasamy, Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Ayesha Kidwai and Delhi University professor and sociologist Nandini Sundar will participate in the conference.
However, with these journalists, scholars and academics participating in the conference, it is quite evident that the left-liberals and anti-Modi gangs will not even spare their motherland as well as the religion to belittle Prime Minister Narendra Modi.