Sita Ram Goel

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Sita Ram Goel
File:Sita Ram Goel.JPG
Sita Ram Goel
Born 16 October 1921
Punjab Province, British India
Died 3 December 2003
Occupation Historian, publisher
Alma mater University of Delhi
Period Late 20th century
Genre Politics, history
Subject Christianity, Islam, communism, Indian politics
Notable works How I Became a Hindu
The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India
History of Hindu–Christian Encounters, AD 304 to 1996
Catholic Ashrams
Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them

Sita Ram Goel (सीता राम गोयल) (16 October 1921 – 3 December 2003) was an Indian religious and political activist, writer and publisher in the late twentieth century. He had Marxist leanings during the 1940s,[1] but later became an outspoken anti-communist and also wrote extensively on the damage to Indian culture and heritage wrought by expansionist Islam and missionary activities of Christianity. In his later career he emerged as a commentator on Indian politics, and adhered to Hindu nationalism.[2][3][4]

Life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Sita Ram Goel was born to a non-traditional Hindu family in Punjab, in 1921; though his childhood was spent in Calcutta. The family looked upon Sri Garibdas, a nirguna saint comparable to Kabir and Nanak, as its patron saint and his verses, "Granth Saheb",[5] were often recited at their home.[6]

Goel graduated in history from the University of Delhi in 1944. As a student, he was a social activist and worked for a Harijan Ashram in his village. His sympathies for the Arya Samaj, the Harijans and the Indian freedom movement, along with his strong support for Mahatma Gandhi, brought him into conflict with many people in his village;[7] Goel also learned to speak and write Sanskrit during these college days.[8]

Direct Action Day[edit]

On 16 August 1946, during the Direct Action Day riots in Calcutta that were instigated by the Muslim League shortly before Partition of India, Goel, his wife and their eldest son narrowly escaped with their lives. In his autobiography, How I became a Hindu, Goel writes that he "would have been killed by a Muslim mob" but his fluent Urdu and his Western dress saved him. He further relates, that the next evening they "had to vacate that house and scale a wall at the back to escape murderous Muslim mobs advancing with firearms."[9] He subsequently wrote and circulated a lengthy article on the riots, titled "The Devil Dance in Calcutta", in which he held Hindus and Muslims equally responsible for the tragedy.[10] His friend Ram Swarup, however, criticised him for equating Muslim violence with Hindu violence, claiming that Muslim violence was "aggressive and committed in the furtherance of a very reactionary and retrograde cause, namely the vivisection of India".[10]

Communism to anti-communism[edit]

In mid-1940s Goel met members of the CSP (Congress Socialist Party), translated writings by Narendra Deva and Jayaprakash Narayan into English, and was offered a position as an editor of a CSP publication. But his first editorial for the weekly was deemed to be pro-communist, and he had to stop writing for the weekly.[9]

Sita Ram Goel had developed a strong Marxist leaning during his student days and was on the verge of joining the Communist Party of India in 1948. The Communist Party, however, was banned in Bengal on the day he planned to officially become its member. He read Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, Harold Laski's "Communism", and "came to the conclusion that while Marx stood for a harmonised social system, Sri Aurobindo held the key to a harmonised human personality."[8] Later, books by Aldous Huxley, Victor Kravchenko, and Suzanne Labin ("Stalin's Russia") convinced him to abandon communism.[11] Subsequently, he wrote many books critical of communism in Calcutta, and worked for the anti-communist "Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia" (SDFA).[12][13] According to Goel, when he wanted to apply for a passport in 1955, he was told that his case was receiving attention from the Prime Minister himself, and his application was not granted.[14]

'Nehruism' and censorship[edit]

Goel wrote regularly for the "Organiser" weekly, whose editor K. R. Malkani was his friend. In 1961–1962 he used the pseudonym Ekaki (solitary) while writing the series In Defence of Comrade Krishna Menon, critical of Indian National Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru.[15] Although the series was widely read and praised, he was later admonished by a leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for being too focused on Nehru, and the series was discontinued.[15][16] The collected series was published in December 1963 by Vaidya Gurudatta [15] and an updated version released as Genesis and Growth of Nehruism [17] thirty years later. However Goel's writings about Nehru in the Organiser cost him his job[18] and disillusioned him of the RSS.[15]

According to Goel, he was under surveillance by the Indian government during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. He was not arrested, even though this was according to him demanded by some government leaders, including future Prime Minister I. K. Gujral.[15][19] In November 1962, he was recruited to participate in a guerrilla war against communist China, but he refused, saying "that so long as Pandit Nehru was the Prime Minister of the country, I could be only a traitor to it."[15]

During the 1980s, Goel worked on a series titled Muslim Separatism: Causes and Consequences, but some passages from his articles were censored by the Organiser.[15] He discovered that his series was considered too controversial by the RSS leadership who thought that it was alienating Muslims from the party, and Goel had to stop writing for the Organiser after the completion of the series Perversion of India's Political Parlance. K.R. Malkani, who was the editor for the Organiser for three decades, was sacked because of his support for Goel.[15][20] Goel also noted that on other occasions that some of his articles, e.g. his article on the Vedapuri Iswaran Temple controversy, were suppressed in the Indian media.[21][22]

Publisher and writer[edit]

Goel founded the publishing house Biblia Impex India (Aditya Prakashan) in 1963, which published books by authors such as Dharampal, Ram Swarup, K. D. Sethna and K.R. Malkani.[19] Sita Ram Goel joined the non-profit publishing house Voice of India in 1982.[23][page needed] Voice of India was founded in 1982 by Ram Swarup,[24] and published works by Harsh Narain, A.K. Chatterjee, K.S. Lal, Koenraad Elst, Rajendra Singh, Sant R.S. Nirala, and Shrikant Talageri among others .[15]

Early versions of several of Goel's books were previously published as a series in periodicals like Hinduism Today, Indian Express or the Organiser. Goel speculates that a series of articles he published in Indian Express in 1989 regarding the destruction of Hindu temples by Muslims may have contributed to the firing of its editor, Arun Shourie, the following year.[15] In August 1990, while releasing two books published by Voice of India, Bharatiya Janta Party leader L. K. Advani chided Goel for using "strong language".[15]

Goel also worked as a part-time secretary for the All India Panchayat Parishad whose manager was his friend Jayaprakash Narayan. Narayan was impressed by Goel's Hindi book Samyak Sambuddha and said to Goel, "If Sanatana Dharma is what you say it is, I am all for it. You can count me as a Sanatanist from today. You can say to whomsoever you please that JP has become a Sanatanist."[15]

Goel was fluent in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, English and Sanskrit, and read Persian.[25]

Opinions[edit]

On rewriting of history books[edit]

Goel claimed that there was a "systematic distortion" of India's history which the Marxist historians of Aligarh and the JNU had undertaken.[26] In particular, he claims that the history of medieval India and the Islamic invasions is being rewritten. He described it as an "experiment with Untruth" and an exercise in suppressio veri suggestio falsi.[27] According to him, the Ministry of Education has extended this experiment to school-level text-books of history. Goel called it "an insidious attempt at thought-control and brainwashing" and argued that the NCERT guidelines are "recommendations for telling lies to our children, or for not telling to them the truth at all."[27]

On Indian secularism[edit]

Goel has criticised Indian secularism, alleging that "this concept of Secularism is a gross perversion of the concept which arose in the modern West as a revolt against Christianity and which should mean, in the Indian context, a revolt against Islam as well."[28]

On media bias[edit]

Goel claimed that there is a media bias in India, in particular with regard to criticism of Islam or people like Nehru. In 1955 Goel asked one of his friends, who was supportive of Nehru and who had published in many international and national journals, to write an article critical of Nehru's policies. But the Indian publications didn't accept his critical article, and he claims that his standing as a scholar in India suffered thereby.[28]

Goel described an incident during a seminar on "Hurdles To Secularism" in 1963 which Goel attended, and which was presided over by Jayaprakash Narayan. As Goel tells it, most participants in the seminar criticised only "Hindu communalism." But when one Muslim speaker took up the issue of Muslim communalism, he was shouted down by the other Muslims of the seminar, and had to stop talking.[29]

On Indian nationalist organisations[edit]

Goel criticised Hindu nationalist organisations like the RSS. He claimed that with few exceptions they "shared the Nehruvian consensus on all important issues", and that "the RSS and the BJS stalwarts spent almost all their time and energy in proving that they were not Hindu communalists but honest secularists." He also claimed that RSS members are worried almost only about the reputation of their organisation and their leaders, and are rather ignorant to Hindu causes.[26] When a Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) leader asked him to write a book about the BJS, Goel replied that his book "would be pretty critical on the score of their policies."[26]

Goel edited the book "Time for Stock-Taking", a collection of papers critical of the RSS.[30] According to Belgian writer Koenraad Elst, Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel wrote in defence of Hinduism, never of "Hindutva".[31]

On Christianity[edit]

Goel was outspoken in his criticism of Christianity. And received some criticism for his anti-Christian perspective.[32][33]

In 1995 Goel sent Pat Robertson his book "Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression", and a letter in protest to Robertson's remarks towards the religion of Hinduism.[34]

On Islam and Muslims[edit]

Goel has criticised the history and doctrines of Islam in some of his writings. His works are also cited by critics of Islam like Robert Spencer[35] and Arun Shourie.[36]

Despite his criticism of Islam, he said that he is not opposed "to an understanding and reconciliation between the two communities. All I want to say is that no significant synthesis or assimilation took place in the past, and history should not be distorted and falsified to serve the political purposes of a Hindu-baiting herd."[27] He argues that the Muslims should evaluate the Islamic history and doctrines in terms of rationalism and humanism "without resort to the casuistry marshalled by the mullahs and sufis, or the apologetics propped up by the Aligarh and Stalinist schools of historians", just as the European Christians did centuries earlier with Christianity.[27]

He believed that the "average Muslim is as good or bad a human being as an average Hindu",[27] and warned:

Some people are prone to confuse Islam with its victims, that is, the Muslims, and condemn the latter at the same time as they come to know the crudities of the former. This is a very serious confusion, which should be avoided by all those who believe in building up a broad-based human brotherhood as opposed to narrow, sectarian, self-centred, and chauvinistic nationalism or communalism.[27]

On decline of Buddhism[edit]

Arun Shourie wrote about Goel: "Marxists cite only two other instances of Hindus having destroyed Buddhist temples. These too it turns out yield to completely contrary explanations. Again Marxists have been asked repeatedly to explain the construction they have been circulating -- to no avail. Equally important, Sita Ram Goel invited them to cite any Hindu text which orders Hindus to break the places of worship of other religions -- as the Bible does, as a pile of Islamic manuals does. He has asked them to name a single person who has been honoured by the Hindus because he broke such places -– the way Islamic historians and lore have glorified every Muslim ruler and invader who did so. A snooty silence has been the only response ".[37]

Literary influences[edit]

He wrote and published books in English and Hindi. He also translated George Orwell's 1984, three Dialogues of Plato, Denis Kincaid's The Great Rebel (about Shivaji) and other books into Hindi.

Goel was well-read in Western and Eastern literature, and among his most favourite writers or works were Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Aldous Huxley, Plato, Tagore, Bibhuti Bhushan Bandopadhyay, Vaishnava and Baul poets, the Kathamrita written by Mahendranath Gupta (Sri M.) and Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy"[3].[38] His favourite book was the Hindu epic Mahabharata, which he would read in its original language.[39]

Sita Ram Goel was influenced by Indian writer and philosopher Ram Swarup. He said that his masters have been "Vyasa, Buddha and Sri Aurobindo, as elucidated by Ram Swarup."[40] He was also influenced by Tilak, Dayananda Sarasvati and Mahatma Gandhi.[38]

Banned books[edit]

Understanding Islam through Hadis[edit]

In 1983, Goel reprinted Ram Swarup's Understanding Islam through Hadis. The book was a summary of the Sahih Muslim Hadith and consisted of extracts from the Hadiths. In 1987, he again reprinted the book, but the copies of a Hindi translation were seized by the police and Goel was arrested briefly.[41] Some Muslims and the Jam`at i Islami weekly Radiance claimed that the book was offensive. Goel was subsequentially arrested by the police and bailed out after 18 hours in police custody.[42] He recounted the situation:

Soon after we reached the Police Station, he shouted at me, "[43] Who are you? What have you done? A big riot was about to break out." I told him that I was nobody, and did not understand the accusation. He barked, "[44] The Muslims are at boiling point. They have heaps of bricks and stones piled up on the roofs of their houses, and firearms within. They can set the city on fire whenever they want. I asked him why the police had allowed them to collect and keep the arsenal. He snarled, "[45] Put this question to your leaders, I am only a poor policeman trying to feed my family. I kept quiet.[46]

In due course, some Muslims and the Jamaat-e-Islami weekly Radiance claimed that the book was offensive. In 1990, the Hindi translation of the book was banned. In March 1991, the English original was banned as well. The "criminal case" against Goel for printing the book was dismissed after some years on 5 May 1997, but the book still remains banned.[41]

Indian intellectuals protested against the arrest of Goel.[41] Arun Shourie commented on the criminal case:

No one has ever refuted him on facts, but many have sought to smear him and his writing. They have thereby transmuted the work from mere scholarship into warning. (...)The forfeiture is exactly the sort of thing which had landed us where we are: where intellectual inquiry is shut out; where our traditions are not examined, and reassessed; and where as a consequence there is no dialogue. It is exactly the sort of thing too which foments reaction. (...)"Freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected," it [the Supreme Court] declared last year, "cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group or people."[47]

Hindu View of Christianity and Islam (1993)[edit]

In 1993 the MP Syed Shahabuddin, who in 1988 asked for the ban on The Satanic Verses,[48] demanded a ban on Ram Swarup's book Hindu View of Christianity and Islam.[49] Goel and Swarup went into hiding because they feared that they could get arrested. The court accepted a bail and the authors came out of hiding.[50][51] Arun Shourie and K. S. Lal protested against the ban.[50][51]

Colin Maine's The Dead Hand of Islam[edit]

In 1986, Goel reprinted Colin Maine's essay The Dead Hand of Islam [4]. Some Muslims filed a criminal case against Goel, alleging that it violated Sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code and similar articles of the Indian Customs Act.

The judge discharged Goel and referred to the earlier court precedent "1983 CrLJ 1446". Speaking of the importance of that precedent, the judge in his discussion said: "If such a contention is accepted a day will come when that part of history which is unpalatable to a particular religion will have to be kept in cold storage on the pretext that the publication of such history would constitute an offence punishable under Sec. 153A of the Penal Code. The scope of S-153A cannot be enlarged to such an extent with a view to thwart history. (...) Otherwise, the position will be very precarious. A nation will have to forget its own history and in due course the nation will have no history at all. (...) If anybody intends to extinguish the history (by prohibiting its publication) of the nation on the pretext of taking action under the above sections, his act will have to be treated as malafide one."[41]

The Calcutta Quran Petition[edit]

Goel published the The Calcutta Quran Petition with Chandmal Chopra in 1986. On 31 August 1987, Chandmal Chopra was arrested by the police and kept in custody until 8 September for publishing the book with Goel. Sita Ram Goel absconded to avoid arrest.[52]

Hindu Temples – What Happened to Them[edit]

There were proposals in November 1990 in Uttar Pradesh to ban Goel's book Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them.[53]

Legacy[edit]

Sita Ram Goel has been described by Koenraad Elst as an "intellectual kshatriya".[54] David Frawley, said about Goel that he was "modern India’s greatest intellectual kshatriya", and "one of India’s most important thinkers in the post-independence era". According to Frawley, "Sitaram followed a strong rationalistic point of view that did not compromise the truth even for politeness sake. His intellectual rigor is quite unparalleled in Hindu circles..."[55]

The Belgian writer Koenraad Elst met Sita Ram Goel in India and wrote about his work: "The importance of Ram Swarup's and Sita Ram Goel's work can hardly be over-estimated. I for one have no doubt that future textbooks on comparative religion as well as those on Indian political and intellectual history will devote crucial chapters to their analysis. They are the first to give a first-hand "Pagan" reply to the versions of history and "comparative religion" imposed by the monotheist world-conquerors, both at the level of historical fact and of fundamental doctrine, both in terms of the specific Hindu experience and of a more generalized theory of religion free from prophetic-monotheistic bias. [5]

K. Elst also stated: "Come to mention him, I found that in moral stature and depth of scholarship, he completely dwarfed the Stalinist "eminent historians" and other icons of "secularism". Which is why I cannot help frowning when I see Meera Nanda forget her limitations and berate a towering personality like Goel." [6]

David Frawley said about Goel that he was “modern India’s greatest intellectual kshatriya, “ and “one of India’s most important thinkers in the post-independence era”. According to Frawley, "Sitaram followed a strong rationalistic point of view that did not compromise the truth even for politeness sake. His intellectual rigor is quite unparalleled in Hindu circles..." [7]

Sita Ram Goel has often been described as an "intellectual kshatriya".[56] Vedic scholar David Frawley said about Goel that he was "modern India’s greatest intellectual kshatriya", and "one of India’s most important thinkers in the post-independence era". According to Frawley, "Sitaram followed a strong rationalistic point of view that did not compromise the truth even for politeness sake. His intellectual rigor is quite unparalleled in Hindu circles..."[57]

The Belgian writer Koenraad Elst met Sita Ram Goel in India and wrote about his work: "The importance of Ram Swarup's and Sita Ram Goel's work can hardly be over-estimated. I for one have no doubt that future textbooks on comparative religion as well as those on Indian political and intellectual history will devote crucial chapters to their analysis." [8] According to Elst, Goel and Swarup gave a first-hand "Pagan" reply to the versions of history and "comparative religion" imposed by the monotheist world-conquerors.[58]

The Belgian scholar Callewaert commented on Goel's book "Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression": It is a well written and well documented book, and without going into detail I can agree with many points you mention. I only take issue with the spirit in which it is written and the conclusions you draw. I worry about the aims you like to achieve, nourishing the feeling you have and that prompted you to write this book. [59] Goel wrote a lenghty reply to Callewaert that is reproduced in his book "History of Hindu-Christian Encounters".

Catherine Cornille has claimed that Goel belongs to a movement that "seeks to return to the pure Vedic religion", which Goel has denied.[60]

Quotes[edit]

Catholic Ashrams (1994)[edit]

  • Fundamentalism is as foreign to Hinduism as honesty is to Christian missions.

The Calcutta Quran Petition (1986)[edit]

  • Let it be realized by everybody concerned that India has always been and remains, the citadel of the most bigoted and bloodthirsty zealotry of Islam. The historical reasons for why it is so, are many. I do not have the time to detail them here. The main reason may be told. Islam in India has been what it has been because India has continued to stare at Islam as its greatest failure. Islam in India has never been able to relax, as it could do in countries which it converted completely. And it will not relax till Hindus learn to knock out its ideological fangs which are rooted in the Quran.

Defence of Hindu Society (1983)[edit]

  • As one reads the scriptures of Christianity and Islam with a morally alert mind, one starts getting sick of the very sound of word ‘god’ which word is littered all over this literature like dead leaves in autumn. The deeds which are ascribed to or approved of by this God are quite often so cruel and obnoxious as to leave one wondering that if these are the doings of the Divine, what else is there which is left for the Devil to do.

Muslim Separatism – Causes and Consequences (1987)[edit]

  • If the Hindus sang Vande Mãtaram in a public meeting, it was a ‘conspiracy’ to convert Muslims into kãfirs. If the Hindus blew a conch, or broke a coconut, or garlanded the portrait of a revered patriot, it was an attempt to ‘force’ Muslims into ‘idolatry’. If the Hindus spoke in any of their native languages, it was an ‘affront’ to the culture of Islam. If the Hindus took pride in their pre-Islamic heroes, it was a ‘devaluation’ of Islamic history. And so on, there were many more objections, major and minor, to every national self-expression. In short, it was a demand that Hindus should cease to be Hindus and become instead a faceless conglomeration of rootless individuals. On the other hand, the ‘minority community’ was not prepared to make the slightest concession in what they regarded as their religious and cultural rights. If the Hindus requested that cow-killing should stop, it was a demand for renouncing an ‘established Islamic practice’. If the Hindus objected to an open sale of beef in the bazars, it was an ‘encroachment’ on the ‘civil rights’ of the Muslims. If the Hindus demanded that cows meant for ritual slaughter should not be decorated and marched through Hindu localities, it was ‘trampling upon time-honoured Islamic traditions’. If the Hindus appealed that Hindu religious processions passing through a public thoroughfare should not be obstructed, it was an attempt to ‘disturb the peace of Muslim prayers’. If the Hindus wanted their native languages to attain an equal status with Urdu in the courts and the administration, it was an ‘assault on Muslim culture’. If the Hindus taught to their children the true history of Muslim tyrants, it was a ‘hate campaign against Islamic heroes’. And the ‘minority community’ was always ready to ‘defend’ its ‘religion and culture’ by taking recourse to street riots.

Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998)[edit]

  • Ascribing human brotherhood, social justice, world peace, self-sacrifice and compassion to Christianity and Islam is tantamount to proclaiming that the wolf is a votary of vegetarianism.
  • But what has happened is that the Indian State actively patronizes the exercise aimed at making all religions mean the same things, and persecutes those who defy the exercise. A whole army of 'secularist' scribes in the media and the academia has been employed and paid handsomely for whitewashing Islam and Christianity so that whatever is bigoted in the scriptures and blood-soaked histories of these creeds, is carefully exorcised. On the other hand, whatever is liberal and large-hearted, humane and civilized in the pluralistic spirituality of India is remorseless pruned to the prescribed and proper size. In the process, Christianity has been made to mean only the Sermon on the Mount, and Islam equated with two Quranic sentences torn out of context - "Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion" and "There is no compulsion in religion."
  • For Leftists in general have always opposed Theocracy in Muslim and Christian countries. It is only in India that they have become its unrivalled champions.
  • No newspaper or periodical worth its name in India will publish what I write in the lines that follow.
  • All religions were equal. But Islam was more equal.

Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993)[edit]

  • I am placing this book before our people, as I did so many others, simply because I want to be true to my own impulse for action in terms of my own lights. Rest is in the hands of Him who sends Saviours as well as Scourges according to His own inscrutable Law.

Hindu Society under Siege (1981)[edit]

  • Thus Hindu society not only presents itself as a prey to these exclusive, intolerant and imperialist ideologies but also acts as a buffer between them. India is secular because India is Hindu. It can be added as a corollary that India is a democracy also because India is Hindu. If Hindu society permits this free for all any further, the days of Secularism and Democracy in this country are numbered. Let the Hindus unite and save themselves, their democratic polity, their secular state, and their Sanatana Dharma for a new cycle of civilization, not only for themselves but also the world.

How I became a Hindu (1982)[edit]

  • To me, Dharma had always been a matter of moral norms, external rules and regulations, do's and don'ts, enforced on life by an act of will. Now I was made to see Dharma as a multi dimensional movement of man's inner law of being, his psychic evolution, his spiritual growth, and his spontaneous building of an outer life for himself and the community in which lie lived.

History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1996)[edit]

  • It never occurred to these knaves and fools that the Christian missionary whom they were aping and helping was viewed in the modern West as a maniac whom it was better to dump abroad with a bag of money.
  • In the case of Islam, our effort aims at raising the dialogue from the street level to the level of scholarly platforms. For a long time, Hindus have been flattering Muslims by seeing nothing wrong in the doctrine of Islam. For a long time, Muslims have been taking to the streets and shedding blood whenever and wherever Hindus object to their behaviour pattern. Muslims have never been asked by Hindus to reflect on the dogmas of Islam, and revise them wherever they go against peaceful coexistence. We are appealing to Hindus to start asking some questions about Islam so that Muslims are made to rethink. If asking questions with a view to holding a dialogue is provoking violence, we plead guilty again. Hindus had a long tradition of asking questions even about their own cherished doctrines. I wonder if you are well-acquainted with our acharyas - Brahmanic, Buddhist and the rest. It was only with the advent of Islam and, later on, Christianity that Hindus were terrorised into the habit of remaining silent when faced with wild claims and not asking any questions. We are trying to revive the ancient Hindu tradition.
  • Meanwhile, please pardon us for saying that we have found no music in the language of your letter, no rhyme in your reasoning, no value in your judgments, and no art or education in your performance as a whole.

Perversion of India's Political Parlance (1984)[edit]

  • The word secular is defined in the dictionaries as "the belief that the state, morals, education, etc. should be independent of religion." But in India it means only one thing -- eschewing everything Hindu and espousing everything Islamic.

Time for Stock-Taking (1997)[edit]

  • The only substantial contribution was made by an RSS lawyer hailing from Anantnag in Kashmir. “I have studied Islam in depth,” he said, “and found it to be a great religion. I cannot understand anyone placing Islam in the dock.” Ironically enough this defender of Islam was literally the first to be shot dead when the ethnic cleansing started in the Valley in the winter of 1989.


Quotes about S.R. Goel[edit]

  • My father started Biblia Impex from a small table in a friend's office. He would sit on one side of the table, and his typist would sit on the other side. He was one of the first Indian publishers to send books abroad without asking for advance payment. Other export businesses would never do this. They would always require money in advance. My father understood European integrity. He knew they were trustworthy.
  • Once I had seen through the secularists, it was only logical that I would go and make my acquaintance with the people whom they always denounced with such holy indignation. Would those ugly Hindu monsters really be all that ugly? After reading the book History of Hindu-Christian Encounters, I sought out its author, and that's how I met Sita Ram Goel. Come to mention him, I found that in moral stature and depth of scholarship, he completely dwarfed the Stalinist "eminent historians" and other icons of "secularism". Which is why I cannot help frowning when I see Meera Nanda forget her limitations and berate a towering personality like Goel.
    • Koenraad Elst: Return of the Swastika, 2004: Hinduism, Environmentalism and the Nazi Bogey, A Preliminary Reply by Dr. Koenraad Elst to Ms. Meera Nanda,
  • No one has ever refuted him on facts, but many have sought to smear him and his writing. They have thereby transmuted the work from mere scholarship into warning. (...)The forfeiture is exactly the sort of thing which had landed us where we are: where intellectual inquiry is shut out; where our traditions are not examined, and reassessed; and where as a consequence there is no dialogue. It is exactly the sort of thing too which foments reaction. (...)"Freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected," it [the Supreme Court] declared last year, "cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group or people."
    • Arun Shourie: Formenting Reaction. 8 November 1990. Quoted from: Freedom of expression – Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel)
  • In the same week when the Kar Seva was due, the speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, H.K. Srivastava, made a proposal to attack the problem of communal friction at what he apparently considered its roots. He wanted all press writing about the historical origins of temples and mosques to be banned. And it is true : the discussion of the origins of some mosques is fundamental to this whole issue. For, it reveals the actual workings of an ideology that, more than anything else, has caused countless violent confrontations between the religious communities. However, after the news of this proposal came, nothing was heard of it anymore. I surmise that the proposal was found to be juridically indefensible in that it effectively would prohibit history-writing, a recognized academic discipline of which journalism makes use routinely. And I surmise that it was judged politically undesirable because it would counterproductively draw attention to this explosive topic. The real target of this proposal was the book Hindu Temples : What Happened to Them (A Preliminary Survey) by Arun Shourie and others. In the same period, there has been a proposal in the Rajya Sabha by Congress MP Mrs. Aliya to get this book banned, in spite of the fact that about half the book had already legally been published in different papers. The police dropped by the printer and later the publisher to get a few copies for closer inspection. The really hard part of the book is a list of some two thousand Muslim buildings that have been built on places of previous Hindu worship (and for which many more than two thousand temples have been demolished). In spite of the threat of a ban on raking up this discussion, on November 18 the U.P. daily Pioneer has published a review of this book, by Vimal Yogi Tiwari, which I reproduce here in full. (...) "History is not just an exercise in collection of facts though, of course, facts have to be carefully sifted and authenticated as Mr. Sita Ram Goel has done in this case. History is primarily an exercise in self-awareness and reinforcement of that self-awareness. Such a historical assessment has by and large been missing in our country. This at once gives special significance to this book."
    • (Elst 1991: chapter 12)
  • In a review in the Calcutta Telegraph (ca. 30-1-1991), Manini Chatterjee of the Communist Party (Marxist) calls Hindu Temples, vol. 1, (along with my own book Ramjanmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid) a “very bad book”, but fails to even attempt a refutation.
    • Elst 2002, ch1
  • On other occasions as well, Goel has sternly criticized the RSS and BJP for their policy of eschewing all serious discussion of Islamic doctrine.20 His book Time for Stock-Taking is the single most incisive critique of the RSS available; unlike the stereotyped and sloganeering tirades by Marxists like Chetan Bhatt, it is based on first-hand knowledge, including the testimonies by a number of disappointed RSS volunteers. In spite of this, political “scientists” like Bhatt can disregard all the evidence and label Goel as an RSS man.
    • 20 See S.R. Goel, ed.: Time for Stocktaking: wheither sangh parivar? Voice of India, Delhi 1997., Elst2002

Partial bibliography[edit]

Hindi[edit]

  • सेक्युलरिज्म, राष्ट्रद्रोह का दूसरा नाम (Saikyularizm, Râshtradroha kâ Dûsrâ Nâm; "Secularism, another name for treason", 1985)
  • सम्यक संबुद्ध (Samyak Sambuddha)

Translations into Hindi[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • India’s only communalist: In commemoration of Sita Ram Goel; Edited by Koenraad Elst; Voice of India, New Delhi. (2005) ISBN 81-85990-78-6 (With contributions by Subhash Kak, David Frawley, Lokesh Chandra, Shrikant Talageri, Vishal Agarwal, N.S. Rajaram and others.) [18]
  • Elst, Koenraad. India's Only Communalist: an Introduction to the Work of Sita Ram Goel. In "Hinduism and Secularism: After Ayodhya", Arvind Sharma (ed.) Palgrave 2001 ISBN 978-0-333-79406-7

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Sita Ram Goel, How I became a Hindu, Published By Voice of India, New Delhi, India
  2. Jaffrelot, Christophe (1996). The Hindu nationalist movement and Indian politics: 1925 to the 1990s. C. Hurst & Co. pp. 342–343. ISBN 978-1-85065-301-1. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  3. Davis, Richard H. (2008). "Tolerance and Hierarchy: Accommodating Multiple Religious Paths in Hinduism". In Neusner, Jacob; Chilton, Bruce. Religious Tolerance in World Religions (2nd ed.). Templeton Foundation Press. pp. 361–362. ISBN 978-1-59947-136-5. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  4. Schmalz, Mathew N. (2006). "The Indian Church: Catholicism and Indian Nationhood". In Manuel, Paul Christopher; Reardon, Lawrence Christopher; Wilcox, Clyde. The Catholic Church and the nation-state: comparative perspectives. Georgetown University Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-58901-115-1. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  5. This is a separate collection of hymns by Garibdas and a few other Bhakti saints. Not to be confused with holy-book of The Sikhs
  6. Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 1
  7. Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 2
  8. 8.0 8.1 Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 3
  9. 9.0 9.1 Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 4
  10. 10.0 10.1 Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 5
  11. Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 6
  12. Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 7
  13. Elst, Koenraad, "Ram Swarup (1920–98): outline of a biography" [1]
  14. Sita Ram Goel Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993)
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 9
  16. Suzanne Labin said:"I have read your masterpiece, 'In Defense of Comrade Krishna Menon.' It is profound, well-constructed, well argued, an honest, sound and brilliant study." On the dust wrapper of "In Defense of Comrade Krishna Menon"
  17. GENESIS AND GROWTH OF NEHRUISM
  18. Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 8
  19. 19.0 19.1 Elst, Koenraad, "India's only communalist – A short biography of Sita Ram Goel"
  20. Goel, Sita Ram, "Freedom of expression: Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy"
  21. Goel:How I became a Hindu, History of Hindu-Christian Encounters
  22. Koenraad Elst. BJP vis-a-vis Hindu Resurgence. ch.17
  23. Goel:Freedom of Expression
  24. Himalayan Academy. "Letter by Goel to Hinduism Today". hinduismtoday.com. 
  25. "Koenraad Elst Who is a Hindu? (2001)
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Goel: How I became a Hindu, ch.9
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 Goel, Sita Ram, The Story of Islamic Imperialism
  28. 28.0 28.1 Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.9
  29. Goel:Defence of Hindu Society. ch.9
  30. Hinduism, Environmentalism and the Nazi Bogey, Koenraad Elst Who is a Hindu? (2001)
  31. "Hinduism, Environmentalism and the Nazi Bogey". bharatvani.org. 
  32. Preface to Goel's "Catholic Ashrams". 1994.
  33. Catherine Cornille. The Guru in Indian Catholicism: Ambiguity or Opportunity of Inculturation, Louvain, 1990, pp.192–93.
  34. S.R. Goel:History of Hindu-Christian Encounters, 1996
  35. The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion, Regnery Publishing 2006. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades), Regnery Publishing, 2005.
  36. Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud. 1998
  37. "HaindavaKeralam.com - Nailing Marxist Lies - Exposing the Myth of Hindu Onslaught on Buddhism". haindavakeralam.com. 
  38. 38.0 38.1 Goel: How I became a Hindu
  39. Goel: How I became a Hindu, ch.1, 8
  40. Interview in The Observer, February 22, 1997
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 Freedom of expression – Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7
  42. Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7
  43. tû kaun hai? yeh kyâ kiyâ? bahut baDi riot hote hote ruki hai
  44. musalmân ubal rahen haiN. unke gharoN kî chhatoN par behisâb îNt patthar rakkhâ hai, gharoN ke bhîtar golâ bârûd: wê jab châheN shahar meN âg lagâ sakte haiN
  45. yeh bât to apne netâoN se pûcho, meN to ek garîb policeman huN, bacchon kâ pet pal rahâ huN
  46. Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7
  47. Fomenting Reaction by Arun Shourie. 8 November 1990. Freedom of expression – Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7
  48. Shahabuddin, Syed. "You did this with satanic forethought, Mr. Rushdie." Times of India. 13 October 1988.
  49. In Syed Shahabuddin's letter to P.M. Sayeed, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs on 20 August 1993. Sita Ram Goel:The Calcutta Quran Petition., Chapter 1.
  50. 50.0 50.1 S.R. Goel, ed.: Freedom of Expression, 1998
  51. 51.0 51.1 K. Elst: "Banning Hindu Revaluation", Observer of Business and Politics, 1 December 1993
  52. Elst 1991
  53. Elst 1991 Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  54. e.g. in India’s only communalist: In commemoration of Sita Ram Goel; Edited by Koenraad Elst; Voice of India, New Delhi. (2005)
  55. "David Frawley Books - How I Became A Hindu My Discover Of Vedic Dharma - Journalistic Work (Page8)". hindubooks.org. 
  56. e.g. in India’s only communalist: In commemoration of Sita Ram Goel; Edited by Koenraad Elst; Voice of India, New Delhi. (2005)
  57. Frawley, David. How I became a Hindu [2]
  58. Elst, Koenraad, "India's Only Communalist: an Introduction to the Work of Sita Ram Goel." In "Hinduism and Secularism: After Ayodhya", Arvind Sharma (ed.) Palgrave 2001
  59. S.R. Goel:History of Hindu-Christian Encounters, 1996
  60. Preface to Goel's "Catholic Ashrams". 1994.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikiquote:Sita Ram Goel