David Frawley

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The idea of the ‘Hindu right’ is largely a ploy to discredit the Hindu movement as backward and prevent people from really examining it.
—David Frawley[1]
Frawley in 2007


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David Frawley (a.k.a. Vamadeva Sastri, वामदेव शास्त्री) is an American spiritual preacher, advocate of yoga, pseudosciences Vedic astrology and ayurveda,[2] and writer of many New age books. He is described as "a key apologist for the Hindutva movement" and his works have been described as "the marriage between far-right-wing Hindutva ideology and western New Ageism".[3] He was also awarded with the Padma BhushanWikipedia's W.svg, one of India's highest civilian awards, in 2015, just an year after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the national government in India.[4]

Frawley has written articles trying to justify the Hindu nationalist movement and claimed that the Hindu nationalist movement is not right wing in western sense:

The causes taken up by the Hindu movement are more at home in the New Left than in right wing parties of the West. Some of these resemble the concerns of the Green Party. The Hindu movement offers a long-standing tradition of environmental protection, economic simplicity, and protection of religious and cultural diversity. There is little in the so-called Hindu right that is shared by the religious or political right-wing in western countries, which reflect military, corporate and missionary concerns. The Hindu movement has much in common with the New Age movement in the West and its seeking of occult and spiritual knowledge, not with the right wing in the West, which rejects these things. Clearly, the western right would never embrace the Hindu movement as its ally.[5]

Frawley's assertion is of course severely flawed because the main Hindu nationalist organization in India, the RSS, considers homosexuality to be unnatural, a view shared by religious right-wingers, and a lot of, if not all, political right-wingers throughout the western world.

Pro-Hindutva writer Koenraad Elst, who himself has been accused of being a "far-right Catholic & BJP fellow traveller", wrote: "Frawley followed the then-typical path from parental Christianity through leftist hippyism to Hinduism. He has devoted a paper to showing how the so-called Hindu right actually takes many positions which in the West are associated with the left."[6]

In 2014, after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed government in India, it appointed Y. Sudershan Rao, a history professor associated with a RSS-affiliated organization, as the head of the Indian Council of Historical ResearchWikipedia's W.svg (ICHR), leading to concern about shifting politicization of academia.[7][8] In 2015, the ICHR invited Frawley to deliver a lecture on "Textual Evidence in Vedas — Cultural and Historical Implication".[2][9] The decision to invite him was criticized by archeologist and Cambridge University professor Dilip Kumar ChakrabartiWikipedia's W.svg, on the grounds that Frawley was not an academic scholar.[2]

Frawley runs an online course, the American Institute of Vedic Studies, focusing on "Ayurveda, Yoga-Vedanta, Vedic astrology and their interconnections." He also advocates the pseudohistorical Indigenous Aryans theory, a "theory" which claims that the Aryan homeland is located in India, a textbook example of nationalist pseudohistory.[10]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. http://indiafacts.org/myth-hindu-right/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 ICHR historian Dilip K Chakrabarti raises objection on David Frawley's invitation Economic Times
  3. Les Back and John Solomos (2000), Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, p.591, ISBN 9780415156714. "It is important to note the marriage between far-right-wing Hindutva ideology and western New Ageism in the works of writers like David Frawley (1994, 1995a, 1995b) who is both a key apologist for the Hindutva movement and the author of various New Age books on Vedic astrology, oracles and yoga."
  4. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/american-vedic-scholar-to-be-star-of-ichr-event/article1-1327166.aspx
  5. http://indiafacts.org/myth-hindu-right/ David Frawley, The Myth of the Hindu right
  6. Koenraad Elst: Hinduism, Environmentalism and the Nazi Bogey, A Preliminary Reply by Dr. Koenraad Elst to Ms. Meera Nanda, 2004
  7. Previous chairmen included the Indian Marxist histroian Irfan Habib: Amiya Kumar Bagchi. Writing Indian History in the Marxist Mode in a Post-Soviet World, Review of Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception, Social Scientist, 1996.; Mitra, Ashok (14–27 October 2000). "A tribute to Irfan Habib". Frontline.
  8. Ancient India had aeroplanes, nuclear weapons, says chief of India's premier history body India Today
  9. ICHR Foundation Day Lecture by David Frawley
  10. David Frawley, The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India
Articles on RationalWiki about Hindu nationalism
  Bal Thackeray  -  Bharatiya Janata Party  -  Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh  -  Hindu University of America  -  Hindutva  -  Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh  -  Sanskrit  -  Savitri Devi  -  Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America