ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Intellectual Analysis of Religion

The article by Chinnaiah Jangam on “What Is at Stake in Rewriting California School Textbooks?” (EPW, 16 July 2016) has presented the standard intellectual analysis of what is wrong with Hinduism in the modern world.

Intellectual analysis of religion(s) is a valid scholarly activity, but what has riled Hindu protagonists is the approach in the writings of certain authors who have attained an almost hegemonic eminence in the academic field. Apparently, a 20-year-old book on the elephant-headed Ganesha has particularly caused revulsion, by attem­pting a fairly crude psychoanalysis of the connected myths, as well as, by implication, of the Hindus who revere the deity. Sigmund Freud’s theories are just one attempt at explaining psychological patterns, and a fairly far-fetched one which will be soundly rejected by most of the laity if they were made aware of their tenets.

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