My sweet lord (non hindutva) | Herald of the Deccan
that of George Harrison Sweet Jesus was the best-selling single of 1971 and the first number one song by an ex-Beatle. The recurring song of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness song ‘ maha mantra amid an optimistic pop groove gave a big boost to the integration of the ISKCON movement, both in the West and in India.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna / Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama / I really want to see you!
After all, it’s one thing to see white children spinning and bald, with a tilak on their foreheads and necks wrapped in three strands of tulsi pearls, dancing with tambourines in saffron robes – always worn a little too short for some strange reason – singing bhajans in Times Square in New York or at LAX airport, and that’s another for a ‘Vaishnava’ Beatle ‘groovy rocking a world number – one hit on a slide guitar.
And it’s a melody that is both touching and catchy. Definitely a better song than the 1963 Rags hit He is so good that Harrison had stolen the tune from – or, as the judge ruled in the ensuing copyright infringement lawsuit, had “unknowingly” plagiarized. Substitute the transcendent Hare krishna abstain for a sense doo-lang doo-lang doo-lang of Chiffon’s song obviously uplifted the musical spirit.
What a number one pop hit for the music world, a massively popular world conference supported by Harvard University, Princeton, Columbia, etc., with over 10,000 people registered, would be for academia . This is exactly the kind of chart-buster we’ve seen since September 10, when the Dismantling Global Hindutva conference was launched.
The DGH conference aims to raise awareness of the corrosive nature of Hindutva, the far-right ideology that undermines India’s secular and democratic traditions and stifles academic freedom in India and around the world. Diaspora organizers are particularly keen to ensure that the white world understands that Hindu religion is distinct from Hindutva ideology.
The conference organizers, generally more liberal and left-wing, were obviously assailed by right-wing institutions, Sanghis, and others who argue that Hindutva is not a fascist ideology and that the DGH mob crudely distorts both Hinduism and Hindutva.
I think both sides are right.
On the one hand, favoring the organizers of the DGH, the Hindutva ideology is indeed a corrosive form of nationalism designed to threaten secular and pluralist democracy, just as its early supporters (e.g. Savarkar, Golwalkar) had them. -same articulated. But, on the other hand, to promote Sanghis, the DGH collective seems to grossly distort the overlapping elements shared between Hinduism and Hindutva. Unlike the human face that the Saffron team would like to paint on it, these shared elements are not, however, salutary or uplifting. Rather, it is their common anti-egalitarian and anti-democratic practices of caste hierarchy and discrimination.
Oh sweet Lord yes, I said it. In the process of combating Hindutva with justice, the Brahmins of the American Ivy League diaspora soften Hinduism to conceal its caste underbelly. And the caste hierarchy is a filthy underbelly of Hinduism itself for which Hindutva bears absolutely no responsibility.
But to be fair, just as George Harrison only “unconsciously” stole the Rags, perhaps the NRI Hindus of all the upper castes behind DGH are not consciously whitewashing Hinduism in the process of exposing the toxicity of the Hindutva. As they say, “The conference is guided by an ethical commitment to protect the rights of minorities, dissidents and ordinary people whose very existence is under attack by supporters of Hindutva. But what about an ethical commitment to protect the rights of Dalit-Bahujan, whose very existence is under attack by the Brahmanic practices of Hinduism?
Of course, the globalization of the Hindutva is an urgent and compelling problem. But ultimately we will also have to face the question of why in all the elite US universities supporting DGH there is no Dalit-Bahujan faculty leading to tenure, especially given the Ambedkar Chairs in booming and well-funded junior research programs. Because who could forget those immortal words from George Harrison (hey, I know, I know):
Gurur Brahmā, gurur Viṣṇu / gurur devo Maheśvaraḥ / guruh sākṣāt, paraṃ Brahma / tasmai rī gurave namaḥ