A CASE OF MISTAKEN ENMITY

 

 

POSTSCRIPT

Since the time this article was written, Ms. Jain has unleashed a new poison spill upon the internet.  The article titled Semitic Graft on a Sanatana Tree [10] gives readers the opportunity to view, in one place, all the streams that feed her cauldron of suspicion and vitriolic hatred.

Ms. Jain shares that she has received a number of angry and spiteful comments in retaliation to her earlier writings.  While she may accuse her anonymous critics of cravenness, she should know that faceless foes are par for the course for anyone who writes on the Internet. She need not feel particularly singled out by this treatment.

On her part, she doesn’t seem concerned that the magma of malevolence that she has unleashed might cut an indiscriminately destructive path through the landscape of civil debate.

Ms. Jain’s letters to Swami Dayananda are not respectful inquiries to an elder and a teacher who possesses more enlightened knowledge of scripture than most of us can hope to assimilate in our lifetimes.  They are couched in the language of an inquisitor who has already placed her opinions and mind in the steel-lined vault of absolute conviction. Whether she received a response or not is really of no consequence – because she already has all the answers.

This conflict seems to be taking on the proportions of a Shakespearian tragedy – only there are no villains here, only good people intent on mutual destruction.  Ms. Jain and Ms. Rajan are both tremendously intelligent, passionately patriotic and culturally invested women whose ferocity should properly be directed at our real adversaries.

All of us engage with issues and crises from our unique perspectives.  The panorama of choices visible to us might not be readily apparent to someone from a different vantage point, and vice versa. To engage in samvad (reasoned debate), one must proceed by first acknowledging the other’s perspective as real from their vantage point. If you destroy the other person just for the crime of having a different vantage point, then all you are left with is a corpse. You have not convinced the other person that your vantage point is better, and must therefore be preferred.

The outcome of this debate will therefore depend on how the opponents define victory.

Is victory seen, to use Ms. Jain’s words, in an outcome where “two women could huff and puff and blow it all down”? Or, should it be defined by what two women could apply themselves to building?

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