Sri Nagendra’s response to the esteemed Swami Vigyananand ji; Jt. General Secretary; Vishva Hindu Parishad Head – International Coordination
Sa-adar pranam Swamiji, sa-adar pranam!
I am deeply touched and honored that you still remember me from those halcyon days of the inauguration of VHP Overseas / America. You must meet a legion of people because of your position. That this insignificant one is still in your memory is very heartening.
Aap ne jo kaha hai, mai ne samajh liya. Aur kuch kahane ki avashyakta nahin hai! A word to the wise!!!
One of my good friends, a devout sadhaka and a sishya of the ancient Vaishnava Udupi Pejawar matha was saying the other day:
“I also read somewhere that in the old days, when a guest is in the house, the householder’s wife would communicate with her husband with eye signals only without speaking a single word.
Swamiji, would that the HAF worthies also had schooled themselves in the same subtle old dharmic ways as you and those of your ilk. But they are into getting people to sign non-disclosure agreements with penalties and other such crude Western legal ways of doing things. These are tactics adopted by shady PR organizations and shifty Wall Street lawyers in ‘admit nothing and deny nothing’ mode. The games that people play!!! We do not expect this of an organization like HAF that has pretensions to represent Sanatana Dharma.
This is why I said long ago that in dealing with HAF (and its Caste Report) we need to adopt the methods of Wall Street on adversarial re-organization – my purvashrama. This is what Sri Kalavai Venkat is saying so eloquently today – after having worked with HAF and then walked out in utter disgust with HAF misleading and shifty tactics. There is no old world dharmic grace in HAF – only very new world PR / political spin – prevarication / misleading / dissembling / shiftiness. HAF changes its stand only when 2X4’s are taken to it by an enraged, devout, professing Hindu community. This is exactly HAF’s track record and MO to date.
This must never, never be allowed to happen again. Latter day, arriviste organizations, HAF in particular, must never be in a position again to superciliously arrogate to themselves (swayam acharyas) the authority to speak for all of Hinduism worldwide. Latter day, arriviste organizations, HAF in particular, should never dare to cast themselves in the role of today’s Veda Vyasas in re-writing / banishing the smritis / dharmasastras ityadi – this in bed with US based pseudo-Hindu organizations such as the execrable Navya Shastra ityadi. Once again, White House / Congressional / UN NGO sinecures / imprimaturs are not the qualifications / criteria for speaking on or for Hindus in the US, let alone worldwide. HAF seems to be out there with its tongue hanging out to get these. A renowned Hindu intellectual and authority on the social sciences like Sri Gautam Sen has given these cautions in very tough language – even if in an indirect way.
Hinduism nee Sanatana Dharma is a very broad tent. Any statement that can be made about Hinduism, we can point to the exact opposite statement about it being true as well. As I pointed out long ago, if HAF wants to call itself Navya Shastra Hindu / Nava Vidhan Hindu / nouvelle vague Hindu, or whatever, that is fine – with me anyway. Others may disagree – HAF bully boys (girls? I am equal opportunity ) will have to answer to them. If HAF office bearers want to use this tack in their desperation for White House / Congress / UN NGO honours / sinecures, that is less noisome / revolting / objectionable as long as HAF does not say it represents mainstream Hinduism. Others may however (AND RIGHTLY) object, and that strenuously, to such underhanded HAF tactics.
Never deign to speak for all of Hinduism – you most definitely do not speak for me or so many others like me. Please do not imply in a shady, underhanded way, as ye have consistently done so far, that ye have the support of major Hindu dharma acharyas. This is unconscionable. It is very evident from the letters from some of Hinduism’s most hallowed icons – North and South – that major Hindu dharmacharyas have issued rousing votes of no-confidence in your actions and egregious initiatives.
I do not want to name names but HAF’s well meaning American Hindu spiritual advisors – sadhus / ex-sadhus / future sadhus whatever – carry no cachet with us. Equally your turncoat ethnic Indian Hindu human rights advisors don’t carry any cachet with us either – shades of Coriolanus. HAF, should not put words in our / my mouth and start prating that we / I am saying that they are not Hindu – HAF is so into such grossly misleading spin tactics. All we / I am saying is that their conception of Hinduism is not co-eval with ours / mine. If they want to call themselves Hindu – fine. If HAF wants such as their spiritual guides and human rights advisors, also fine. HAF will have to answer to others (and they are legion) who object to such shenanigans in their view.
In closing, let us look at the bottomline. Whatever the merits of HAF’s stand or that of its critics – the Caste Report has been an utter PR disaster for HAF such as not seen in years. HAF has divided the NRI Hindu community such as no other organization or action has done to date. This shows HAF’s total incompetence – even if there is no venality – in handling sensitive issues. It shows HAF’s total lack of good judgement. Good judgement is the first requirement for any advocacy / PR organization. No Hindu should either fund or have any confidence in HAF anymore as a Hindu advocacy organization of any sort. With friends like HAF, Hinduism does not need any enemies.
Aatmeeya Nagendra Rao ji
I do not know you remember me or not, though we met a couple of times in USA.
To clarify VHP’s position I wrote following lines. Again I am writing
- HAF is not part of Vishva Hindu Parishad
- HAF never said they are part of Vishva Hindu Parishad
- HAF is an independent organization.
People can say Chinmaya Mission was founded by Swami Chinmayananda Saraswatiji. He was also founding committee Chairman of Vishva Hindu Parishad and was President for sometime. He was also Working President for long time. VHP was founded at Chinmaya Mission Headquarters at Sandeepani Sadhanalaya, Pawai, Mumbai. People are free to say that VHP and Chinmaya Mission are one and the same organization. We cannot stop them. I have doubt whether Chinmaya Mission will agree on this.
Hope this will clarify our position.
Yours in Dharma
Jt. General Secretary
Vishva Hindu Parishad
Head – International Coordination
More posts by this author:
- Letters: Sri Nagendra2
- Letters: Sri Nagendra to HAF
- Letters: Aditi Banerjee on HMEC Panel Cancellation
- Summary of Major Issues with the HAF Report on Caste
- Kalavai denounces Hindu American Foundation Report