Letters: Sri Nagendra2


I am deliberately writing this message in yellow press, demagogic and repetitive language – Mass Communications 300 at Wharton / Annenberg School of Mass Communications on agitprop tactics. In other words, this is in New York Daily News, not Wall Street Journal style. Anyone who reads any 3 lines of this peroration should get the message.


The shrieking language may offend shrinking violets, nervous nellies and academic dons on this post – my apologies to such honorable and good folks in advance.


As for my personal image? I have none!!! I am at an age and more than secure enough in who I am, to not be troubled by such trivial considerations! I am not out there with my tongue hanging out for titles / positions / sinecures / honours. I have had it all, done it all and been it all. In Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs I am fully into self-actualization.


Long ago, I offered HAF that I could be Vasistha with them or Kartaviryarjuna – they chose the latter. Old dodderers may sometimes need to be listened to (a little).

HAF calls it Palinesque rhetoric or Goebbelsian propaganda. Very apt and very Freudian of HAF. I would call it “paunah punah shravana kuriyat” in traditional Hindu terminology.


HAF – its officers / employees / fellow travellers / flacks / whoever have never explicitly denied, or disavowed for the future, the many things which have come up in the discovery process on the general dodginess of HAF operations and its unilaterally published and now thoroughly discredited and universally condemned caste report.


Why are we spending time and energy on this whole school textbook business in the midst of the HAF Caste Report? Kudos to Sri Rakesh and Sri Kalavai Venkat. No doubt the textbook issue is immensely relevant – but in a different context.


The textbook issue takes away from the main focus of what we were discussing to date and where this whole matter started – to wit HAF’s general incompetence as a Hindu advocacy organization, its hubris, prevarication, misleading and dissembling in relation to the odious HAF Caste Report – how to see that this disaster never sees the light of day, and that clear steps are put in place so that HAF, or any other Hindu organization, never gets the chance to play this kind of damaging, divisive, demeaning role, ever again, in relation to the US Hindu NRI community / Hindu community worldwide.


Anything else is extraneous and takes away time, energy and focus from the main point – keeping HAF in the dock until the odious Caste Report is permanently tabled, HAF explicitly apologizes to the community and indicates what steps it has taken / will take to ensure that it never takes this type of egregiously bad action and policy decisions again.


Further a large number of other people and I, after this action of HAF involving prevarication / misleading / dissembling on the Caste Report have questions on HAF bonafides / integrity – what steps can be taken to ensure transparency and openness in HAF operations so that the Hindu community never has to spend time and energy on this kind of issue again .


Let us never forget that in spite of all the sweet words and floods of crocodile tears of the HAF Board / employees / fellow travellers / flunkies – they are still intending to go ahead and publish the odious and discredited HAF Caste Report – ON THEIR TERMS.


Many others and I, after the recent fiasco have no faith that HAF has turned over a new leaf – that it has heard the community and that it truly intends to improve its future responsiveness to the community, and its integrity and professionalism in future operations.


To repeat again, ad nauseam HAF has never really admitted either its gross misfeasance in relation to the caste report, nor its general dodginess of operation and behaving like a shifty, 2nd rate PR organization of questionable competence. I fully realize these words may be a bit strong but they are intended to get us back to the point – the dodgy HAF Caste Report and the total incompetence of operation as a Hindu advocacy organization in this specific matter.


Do let us keep to the point please.  Again, paunah punah sravana kuriyat, I am not stating that the text book issue is not germane – but we need to focus on the main issue – HAF inequities and incompetence with respect to the HAF


Let us continue to hold HAF’s feet to the fire for the NRI Hindu community in the US, and to the extent necessary and appropriate, the entire Hindu community worldwide. HAF had (HAS?) delusions of grandeur of being modern day Vyasas and re-rewriting the ethos of Sanatana Dharma (inclusive of Arya Samaj), in their image.


HAF wants to obsequiously pander to the mainstream US community, to global human rights entities and to Christian evangelist organizations in spreading its conception of what Hinduism is. HAF still wants to publish its totally discredited caste report, in an absolutely non-transparent manner, and make this a fait accompli – as an adjunct to its public / sub rosa aim. HAF wants to speak for all of Hinduism and apologize to the entire world for extant Hinduism. It wants to waste time and energy to FIX HINDUISM – this is not what for which HAF has been supported and funded by the community.


There is a saying in English – putting lipstick on a pig. This is still exactly what HAF is still trying to do. It is hoping to get away with this and without having to admit that it has been grievously in error and made outrageously bad errors in judgement in relation to its vaunted functioning as an advocacy organization for the Hindu community – whether for US NRIs, only or in a larger context for Hinduism worldwide.

Bluntly speaking, HAF is still asking us to trust it and buy a pig in a poke in relation to its Caste Report. After the general dodginess / shiftiness of HAF operations we cannot ever in future trust its unfettered operation as a Hindu advocacy organization


There is a saying attributed to Alan Dershowitz, renowned Harvard Professor of Constitutional Law, but actually much before him in legal circles, “If you have the law on your side, pound the law, if you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have neither on your side, pound the table”. HAF has been doing much pounding of the table, let us all in the professing Hindu community not help HAF to pound the table. Let us continue to hold HAF feet to the fire until they get jnanodaya.


Jai Hind.

Shambhave Namah!



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