The Style of Hinduism Experts

“Sankrant Sanu”: has “an article”: in BeliefNet on the shoddy scholarship by some _eminent_ scholars, who have discovered that
* In his book on Ganesha, the beloved elephant-headed deity of Hindus, Emory University professor Paul Courtright made claims that Ganesha?s trunk represents a limp phallus and the fondness for sweets of this child deity carries ?overtones? of a desire for oral sex.
* University of Chicago professor Wendy Doniger has been quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu text, ?a dishonest book? that “justifies war.”
* In her article on Hinduism in Encarta, which serves as a mainstream introduction for general audiences, Doniger highlights what she calls ?contradictions? in the Hindu tradition–often using deprecating parenthetical asides, unusual for such an encyclopedia entry.
* In “Kali’s Child,” Rice University professor Jeffrey Kripal portrays Sri Ramakrishna, a much-revered Hindu spiritual leader, as a sexually abused homosexual child-molester. [“BeliefNet”:]
People who question the quality of their research are immediately branded as Hindu Militants, BJP Activists etc and thus taking the discussion away from the quality of scholarship. As Sanu writes
bq. Critical articles, including my own, raise the issue of the quality of scholarship of some of these prominent members of the academy. These articles have pointed out errors, inconsistencies, mistranslations, missing references, suspect theories and interpretative techniques and, in some cases, troubling evidence of outright prejudice displayed by the academicians.
bq. Let’s look at what happened when the Hindu community tried to address Courtright’s work. Serious questions have been raised about the book–such as the non-existence of the references that Coutright cites in some cases, and their clear misconstrual in others.
bq. While Doniger et al make exaggerated claims of violence based on ducking a stray egg, the real issue they have been ducking is that of shoddy scholarship. They charge that their critics do not read books, yet it is these academicians who haven?t bothered to read their critics. Perhaps they don?t need to. It is easier to remain ensconced in an ivory tower and make sure that the airwaves carry only the story of the scholars being ?attacked.? The alternative would be to engage in dialogue with the community who find their traditions unrecognizably mauled at their hands rather than talking past them, as Marty does, by caricaturing all criticism as ?fundamentalist? and ?militant.? This engagement can only help all those that genuinely care to see the academy as a place for the dissemination of knowledge, rather than of one-sided propaganda.[“BeliefNet”:]