Meera Nanda

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Meera Nanda
Born 1954
Occupation Writer, academic
Nationality Indian

Meera Nanda (born 1954) is an Indian writer, historian and philosopher of science based in the United States.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Nanda was educated in science and philosophy, with a PhD in Biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and a PhD in Science Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.[2][3]

She was a John Templeton Foundation Fellow in Religion and Science (2005–2007).[1][4] In January 2009, she was a Fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Study, in the Jawaharlal Nehru University for research in Science, Post-Modernism and Culture.[5] Currently, she is a visiting faculty of history and philosophy of science at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali.

She has authored several works on religion, most notably Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and Hindu Nationalism in India (2004),[6] and her 2009 book The God Market which examines how India is experiencing a rising tide of popular Hinduism, including Government of India financing of Hinduism despite the nation's secular characteristic. The book was also reviewed by William Dalrymple in Outlook Magazine.[7][8]

Works[edit]

  • Ayurveda Today : A Critical Look, with C. Viswanathan. Penguin. ISBN 9780143065128.
  • Postmodernism And Religious Fundamentalism: A Scientific Rebuttal To Hindu Science. Pub: Navayana. 2000. ISBN 81-89059-02-5.
  • Breaking the Spell of Dharma and Other Essays. New Delhi: Three Essays Collective. 2002. ISBN 81-88394-09-2.
  • Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques of Science and the Hindu Nationalism in India. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2004. ISBN 81-7824-090-4. Excerpts
  • Wrongs of the Religious Right: Reflections on secularism, science and Hindutva. New Delhi: Three Essays Collective, 2005. ISBN 81-88789-30-5
  • The God Market. Random House, 2010. ISBN 81-8400-095-2.

Criticism[edit]

Criticisms have been leveled against Nanda by Swaminathan Venkataraman of the Hindu American Foundation in response to claims made by Nanda that Yoga has no link to Hinduism, such as her views being colored by her alleged hatred for Swami Vivekanada, and that Nanda fears "the emergence of an articulate, credible, and professional Hindu voice that is bringing authentic, apolitical Hindu perspectives into the public sphere."[9]

Rajiv Malhotra criticised her for virulently denouncing Indian culture and painting Hinduism as intrinsically anti-scientific, while considering Protestantism (whose Templeton Foundation funds her) as scientific and progressive.[10]

Meera Nanda on Swami Vivekananda[edit]

Breaking India first noted that in her article, calling India's freethinkers, in The Hindu she called upon the Indian secularists to un-twine connections between science and spirituality. In this article she says- "First challenge before Indian secularist is to carefully but firmly un-twine the wild and uncontrolled intertwining of science and spirituality that has been going on since the time of Swami Vivekananda" in the late 19th century.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Meera Nanda Profile Three Essays.
  2. ^ Reception of Darwinism in India (A talk by Professor Meera Nanda), Indian Institute of Science
  3. ^ Meera Nanda Posts and Profile
  4. ^ Ranjit Hoskote (21 November 2006). "In defence of secularism". The Hindu. 
  5. ^ List of scholars invited to JNIAS JNIAS Jawaharlal Nehru University website.
  6. ^ Ranjit Hoskote (3 May 2005). "Book Review: Paradigm shift". The Hindu. 
  7. ^ William Dalrymple (18 January 2010). "Review: The Glitter in The Godliness". Outlook (magazine). Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Books: A market for holy men: How globalization has had an impact on Hinduism and our public sphere". Mint. 21 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Swaminathan Venkataraman (7 March 2011). "Disguised Hinduphobia". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Malhotra, Rajiv; Neelakandan, Aravindan (2011). "India: A left-wing frontier". Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines. Amaryllis. ISBN 8191067374. 
  11. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/2004/05/22/stories/2004052201691000.htm

Further reading[edit]