Ram Swarup

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Ram Swarup

Ram Swarup (राम स्‍वरूप),[1] (1920 – 26 December 1998), born Ram Swarup Agarwal, was an independent Hindu thinker and prolific author. His works took a critical stance against Christianity, Islam and Communism. His work has influenced other Indian writers.

Life[edit]

Ram Swarup was born in 1920 to a banker father in Sonipat, Haryana. He graduated in Economics at Delhi University in 1941. He participated in the Indian Freedom Movement,[2] and helped Freedom fighters like Aruna Asaf Ali.[3] He started the Changer's Club in 1944. Its members included L. C. Jain, Raj Krishna, Girilal Jain, and historian Sita Ram Goel.[2] In 1948-49, he worked for Mahatma Gandhi's disciple Mira Behn (Madeleine Slade).[2]

Swarup worked for the DRS, where he wrote a book on the Communist party that was published under someone else's name.[2] In 1949 he started the Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia.[2] The Society published books that were reviewed in the West, and criticized in the Communist newspapers Izvestia and Pravda.[2][4] It closed in 1955.[2] His early book Gandhism and Communism from this time had some influence among American policy makers and Congress men.[2]

In 1982 he founded the non-profit publishing house Voice of India,[5] which published works by Harsh Narain, A.K. Chatterjee, K.S. Lal, Koenraad Elst, Rajendra Singh, Sant R.S. Nirala, and Shrikant Talageri among others .[6]

American author David Frawley wrote, "While Voice of India had a controversial reputation, I found nothing irrational, much less extreme about their ideas or publications... Their criticisms of Islam were on par with the criticisms of the Catholic Church and of Christianity done by such Western thinkers as Voltaire or Thomas Jefferson. In fact they went far beyond such mere rational or historical criticisms of other religions and brought in a profound spiritual and yogic view as well." [7]

Author[edit]

Ram Swarup's book The Word As Revelation: Names of Gods was published in 1980 by Sita Ram Goel. The book was reviewed by Dr. Sisir Kumar Maitra in the Times of India.[8]

His works on Communism were reviewed and praised in the West and in India by people like Bertrand Russell, Arthur Koestler, Sri Aurobindo, Ashoka Mehta, Sardar Patel and Philip Spratt.[4]

Swarup has written for mainstream Indian weeklies and dailies, like the Telegraph, Times of India, Indian Express, Observer of Business and Politics, Hindustan Times and Hinduism Today.[2]

Influences and opinions[edit]

Some of his early influences were Aldous Huxley and George Bernard Shaw.[2][9]

In his later life, Ram Swarup used to meditate for many hours.[10] Swarup was influenced by Sri Aurobindo, whom he held to be the greatest exponent of the Vedic vision in our times.[10]

Sita Ram Goel described Swarup as a person who "had no use for any conventional morality or code of manners and could see clearly how they were mostly used to put the other fellow in the wrong."[11]

European paganism[edit]

Ram Swarup also had an interest in European Neopaganism, and corresponded with Prudence Jones (chairperson of Pagan Federation) and the Pagan author Guðrún Kristín Magnúsdóttir.[12]

Christopher Gerard (editor of Antaios, Society for Polytheistic Studies) said: "Ram Swarup was the perfect link between Hindu Renaissance and renascent Paganism in the West and elsewhere."[13]

Swarup has also advocated a "Pagan renaissance" in Europe. He said that "Europe became sick because it tore apart from its own heritage, it had to deny its very roots. If Europe is to be healed spiritually, it must recover its spiritual past—at least, it should not hold it in such dishonor..." He argued that the European Pagans "should compile a directory of Pagan temples destroyed, Pagan groves and sacred spots desecrated. European Pagans should also revive some of these sites as their places of pilgrimage."[14]

Works[edit]

  • Indictment, Changer's Club
  • Mahatma Gandhi and His Assassin, 1948. Changer's Club
  • Let us Fight the Communist Menace (1949)
  • Russian Imperialism: How to Stop It (1950);
  • Communism and Peasantry: Implications of Collectivist Agriculture for Asian Countries (1950,1954)
  • Gandhism and Communism (1954)
  • Foundations of Maoism (1956).
  • Gandhian Economics (1977)
  • The Hindu View of Education (1971)
  • The Word as Revelation: Names of Gods (1980), (1982, revised 1992)
  • Understanding Islam through Hadis (1983 in the USA by Arvind Ghosh, Houston; Indian reprint by Voice of India, 1984); The Hindi translation was banned in 1990, and the English original was banned in 1991 in India.
  • Buddhism vis-à-vis Hinduism (1958, revised 1984).
  • Hinduism vis-à-vis Christianity and Islam (1982, revised 1992)
  • Christianity, an Imperialist Ideology (1983, with Major T.R. Vedantham and Sita Ram Goel);
  • Woman in Islam (1994);
  • Hindu Dharma, Isaiat aur Islam (1985, Hindi: "Hindu Dharma, Christianity and Islam");
  • Hindu View of Christianity and Islam (1993, contains also as an appendix Swarup's foreword to D. S. Margoliouth's Mohammed and the Rise of Islam (1985, original in 1905) and to William Muir's The Life of Mahomet (1992, original in 1894)
  • Ramakrishna Mission. Search for a New Identity (1986)
  • Cultural Alienation and Some Problems Hinduism Faces (1987)
  • Foreword to Anirvan: Inner Yoga (1988, reprint 1995)
  • Hindu-Sikh Relationship (1985)
  • Foreword to the republication of Sardar Gurbachan Singh Talib, ed.: Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab, 1947 (1991; the original had been published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar in 1950), and also separately published as Whither Sikhism? (1991)
  • Hindu-Buddhist Rejoinder to Pope John-Paul II on Eastern Religions and Yoga(1995)

References[edit]

  1. ^ He never used his surname, Agarwal, in adult life.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ram Swarup (1920-1998) – Outline of a Biography
  3. ^ Hinduism Today, April 1999. The Voice of India By K.Elst
  4. ^ a b Sita Ram Goel Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993)
  5. ^ Letter by Goel to Hinduism Today, July 1998. Letters
  6. ^ Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 9
  7. ^ Frawley, DavidHow I became a Hindu: My discovery of Vedic Dharma
  8. ^ Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.9. Times of India, 29 March 1981 "The Return of the Gods"
  9. ^ Goel:How I became a Hindu.
  10. ^ a b Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.8
  11. ^ Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.4
  12. ^ Koenraad Elst. Who is a Hindu, 2001
  13. ^ Hinduism Today, April 1999
  14. ^ Hinduism Today. July 1999. Antaios 1996 (Interview with Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel)[1]
  • Review by Jiri Kolaja. Communism and Peasantry. by Ram Swarup. The American Journal of Sociology > Vol. 61, No. 6 (May, 1956), pp. 642–643
  • Review by G. L. Arnold, Communism and Peasantry: Implications of Collectivist Agriculture for Asian Countries by Ram Swarup, The British Journal of Sociology > Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1955), pp. 384–385
  • Review by Maurice Meisner, Foundations of Maoism by Ram Swarup The China Quarterly > No. 33 (Jan., 1968), pp. 127–130
  • Review by Geoffrey Shillinglaw, Foundations of Maoism. by Ram Swarup, International Affairs > Vol. 43, No. 4 (Oct., 1967), pp. 798–799

External links[edit]