Voice of India
Voice of India is a controversial Indian publishing house, based in New Delhi, whose publications promote Hindu thought and Hindu nationalism. It was founded by Sita Ram Goel in 1983 and joined by Ram Swarup, who themselves published extensively under the label. It is notable for English language books by Arun Shourie, David Frawley, Shrikant Talageri, Francois Gautier, Harsh Narain, Subhash Kak, Koenraad Elst, and N. S. Rajaram.
VOI has also published the official VHP evidence bundle in the book "History versus Casuistry, Evidence of the Ramajanmabhoomi Mandir".
The magazine Hinduism Today has for many years honored the views of Ram Swarupin a number of its articles and publications, as it has also honored the views of Sita Ram Goel and the work of VOI. This reflects their writings wide influence on contemporary Hindu thought.
Partial list of publications
- Swarup, Ram
- Agarwal, Vishal A case study in Eminent Historiography, in India's Only Communalist, ed. by Koenraad Elst (2005).
- Goel, Sita Ram
- Elst, Koenraad
- Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991).
- Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple (2002) ISBN 81-85990-75-1.
- Ayodhya, The Finale - Science versus Secularism in the Excavations Debate (2003) ISBN 81-85990-77-8.
- Gandhi and Godse - A review and a critique (2001) ISBN 81-85990-71-9.
- Hindu Resurgence (1997) ISBN 81-85990-47-6.
- Indigenous Indians: Agastya to Ambedkar (1993).
- Psychology of Prophetism - A Secular Look at the Bible (1993) ISBN 81-85990-00-X.
- Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid. A Case Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict (1993).
- The Saffron Swastika - The Notion of Hindu Fascism. (2001) ISBN 81-85990-69-7.
- Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate ISBN 81-86471-77-4.
- Who is a Hindu? (2001).
- Goel, Sita Ram, Catholic Ashrams: Sannyasins or Swindlers?, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1995.
- Frawley, David
- Rajaram, N.S.
- Hindu View of the World: Essays In the Intellectual Kshatriya Tradition (1998) ISBN 978-81-85990-52-1.
- Profiles in Deception: Ayodhya and the Dead Sea Scrolls, 2000.
- The politics of history : Aryan Invasion Theory and the Subversion of Scholarship (1995).
The internet domains voi.org (since 1998) and voiceofdharma.org (since 2004) are held by the Illinois based "Viraat Hindu Sabha" of Satinder Trehan, who also holds hinduholocaust.com, sarvesamachar.com and hindutva.org.
Voice of India and Aditya Prakashan are at the center of allegations of a cottage industry indulging in historical revisionism, as put forward by Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer in their debunking of the "Harappan horse seal" hoax of The Deciphered Indus Script (by N. S. Rajaram and N. Jha, Aditya Prakashan, 2000) in 2000:
|“||In the past few decades, a new kind of history has been propagated by a vocal group of Indian writers, few of them trained historians, who lavishly praise and support each other's works. Their aim is to rewrite Indian history from a nationalistic and religious point of view. [...] Ironically, many of those expressing these anti-migrational views are emigrants themselves, engineers or technocrats like N. S. Rajaram, S. Kak, and S. Kalyanaraman, who ship their ideas to India from U.S. shores. They find allies in a broader assortment of home-grown nationalists including university professors, bank employees, and politicians (S. S. Misra, S. Talageri, K. D. Sethna, S. P. Gupta, Bh. Singh, M. Shendge, Bh. Gidwani, P. Chaudhuri, A. Shourie, S. R. Goel). They have even gained a small but vocal following in the West among "New Age" writers or researchers outside mainstream scholarship, including D. Frawley, G. Feuerstein, K. Klostermaier, and K. Elst. Whole publishing firms, such as the Voice of India and Aditya Prakashan, are devoted to propagating their ideas.||”|
|“||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.||”|
Bergunder (2004) characterizes Voice of India as a successful propaganda campaign by the extremist Hindu nationalist right,
In contrast to many other of their openly offensive teachings, the Hindu nationalists did not seek to keep the question of the Aryan migration out of public discourses or to modify it; rather, efforts were made to help the theory of the indigenousness of the Hindus achieve public recognition. For this the initiative of the publisher Sita Ram Goel (b. 1921) was decisive. Goel may be considered one of the most radical, but at the same time also one of the most intellectual, of the Hindu nationalist ideologues. His radical views ensure that at times even the cadres of the Sangh Parivar distance themselves from him, for his extremist anti-Muslim tirades are seen by them as an obstacle to experiencing wider social acceptance. Since 1981 Goel has run a publishing house named ‘Voice of India’ that is one of the few which publishes Hindu nationalist literature in English which at the same time makes a ‘scientific’ claim. Although no official connections exist, the books of ‘Voice of India’ — which are of outstanding typographical quality and are sold at a subsidized price — are widespread among the ranks of the leaders of the Sangh Parivar. According to his own statements, from the outset one of the declared goals of Goel was to use his publishing house to contradict in print the Aryan migration theory. It is therefore above all thanks to his efforts that since the 1990s a mass of books with high printruns have appeared, each of which has the declared goal of ‘scientifically’ refuting the Aryan migration theory. All of these books are either published directly by Voice of India, or by Aditya Prakashan, a publisher currently run by Goel's son, Pradeep Kumar Goel. This massive media staging of a ‘scientific’ revision of the Aryan migration theory was crowned with notable success. The publications found wide distribution among the more educated followers of the Sangh Parivar. Gradually also a certain public awareness beyond Hindu nationalist circles was achieved. The increasing political influence of Hindu nationalism in the 1990s resulted in attempts to revise the Aryan migration theory also becoming known to the academic public.
Bergunder recognizes that not all authors published by VoI are on the extreme of the Hindu nationalist spectrum. He points out that most authors have no appropriate subject-specific study to show for themselves, naming Rao, who worked for the Archaeological Survey of India until 1980, as the single exception.
In the light of such criticism, Dr. Elst feels compelled to ascertain that it is "remarkable that all the writers who have published contributions to Hindu thought in the Voice of India series, are not members of any RSS front".
While there exists strong criticism, there has been very little refutation of the data or views presented by Voice of India, especially on the polemical side.
|“||Ram Swarup is one of those rare souls whose vision exceeds that of those around them, whose mind is so clear it can bring clarity to others. For us, the editorial staff at Hinduism Today, his writings were a treat - always bold, incisive, unapologetic, targeting strategic issues with uncanny precision. Our personal meetings with him and with his friend and student Sita Ram Goel were always a delight. His passionate intellect was incandescent and it was working in service to his deeper spirituality. If we could but hear him and heed him, our future would be as strong as our past.||”|
- Meera Nanda, Hindu Triumphalism and the Clash of Civilisations, Economic & Political Weekly, july 11, 2009 vol XLIV no 28.
- Michael Witzel, 'Rama's Realm: Indocentric rewriting of early South Asian archaeology and history' in: Archaeological Fantasies: How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents the Past and Misleads the Public Routledge (2006), ISBN 0-415-30593-4, p. 205.
- Michael Bergunder, "Contested Past", Historiographia Linguistica xxxi:1 (2004), 59–104.
- "Hinduism Today's farewell tribute to Sri Ram Swarup". Hinduism Today.
- "The Sagely Activist, Sita Ram Goel". Hinduism Today.
- Witzel, Michael and Steve Farmer. 2000. Horseplay in Harappa, Frontline, 17(20), September 30-October 13.
- Thoughts on Tibet Frontline - Dec. 9 - 22, 2000
- David FrawleyHow I became a Hindu: My discovery of Vedic Dharma
- Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991) Footnote 311
- Ram Swarup (2009). Hinduism and Monotheistic Religions. Voice of India. pp. back flap. ISBN 978-81-85990-84-2.
- Hock, H.H. 1999. Through a glass darkly: modern “racial” interpretations. In J. Bronkhorst and M.M. Deshpande (eds), Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia – Evidence, Interpretation and Ideology, pp. 145–74. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora, Vol. 3, Harvard University.