Voice of India

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Voice of India is a publishing house based in New Delhi, India, that specialises in books about current affairs, socio-cultural and political issues, and challenges before India and its people from the perspective of Hindu Culture, society and Hindu revivalism. It was founded by Sita Ram Goel in 1983 and joined by Ram Swarup.

History[edit]

Sita Ram Goel's motive and objective in his own words behind founding the publishing house is to equip Hindu society with the information, knowledge and perspective needed to fight and counter the ideological, cultural, political, psychological and physical aggressions upon it by ideological and political forces that have been inimical and predatory towards it from the beginning, namely radical Islam, evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity, and Communism/Marxism.[citation needed] According to his own writings, Goel's intention in creating his publishing house was to contradict in print, 'scientifically' refuting the Indo-Aryan migration theory.[1][full citation needed]

It is notable for English language books by eminent journalists, historians, social commentators and academicians such as Arun Shourie, David Frawley, Shrikant Talageri, Francois Gautier, Harsh Narain, Subhash Kak, Koenraad Elst, and N. S. Rajaram.[2][1] VOI has also published the official VHP evidence bundle in the book "History versus Casuistry, Evidence of the Ramajanmabhoomi Mandir". It has also published on the controversial Out of India theory.[2][1] Voice of India books are reportedly widespread among the ranks of the leaders of the Sangh Parivar.[1]

Reception[edit]

According to Heuze, the Voice of India authors draw their inspiration from democratic texts, European thought and secular and democratic polemicists to justify their anti-Islamic "crusade", and they distance themselves from everything that could be perceived as extreme-right. [3]

Critics of Voice of India have claimed it is part of a "cottage industry" indulging in historical revisionism, as put forward by Michael Witzel and Steve Farmer in their debunking of "horse seal," of The Deciphered Indus Script (by N. S. Rajaram and N. Jha, Aditya Prakashan, 2000) in an article in the Frontline magazine in 2000:[4]

Bergunder (2004) characterizes Voice of India as:

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.[1]

Bergunder recognizes that not all authors published by VOI are on the extreme of the Hindu nationalist spectrum. He claims 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.

David Frawley, seven of whose books were published by Voice of India, finds nothing irrational in their 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."[5]

Koenraad Elst, nine of whose book were published by Voice of India, stated 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".[6]

Arun Shourie, who also had books published by Voice of India, including books co-authored with Sita Ram Goel and Ram Swarup, praised the work of Voice of India's authors, stating:

"One final reason for being confident is that because of the work of Ram Swarup, Sitaram Goel, Koenraad Elst, David Frawley, and Rajiv Malhotra the corpus is now reaching a critical mass. So, that we can think that within few years we will have a library for India and a library of India." [7][8]

The magazine Hinduism Today has for many years honored the views of Ram Swarup[9] in a number of its articles and publications, as it has also honored the views of Sita Ram Goel and the work of VOI.[10][clarification needed]

Partial list of publications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Michael Bergunder (2004). "Contested Past: Anti-Brahmanical and Hindu nationalist reconstructions of Indian prehistory" (PDF). Historiographia Linguistica 31 (1): 59–104. 
  2. ^ a b 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.[1]
  3. ^ Heuze, Gerard (1993). Où va l'inde moderne?. Harmattan. pp. 91ff,114ff,123ff. ISBN 2738417558. 
  4. ^ Witzel, Michael and Steve Farmer. 2000. Horseplay in Harappa, Frontline, 17(20), September 30-October 13.
  5. ^ David FrawleyHow I became a Hindu: My discovery of Vedic Dharma
  6. ^ Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991) Footnote 311
  7. ^ "Arun Shourie's lecture of Indra's Net". 
  8. ^ Das, Sankhadip (3 March 2014). "Transcript: Arun Shourie's Lecture on 'Indra's Net'". Hitchhiker's Guide to Rajiv Malhotra's Works. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Hinduism Today's farewell tribute to Sri Ram Swarup". Hinduism Today. 
  10. ^ "The Sagely Activist, Sita Ram Goel". Hinduism Today. 

Sources

  • 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.University.
  • Heuze, Gerard (1993). Où va l'inde moderne?. Harmattan. ISBN 2738417558. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]