Would the New York Times ever select an Israeli Muslim writer to lead a Letters from Israel series? Forget Muslim, would the NYT ever select an Israeli Christian writer for that series? Would the NYT ever select a Christian or Jewish writer from Saudi Arabia to lead a Letters from Saudi Arabia series?
So why on earth would the New York Times choose a man named Joseph to be their lead for their Letters from India series? The first time we wondered publicly about that selection was on August 8, 2011. We called that article New York Times Editors – Another Example of Their Bias Against Hindu Ethos?
Today we don’t ask that question. Because we figured it out after reading Mr. Joseph’s latest article U.S. Hindus Hear the Call of India. The New York Times selected Mr. Joseph, we think, because of his superb ability to vilify Hindu Philosophy, Sacred Hindu & Global Icons while sounding reasonable. We think this article by NYT’s Joseph can serve as a primer for anyone who wants to engage in religion defamation. Hats off to the New York Times. They sure picked an expert. Let us share with you why we are so impressed.
In this article, we present our opinions of the New York Times article about U.S. Hindus and the attitudes we discern in this & Joseph’s earlier articles in the New York Times. If you disagree with us, please let us know frankly and candidly.
1. The Svastik & Mr. Joseph
The article begins with Joseph’s discussion of a play from Australia, a play in which Ganesh, the most beloved and cherished Roop or Representation of God, is shown in a sexual context. Mr. Joseph, like so many of his NYT colleagues, referred to Bhagwan Ganesh as “elephant-headed god“, yes in a lower “g” spelling presumably to emphasize superiority of a Christian God. But this stuff is for novices in the art of religious defamation. Any body can do that and they frequently do.
To see NYT Joseph’s artistry, read what he wrote about the Svastik:
- “The Swastika, which for many has become a reminder of chilling human evil, is also an ancient and sacred Hindu symbol that is commonly found on doors and walls in Indian homes, and that women in southern India draw every morning on their porches.” (emphasis ours)
See this sounds so reasonable and fair, doesn’t it? But notice what Joseph did – he equated the Nazi symbol of evil with the ancient and sacred Hindu symbol of blissful peace. With the word “also“, he stated that they are one and the same when they are polar opposites. Equating these two symbols is like equating Gandhi & Hitler. Only a bigoted mind can do that.
What NYT’s Joseph didn’t tell you is that the Indian Svastik literally and philosophically stands for the highest level of blissful ethereal peace that us humans can envisage. He did not even use the correct spelling which is Svastik, the creator of Svasti, that state of heavenly peace. He did not quote the description of Svasti which is recited in Indian homes:
- “Let all humanity be happily content. Let all humanity be without ill-health. Let all humanity perceive the Noble. Let no one suffer grief or pain.”
This state is “Svasti” and the agent or creator of this state is “Svasti-k“. Do any of you find any similarity between this Svastik and the evil Nazi symbol, a symbol we call the Anti-Svastik or Anti-Swastik?
Look again Joseph’s statement above. Doesn’t he also suggest, at least subliminally, that only Hindus use the Svastik symbol? The reality is that for at least 2,000 years, the Svastik became a the religious symbol of peace to virtually the entire world. A quick look at Wikipedia or our own article shows you pictures of the Svastik in:
- Greek coins dating back to 6th century BCE,
- ancient Roman mosaics in Spain,
- 13-14th century Christian churches in Europe, and
- Buddhist temples in Japan.
You will also see that Freemason & Kabala schools of Judeo-Christian philosophies considered the Svastik of religious significance. You don’t expect NYT’s Joseph to tell you about the global acceptance of the Svastik. Wouldn’t that defeat his purpose?
In this 2,000+ year of history, the Svastik symbol has been a beacon of humanity’s quest for heavenly peace on earth. For some twisted reason, Hitler, and the evil residing in him, decided to transform this symbol into the horrendous red & black Nazi monstrosity that can only be called the Anti-Svastik. The two are like Gandhi and Hitler which virtually all of humanity will see as opposites.
But not NYT’s Joseph. Read his above statement again. Not only does he equate the Nazi evil with the Sacred Svastik, he gives primacy to Nazi view of evil.
2. Hinduism as “antique” and of “paranormal deities”
Mr. Joseph wrote about his discussion with a Sheetal Shah, a senior director at the Hindu American Foundation. Read how he described Ms. Shah’s work:
- “Among Ms. Shah’s many other activities is an attempt to nudge Americans beyond “caste, cow and karma” when viewing Hinduism, and to perceive it as a great antique philosophy rather than merely a pantheon of paranormal deities.” (emphasis ours)
At first glance, this may seem a reasonable statement, even one praising Hinduism as a great philosophy. But notice the gentle seamless addition of the adjective “antique“. A quick look at a dictionary tells you that antique “means of or belonging to the past; not modern“.
See how softly and artistically NYT’s Joseph characterized Hinduism as unsuitable for the modern age. This, by the way, is t
he most frequently used canard of Hindu-haters in India, principally of those who desperately seek to convert Hindus to Christianity. Trying to address this hateful canard is like trying to address comments of Joseph Goebbels about Judaism. It is pointless.
But we do admire Mr. Joseph’s skill at his chosen task. We bet a majority of readers glossed over the “antique” part when they first read the above statement.
Mr. Joseph was not satisfied with just calling Hinduism “antique”. So he added the phrase “merely a pantheon of paranormal deities.” Look the definition of paranormal:
- of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation.
First Joseph characterized Hinduism as antique or not modern. Then in the same sentence, he stated that its deities are without scientific explanation and mere claims. And with the word pantheon, he lumped them together as a group to suggest these are distinct from each other.
For those who don’t know, a brief introduction to Indian philosophy would be helpful.
- The central concept of Indian Dharma is the existence of One & Only One Supreme Entity, called Brahman or Ishvar, that created the universe & envelops it totally. This Brahman is beyond human intelligence and cognition. We humans as the creation of this Creator are simply unable to understand, visualize or comprehend Its Entirety.
- The Dharmic Sages perceived various aspects of Ishvar and created Roop or Representations of The Central Brahman or Ishvar. Thus each Roop or “Deity”, as Joseph calls it, is a part of one Ishvar and they all are one and the same. This is explained in greater detail in The Search for Eternal Truth.
- This Duality of the beyond-human-comprehension Brahman and It’s various Roop/ Representations is the central thesis of Indian Dharma. This is the most elegant (mathematically speaking) and most modern characterization of the Creator that we know and, in our opinion, it exceeds the intellectual or scientific stance of any mono-iconic faith.
But there is no point in explaining any of this to NYT Joseph any more than there was any point explaining Judaism to Joseph Goebbels. We never saw the artistry or skilled tradecraft of that Nazi Joseph but we do see the artistry and skilled tradecraft of this NYT Joseph. Look how by adding the word “antique” and a phrase “merely a pantheon of paranormal deities”, the NYT Joseph achieved his objective.
3. “Swarms” of Hindus
So far so good for NYT Joseph. But then he slipped or he simply got desperate. Just like that Nazi Joseph, this NYT Joseph jettisoned the scalpel and picked up a bludgeon.
In the bottom half of his article, NYT Joseph used the words “swarms” for American Hindus, especially those who get angry at anti-Hindu defamation. When we googled the word “swarms”, the first definition we found was:
- A large number of insects or other small organisms, especially when in motion
This NYT Joseph is a master of language. His use of “Swarms” was no accident or oversight. In our opinion, this master writer meant to describe protesting U.S. Hindus as insects because that is his opinion of them. This is what we mean by him resorting to bludgeoning.
Once he picked up the bludgeon, there was no going back for NYT Joseph. Gone was the skilled artistry and what replaced it is – well, you read it and select your own adjective:
- “But the most visible Hindus in the United States are the online fanatics who react instantly and with conviction to news developments and personalities in India.They are a part of the middle-class South Asian settlements in the United States that are growing disenchanted, whether discreetly or overtly, with the West and thus are becoming obsessed with their roots“.
- “They have gone from being considered part of the academic elite to being seen as amusing conservatives. They are among the great swarms that fill slots on the Internet where comments are free.”
What a fall was here, Readers! A man we praised for his artistry, for his delicate art of subliminal vilification, we see him turning into an invective thrower. Now we understand how Nazi Joseph Goebbels would begin speaking softly and at some point, simply lapse into screaming invective against Jews.
This is a lesson to would-be vilifiers. Use only the first two sections of this article to learn that tradecraft. Do not lapse into the third or you would be reduced to an invective-screamer too.
4. Our apologies to France
We have compared the New York Times with France in our earlier articles. France is renowned for its contributions to Mathematics, Philosophy and Literature. But a deep vein of anti-Jewish prejudice runs through French society as many observers & Frenchmen have noted. We used to think similarly about the New York Times. Frankly, its reporters are among the absolute best in the world. But, as have noted, there is a deep-seated anti Hindu prejudice within the New York Times. But after reading this article by NYT’s Joseph, we cannot consider NYT as analogous with France.
Because France knows of its prejudice, understands it and accepts it. And French authorities are resolved to prevent any attacks on Jews inside France. In contrast, the Editors of New York Time have not accepted the anti-Hindu prejudice that lives inside NYT. They have not exhibited any resolve in preventing publication of ad hominem attacks on Hindus like NYT Joseph’s. Instead, all evidence suggests that they actively encourage it.
authorities would never tolerate or encourage anti-Jewish hate of this kind. Therefore, we publicly apologize to France
& the French people for comparing their society with the New York
In our opinion, this article by NYT Joseph ranks as the worst expression of religious bigotry and hate we have seen in a first-tier American newspaper. We are appalled at the insensitivity or bigotry of the NYT Editor who approved this article for publication in the New York Times. There is something rotten in the state of NYT, that’s for sure.
Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org Or @MacroViewpoints on Twitter