NL Interviews Diana Eck

Diana Eck speaks to Alpana Kishore about her upcoming book, the dichotomy of tradition and modernity within religious discourse, why religious uniformity is not essential for unity and more...

Diana Eck speaks to Alpana Kishore about her upcoming book, the dichotomy of tradition and modernity within religious discourse, why religious uniformity is not essential for unity and more….


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  • BhootNaath

    It needs a discerning interviewer to interview snake oil salespersons like Eck. Not deracinated and superficially self-informed Indians whose American worship prevents them from showing a spine of their own. Eck could have been grilled about so much of the slick bile that she has spewed on Indians over the last several decades. And no question about Eck’s role in the removal of Subramanian Swamy from Harvard?

  • curious

    Ms. Eck, kindly enlighten us about why you can go to Vailankini and avail of its benevolance in India, while Indians from Vailankini in the Christian world of the west, as you say, are required to convert themselves before availing of Christian benevolance. For example, a non-Christian can marry a Hindu in India, but the reverse in the Christian world is rarely possible without allegiance or conversion to Christianity. If you are so appreciative of the Ganga, kindly inform us about your views on others sacred rivers.

  • didnt you find anyone better for taking a interview? why not subramanian swamy. Anyone who writes and earns fames is not important. What he/she writes, the content is most important!

  • Shyam

    Having invited Diana eck, its only fair that NL should invite a scholar such as Rajiv Malhotra who has contributed more in terms of original thought than such ‘scholars’ who are projections of soft power of the Western ‘gaze’ on India.

    Good starting material for Alpana to read before talking to such ‘Hindu scholars’ if she is serious about asking the right questions are

    1. Invading the sacred.
    2. Being Different.
    3. Breaking India.

    and ask Diana her opinion on these books – I mean, if she wants to elicit something more than polite cliches from her guests.

    • Shantylal

      Many people have left comments about inviting Rajiv Malhotra to NL. I get the feeling for some reason the NL team does not taking peoples wishes seriously. I hope soon they do invite him to do an interview.

      Interviewing Eck was hopeless and waste of time! At least they should have questions her about the Swamy incident at Harvard. That I would call fearless Journalism.

  • Her book does a great job of countering the idea that there was no India before the British made it. Good to read this after a decade of incessant drone about the “Idea of India” by the likes of Khilnani, Guha and Rushdie.

  • Strehan

    While I don’t know much about Eck’s writings, I definitely have read the controversial article by Swami that precipitated the removal of his courses from Harvard. The article, at least to my senses, was quite explosive. While it’s intent of proposing a more active and( borderline belligerent )Hindu society was clear, the article clearly lacked in subtlety and needed to be questioned.

    A link to that article:

    • Madhu

      May be the following link might help you wrt to Dr.Swamy’s DNA article

      And also Dr.Swamy recently alleged Seema Mustafa changed the title of the article without prior consent from him.By the time he came to know about this the rage about the article was way up so didn’t raised it then b’coz he might be accused of backtracking.

      • Strehan

        Thank you for the link. It was quite illuminating.

        There is no denying that the Mustafa article is absolute hogwash. I can’t really say anything about the title tampering that you mention because one can’t really know the entire truth to it and I, being a bit of a cynic, would never form an opinion unless I have pure facts in front of me.After all, ” It is a cardinal error to theorize in advance of the facts” — Sherlock Holmes 🙂 .

        I am by no means, against Dr. Swamy. His role in the exposure of the 2G scam is commendable. But I still maintain that the propositions in Dr. Swamy’s article were quite extreme. Call me a liberal or a secularist, but the tone of the article was just plain unacceptable to me. Even Mr. Sekhri in his interview with Dr. Swamy seemed to bring out the underlying absurdity of his propositions. Whether it merited his removal from Harvard or not, is of course debatable.

        • Madhu

          You can check his twitter timeline during the last month or two(If you want to find the facts) or wasn’t able to find other tweet,you have to do the hard work.

        • Madhu

          And on Mr.Sekhri let me tell you as simple as that he’s a kid in front of Dr.Swamy. I intend to agree with Dr.Swamy on calling Mr.Kejriwals AAP team as NACsalites.And I’m saying after checking their team on different issues on their website.Most of them are sympathisers of naxalies or maoists or separatists.Some of his team are NAC rejects,if reports to be believed Mr.Kejriwal himself is a NAC reject. Previously they had a team on “Muslim issues” now renamed it to “Minority issues” and if I’m not wrong most of them are muslims.I mean in India minority means Muslims and not an individual.Indian history in school books were/are written by JNU professors who(not all) by definition are left and kids are taught half truths and lies.Dr.Swamy is not against Indian Muslims, he’s against the mindset of those Muslims who think religion comes first.For him India and Indians irrespective of religion to uplift the nation comes first.

          • Shobhit

            First of all, you are digressing. He is stating something w/o evidence to back it up. That’s what I meant by absence of facts. It is entirely your prerogative to take his words at their face value. I simply choose not to.

            Secondly, if I am projecting an impression that I am for or against any particular religion having a higher status in the country, then I would like to state it out rightly that I am an agnostic. So, for me an ordered and codified “religion”, is an extremely artificial concept. Now that I have cleared this, I again iterate that while Dr. Swamy’s intention might be highly honorable, I question his political correctness. The article is in the public domain and in every interview of his, he has defended his views. So to put himself across as a victim of some editorial conspiracy to malign him is highly misplaced, considering the nature of his article. And when you say that — “For him India and Indians irrespective of religion to uplift the nation comes first.”, it is absolutely against the thought that came across in the article.

            Thirdly, and now I am gonna move away from Dr. Swamy for a moment, there is nothing wrong in espousing a leftist ideology per se. It is the idealism attached with it, that has been the ruin of the thought. The Naxalite movement and its causes, need to be addressed as one of the major social
            failures of the state and if Arundhati Roy or Kejriwal and co. are able
            to bring it into the general discussion then what is wrong with that. But, yes, concurring with their separatist thoughts is tantamount to sedition.

            Look, it is understandable that in the given murky situation, people desperately try to find the silver lining and Dr. Swamy and his ideology or the AAP comes across as one. But, there needs to be some amount of vigilance as to how much faith can you really lay upon them. As the poet Juvenal said — Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? which translates to – ” Who will guard the guards?”.

          • Madhu

            Since the discussion may get longer and due to heavy load of work coming on my way I would like to end this discussion between us here.Thanks again for the discussion.Have a great day.

          • Shobhit

            No problem. You have a great day too. See you in some other comments section.:)

  • Quick Gun Murugan

    Mr. Rajiv Malhotra deserves an interview with News Laundry. We need indigenous scholars on Hinduism define what is Hinduism