[I wasn’t planning to update this week, but I wanted to post this while it was still topical.]
I have not had as much time as I would like to read Deepak Sarma‘s work in Indian philosophy. It intrigues me, and what little I have seen so far seems to be well researched and well thought out. I hope to be more involved with it in the future.
My reaction was considerably less favourable when I saw a recent short blog post of Sarma’s at the Huffington Post. (I found out about it through the RISA-L mailing list, and there has already been some discussion of the post there.) Sarma expresses discomfort with “White Hindu Converts”, those white Americans who claim to have “converted to Hinduism”. I agree that such a claim can be problematic, given that the recent term “Hinduism” typically covers such a wide and disparate range of meanings, and the concept of “conversion” does not adequately cover much of what happens in Indian traditions (where Muslims offer prayers to revered “Hindu” sites and vice versa). But Sarma’s post goes considerably further than this. Continue reading