[Advaita-l] On the history of Bharathavarsha

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 21 19:06:55 CST 2010

Dear Sri Anbu Sivam,

There is nothing that irks me about this issue. Nowhere in this current discussion have
I said anything about the Kanchipuram tradition, but it seems to me that what I wrote
almost two decades ago still irks you. That's fine, and I'm glad you got an opportunity
to get it off your chest.

You can choose to label me anything you want, when it comes to history, and you
can choose to misunderstand and misrepresent my position any which way you like.
As I predicted, you have totally misunderstood what I said about Dr. Swamy getting
the blessings of the Sringeri Acharya. Within my knowledge, from the post-Emergency
era Indira Gandhi to L K Advani, political leaders of all stripes vie with one another for
getting blessings of not only the Sringeri Acharya, but a whole host of  religious leaders.
Perhaps only the reddest end of the political spectrum keeps away from this. I don't
have to privilege any one politician on that count. I am very skeptical when it comes to
wondering what the motivation of a politician is and living in a democratic society gives
me the right to express that skepticism freely. Needless to say, this says nothing about
what regard I have for the religious leaders, but I don't think you would agree. So be it.

All I know is that whether in religious or secular issues, the truth alone matters and is
therefore sacred. How we arrive at the truth can often be a very personal journey and
quite unique. All the more reason why emotional judgments need to be set aside, or else
we are in danger of getting completely lost. I do not accept everything somebody said
just because of his or her religious position, nor do I accept everything somebody said
just because of their so-called secularist views. I may be egotistical in holding on to my
own reasoning faculty, but I believe that without our reason we flounder.

You say that you are nobody to those writers who have been busy insulting the Sringeri
tradition for a few decades now. That is very convenient, isn't it? It is the silence of all
those who think they are "nobody" that allows controversies like this to thrive. I refuse
to be a "nobody" and I refuse to be silent for the sake of appearances. I may be pardoned
for having preferred "satyam vada" completely, at the expense of "na brUyAt satyam apriyam".

I am truly nobody to the political parties that thrive upon anti-Hinduism in Tamil Nadu. If
any of their people quotes me for whatever reason, that is a quite misguided attempt on
their part. All I can see on this count is some small discussion thread on an internet forum
where I have been cited. This is so marginal to the high stakes game of politics that it is
not even funny. The world outside of the internet operates on its own rhythm and what I
wrote on a newsgroup in the nineties is completely irrelevant to it. Politics makes strange
bedfellows, they say, but I can truthfully say that I've never got into bed with any political
agenda. I abhor giving a political twist to issues that don't need to be politicized. Given how
everything in India is nowadays extremely politically polarized, you may not be able to
appreciate my perspective, but again, so be it. In any case, can we agree to drop this
discussion? It is ironic indeed, how this thread keeps growing, after all the self-professed
desire not to beat this issue to death.

Best regards,

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