Monday, July 13, 2009

** An Aryan invader
An Aryan invader from America - I
V. Sundaram

Professor Dr.Michael Witzel, a racist scholar wedded to the cause of Evangelization of India and the world (if that is feasible) and total distortion of Indian History, divorced from all known principles of classical historiography is now in Chennai city delivering lectures on the languages and cultures revealed by the Rigveda.

Yesterday he delivered his lecture at Madras Sanskrit College in Mylapore. I understand that he is delivering two lectures at the University of Madras and Roja Muthiah Library tomorrow. It is understood that he will be going to New Delhi in the next few days to deliver some more talks.

In my article in these columns in News Today on 20 February 2009, I had commented on the dubious academic credentials of Professor Witzel: ‘There is an organized gang of evangelical anti-Hindu academic gangsters in United States led by one Professor Witzel. Any one can see that he is a man with a closed mind on all things relating to Hindu Religion, Hindu Civilization, and Hindu Culture. He seems to be very upset (not intellectually but religiously and culturally in the evangelical sense or nonsense!) over the great initiative taken by Dr Nalini Rao and Dr Christopher Key Chapple to organize an international conference on Vedic Sarasvati Hindu Civilization at Los Angeles in June 2009. He has said ‘Whenever the Harappan or Indus civilization is relabeled ‘SINDHU-SARASVATI CIVILIZATION’, everyone involved in the field, if not the public, recognizes that he or she has stumbled into extremists HINDUTVA (Hindu nationalist and/or fundamentalist) Territory…. This being said, why—besides all-too-familiar Hindutva apologists including Subhash Kak, Nicholas Kusanas, BB Lal etc.—are a handful of major Western archaeologists including most notably Mark Kenoyer, Maurizio Tosi and Carl Lamberg-Karlovsky, taking path in the Conference? Certainly not because any of them would personally endorse the absurd ‘SINDHU-SARASVATI CIVILIZATION’ label in print—since they wouldn’t. Instead, to put it frankly, it is due to (1) money and (2) in some cases earlier access to Harappan Archaeological sites on the Indian side of the Indian-Pakistan divide. It takes enormous funds to run these conferences, doled out freely for honoraria and expenses (the invitees are flown in at huge expense by the rich NRIs (non-resident Indians) who fund them from Europe, India and the United States’ Evangelical academics like Professor Witzel are known internationally for their simple and Spartan living and tortuously complicated anti-Hindu thinking!”

Michael Witzel was born in 1943 at Schwiebus, Germany, now Poland. He studied Indology under Professors Paul Thieme, H. P. Schmidt, K. Hoffmann and J. Narten in Germany from 1965 to 1971. Later in 1972-73, he also studied under Mîmâmsaka Jununath Pundit in Nepal. From 1972 to 1978, he led the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project and the Nepal Research Centre at Kathamandu. Subsequently, he has taught at Tübingen (1972), Leiden (1978-1986), and at Harvard since 1986. He is Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University (USA).

Many well known Sanskrit scholars and responsible citizens in USA have told me that Witzel is a viciously brazen and brazenly vicious anti-Hindu evangelical racketeer. All this came to open public light in a Court of Law when an important Hindu Civil Rights case was fought in UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA. This case related to the textbook and educational material prepared by California State Board of Education (CBE) to teach Hindu civilization to 8th grade students. The legal complaint of Hindu Groups in California was that the school textbooks indoctrinate children with Abrahamic religions and teach biblical events as actual facts while treating Hinduism in a derogatory manner. It was also pointed out that the CBE failed to provide equal opportunities and equal representation to every religion and culture. CAPEEM (California Parents for the Equalisation of Education Materials) was formed to represent parents in California in a lawsuit against the State Board of Education.

It was clearly presented in the California court with irrefutable documentary evidence that this evangelical Professor Dr Witzel who was engaged as a consultant by CBE had worked with the Church in Colorado and even edited their Wikipedia entry to suppress the evangelical nature of the church. Asian Invasion Theory is Biblical and that is why Witzel and his anti-Hindu hate group cohorts support it. The intervention of Witzel and co. in California textbook content was part of a plan to induct Biblical beliefs into the curriculum. Witzel was a central figure in the motivated evangelical effort!

Harvard Donkey Trial pits Science against Creationism with Hindus on the side of Science and the Harvard professor Witzel, who has been some sort of a volunteer for a fanatical evangelical group in Colorado, on the side of Creationism. Witzel famously claimed that horses in India were donkeys in order to push the Biblical Japhetic Race Theory into textbooks.

CAPEEM (California Parents for the Equalisation of Education Materials) which is fighting the text book case, which I call Harvard Donkey Trial, served a number of subpoenas to various parties including textbook publishers, Hotmail, Dalit Freedom Network, Michael Witzel, Stanley Wolpert, Charles Munger, and Dalit Solidarity Forum operating out of St. Alban’s Church in New Jersey. The CAPEEM also sought documents from the officials of California Department of Education (CDE) and CBE. In the emerging discovery process, Witzel turned over some more documents including an email uncovering the fact that the CDE had conducted a secret meeting that was previously unheard of. This meeting with anti-Hindu groups was in addition to the secret meeting that CDE had conducted with Witzel and others.

CAPEEM also uncovered a link between Michael Witzel and Dalit Freedom Network (DFN), a group that operates out of a Church in Colorado. I have myself carefully scrutinized many of the e-mails sent by Witzel which are available on the internet. He coordinated his campaign with DFN and planned in advance the details of what would be spoken at meetings. Witzel also sent an email alerting DFN to the description of their organization on Wikipedia and stated that whenever he erased the description, it kept coming back. An office bearer of DFN followed up on this email by saying that she did not want to ‘start being identified as a missions organization’ and wanted to know if they could edit it themselves. (Source: All this goes to show that Professor Dr.Michael Witzel is an unabashed evangelist who endeavours to be singularly unscrupulous just in order to be magnificently successful in his underground evangelical mission!!

I asked Dr Kalyanaraman as to what he has to say about Professor Witzel’s views on Hindu Culture: ‘Michael Witzel is a controversial person for his association with Christian evangelical churches and his contribution to a journal started by Roger Pearson who is the founder of a Nazi group named Northern League. He is also a believer of the discredited Aryan Invasion Theory which has its origins in the Biblical belief that everyone on earth today is a descendant of one of the three sons of Noah and hence came from Central Asia. The most recent controversy he was embroiled in was at Harvard when he taught the Devanagari alphabet as one of his courses for doctoral candidates. Leading critics have even gone so far as to question his intellectual abilities if he believed that something fit for elementary schools should be part of the instructional material for doctoral candidates.’

Witzel has also attacked those who opposed Biblical indoctrination in California’s history textbooks. For example, the textbooks teach that the ‘Lord made the wheels fall off the chariots’ and this was the reason the Egyptians could not capture the Jews. When several parents opposed such indoctrination, Witzel attacked them and defended the textbooks. He also criticized those who opposed the textbooks for using ‘hard science,’ a stance that did not go well with scientists. A lawsuit followed in which Witzel’s connection to a church was uncovered. After many racist remarks by Witzel surfaced, including one stereotyping all the people of Uttar Pradesh as ‘proud and empty,’ the State of California decided not to fight out the lawsuit and instead paid the group of parents a massive sum of one lakh and seventy five thousand dollars.

I put this question to Dr.Kalyanaraman: What do you think of Dr.Witzel’s controversial and contentious scholarship? He replied:

‘What type of scholarship is this, even if it is said to be from Harvard? Lokahitam is the touchstone which determines true scholarship. Just as Satyam is truth that is pleasing, scholarship is transparent action which is loka-hitaaya ‘for the well-being of the society’. How should such action be performed or such responsibility be discharged? Scholarship should be governed by dharma, that is ethical conduct, a social ethic which respects the responsibilities being discharged by everyone in society. In Witzel, we have evidence of the very antithesis of such scholarship, motivated as he is by a Christian evangelical mission (as exposed during the Harvard Donkey Trial, also called the CAPEEM California textbook case), working for the Colorado church engaged in ‘Dalit Freedom Network’ to denigrate Hindusthan. Engaged in a motivated act of faith in the Japhetic Race theory of the Bible to be pushed into the textbooks, Witzel ends up arguing that horses in ancient Hindusthan were donkeys. India can do without such scholarship or emulation of such pseudo-scholarship by those researchers engaged in civilization studies, because such scholarship is a scourge on the academe, particularly when it is evangelical peddling promoted by self-proclaimed ‘well-known scientists’.

In my view Dr.Witzel today is a true representative of the Colonial, Imperialist, Racist and Evangelical anti-Hindu scholars like James Mill, Lord Macaulay, Max Mueller and many other English administrators of British India in the 19th century. He shamelessly clings to the Imperialist Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), even after it has been overthrown, with assistance from sordid Missionary Agencies like the Colorado Church. The stern, grim and scorching story relating to this lurid drama will have to be told in the larger public interest of the gullible Hindus of India.

Also Read:

Motivated Indology

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