Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
"Arundhati's warning against the fascists is quite appropriate"
For people who are shitting bricks these days, this comes as a feeble comfort!!
The pathetic communalists in this forum would like us to believe that Penguin withdrew the book of it own volition. It did not, it issued a clear statement that it was bad Indian laws and its worse Judiciary that made it do so.
I see tons of "scholars" in English media who are ridiculing Penguin in every forum for not defending the freedom of speech. Whose speech is it? For Penguin it may be just a business decision: legal cost - vs. - money it would make in selling Doniger’s book. I suspect if there are many buyers of her book even in the group of “scholars” who are distraught by this. Do not tell me that all these scholars/publishing houses who are writing/publishing books are not there for making money. Just look at Times of India, Hindustan Times, and many other web sites run by eminent “journalists”, are full of soft porn, to attract the readership (or at least they think so) & make money…
By the way Penguin is not the only publisher. These “scholars” can certainly arrange publication of Doniger’s book somewhere else, or better publish themselves. Who stops them? The book is not banned. Tarun Tejpal’s India-Ink will be happy to oblige. If another, “unknown Hindu fanatic outfit” or “fly-by-night outfit “, as Arundhati described it, goes to courts, these “scholars” who are concerned about “freedom of speech” can certainly pick-up the legal battle. Why these champions of “free speech” are caving in and humiliating themselves abjectly before a “fly-by-night” outfit? (Forgive me borrowing a sentence from Arundhati)
In any case, I do not think anyone, (courts, governments or “fanatic Hindu” or even God) has the resources to ban the book in the internet age. So what is this fuss all about?
By the way, I support freedom of speech, which includes freedom to be stupid!
>> I believe parivar has found out that it is easier to work from inside.
Good. So far we had only jehadis and anti-nationals working from inside. Now we shall have some nationalists working from inside too.
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