The Third Eye: Dismantling Global Hinduphobia. Bharat 4.0- A New Vision
Author: R Ramasubramanyian
Published by Notion Press
MRP: Rs. 799/-
The Third Eye: Dismantling Global Hinduphobia and Charting a Course to Bharat 4.0 is an illuminating book by R Ramasubramanyian that offers a refreshing perspective on Hinduism, dismantling many false narratives and misconceptions propagated globally about India's majority religion.
As I have explained the incredible idea of a Bharat 4.0 in an Instagram reel and a post, I will not focus on those points here.
The provocative title refers to this book's attempt to envision Hinduism and the idea of India with new eyes - unclouded by centuries of colonial biases or contemporary political agendas. Right at the outset, Ramasubramanyian introduces readers to his central thesis: that Hinduism today faces concerted attacks from multiple quarters aimed at undermining its open architecture and pluralistic ethos. To counter these threats, he presents facts, logic and insights grounded in Hindu philosophy, literature and experience.
What makes The Third Eye so refreshingly different is that the author R Ramasubramanyian does not approach this topic as an academician or historian. He is an ordinary citizen of India, pained at seeing Hinduism being increasingly painted in a negative light globally. As he candidly admits, Ramasubramanyian lacks formal subject matter expertise in areas like linguistics, anthropology or cultural studies. This outsider perspective allows him to cut through academic silos and view Hinduism through a modern, rational lens free of ideological leanings. The book represents his sincere attempt to make sense of the religious confusion and civilizational conflicts facing India. By interpreting existing research and experiences as a concerned Hindu, Ramasubramanyian provides insights that specialist works often miss. The book's strength lies not in scholarly rigor but in bridging the gap between the intellectual elite and common citizens proud of their indigenous identity.
The book shines brightest when elaborating on the insidious after-effects of colonialism on the Indian mindset. Ramasubramanyian argues persuasively how leaders of independent India internalized colonizers' contempt for indigenous traditions. English education created an entire class of Hindus alienated from their own culture, thus sowing seeds of doubt and shame. To this day, many social evils plaguing Hindu society - caste oppression, gender bias - are wrongly perceived as inherent rather than an aberration of core Hindu teachings.
No punches are pulled when the book deals with Breaking India forces that leverage caste, regional and ethnic faultlines to unravel India's social fabric. The author slams certain western academia and churches for advancing their agendas under the guise of human rights activism and intellectual dissent. While offering a scathing critique, Ramasubramanyian relies more on cold logic and strategic insight than rhetorical flourish.
As the title suggests, The Third Eye aims to give Hindus a new vision to view their civilization, neither constrained by apologia nor chauvinism. Many Hindu practices perceived as a cause for shame, are revealed to be viable answers to the world's ills. Cow protection, for instance, has sound scientific basis and is central to sustainable development.
A recurrent theme is growing threat posed by evangelism and radical Islam to India's native spiritual traditions like yoga, meditation, Ayurveda etc. While intolerant of pluralism, these Abrahamic faiths are quick to brand any counter-narratives as communal propaganda. The book appeals for a civilizational consciousness that respects indic philosophies as a timeless contribution to global heritage.
The solutions proposed focus on legislative reforms, social initiatives and fostering a sense of cultural pride. Ramasubramanyian comes down heavily on Marxist historians who negate evidence of temple destruction and instead view Islamic rule as benign. Reclaiming India's true history, sans political filters, is critical for national integration. Yoga and meditation need to be propagated widely as a scientific discipline, decoupled from their Hindu roots.
While busting many myths, the book also offers a pragmatic roadmap for the upliftment of deprived sections that balances affirmative action with meritocracy. The recommended solutions steer clear of any radicalism, underscoring that progress cannot be forced by legislation alone without a change in social attitudes.
I particularly appreciated how the book tackles sensitive topics like conversion, cow protection and reservations in a measured tone, eschewing sensationalism. Each complex issue is backed by data, historical context and actionable ideas. Though favouring Indic viewpoints, the author gives space for contrasting views in the spirit of democratic dissent.
However, the language could have been more lucid with tighter editing. The sequencing of chapters too is suboptimal, with key revelations placed much later than their contextual backdrop. A more gripping, narrative style may have enhanced the book's appeal beyond those already agreeing with the author's perspective. Given that this is the authors first time writing a book, all this is just nitpicking.
In summary, The Third Eye makes a compelling case to view Hinduism with renewed pride and clarity. It lays the ideological foundation for an India that prospers economically without compromising on its civilizational ethos. The book will resonate most with those keen to rediscover their indigenous roots and participate in the project of Bharat 4.0 - a society that blends technological progress with its ancient wisdom.
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