Voice of India

Hindu nationalist publication house

Voice of India is an Indian publishing house founded by Sita Ram Goel and Ram Swarup.

No one has ever refuted him on facts, but many have sought to smear him and his writing. They have thereby transmuted the work from mere scholarship into warning. ... The forfeiture is exactly the sort of thing which had landed us where we are: where intellectual inquiry is shut out; where our traditions are not examined, and reassessed; and where as a consequence there is no dialogue. It is exactly the sort of thing too which foments reaction. - Arun Shourie
Our response should be three fold. First, whenever an attempt such as this from quarters such as Mr. Shahabuddin is made to stifle free speech, to kill even scholarly inquiry, we must go out of our way and immediately obtain the book....
Secondly, whenever the intimidators prevail and such a book actually comes to be banned large numbers should take to reprinting it, photocopying it, to circulating it, and discussing its contents... ~ Arun Shourie
Banning this book would send a signal that the present establishment will do what it can to prevent Hinduism from rising up, from regaining self-confidence, from facing the challenge of hostile ideologies. ~ Koenraad Elst
While Voice of India had a controversial reputation, I found nothing irrational, much less extreme about their ideas or publications... Their criticisms of Islam were on par with the criticisms of the Catholic Church and of Christianity done by such Western thinkers as Voltaire or Thomas Jefferson. In fact they went far beyond such mere rational or historical criticisms of other religions and brought in a profound spiritual and yogic view as well. - David Frawley

QuotesEdit

  • Our only weapon is truth.
    • Mission statement of Voice of India, cited in [1], quoting Pirbhai, M. Reza (April 2008). "Demons in Hindutva: Writing a Theology for Hindu Nationalism"
  • The epochal 1980s up to the fall of the Babri Masjid and later is also notable for a resurgence that’s truly breathtaking: there was a sudden public interest in such obscure and “boring” disciplines as archeology and linguistics. For the first time since independence, the Leftists were being challenged on their own turf, especially in history. Sita Ram Goel’s Voice of India alone published... groundbreaking works, still definitive classics in their own right. ... the quality and quantity of work produced by Voice of India during this period in this genre remains comparably unsurpassed. These works provided the solid and indisputable raw material for Hindu activist and other organisations working on the ground and in other realms.
    • Sandeep Balakrishna in [2] Aug 4, 2020
  • Voice of India through Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel and Koenraad Elst provided the main intellectual defense of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement starting thirty years ago. Their contributions were very important in sustaining it.
  • The militants of VOI are adamantly opposed to the idea that all religions deserve equal respect. Even paying lip-service to this ideal, as RSS and BJP do, appears like an unbearable betrayal of the Hindu cause to them.
  • Ram Swarup is one of those rare souls whose vision exceeds that of those around them, whose mind is so clear it can bring clarity to others. For us, the editorial staff at Hinduism Today, his writings were a treat - always bold, incisive, unapologetic, targeting strategic issues with uncanny precision. Our personal meetings with him and with his friend and student Sita Ram Goel were always a delight. His passionate intellect was incandescent and it was working in service to his deeper spirituality. If we could but hear him and heed him, our future would be as strong as our past.
    • Paramacharya Palaniswami, Ram Swarup (2009). Hinduism and Monotheistic Religions. Voice of India. pp. back flap. ISBN 978-81-85990-84-2. : Editor-in-Chief shows how many Hindus honor Ram Swarup and Sitaram Goel and their work.
  • Conversely, banning this book would send a signal that the present establishment will do what it can to prevent Hinduism from rising up, from regaining self-confidence, from facing the challenge of hostile ideologies.
    • Elst, K. In Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) ISBN 81-85990-55-7
    • Written in reaction to the proposed banning of a book written by Ram Swarup and published by Voice of India.
  • The Voice of India authors deliberately avoid the term “Hindutva”, a clumsy neologism combining the Persian root Hindu with the Sanskrit suffix –tva, and properly designating only the specific Hindu nationalist line embodied in the Hindu Mahasabha (HMS, Hindu Great-Assembly) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, National Volunteer Corps). They were never too enamoured of the brainless nationalism of the organizations properly described and self-described as championing Hindutva. Calling them a “school of Hindutva” is part of a widely-used terminological strategy of prejudicing the audience against anyone taking any pro-Hindu position, along with older Procrustean misnomers like “Hindu Right”, “Hindu fundamentalism” and “Hindu fascism”. In many cases it is not even a “strategy” but an instance of intellectual laziness: being on top of the world in an all too comfortable power position, the secularists don’t even take the trouble of using or coining an appropriate terminology specific to the Hindu revivalist phenomenon. At any rate, Voice of India is not a “school of Hindutva”... Her term triumphalism is as inept as could be: everything of value is vulnerable, and consequently Hinduism is no match for its challengers, just as Greek philosophy wasn’t. It has, according to Voice of India’s mission statement, only truth on its side. And whether Truth Shall Prevail, as India’s motto has it, remains to be seen... Voice of India is only secondarily an Indian nationalist movement. It is first of all a civilizational revivalism.
    • Koenraad Elst, The Argumentative Hindu (2012), Chapter 13
  • What counts as “extreme” and “controversial” in India is Voice of India’s criticism of religions. There is nothing “Right-wing” about that; if anything, it should rather be called Left-wing, but it is principally just a scholarly pursuit.
    • Elst, Koenraad. The Wikipedia lemma on "Koenraad Elst": a textbook example of defamation (2013) [3]
  • One wonders too at the relevance of his next rather irrational comment: “Ironically, many of those expressing these anti-migrational views are emigrants themselves, engineers or technocrats like N S Rajaram, S Kak and S Kalyanaramam, who ship their ideas to India from US shores”. What indeed has this absurd statement to do with facts and evidence?… Then, it continues in the same tone of irrelevance and contempt, forgetting how many Universities and Journals spend enormous funds on useless hypotheses and ostracise all non-immigrationists: “They find allies in a broader assortment of home-grown nationalists including university professors, bank employees, and politicians (S. S. Misra, S. Talageri, K. D. Sethna, S. P. Gupta, Bh. Singh, M. Shendge, Bh. Gidwani, P. Chaudhuri, A. Shourie, S. R. Goel). They have even gained a small but vocal following in the West among "New Age" writers or researchers outside mainstream scholarship, including D. Frawley, G. Feuerstein, K. Klostermaier, and K. Elst. Whole publishing firms, such as the Voice of India and Aditya Prakashan, are devoted to propagating their ideas”. Here two further points are worthy of note: first, Prof Witzel obviously does not know what “New Age” writers are; second, the whole passage has the shrill tones of McCarthyism or any totalitarian dogmatism (and censorship). Instead of emitting such strident emotional cries and witch-hunt slogans, Prof Witzel and his followers had better re-examine their unfounded linguistic assumptions and recall the words of Edmund Leach, who was neither an Indian nationalist technocrat, nor a New-Age writer, but a solid, mainstream pillar of the academic establishment
  • "The members of the Voice of India group themselves are inspired only by democratic texts when they invoke contemporary European thought to justify their anti-Muslim crusade, and they deliberately leave out anything that has an extreme right appearance .... (It is) the appearance of cosmopolitan and sometimes extremely sophisticated intellectuals, like Girilal Jain, former editor-in-chief of the Times of India, Swapan Dasgupta, who works in the same newspaper or Arun Shourie ex-editor-in-chief of the Indian Express who mark the scene. Some are former members of Socialist parties or the Congress (notably Jay Dubashi). There are also former Communists. Many ... have notably gathered around the publishing house Voice of India of Sita Ram Goel, this new avatar of Hindu nationalism. He loses, in a way, any traditional side. He ... takes up all that is possible from secular and democratic polemicists ..
    • Heuze, Gerard (1993). Où va l'inde moderne?. Harmattan. ISBN 2738417558. p 123-124
  • In sharp contrast with the repetitive-nationalistic and Indocentric approach of Golwalkar and the RSS, Goel and Shourie (and Ram Swarup before them) have developed a historical and philosophical critique of Christianity and Islam that has universal validity. It is part of continuum with Western and other foreign critiques of the said religions. .... Of course, the approach pioneered by Ram Swarup is “hard-line” in the sense that it is not susceptible to change under the impact of changing political configurations. The BJP and RSS may decide one day that they need to build bridges with padres and mullahs, but that doesn’t alter the truth status of the latter’s belief systems. The Voice of India approach is unflinching in the same sense in which logic is sharper than diplomacy, or uprightness is tougher than compromise, or a diamond is hardier than mud.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2002). Ayodhya: The case against the temple.
  • [Pirbhai is at his best when he sums up Voice of India thinking as devising an ideology] “rationally akin to the Enlightenment without falling prey to materialism”.
    • cited in [4], quoting Pirbhai, M. Reza (April 2008). "Demons in Hindutva: Writing a Theology for Hindu Nationalism"
  • Ram Swarup, now in his seventies, is a scholar of the first rank.... Today, anyone reading those critiques would characterise them as prophetic. But thirty years ago so noxious was the intellectual climate in India that all he got was abuse, and ostracisation.... His work on Hinduism and on Islam and Christianity has been equally scholarly. And what is more pertinent to the point I want to urge, it has been equally prophetic. No one has ever refuted him on facts, but many have sought to smear him and his writing. They have thereby transmuted the work from mere scholarship into warning. ... The forfeiture is exactly the sort of thing which had landed us where we are: where intellectual inquiry is shut out; where our traditions are not examined, and reassessed; and where as a consequence there is no dialogue. It is exactly the sort of thing too which foments reaction. (...)"Freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected," it [the Supreme Court] declared last year, "cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group or people." To curtail it in the face of threats of demonstrations and processions or threats of violence "would amount," the Court said, "to the negation of the rule of law and surrender to blackmail and intimidation.
    • Arun Shourie: Fomenting Reaction. 8 November 1990. Quoted from: Freedom of expression – Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) [5]
    • Written in reaction to the banning of a book written by Ram Swarup and published by Voice of India. (Ram Swarup's Understanding Islam through Hadis)
  • Late in the afternoon on November 15, a police official visited the office of the Voice of India, a publication house that has been publishing works of academic excellence. ... The policeman brought with him a letter that Mr. Shahabuddin had written to Minister of State for Home P.M. Sayeed. Dated August 20, it asked that the government have the book ["Hindu View of Christianity and Islam"] examined "from the point of view of banning it under the law of the land." "This book is blatantly offensive to the religious sensibilities of Muslims and Christians," Mr. Shahabuddin had written. ... It is not the law these people rely on. They rely on intimidation, It is exactly by tactics of this kind that an earlier book of Mr. Swarup - Understanding Islam Through Hadis - was put out of circulation, The English edition was published in 1982 in the US and reprinted in India in 1983. ...
    Our response should be three fold. First, whenever an attempt such as this from quarters such as Mr. Shahabuddin is made to stifle free speech, to kill even scholarly inquiry, we must go out of our way and immediately obtain the book....
    Secondly, whenever the intimidators prevail and such a book actually comes to be banned large numbers should take to reprinting it, photocopying it, to circulating it, and discussing its contents.
    The third thing is more necessary, and in the long run will be the complete answer to the intimidators. As long as scholars like Mr. Swarup are few, intimidators can bully weak governments into shutting them one by one. But what will they do if 1,000, scholars are to do work of the same order? This is the way to deal with intimidators. Let 1,000 scholars carry on work Mr. Swarup has pioneered.
    • Arun Shourie: " How should we respond?", also in: Freedom of expression – Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) [6]
    • Written in reaction to the proposed banning of a book written by Ram Swarup and published by Voice of India. (Ram Swarup's Hindu View of Christianity and Islam)
  • This book is also a tribute to all those scholars who have served, and are still serving, as benefactors of the nation, foremost among them being the Voice of India family of scholars who will ever remain the intellectual focal point for exercises in rejuvenation of the innermost spirit of India.
    • S.G. Talageri, The Rigveda, A Historical Analysis.
  • An informative and a must-visit site for every Hindu who wishes to rediscover his roots and dharma.
    • About the Voice of India website which hosts a selection of online books by Voice of India. Ibn Warraq, Leaving Islam, p. 519.

ReferencesEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: