Sri Ram Swarup: The True Son of India

V Sundaram has written an insightful essay on the towering intellectual of India, Sri Ram Swarup, the guru of Sita Ram Goel.

Swarup lifelong fought against the anti-Hindu virus foolishly unleashed in Indian politics by Gandhi — I have always regarded him as somewhat deranged — and then promoted by his blue-eyed boy Nehru and later by Indira Gandhi, another thoughtless leader with no understanding of history or civilisational matters. Her only concern was to hold on to power by hook or crook.

Here is an excerpt from V Sundaram’s essay:

Sri Ram Swarup (1920-1998) is perhaps the greatest Hindu intellectual of post-independent India. His most outstanding disciple was Sita Ram Goel, an ‘Intellectual Kshatriya’. The intellectual and emotional relationship that existed between them for more than five decades is a glorious chapter in the history of Hindu revival after 1947.

The intellectual relationship between these two great men was similar to the spiritual relationship between Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda in the latter half of the 19th century and the Hindutva relationship between Dr Hedgewar and Sri Guruji Golwalkar in the 2nd quarter of the 20th century. Sita Ram Goel often used to acknowledge the fact that he came back to the fold of Hinduism from the concentration camp of communism only on account of the spiritual influence of Sri Ram Swarup.

Sri Ram Swarup was firmly of the view that the foremost task of an intellectual lay in his effort to break down the stereo-types and reductive categories which have a limiting and choking impact upon human thought and communication. As early as in 1949, in his book ‘LET US FIGHT THE COMMUNIST MENACE’, he challenged the orthodox communist party view that every intellectual must be a man or woman of the Left. After the II World War, all the worldly powers in all areas of life effectively co-opted the intelligentsia to an extraordinary and unprecedented degree. The results were disastrous. As Wilfred Owen puts it poetically:

‘The scribes on all the people shove
And bawl allegiance to the State’.

Against this contemporary situation of intellectual serfdom, Sri Ram Swarup in the India of 1949 functioned as a ‘One Man Brigade’ against communism in India and the Indian State which was getting into the vicious grip of Russian brand of communism under Stalin. Sri Ram Swarup felt that it was his principal intellectual duty to make an earnest search for relative independence from such pressures pointed out by Wilfred Owen. As a powerful political writer against communism, he tried to speak the truth to power.

  

Some of Ram Swarup’s books are available here for online reading.

Here is his one more biography

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Sri Ram Swarup: The True Son of India

  1. Greggstombas

    Hi,
    I’ve just done a lot of reading on Sita Ram Goel’s polemic against Christians and the christian mission. Although there are lot of factors that justify Goel’s fiery attack on Christians and Christian missions, one also has a feeling that Goel is often blind to the actual problem and indulges in “same side goals”. For instance, his vehement attacks against Bede Griffiths and Dom Henri Le Saux seem to be totally impulsive and oblivious to the fact that Griffiths and Le Saux were actually spearheading an earnest inter-religious attempt, to link Biblical texts and Upanishadic texts to show some conceptual similarities between them. These types of attempts need to be encouraged. They were in no way trying to involve in proselytising or in trying to show the “superiority” of one religion against another. By vehemently attacking and denigrating such serious attempts of inter-religious dialogue, Goel was actually operating against the basic tenet of Sanatana Dharma, which means eternal religion which holds everything together, which he purportedly tried to champion.

    • satinder

      Greggstombas, how can christianism with a We Are The Only True Religion chip on the shoulder have an inter-religious dialogue with other religions, which view all religions as having equal value and respect. Individuals might have a different point of view.

      • Greggstombas

        Point taken. I do accept that there is a certain amount of exclusivism in Christianity, of which, I, being born a christian, do not approve of. I believe, it is mainly due to the uneducated masses who view the Bible as “fallen from heaven” (just like the Koran) and disregard human involvement (sometimes vested) in the production of it.
        However, the point I wanted to make is that, no religion is perfect; every religion has its share of loopholes and shortcomings, all of them being handiworks of human beings. This applies also to Hinduism.
        So, with that in mind, any earnest attempt to having an inter-religious dialogue, between any religions, be it exclusivist or “having equal value and respect” for all religions, needs to be appreciated. People like Ram Swarup (of whose writings my knowledge is very limited) and Sita Ram Goel tend to see things through a dark glass, where everything seems to be shady and suspect. This is the approach that needs to be abandoned, for I believe, it would only produce more division and ill-feelings between faiths.

        • satinder

          Appreciate your comment, Greggstombas. So the need of the hour, as i see, is countering this exclusivism in Christianity NOT an interfaith dialogue or such efforts by dubious snake oil peddler like Griffiths who in a soft sell evangelical missionary fashion try to blur the distinctions between Hindu Dharma and Christianity. This brings me to the ultimate question, what has Griffiths (not read enough re: Le Saux) done to solve this monster in our midst of christian exclusivism?
          If my memory serves me right such soft sell Griffith type christian inculturation (and hence conversion) tactics were first used on the jews and Jewish religion to convert them to christianity.

  2. Greggstombas

    I think I’ve done quite a bit of reading of Griffiths to respond now. Well, you are right! What I see here, is an english missionary, who tries to fit into Hindu India with his traditional christian ideas, trying to sell christianity as something very “similar” to Hinduism, harbouring a vatican-endorsed hidden agenda of conversion through portraying Christ as the object of all hindu scriptures and the fulfillment of the upanishads and the vedas! I can imagine how disgusting and futile his approach would seem to a native hindu.

  3. Satinder…loved your plain talk. Vamanan

  4. Satinder…Le Saux alias Abhishiktananda visited a great Sage I knew and respect…Gnanananda. He has recounted his experience in Guru and Disciple (translated from the original French) ..Vamanan

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