Hindus are upset over an article in Arkansas’s John Brown University (JBU) student newspaper calling Hindu gods as “demonic” and Hinduism as “ugly religion”.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that such statements coming out of an educational institution were really shocking.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged JBU President Dr. Charles Pollard to apologize to the Hindu community, immediately withdraw March 13 (Issue 18, Volume 79) print edition of “The Threefold Advocate” from circulation and remove the objectionable article from its online edition.
Rajan Zed pointed out that it was highly inappropriate for a publication of educational institution like JBU, which was listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes, to belittle Hinduism, which was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought.
Our gods were highly revered to us and we considered them divine and worship them and our religion was very sacred to us. JBU, which claimed to be an educational leader providing “academic, spiritual and professional foundation for world-impacting careers” to students from across the globe, should be more sensitive about the feelings of “others”, Zed noted.
The article titled “Rethink yoga” by Deborah Raiees-Dana, who is described as “the tutoring coordinator for Student Support Services”, includes lines “…yoga is the beautiful face that the very ugly religion of Hinduism uses…” and “…yoga has its roots in the worship of demonic Hindu gods.” It further says: “There is more I have left unsaid than I have said.”
There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Launched in 1919, JBU with a 200-acre main campus in Siloam Springs in Northwest Arkansas (USA), serves over 2,500 students from 42 US states and 44 countries. Its Mission includes “…education that prepares people to honor God and serve others by developing their intellectual, spiritual, and professional lives”. President Pollard states under “Greetings” on the website: JBU is dedicated to one thing, educating the whole person – “head, heart and hand.” It offers nine graduate degree programs, 40 undergraduate majors and 47 undergraduate minors and “admits students of any faith”. Michael R. Kairis is Chairman of its Board of Trustees and Sidney Van Wyk is the Editor-in-Chief of “The Threefold Advocate”.