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The Hindu Renaissance and its Apologetic Patterns

Agehananda Bharati
The Journal of Asian Studies
Vol. 29, No. 2 (Feb., 1970), pp. 267-287
DOI: 10.2307/2942625
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2942625
Page Count: 21
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The Hindu Renaissance and its Apologetic Patterns
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Abstract

An anthropological and linguistic analysis of the idiom of modern Hindu religious specialists and their followers, an audience which embraces all English speaking Indians and a large segment of the urban populations of India. The highly eclectic, quasi-secular and neo-Hindu ideology inaugurated by such charismatics as Vivekananda, other "Swamis" and interiorized by Indian nationalists, expresses itself in a highly stereotyped coded parlance, informed by Victorian English as well as by diffuse elements which could be described as a Hindu Protestant Ethic. Both systematic and conscious obfuscation of scriptural categories as well as complex but predictable patterns of dissimulation extending over virtually all types of cultural and social discourse--the caste-system, "superstitions," the "scientific" base of Hinduism, political talk, etc., are adduced and investigated as paradigms of contemporary Indian parlance, which is not the grass-roots idiom, but which is gathering momentum as the forensic instrument of India's leadership and of Indian administrators, educators, and the Indian intellectuals.

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