Sri Rama In Iraq? This P N Oak-Like Obsession Should Stop! What about Oakism working against “Hindu cause”? It should stop immediately!

Sri Rama In Iraq? This P N Oak-Like Obsession Should Stop! What about Oakism working against “Hindu cause”? It should stop immediately!

Fight among the right

Why rightist historian Aravindan Neelakandan attacks another rightist historian?: Aravindan Neelakandan is considered as right-wing intellectual, Hindutwavadi and “hitorian” for RSS. He is often invited by the Sangha Parivar organization to talk about various topics. The Hindutwa websites[1] of various categories praise him as “savior of Hinduism” and so on. He has exhibited certain type of “anti-brahmin” attitude thrugh his writings in social media. Wikipedia mentions him characteristically[2], as he “… is an Indian writer. He… belongs to the post-socialist Indian thinkers of cultural evolutionism about Indian ethnogenesis.” Some of Hindutwavadis have started criticizing him also[3]. However, he has not been seen in any history Congress of published any research paper. Last year, he was seen with Dr Venkata Ragotham[4], Dean of  School of Social Sciences and International Studies during the PondyLifest 2018, discussing “Aryans, Dravidians and Indians: Future of India”. However, as a researcher or as “historian” did not follow any methodology, but, talked very generally[5]. If any one listens to him carefully, his own way “okism” could be noted easily, as he did not give any historical evidence. For some reason, it is evident that he has been targeting P. N. Oak. In December 2017, when there was a criticizing article on P. N. Oak[6], immediately, he came out with his attack[7], of course referring to it. So, now, in 2019, when he wrote like this, I was provoked very much for his bias.

Michael, Venkat, AV, Sankara Narayan

He does not know the difference between wall painting and sculpture: He wrote in “Swarajya,” as follows:

Recently there has been a lot of sensation in the media over the speculation made by a a team from an organization called Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan linking a sculpted mural in a rock cliff in Iraq to Ramayana. The expedition was accompanied by among others, Indian ambassador to Iraq, Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit. If at all, he has to criticize, he should have criticized this “Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan” for going there, with government funds to promote such “okism,” as dubbed by him. But, without knowing the difference between wall painting and sculpture, he pounced upon P. N. Oak and criticized Prof Sharad Hebalkar.

Naturally the media reported this news and many Hindutvaites have been happy to see an old fantasy of a world Vedic empire getting vindicated — the fantasy of the P N Oak type[8].

Disparaging P. N.Oak: He continued, “This fantasy of a world-wide Vedic empire is a consistent weakness in the worldview of certain Hindutvaites. P N Oak — an ex-INA freedom fighter turned ‘historian’ — had a life-long obsession to prove that Vedic Dharma once existed throughout the world. Soon many claims were made, many of them laughable but not for those who  considered them to be true. [9].

Thus Jerusalem was Yadhusailam, Canterbury was Skandapuri, Vatican was Vadika – a city of gardens, Incas were Ishvaku, Aztecs were Aastikas and California was Kapila-Aaranya. In fact, these, Hindutwavadis were appreciating and supporting P. N. Oak. Ironically, lectures were arranged in IIT etc., by the Sangha people. Used and exploited his books, but, now, he attacks him!

 “We see what we love to see. Consider the following picture. What is shown here is a purported artistic depiction of a stele of the pre-Colombian era from Guatemala.

Sharad Hebralkar book

Picture – An artistic depiction of a stele from Gautemala (L), Cover of a book by Sharad Hebalkar (R)

Dr Sharad Hebalkar, BISS: He continued, “The publication I have before me — Dr Sharad Hebalkar’s Essays on History of Pre-Columbian America — claims that this is actually a depiction of Ganesa — notice the trunk in the face — and Siva, His father in the sky. However, if one looks at these particular types of steles, which are quite abundant in the pre-Colombian sculptures of South America, one can see that it is not so”.

Sharad Hebralkar book-2

Picture – The variations of the same theme in steles and a close-up of one. The ‘artistic depiction’ is a clear misreading or an example of ‘seeing what one wants to see’ fallacy

Still if one wants, s/he can claim that the stele actually shows Bhagiratha and the Ganga with Siva getting it to the earth through His matted hair. Or one — deluded to the brim of his cranium with ‘Ancient Aliens’ serial — can also claim that it actually shows extra-terrestrial origins of our civilizations. All these are actually nothing but archaeological Rorschach figures. Taken out of their archaeological, historical and cultural contexts, these artifacts get interpreted from the historical and cultural contexts of the interpreter. Perhaps, he would not have read Waddell, Mackanzie, Chamanlal etc., leave alone P. N. Oak. So why he targets Oak and leaves others? This is intriguing…….His way of reducing them to “archaeological Rorschach figures” is amusing. Recently, Ganapati Stapati also brought out a book repeating the same ideas on his own. Thus, obvious, the main point that Oak had dealt with other issues, had been the “myth of Jesus Christ”! So this affects him?

Christianity, Krishna Niti, P N Oak

In the case of the ‘Rama and Hanuman’ mural the same fallacy has happened. It is at best a sculptural Rorschach. In this context, let it be said that it was a person using the Twitter handle of @TrueIndology — whose account has yet again been suspended by Twitter — who publicized and punctured the so-called Rama connection by pointing out that it was actually an ‘Akkadian warrior tramping a defeated Hurrian while another Hurrian begs’.

Rama, AV, twitter

– Picture- Tweet referring to what @TrueIndology had said about the Rama-Hanuman mural discovered in Iraq.

By building elaborate ancient world histories based on such illusions, we are undermining a more important, serious cause that Hindutva should serve.

In a way, the Hindu civilization is the last standing civilization that has a natural religion. Everywhere in the world the aboriginal natural religions along with the pagan religions of the West have been destroyed or are undergoing destruction. From the Yazidis to the Australian aborigines to the native American tribes, the destruction effected has been colossal.

However, these cultures need not have been derived from the Vedic culture to be protected. They have to be protected because they represent human diversity and validate the spiritual unity of humanity through theo-diversity. In fact ‘unity in diversity’ is the basis of  Hindutva.

And hindered spiritual communities have looked at India — naturally and spontaneously for their protection — for validating them. Let us consider, for example, Umbanda, an African religion from Brazil. The communities practicing this spiritual tradition claim that their tradition can be traced back to the sacred Aum of Hindu Dharma. Here, what is at play is not as much a historical fact, as a realization of spiritual kinship with the natural religion of India. Thus, India becomes the protectress of the world’s natural and aboriginal spirituality.

Aztec, honoured by RSS head

Picture – The Elders’ Conferences conducted to preserve global theo-diversity and natural spiritual traditions by the Sangh has its roots in the vision and wisdom of Ram Swarup.

Keonraad Elst

Historical (and often) pseudo-claims of a Vedic world civilization: He continued, “Incidentally, the Sangh realizes this. It has been conducting conferences of ‘World Elders’ belonging to various indigenous traditions. Dr Koenraad Elst traces the spiritual inspiration for this series of events to the deep thinker and magnificent Hindutva intellectual, Ram Swarup (1920-1998). Yashwant Pathak, the co-founder of the International Center for Cultural Studies (ICCS) — along with Prof S W Bakhle — acknowledges that Ram Swarup was one of the inspirations. Ram Swarup, rather than claiming a common historical origin (with India being that origin), anticipated a grand spiritual validation of the theo-diversity of human species. He embraced both monotheism and polytheism with his roots in the Vedic dictum of ‘unity without sacrificing the diversity’.

As against this, the approach through historical (and often) pseudo-claims of a Vedic world civilization for uniting the natural spiritual traditions of the world is bound to fail. His speech at PondyLitFest 2018 on inculturation, Hindu religion etc., have been amusing in the context. Yes, like a politician, he talks and writes differently! So he has no right to criticize Oak or Sharad Hebalkar.

He concluded as follows: “What is more important in Iraq today is to network with the Yazidis and provide them the comfort that there is a cousin spiritual tradition and people supporting them rather than inventing the footprints of Rama in Iraq”.

Pre Christian Buddhism

What is going on among the Hindutwavadis?: Nowadays, the open accusation, blaming and fighting with each other by the Hindutwavadis, cadres etc., have been open in Tamilnadu. Each person or group tries to project him/herself with their group / groups with vested interests. Of course, the power, money and business interests affect them to get exposed at one level. However, when they claim that they work for “Hindu cause,” that is becoming a myth. Ironically, many directly and indirectly work for Christians and Mohammedans too. Politicization of the cadres has corrupted them with extra-ideological interests. Particularly, in the social media and the functions conducted without informing all, but, known afterwards, expose the hidden agenda. As still thousands have been working for the cause, sincerely and honestly, the facts comes out one day. Therefore, talking, writing and behaving differently a different forums, stages and gatherings would harm not only the “Hindu cause,” but also their integrity, because of such duplicity practiced.

P N Oak

To understand P. N. Oak (1917-2007): He has been exploited by the Hindutwa groups, right-wing cadres and BJPwalas like anything. His books on “Taj Mahal” are still quoted today. Many Hindutwa researchers and writers and websites, freely use his writings, findings and materials without mentioning his name. To understand the fact, the lengthy article on him should be read[10]. His association with Netaji and Savarkar could be noted and appreciated[11]. However, the criticism started perhaps from Koenraad Elst[12] has been picked up by others. Later, he used the expression[13] “okism.” Many of his books can be downloaded from here[14]. As for as his historiography is concerned, his methodology was accepted till 1960s, as at that time, the etymological interpretation was accepted and after correlation and corroboration with the archaeological and other evidences were carried on. Therefore, the exploitation of his books and rejection by the right-wing groups cannot be considered as rational or otherwise. Hindus should have unity and co-operation in all aspects. If power, money and such other factors could divide them, the, there is no meaning in their category and other ideological groups.

© Vedaprakash


[1] The persons who maintain the website have mutual interest with him in other aspects.


[3] The Rational Hindu, The limitations of Aravindan Neelakandan and why he should keep to his expertise, Sep 18, 2017.

[4] Dr Venkata Raghotam is supposed to be a ABVP leader with rightwing ideology.

[5] This video exposes the stand of Michael Danino, Venkata Ragotham, A. Neelakandan and Sankara Narayanan.

[6] Roderick Matthews, In the Beginning was Sanskrit. Really? , Open essay, 15 December 2017;

[7] Aravindan Neelakandan, Tarring Hindutva With The Oak Brush, by Swarajya, Dec 21, 2017, 4:42 pm;

[8] Aravindan Neelakandan, Sri Rama In Iraq? This P N Oak-Like Obsession Should Stop!, by Jun 28, 2019, 12:59 pm


[10] Shrinivas Tilak, P. N. Oak (1917-2007): The lone fighter, etymologist, and historian,


[12] Koenraad Elst, The Incurable Hindu Fondness for P. N. Oak, June 23, 2010.




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