Ram Swarup

Ram Swarup

Ram Swarup (राम स्‍वरूप) [He never used his surname, Agarwal, in adult life.] , born Ram Swarup Agarwal (1920 - December 26, 1998) was an independent Hindu thinker and prolific author. His works took a critical stance against Christianity, Islam and Communism. His work influenced some Indian writers.

Life

He graduated in Economics at Delhi University in 1941. He participated in the Indian Freedom Movement, [http://koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/articles/hinduism/ramswarup.html Ram Swarup (1920-1998) – Outline of a Biography] ] and helped Freedom fighters like Aruna Asaf Ali [Hinduism Today, April 1999. The Voice of India By K.Elst. [http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1999/4/1999-4-10.shtml] ] . He started the Changer's Club in 1944. Its members included L. C. Jain, Raj Krishna, Girilal Jain, and historian Sita Ram Goel. In 1948-49, he worked for Gandhi's disciple Mira Behn (Madeleine Slade).

Swarup worked for the DRS, where he wrote a book on the Communist party that was published under someone else's name. In 1949 he started the Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia. The Society published books that were reviewed in the West, and criticized in the Communist newspapers Izvestia and Pravda. Sita Ram Goel Genesis and Growth of Nehruism (1993)] It closed in 1955. His early book "Gandhism and Communism" from this time had some influence among American policy makers and Congress men.

In 1982 he founded the non-profit publishing house Voice of India, [Letter by Goel to Hinduism Today, July 1998. Letters [http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1998/7/1998-7-05.shtml] ] which published works by Harsh Narain, A.K. Chatterjee, K.S. Lal, Koenraad Elst, Rajendra Singh, Sant R.S. Nirala, and Shrikant Talageri among others .Goel, Sita Ram, [http://voiceofdharma.com/books/hibh/ch9.htm "How I became a Hindu"] , Chapter 9]

American author David Frawley wrote, "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." " Frawley, David [http://www.hindubooks.org/david_frawley/how_i_became_a_hindu/journalistic_work/page3.htm How I became a Hindu: My discovery of Vedic Dharma] ]

Author

Ram Swarup's book "The Word As Revelation: Names of Gods" was published in 1980 by Sita Ram Goel. The book was received favourably by Girilal Jain, and was reviewed by Dr. Sisir Kumar Maitra in the Times of India. [Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.9. Times of India, March 29, 1981 "The Return of the Gods"]

His works on Communism were reviewed and praised in the West and in India by people like Bertrand Russell, Arthur Koestler, Sri Aurobindo, Ashoka Mehta, Sardar Patel and Philip Spratt.

Swarup has written for mainstream Indian weeklies and dailies, like the Telegraph, Times of India, Indian Express, Observer of Business and Politics, Hindustan Times and Hinduism Today.

Influences and opinions

Some of his early influences were Aldous Huxley and George Bernard Shaw. [Goel:How I became a Hindu. ]

In his later life, Ram Swarup used to meditate for many hours.Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.8] Swarup was influenced by Sri Aurobindo, whom he held to be the greatest exponent of the Vedic vision in our times.

Sita Ram Goel described Swarup as a person who "had no use for any conventional morality or code of manners and could see clearly how they were mostly used to put the other fellow in the wrong." [Goel:How I became a Hindu. ch.4]

European paganism

Ram Swarup also had an interest in European Neopaganism, and corresponded with Prudence Jones (chairperson of Pagan Federation) and the Pagan author Guðrún Kristín Magnúsdóttir. [Koenraad Elst. Who is a Hindu, 2001]

Christopher Gerard (editor of Antaios, Society for Polytheistic Studies) said: "Ram Swarup was the perfect link between Hindu Renaissance and renascent Paganism in the West and elsewhere." [Hinduism Today, April 1999. [http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1999/4/1999-4-10.shtml] ]

Swarup has also advocated a "Pagan renaissance" in Europe. He said that "Europe became sick because it tore apart from its own heritage, it had to deny its very roots. If Europe is to be healed spiritually, it must recover its spiritual past--at least, it should not hold it in such dishonor..." He argued that the European Pagans "should compile a directory of Pagan temples destroyed, Pagan groves and sacred spots desecrated. European Pagans should also revive some of these sites as their places of pilgrimage." [Hinduism Today. July 1999. Antaios 1996 (Interview with Ram Swarup and Sita Ram Goel) [http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1999/7/1999-7-07.shtml] ]

Works

*Indictment, Changer's Club
*Mahatma Gandhi and His Assassin, 1948. Changer's Club
*Let us Fight the Communist Menace (1949)
*Russian Imperialism: How to Stop It (1950);
*Communism and Peasantry: Implications of Collectivist Agriculture for Asian Countries (1950,1954)
*Gandhism and Communism (1954)
*Foundations of Maoism (1956).
*Gandhian Economics (1977)
*The Hindu View of Education (1971)
* (1980), (1982, revised 1992)
*Understanding Islam through Hadis (1983 in the USA by Arvind Ghosh, Houston; Indian reprint by Voice of India, 1984); The Hindi translation was banned in 1990, and the English original was banned in 1991 in India.
*Buddhism vis-à-vis Hinduism (1958, revised 1984).
*Hinduism vis-à-vis Christianity and Islam (1982, revised 1992)
*Christianity, an Imperialist Ideology (1983, with Major T.R. Vedantham and Sita Ram Goel);
*Woman in Islam (1994);
*Hindu Dharma, Isaiat aur Islam (1985, Hindi: "Hindu Dharma, Christianity and Islam");
*Hindu View of Christianity and Islam (1993, contains also as an appendix Swarup's foreword to D. S. Margoliouth's Mohammed and the Rise of Islam (1985, original in 1905) and to William Muir's The Life of Mahomet (1992, original in 1894)
*Ramakrishna Mission. Search for a New Identity (1986)
*Cultural Alienation and Some Problems Hinduism Faces (1987)
*Foreword to Anirvan: Inner Yoga (1988, reprint 1995)
*Hindu-Sikh Relationship (1985)
*Foreword to the republication of Sardar Gurbachan Singh Talib, ed.: Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab, 1947 (1991; the original had been published by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar in 1950), and also separately published as Whither Sikhism? (1991)
*Hindu-Buddhist Rejoinder to Pope John-Paul II on Eastern Religions and Yoga(1995)

References

*Review by Jiri Kolaja. Communism and Peasantry. by Ram Swarup. The American Journal of Sociology > Vol. 61, No. 6 (May, 1956), pp. 642-643
*Review by G. L. Arnold, Communism and Peasantry: Implications of Collectivist Agriculture for Asian Countries by Ram Swarup, The British Journal of Sociology > Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1955), pp. 384-385
*Review by Maurice Meisner, Foundations of Maoism by Ram Swarup The China Quarterly > No. 33 (Jan., 1968), pp. 127-130
*Review by Geoffrey Shillinglaw, Foundations of Maoism. by Ram Swarup, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-) > Vol. 43, No. 4 (Oct., 1967), pp. 798-799

External links

* [http://koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/articles/hinduism/ramswarup.html Ram Swarup (1920-1998) – Outline of a Biography]
* [http://newstodaynet.com/2006sud/06may/3005ss1.htm A fearless intellectual in Parasurama mould]
* [http://www.jaia-bharati.org/livres/foi-into/quatre-couv.htm Online chapter] of a book by Ram Swarup in French
* [http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1999/4/1999-4-10.shtml Hinduism Today's farewell tribute to Sri Ram Swarup]
* [http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1999/7/1999-7-07.shtml Sri Ram Swarup on Europe's Pagans]
* [http://www.voi.org/books/hindusoc/ch5.htm About the book The World As Revelation: Names of Gods]
* [http://www.voi.org/books/foe/ch13.htm Statement by Indian intellectuals] on Syed Shahabuddin's attempt to make the authorities impose a ban on the book Hindu View of Christianity and Islam by Ram Swarup
* [http://www.voi.org/books/foe/ch12.htm Swords to sell a god by Ram Swarup]


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