|How would you
expect that Hinduism, the world's oldest and most complex religion, would appear as seen
through the eyes of Marxists? Naturally it would not look very good. After all Karl Marx
himself declared that religion was the opiate of the masses. However now communism has
fallen all over the world and religion, including Hinduism, is still going strong.
We have learned that the real truth has been that Marxism was the
opiate of the intellectuals, as it has been called, not that religion itself is an
illusion. Unfortunately, the universities of
India have been strongly influenced by Marxists since independence and their view of
Hinduism has often become entrenched in the educational system.
A name which comes to mind readily is that of Romila
Thapar, Emeritus Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which is
itself well known in India as a center of Marxist activity. Thapar is neither the most important, nor the most prominent figure
of Marxist circles, but she has been very much in the news lately and represents a wider
phenomenon, and her name has been picked here for no other reason.