RealNews

Wrath Over a Hindu God

U.S. Scholars’ Writings Draw Threats From Faithful. Folklore has it that elephants never forget, and Paul Courtright has reason to believe it. A professor of religion at Emory University, he immersed himself in the story of Ganesha, the beloved Hindu god with the head of an elephant. Detecting provocative Oedipal overtones in Ganesha’s story — and phallic symbolism in his trunk — he wrote a book setting out his theories in 1985. Nineteen years later, thanks to an Internet campaign, the world has rediscovered Courtright’s book. After a scathing posting on a popular Indian Web site, he has received threats from Hindu militants who want him dead. “Gopal from Singapore said, ‘The professor bastard should be hanged,’ ” said Courtright, incredulous. “A guy from Germany said, ‘Wish this person was next to me, I would have shot him in the head.’ A man called Karodkar said, ‘Kill the bastard. Whoever wrote this should not be spared.’ Someone wanted to throw me into the Indian Ocean.” Full Story

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