Hindu Students Call Emory Professor's Book a "Hate Crime"

November 14, 2003

Source: The Straits Times


On November 14, 2003 The Straits Times reported that "eighteen years after publishing a study of the Hindu god Ganesha, a US university professor is under fire from believers who brand sexual references in the book as an insidious 'hate crime'. Hindu student activists are demanding that Ganesa, Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings be taken out of circulation until author Paul Courtright from Emory University in Atlanta removes 'offensive' passages and makes an unequivocal apology to Hindus. But Prof Courtright accuses his critics of quoting isolated passages from his book out of context, and suggests they may be trying to stifle academic freedoms. Outraged by sexual inferences in his book and portrayal of a nude Ganesha on the cover of one edition, 4,500 people signed an online petition drawn up by the Hindu Students Council at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette."