Britannica agrees to revise its article on Hinduism

Vaishakh Krushna Dashami

Britannica agrees to revise its article on Hinduism.Let us offer gratitude to God for this success.

Reply of Shri. Amit Raj Dhawan to Shri. Brian Duignan, Britannica

From: Amit Raj Dhawan <[email protected]>
Date: Sat, May 16, 2009 at 6:47 AM
Subject: Re: Complaint to Encyclopedia Britannica
To: "Duignan, Brian" <[email protected]>

Dear Mr. Brian Duignan

Thank you for the quick and relieving response. Your promising message has been conveyed to other Hindus who were deeply concerned with Britannica’s presentation of Hinduism.

I am very glad to learn that Britannica has agreed to revise its article on Hinduism, and for that purpose Britannica is searching for a Hindu scholar.

It is understood that such task cannot be concluded overnight but it is expected that Britannica will not take many nights either. Keeping in mind the huge readership of Britannica, its reputation, and its misinterpretation of Hinduism, it is hoped that the changes in Britannica’s article on Hinduism will come as soon as possible.

As criticism is not the job of an encyclopedia, so is favouritism. We expect Britannica to portray Hinduism as it is, which is far away from the present presentation of Hinduism in Britannica. It is expected that Britannica will treat all religions in the same light, where unnecessary and strange shadows or highlights are absent on any part.

Please keep me posted with your progress on the situation.

Amit Raj Dhawan

Reply of Brian Duignan, Senior Editor, Philosophy and Religion Encyclopedia to Shri. Amit Raj Dhawan

From: Duignan, Brian <[email protected]>

Dear Amit Raj Dhawan:

Thank you for your e-mail to Amy Tikkanen, who forwarded it to me for response. I have read both the e-mail and your review of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s article on Hinduism at your blog “Non-random-Thoughts.” I have also discussed them with the appropriate editors here at Britannica. I’m grateful for your close reading of the text.  On reviewing the article in the light of your observations about it, we’ve agreed that the article is in need of revision.  We are working now to identify a Hindu scholar to lead that revision.

I would like you to know that Britannica strives for balance in all subjects. We don’t expect to please everyone—balance by nature will always disappoint some people—but we weigh all earnest criticism seriously, especially when it reflects as much work and thought as yours.  We agree with your premise that all religions should be treated with equal respect and that this can be achieved without compromising scholarly standards.

Please be aware that the revision won’t be completed overnight. This is serious, scholarly work, and we always try to do things properly and thoughtfully. We do hope to commission the work with a Hindu scholar very soon, however, and have him or her get right to work. If you like, I’d be happy to keep you posted on our progress.

Brian Duignan
Senior Editor, Philosophy and Religion
Encyclopædia Britannica

Protest letter written by Shri. Amit Raj Dhawan to Britannica

From: Amit Raj Dhawan <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, May 15, 2009 at 9:14 PM
Subject: Complaint to Encyclopedia Britannica
To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Encyclopedia Britannica,

Your article, "Hinduism." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica 2009 Student and Home Edition.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009., has misinterpreted Hinduism. The content and nature of the article are very offensive. The article is very similar to the online version of May 5, 2009 (

The whole article has been written in a negative sense, therefore it needs replacement. As compared to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, Britannica’s treatment of Hinduism is extremely biased and impertinent. Britannica mentions:

"Krishna was worshipped with his adulterous consort, Radha."

How could Britannica mention such nonsense? Shri Krishna and Radha ji are revered by all Hindus. Why did Britannica choose Wendy Doniger, who is critcized by academia and Hindus, to write on Hinduism? According to your information she is a member of the twelve member Editorial Board of Britannia (

Reading about Hinduism from Britannica was a torture that inspired me to write an article on the subject. Please read it as it has many of Britannica’s quotes mentioned and analysed. It will elaborate and explain the nature of my complaint. It is available online as PDF or HTML.

Your response is awaited.

Amit Raj Dhawan

Hinduism misinterpreted in Britannica Encyclopedia

Millions of people worldwide use Encyclopedia Britannica to get information on various topics. It is counted amongst world’s most enormous and major knowledge archives. Wanting to search some things about Hinduism, I opened Encyclopedia Britannica. I was shocked and distressed to read the offensive material they had published about Hinduism. On the grounds of rationality, justice, and equality of all religions, it is strongly felt that Encyclopedia Britannica needs change its article on Hinduism. To bring to light this injustice, I have written a thoroughly researched logical article/paper. It would be appreciated if you read it and publish it.

Encyclopedia Britannica should present Hinduism as it is — enlightening and spiritual — so that when any person, Indian or foreigner, reads Encyclopedia Britannica to know about Hinduism, he learns the truth.

You can read Encyclopedia Britannica’s online article on Hinduism over here:

For my article, please check the attachment with this email. Some publishing and distribution related details are available in the article itself, and in this regard if I can be of any help to you then please contact me. I would be glad to correspond. Online link to my document:

I hope that you will be supportive in my endeavour.

(Amit Raj Dhawan is an Engineer by profession and at the moment he is pursuing higher education in Czech Republic. )

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