That being said, I am a Westerner and I happen to deeply respect India and her original culture, which is so often misrepresented here and other places. Please consider a few quotes from noted authorities who are actually honest & respectful.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American philosopher and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century: “In the great books of India, an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence, which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the questions which exercise us.”
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American transcendentalist writer, poet and philosopher: "In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climes, and nationalities, and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. When I read it, I feel that I am under the spangled heavens of a summer night."
Max Müller (1823-1900), German-born Oxford University scholar who compiled the 50-volume Sacred Books of the East. “If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions… I should point to India…& if asked what literature we—who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks & Romans & the Semitic race—may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life... again I should point to India.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born Nobel Prize-winning theoretic physicist: “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”
Will Durant (1885-1981), Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian, author of The Story of Civilization: "India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages; she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics… mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all… India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings…. Even across the Himalayan barrier, India has sent to the West such gifts as grammar & logic, philosophy & fables, hypnotism & chess, and above all, numerals & the decimal system."
Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975), eminent British historian whose magnum opus, the 12-volume A Study of History, chronicles the rise and fall of 26 civilizations in human history: “It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way."
Hu Shih (1891-1962), Chinese philosopher, essayist and ambassador to the United States who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1939: "India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries, without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.”
Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976), German theoretical physicist, pioneer of quantum mechanics, awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics. Heisenberg recalled, “After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of quantum physics that had seemed so crazy, suddenly made much more sense."
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), American civil rights activist, awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1964: “Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of non-violent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity.”
Harvey Cox (1929—), American theologian, author and Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, recalled a visit to Vrindavan, India: "I was thankfully received by everyone, including the sages and holy men, and was asked to share my tradition with them. I spoke to them as a Christian about what Jesus Christ means to me and what his teaching has to offer the world. They listened attentively and gratefully… Indians, unlike Americans, seem in no hurry to rush off to something else if there is a serious spiritual conversation to be followed."
Steven Covey (1932-2012), American educator, motivational speaker and author of the best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “One of the things that I have admired about India is the spiritualism of the people.”
Carl Sagan (1934–1996), American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astro-biologist, author and creator of the award-winning television series, Cosmos: “The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the cosmos itself undergoes an immense—indeed infinite—number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology.. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long, longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun, and about half the time since the Big Bang.”
Is it okay if we respect actual informed, esteemed historians like Will Durant and Arnold Toynbee more than petty, mean-spirited, misguided trash-talkers?