Complaint to The Caravan magazine for their support to a notorious foreign evangelist

Below is the rebuttal written by Shri. Ratan Sharda to the article written by Richard Fox Young in The Caravan magazine. At this point, this comment which has been written below Young's article is still awaiting moderation at the magazine's site. Dear Editor, I read the entertaining piece by Young. Entertaining because it has no new information which is not available during last few days’ war of words about Rajeev Malhotra, entertaining because it has no content except disclosing  his being part of Princeton Theological Seminary – in short a place that trains Christian missionaries about Bible, Christian theology and ways to run down ‘competing’ religions and convert people. It is a fact that most of the Christian theologians hide their background while criticising and running down Hindu dharma in weirdest possible unfounded ‘discoveries, like character of Mother Goddess of Hindus, mental problems of much loved Lord Ganesha whose trunk is seen as a limp penis, or homosexual and child fetish of Shri Ramkrishna Paramhamsa etc etc etc. People can get the drift so I won’t go on. Have these scholars ever let refutation of defamation by RK Mission’s scholars in form of a book be made available to their students? Have they allowed Rajiv Malhotra’s book in their hallowed libraries? These academicians seem to resent a native debating them on such gems of wisdom arrived at by psycho analysis of Hindu Gods and Goddesses which they would never do on any other Prophets or Gods of Abrahamic religions. I don’t wish to go down to their levels so I won’t do any psychoanalysis of Jesus, or Mother Mary or Mohammad. Point is that they cannot accept an upstart ‘native’ presenting his own analysis of their mindset conditioned by their won psychological warts born out of suppressed sexuality by Church for eons. My objection is not to his piece but to Caravan’s failure to get Rajeev Malhotra to put in his rejoinder – a standard practice for any serious scholarly debate on such matters. And I rust that you treat Young not just as a missionary but also a scholar. Should I read it as a clear bias for a foreigner against a ‘native’  making preposterous claim to his hard research about his own Dharma? Did anybody in Caravan team try to read Rajiv Malhotra and go through his ‘references’? Some people in comments here have already provided links to various articles that have appeared during last few days refuting allegations of plagiarism. So I won’t repeat them.  I have also written a critique on some days back.  It is very easy to call opposition on Twitter as ‘trolls’ and play a victim. Did Young consider this ‘trolling’ when he sent out hundreds of tweets to Rajiv Malhotra, rather than send his ‘neighbour’ a mail or a printed letter telling him about a few oversights. To make a short point – if an author has given 30 citations of his friend Nicholson in his ‘Indra’s Net’ would it have made him any difference if he had cited him 3-4 times more?  Have scholars of west cited their own ‘native’ sources at whose feet they learnt various Hindu scriptures? The very fact that none of Wendy Doniger and her children have debated Rajiv Malhotra on his arguments, whether  in ‘Invading the Sacred’ or ‘Breaking India’ or ‘Being Different’ or ‘Indra’s Net’ but only abused or passed withering comments him tells us that there is some strength in what Rajiv Malhotra is putting forward in his works. Even if so called plagiarism is removed from his works, there is enough in the books for which these worthies don’t have answers.  Is it not a fact that in the debates on Christianity or Islam, people of those faiths represent their religions but in debates on Hindu Dharma, people not belonging to religions flowing from Hindu Dharma are not even invited or only those who fall in line with West worldview are allowed space? Plain truth is that these West scholars are  disturbed with the very thought of Rajiv’s latest upcoming book on their effort to discourage studying of Sanskrit. They are afraid of blunt exposure. It is a fact that this defamation of Rajiv has started just after he talked of his latest book. I request Caravan to rectify its mistake and invite a discussion with scholars of both sides and publish it in full on its website and objectively edited version in print copy. If it finds it too much effort, atleast allow Rajiv to rebut criticism and ridicule heaped on him by Young? With warm regards, Ratan Sharda

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