The struggle for intellectual freedom for the colonised

The writings of Rajiv Malhotra

One hundred and twenty two years ago, almost to the day on June 7th, a young man with valid ticket in first class was thrown off the train in South Africa, a man who would later lead millions of his countrymen to freedom and revered as Mahatma by mankind. His fault was that he dared to venture into a space that was forbidden to Indians, Africans, Asians and others. Fast forward two centuries, several wars have been fought to liberate the suppressed, civil rights, freedom of speech, expression, equality are the alleged hallmarks of Western civilisation. However, have prejudices and greed reduced in this modern day of communication and travel? Unfortunately, they have not, only the methods have shifted. Just as slavery got replaced by indented labourers as seen in Fiji, South Africa, and Caribbean, so also the control over intellectual pursuits, free thinking and publications is being controlled by “peer reviewed journals”, magazines and books. It is easy to write a thesis in one of the European languages on a skewed interpretation of native culture, spirituality and faith in such a manner that dissent is blocked on grounds of technicality of style and standards of writing. Into this ‘thinkers club’, did Rajiv Malhotra  dare to enter, and shouldn't he made to pay the price for this insolence!. It is no longer possible to throw people off trains or burn them at the stake, so how does the empire go all out with guns blazing to silence him? What better way than to discredit a respected writer than making false plagiarism allegations? A bit about the man and what this all about will help understand the enormity of the situation. Mr Rajiv Malhotra, was a successful IT entrepreneur in US. He encountered the Western domination of Indology, where traditional siddhantas (theories) were rejected in favour of alien Western methods. Indian intellectuals are importing knowledge about themselves from West, despite having a rich tradition in knowledge, introspection and openness from the days of Nalanda and Takshashila. Even the rejuvenation of Nalanda University has followed Western thought patterns as seen in recent years. Rajiv Malhotra was aghast at reading about the much acclaimed Wendy Doniger and how Indian/Hindu scholars were co-opted as willing tools to spread negativity about Hinduism. He pioneered the movement to counter attack the anti-Hindu literature. Relinquishing his successful business at the age of 44, he has dedicated his life to research on dharma, countering the false propaganda of such scholars. His debates with Indology scholars of the American Academy of Religion began after spending a long time with his guru in India who inspired his research. His efforts are seen in his four major publications:
  • Invading the Sacred (a collection of articles in which he was the main thinker featured)
    • Exposes the inherent bias of scholars such as Wendy Doniger School against Hindu dharma.
    • Counters the rabid psychoanalysis of Hindu philosophy, devatas and gurus.
    • Exposed the perverted sexual innuendoes about murtis of our devatas and their stories.
    • Took to task the cartel of peer-reviews that rigidly controls discourse about Indian cultural traditions, specifically Hindu religion, in the American academy.
    • Wrote penetratingly of this group’s penchant for analyzing Hinduism with Western critical theories that represent its traditional features as fundamentally oppressive and primitive: the foundation of the “caste, cows, and curry” paradigm of Indian religion that dominates the Western popular imagination.
  • Breaking India – Western Intervention in Dalit and Dravidian fault lines (with Aravindan Neelakandan as co-author)
    • a painstaking research spread over 5 years to expose the nexus between various anti-India forces like Naxalites, so called dalit activists, Islamists and missionaries bent upon breaking India.
    • “Well researched and written by Indian about Indians” - comment by an Australian State MP.
  • Being Different
    • An original framework for debate between indigenous dharma followers that includes all faiths born out of India –Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and other offshoots or paths.
    • The West-controlled cabal was alarmed at the preposterous public intellectual,
    • The book challenged many notions about dharma and religion. It showed the basic differences between the foundations of dharma born in India and Abrahamic religions born in the Middle East.
    • He had become such a serious threat that seminars were held about his book by both sides. His politically power opponents trash it with anger. Now he was no longer ignorable.
  • Indra's Net
    • The book explains and supports Swami Vivekananda
    • It counters a school of thought in the West which is working hard for nearly 50 years to present Swami Vivekananda as a person who fabricated 'neo-Hinduism' that is the bed-rock of Indian nationalism vis a vis traditional Hinduism as espoused by Adi Shankaracharya. This dangerous thesis has become popular among Indian leftists.
With Rajiv Malhotra shaking the ground beneath them, manipulative Indologists were losing their control. For the first time they found themselves exposed.
  • Sanskrit Conference June 2015 in Bangkok Rajiv Malhotra disclosed information about his new book on Sanskrit and the way the left has politicized it.
    • How western scholars are hoodwinking the world and Indians about Sanskrit, its origins, its relevance and the way it is to be taught to 'natives'.
    • Their blind following by Indians who are donating millions of dollars to fund Western work that often misrepresents dharma and Indian civilization.
    • The Western scholars could not respond to the logic and idea in his books, and decided to “play the player instead of the ball”. They chose to run character assassination, a proven weapon of leftist secular forces.
    • He had exposed those who use Hindu knowledge by pretending to be genuine seekers, and then published it as their own original discovery. They felt most threatened and made a group to attack him.
  • This publication takes on a group of Western academics (and their Indian followers) committed to effecting the cultural genocide of Indian civilization by wresting control of the very genetic code in which its vast, rich and heritable legacy of knowledge transmission is inscribed: the Sanskrit language itself.
  • The highly influential scholar Sheldon Pollock, advocates sterilizing Sanskrit’s vast sacred content; interpreting its literature to portray Hindu traditions as oppressive; seeing it as a dead language entombed within the confines of a conceptual museum, fit only for scholarly study, incapable any longer of nurturing the great forest of Hindu traditions.
  • Pollock is extremely well-educated, sophisticated and well-connected, not only within Western academic circles, but also to numerous powerful individuals amongst the Indian elite – many of whom have staked their credibility by backing him, ironically enough, as a champion of “Sanskrit revival”. It is hardly surprising that, a few days after Rajiv Malhotra offered a preview of his forthcoming book at the World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok, the onslaught against him started from all quarters.
This is the context in which we must consider the barrage of internet noise underpinning the indisputably flimsy allegations of plagiarism that one Richard Fox Young (an evangelist from a US Christian seminary) has recently directed against Rajiv Malhotra. The hypocrisy of the allegations have been dissected and exposed on numerous other platforms. Numerous people have independently examined the evidence to conclude that the kamakazi attack is based on outright false allegations.
  • Rajiv Malhotra has an active online discussion group. There are several hundred messages filtered every day on a range of topics on Indology, Sanskrit, Indian heritage, literature, culture and dance, digestion of Indian knowledge. The postings are moderated to filter anything other than high quality, both in content and authenticity.
  • The group is debunking the charge of plagiarism with systematic research. A petition was floated and signed already by 10,000 supporters asking the publishers not to yield to pressure and withdraw his books. It is interesting to note that the same group gave Wendy Doniger a benefit of doubt and castigated Dinanath Batra who had pointed out glaring mistakes in her books and misleading conclusions. But now they want a ban on Rajiv Malhotra’s books.
  • Rajiv has been ridiculed and viciously attacked because his opponents cannot debate his arguments on merit. One may step back from his positions and view his arguments with an open mind, and then one is invariably convinced about them. He is sharp, argumentative and uncompromising in his presentations that are based on sound research. His writings help remove the fog of ignorance masquerading as 'tolerance for all' and woolly-headed thinking 'that all religions are same'.
  The concern
  • The issue is not about an individual or even about plagiarism, it is more sinister. It is about control and exclusiveness; it is about suppression of freedom of speech and in due course liberty; it is about conditioning the Indian mind to think from a colonial perspective but never be equal to it. Churchill had famously told Harvard students after the Second World War that the empire of the future will be ‘the empire of the mind’. He passed the baton for Western domination to the USA.
  • On a thorough reading of the allegations against him, it becomes obvious that the nexus of interests who collude to suppress the Hindu narrative, and who wish to foster the perpetual colonization of the Indian psyche, is attempting to pin down Rajiv Malhotra on what ought to be seen as mere technicalities in the worst case scenario. While this does reflect their inability to counter him with substantive arguments, it should not be lightly dismissed; after all, the British East India Company’s use of the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ demonstrates how a technicality could be leveraged to annex a vast number of states and enslave our people.
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 Karthik and Balesh

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