We are generally against petitions on the internet. In the past seven years we have never brought a petition to the attention of our readers and never requested them to sign any.
Today, for the first time, we do. Sign this petition.
There is a man who has worked tirelessly for a long time to fight against powerful interests that have imposed their religious and social views under the guise of scholarship. This is a man who has fought for freeing minds from the yoke of such imposition. He has not fought his battle with arms, with violence or with money. He has fought by simply studying the issues and by publishing his rebuttals often with his own money.
He has been ignored until recently. Then he was acknowledged with contempt, not contempt about his views or intellect, but manufactured contempt because he was not a part of their cartel. His followership & reach continued to grow. His next book promises to describe what he sees as the reality behind the “powers” that lead this cartel.
This was finally going too far for them. That is why the cartel began a campaign against this man and his published content. The objective is to silence this man, to defame him to eliminate his challenge to the established order. The plan is to coerce his publishers to not publish his next book, the book that reportedly threatens the credibility of the leaders of the cartel and their monetary drives.
There is a petition on the internet that seeks to protest against the cartel’s attempts to silence this man. The petition doesn’t ask you for any material support, for any physical action or money. It simply asks you to register your vote on the petition in support of free debate and freedom of expression.
We urge every single reader to sign this petition regardless of ethnicity, national origin, or religion.
1. Who Is This Man?
His name is Rajiv Malhotra. His organization is Infinity Foundation. He has written several books about Indian Dharma and the centuries of coordinated attempts to defame & usurp it. His next book, based on what has been discussed in the public space, is about leading voices of the academic cartel who claim scholarship of Indian Thought, Literature and Dharma.
In full disclosure, we met Rajiv Malhotra once at a Waves conference a couple of years ago. He attended our keynote presentation and we his. He invited us to meet with him at his location but our mutual schedules were in conflict. We have not read his earlier books just a small portion of his recent “Indra’s Net” during a visit to India. The point being we don’t follow him nor does he follow us.
In full disclosure, we disagree with him about his spelling of Sanskrut words in English. For a man who fights against western imposition of their agenda on Indian Dharma and languages, he continues to use British-imposed spelling conventions that rob Sanskrut words of their power & gender. For example, he continues to spell Sanskrut as British-imposed Sanskrit, the spelling that strips the “Kru” (action) root. He continues to spell terms in the British-imposed feminizations like Yoga, Mahabharata, Pandava etc. He doesn’t participate in critically important campaigns like the one we fought against the attempt to ban the Svastik by George Washington University leadership.
But these disagreements pale before our deep respect for the solitary fight he has waged against powerful entrenched interests in America, UK and India. No one in America has even come close to attempting, let alone succeeding at, what Rajiv Malhotra has done. And that is precisely why the entrenched cartel is out to silence him.
So, regardless of whether you agree with Mr. Malhotra or not, regardless of whether you even care about what he is trying to achieve, you should sign this petition.
2. Sheldon Pollock
Based on what we see being discussed, Mr. Malhotra’s upcoming book discusses how non-Hindu “scholars” have established their own stamp on how Indian Dharma and Literature is viewed or discussed. One of the people reportedly discussed in this book is Sheldon Pollock, a professor at Columbia University and the editor of Clay Sanskrut Library.
In full disclosure, we have had a longer and deeper interaction with Sheldon Pollock than with Rajiv Malhotra. We were introduced to Mr. Pollock by Michael Witzel of Harvard. We spoke to him at an Asia Society event about the Clay Sanskrut Library. We had a nice dinner with him and maintained an email relationship with him.
We published an article in 2008 about the grand plan of the Clay Sanskrut Library to publish Sanskrut classics in English. We then published a detailed article about the Karna-Arjun battle in the Maha-Bhaarat, an article that was for years the most popular article on our Blog. Sheldon liked this article and put it up on the Clay library webpage.
Mr. Pollock is a student of Kavya, of Sanskrut literature, and we admire what he knows of it. When we decide to study Ras-Gangadhar of Pandit Jagan-Nath or the works of the great RajSekhar, Mr. Pollock is the first man we are likely to turn to. In fact, Sheldon is the one we turned to when we wanted a web-source for Bhaamini-Vilaas of Jagan-Nath Pandit.
But, to our knowledge, Mr. Pollock knows very little about Indian Dharma or the fundamental concepts of Indian Dhaarmic Thought. What is worse is that he has displayed little intellectual curiosity to learn about it. He, of course, is not alone in that. None of the non-Hindu professors we have interacted with (including Michael Witzel) have shown any intellectual curiosity to learn about Indian Dhaarmic Thought apart from what they learned from their own teachers.
The reality is that every non-Hindu professor of Sanskrut we have interacted with knows ONLY what they learnt from their teachers who were either all non-Hindu or trained in Plato-Kant tradition of thinking. Add to that an enormous racially supremacist disposition and what you get is utter blindness to what they don’t know.
None of these non-Hindu professors in America (or their Hindu students) ever spoke up in public or wrote about what many of them considered to be poor scholarship of Wendy Doniger. We have NOT seen a single article by Sheldon Pollock or Michael Witzel criticizing the book by Doniger or her lack of scholarship.
Instead many of them & Sheldon Pollock in particular reacted with intense anger when Penguin withdrew Doniger’s book from India. Much of their anger rose from a “how dare they” type of racially supremacist conviction. Meaning had the British Courts ruled against Doniger’s books, their reactions would have been more muted and couched in academic terms. But the fact that Indian courts & Indian legal system posed a threat to their ability to write whatever they pleased, defamatory to Hinduism or otherwise, appalled & disgusted them. After all, they have all been so used to Indian servility and total obedience to “white” scholarship of Sanskrut.
Mr. Pollock wrote a nasty email to us when we disagreed with him and when we wrote back politely with our analysis of why he was wrong, he stopped communicating with us.
He was not alone. The entire body of American professors of Asian Studies rose in protest against what Penguin did. And they dedicated their March 2014 convention to this protest. That would have been proper and admirable had this AAS body allowed participation & discussion by and of the opposing points of view. They did not. These so-called defenders of free debate and intellectual freedom PROHIBITED any discussion of why Doniger’s book deserved to be withdrawn or what was wrong with that book.
And none of the professors from AAS, professors from a wide number of US Universities, responded to our protest and none of the Presidents or Boards of Trustees of these Universities did anything about this total trampling of free debate and intellectual discussion. Neither did Sheldon Pollock.
We urge you to read our detailed discussion why we consider this body of US professors and their collaborators as one Cartel. Why is that important?
Because this Cartel has now risen to silence Rajiv Malhotra.
3. Difference between Wendy Doniger and Rajiv Malhotra
Wendy Doniger wrote a book titled An Alternative History of Hindus, a book that was wholly a book about her perverted view of Indian Dharma, Society & Literature. In our opinion, it was on par with what we see about Judaism from Saudi Arabian “scholars”. In any case, it was a book on offense against Hinduism.
Rajiv Malhotra’s books are totally different. To our knowledge, Mr. Malhotra has not written any books that attack any other religion not even from an academic view let alone from a perverted viewpoint. From what we know, Mr. Malhotra’s books are dedicated to defending Indian Dharma by systematically presenting where he sees the non-Hindu western cartel is wrong & dangerous to Indian Society.
Equating them is like equating the British colonizers who conquered India & plundered it to Indian freedom fighters who bravely fought the British invaders.
4. The Cartel against Rajiv Malhotra
Ask yourselves a basic question – If a Hindu professor from India ever wrote a book about An Alternative History of Christians or Jews, even a serious book let alone a book with perverted thinking like Doniger’s, would any US professor accept it? Would such a book even see the light of the day? Would any US university ever include a discussion of such a book? More broadly, would US professors accept the right or respect the ability of a Hindu writer to opine about their religions?
We think not. On the other hand, this non-Hindu academic cartel thinks they own India & Indian Thought. Since the days of Wilson Jones and Max-Mueller, Indology is deemed to be a Western-owned branch designed to carry the white man’s burden of educating stupid Indians about what they should know and what they should reject from their own Dharma & Literature.
The one obstacle they see is the tireless work of Rajiv Malhotra and his dedication to exhibit to the world how he sees them in his upcoming book. That is why the sudden spate of attacks on Mr. Malhotra and his upcoming book.
You don’t have to support Rajiv Malhotra or even agree with his views. You may even consider his views to be wrong. But you should be impressed by the vigor and the hate displayed against his work by the US academic cartel. So at least for that reason or for the simple human decency of supporting free intellectual debate, sign the petition to stop the attack on the upcoming book of Rajiv Malhotra.
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