Rajiv Malhotra
 
Lessons from the Rajiv Malhotra Affair

Barring an unexpected development, the two main consequences of this affair will be the following. The establishment will go on treating Malhotra as a nuisance.

Now that everybody has had his say on the Rajiv Malhotra plagiarism affair, we can better discern the larger context that explains the different forces at work here.

Plagiarism

Andrew Nicholson's book Unifying HinduismThe trigger was the discovery that seven passages in Malhotra’s work, mainly in his book Indra’s Net, had been lifted verbatim from unacknowledged work by others, chiefly Andrew Nicholson’s book Unifying Hinduism. Not that Malhotra could be suspected of the usual motive of plagiarizers, for he quotes Nicholson a number of times and makes amply clear that he sees the case he is making reflected in Nicholson’s work.  There had clearly been no criminal intent.

Still, he could have been more meticulous about proper form, especially as this is a battlefield where any less than impeccable behaviour will be exploited and punished mercilessly. He himself has warned the members of his own internet list to acquaint themselves with the ways of the modern Kurukshetra, and here he has failed to apply his own principle.

So, certainly a lapse, but nothing more than that. The holy indignation which it evoked among people who had never even ackowledged Malhotra’s ideas, cannot be explained by the limited seriousness of the “offence”. Clearly, it had to do precisely with those unwelcome ideas, which could henceforth be put down as “the fantasies of a known plagiarizer”. That way august professors could now invoke an academic-sounding pretext for not addressing the contents of his books. They could now strike their familiarly condescending airs and dismiss his contributions with a good conscience.

The plagiarism could easily be corrected without much ado in a new edition of Indra’s Net, which Malhotra has prepared forthwith. There he has thrown the references to Nicholson out altogether, and demonstrated that Western Indologists can be replaced with Indian authors on Hindu tradition. He has used this affair to “decolonize” the book and turn the tables on his attackers.

Since I have been asked just what I think of plagiarism in general, let me add that I have little to add. Down with plagiarism, I guess, as far as my own writing is concerned. However, if other people choose to plagiarize me, I don’t care. Effectively, I have been cited without acknowledgment in scholarly papers because the authors assumed that being seen in my tainted company would reflect badly on themselves. Well, if my ideas can only reach the public by keeping my authorship concealed, so be it. Go ahead.

Malhotra’s historical role

Similarly, in the present context  I have been asked to give my opinion on Malhotra’s character, and about his work before this affair erupted. That is too unwieldy a topic, but a few points.

To start with the former subject, his critics have apparently found out that he is quarrelsome, not only irritating Western academics but even his own supporters, now often ex-supporters fed up with his “antics”. He is not the only Hindu who could profit from the Pañcatantra‘s chapter on the art of making friends. So yes, I do know some former supporters who have fallen out with his person but not with his ideas.

The converse is also true: he has fallen out with Hindus who had offered help, e.g. in filming his lectures and debates and then putting the video on the internet, but reneged on their promise or done a lousy job. The life of a pioneer is full of irritants, and placid people wouldn’t stay in this business for long,– or wouldn’t remain placid for long.

Perhaps it takes such a temperament to face the formidable challenges he has thematized for the first time. Alleged personal idiosyncrasies are at any rate of limited importance, and not the reason why he is controversial. How many passengers care about their airplane being the fruit of physical science centred on laws discovered by Isaac Newton, and that this Newton was a difficult man? Would they give up air travel if only that Mr. Newton were a nicer man? Mediocre people are good at inventing endless objections against people who really make a difference. In this case, moreover, making a fuss about his personality is yet another way of ignoring the topics he has raised.

2It has also been held against Malhotra that he has no academic status. Outsiders, and Hindus more than most, go ga-ga over status. Wealthy Hindus will rather sponsor an enemy with status than a friend without it. Intelligent enemies approach a wealthy Hindu, flatter India a bit to put him in a good mood, and then take his money to finance hostile projects. Understandably they hate Malhotra for calling on Hindus to think more strategically.

Anyway, many insiders to academe also take their own status very seriously. Yet, anyone with some experience of research can cite insiders professing farfetched theories and outsiders who have made crucial discoveries.

Malhotra has gained expertise through decades of hands-on research in more exacting circumstances than most, sometimes on topics that nobody had ever researched. Thus, his systematic database on the U-turn (the phenomenon that numerous Western individuals and entire disciplines have started with Indian inspiration, turned it into Western novelties and ultimately sold these back as Western inventions to India) has not been seriously developed except by him, even though it is a remarkable and large-scale cultural fact.

Do I agree with Malhotra? Firstly, we don’t entirely work on the same subjects. Secondly, where we do, there are still differences, e.g. I think he gives too much importance to the ethnic factor; there is ultimately no difference between Indian and Western ways of thinking. Still, I acknowledge that the power equation between these two ethnic conglomerates has greatly influenced the history of Indology, and its consequences even in the present should be mapped out and addressed. And so on: every issue will have something to differ on, next to much about which we agree. None of this is unusual, it should all be discussed.

Yet, that precisely is at issue. In the “secularist” articles published lately, I have seen a lot of denunciations, ridiculing, misrepresentations, all really calculated to keep the topics raised by Malhotra out of polite conversation. The favourite tactic against Malhotra, easy to do from a position of power, is stonewalling. According to Malhotra, his accuser Richard Fox Young has wimped out of a debate with him, and now uses the detour of the plagiarism allegation to neutralize his work.

I don’t know the whole story there, and perhaps Young has another version, but as a general rule, serious debate is indeed being avoided. The first step of an establishment against a vocal opponent is always to deny him legitimacy, then to pretend that there is no real debate, only a querulant rebelling against established common sense. These mechanisms can be seen at work now against Rajiv Malhotra.

Malhotra’s Opponents

In the course of the present controversy, it soon became clear that the Goliaths lining up against our Hindu-American David (apologies for the Biblical parlance), fighting him with all the might of the academic establishment behind them, were not that impeccable either.

India’s secularists have predictably jumped on the bandwagon. They too have always avoided discussing (and thereby highlighting) Malhotra’s ideas, instead limiting their dealings with him to an occasional denunciation. But when others take the trouble of pulling a man down, they can always be counted on to start kicking him.

Business Standard‘s Mihir Sharma took the opportunity to also attack Shrikant Talageri and Michel Danino. No match at all for these scholars, Mihir Sharma hoped to implicate them in Malhotra’s ill-repute and thus sideline their unrefuted findings. Danino sent in a reply putting Sharma in his place (incidentally showing that the Saraswati river, always ridiculed by the secularists as a “Hindutva fantasy”, has been upheld by a whole procession of leading Western and Indian scholars since 1855) and detailing the slanderous elements in his discourse. For the rest, while the secularists are admittedly powerful, their very repetitive position does not merit further comment.

The man who should be conceived as the “victim” of the “crime”, Andrew Nicholson, has strangely never complained of this plagiarism before. He joined the attack only when others invited him in and extracted complaints against Malhotra from him. Perhaps he felt inhibited because of his earlier implication in Hindu activism when he accepted awards for his now-famous book from the Hindu American Foundation and from the Uberoi Foundation. [PS: Upon checking, the HAF’s approval did not amount to a formal “award”.]  Both are used to being called “Hindutva” but, having profusely published on Hindu activism, I know that Hindutva is only one specific tendency, represented by the RSS. The HAF groups a broader spectrum of Hindus mostly not linked to the RSS. Likewise, Malhotra himself is only called “Hindutva” by people displaying either their ignorance or their bias. By contrast, the Uberoi Foundation may genuinely be characterized as strongly “Hindutva”, but Nicholson did not treat that as an objection.

Malhotra goes in counter-attack mode when he observes about Nicholson: “He also gladly accepted another award given by Uberoi Foundation, a very explicitly Hindutva organization. When it comes to duping Hindus and taking their money, he has done well as a ‘good cop’. His ‘good cop’ facade that had fooled me has now come off under the false pretext of being a victim.” (Niti Central, 21 July 2015)

The original discoverer of the alleged plagiarism was Richard Fox Young, associate professor at Princeton’s Theological Seminary. It so happens that I met Young at last year’s South Asia Conference in Zürich, and truth to tell, I had a rather positive impression of him: upright, erudite and a committed idealist. If Malhotra and Young hadn’t been separated by religion, they might have been friends. Christian missionaries and their ideologues often have far more positive motives than Hindus are aware of. When Hindus, at least those not content with the comforting conspiracy theory that “missionaries are all CIA agents”, ask me why those missionaries come all the way to India to convert people, I truthfully say: “Because they love you.” Christians honestly think they do Hindus a favour by “liberating” them from their false religion.

missionWhat conspiracy thinkers fail to understand is the complexity of the human world. It is perfectly possible to have good motives yet become the cause of destruction of something good. In this case, Christians labour under the mistaken notion that Jesus died and was resurrected to save mankind from original sin, and that non-believers will miss out on this salvation. The Jesus story is an appealing myth, but alas, it is not true. To sum up several centuries of Bible scholarship: it just didn’t happen.

So, Hindus don’t need Christianity. Nonetheless, two millennia of ardent belief in the need to “educate all nations” has equipped the Churches with an impressive array of organizations and techniques geared towards conversion. With their strategic eye, Christian scholars have not missed the opportunity offered them by Rajiv’s carelessness, to silence him. You can’t blame fighters for fighting.

A different case altogether is the man who circulated an online petition addressing the publisher for the withdrawal of Malhotra’s work, Jesse Ross Knutson. Among Hindus now, an article of his in a Communist paper is circulating, supporting the bid for power by the Maoïst guerrilla: “The Indian Government should surrender to the Maoists: an immodest proposal” (Countercurrents, 1 June 2010, http://www.countercurrents.org/knutson010610.htm).

The case against Malhotra has now become impossible to sell to the larger Hindu public, which knows in its bones what terrorism is. To have a spokesman for the terrorists, no less, among your self-styled enemies, means you must be doing something right. Compared to that, any alleged plagiarism is really a trifle.

Conclusion

Barring an unexpected development, the two main consequences of this affair will be the following. The establishment will go on treating Malhotra as a nuisance, now helped by the notion that “he is a plagiarist”. But among Hindus, his stock will only go up. He is now more than ever the hero who takes on the might of the united anti-Hindu forces. The whole affair is turning out to have been excellent publicity for his theses and, materially speaking, for his books, especially his upcoming book on the politics of Sanskrit.

  • Narayanan Komerath

    Thanks for an excellent article, Prof. Elst. A couple of issues:
    1. From a long-time perspective from inside the USA, I must wonder about the innocence of the “love” that propels missionary zeal, at least in the past 3 decades. Today it is definitely a multnational corporte activity, set up to profit certain entities expemplified by those who go on the Sunday TV wearing white shoes. Nothing to do with the original inspiration attributed to Yesho Cristo, the Middle Easterner whom these entities now picture as a WASP tourist.
    2. Mr. Fox Young may have in his youth been an upright, sound person etc, but what we see of him in recent times is the “scholarship” of obsessive rants on Twitter.
    3. Lastly, about Malhotra’s perceived “carelessness”. I submit with all respect, having looked through the “complaints”, that they are utterly cynical in their lack of honesty. MOST of the points are about ENDNOTES, not the main text of Malhotra’s books. Young has taken endnotes, and compared them to the texts from where they were drawn. What do you expect? (a) Either they are identical, because RM tried to present what the cited author said, or (b) slightly reworded because he condensed a comment, or (c) different where he disagreed. You see exactly the same in the writings of the President of Princeton University, an authority on Constitutional Law. Any unscrupulous entity could excerpt sentences out of context, put them in 2-column format with yellow highlighting, and fool 99.999% of those who are too lazy to go check on the facts. Is this appropriate conduct for an “upright Christian” associate professor in a Seminary to display, and that too in public? What about the papparazzi who rush to repeat the canard without minimal due diligence? What about their editors? Their publishers? And those who have faith in them?
    4. What happens to the reputation of the Princeton Theological Seminary when the reality of this scam becomes evident to those who go and actually check? Would you send young students to learn under such fellows, except to become executives of Fox News or Goldman-Sachs?

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  • Radha Rajan

    Fence sitting Dr. Elst? But because it is Dr. Elst readers either do not notice or are too polite to point out that he is fence sitting. You have not come out in outright defence of Malhotra, knowing well that Malhotra has dealt with Indian thinkers like Sita Ram Goel (KalavaI Venkat has written on this) in the exact same way that the Generic Church is dealing with him now; you are unable to fault him outright because of Malhotra’s undoubtedly extraordinary and pioneering research on issues and because he has boldly walked untrodden land; you cannot take a position wholly with the Christians knowing how the church expanded across continents. You cannot have an evil religion and then say the followers have good motives. and you are not taking an unambiguous unequivocal stand condemning the church for what it is doing in India. Will the real Dr. Elst stand up please?

    • पूर्णमदः

      I’m sorry but this ridiculous call for polarisation is unwise.

      Forget Christians, let’s take India’s elite, who are mostly cooked in Judeo-Christian values.

      Dharampal notes that he too was one, and how these people are that the masses be lifted from poverty; then he notes that the same people have little empathy for the people they’d hope to help – which is why they’ve failed massively. Believing oneself to be ‘good’ is hardly the measure of being so on a global scale.

  • Atanu_Dey

    Dr Elst, hats off to you. What an informative and enjoyable read. Thank you.

  • Kalavai Venkat

    Here is the second:

    I would make one important observation on the following remark by Koenraad Elst: “I met Young at last year’s South Asia Conference in Zürich, and truth to tell, I had a rather positive impression of him: upright, erudite and a committed idealist. If Malhotra and Young hadn’t been separated by religion, they might have been friends.”

    Young is a trained Christian propagandist. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that he would display a cordial facade. However, the real color shows the moment we criticize Christianity – not the peripheral missionary behavior but Jesus and the NT. At that juncture, all Christians behave intolerantly. So, we need to look beyond crafted behavior. Romila Thapar doesn’t run around screaming expletives but we know how much she is intolerant of conflicting ideas and how much she sabotaged learning. I would anyday trust someone whose external behavior is less than sexy but the person in genuine.

    It is religion that separates – to be precise it is Christianity that separates. It may be easy for Koenraad Elst or myself to reach across ideological affiliations because we value reason above all. However, Christians are conditioned by a delusional faith system that warps their worldview. Therefore, they are going to evaluate the other person based on whether that person augments or threatens their belief system. Their relationship would entirely rest upon that evaluation.

    I will share two real-life anecdotes. Several years ago, while in Israel, I had a colleague that was a traditional Brahmin. He wore a tuft to work and observed āchāra even there. He would bring his own food. If anyone touched his lunch box, he would be annoyed. I suspect that he would forego lunch that day. A couple of Israeli liberals used to think that he was some kind of a religious bigot. They wouldn’t tell him directly but would tell me. I tried correcting them but to no avail. A few months later, a conservative Jewish programmer ran into some marital issues and faced the threat of separation from his wife (she had already moved to the USA – I never met her but I believe she was a liberal). The programmer repeatedly traveled to the USA to sort out the issues. The management was annoyed and wanted him replaced. It was the traditional Brahmin (who by the way was a rock star of a Unix admin) who batted for this conservative Jew. He did much of the Jewish man’s work himself for the next 2-3 months by which time the marital issues were gone and the wife was pregnant. The traditional Brahmin was extremely pleased, accepted their invite to visit home but ate nothing but fruits citing his traditional beliefs of āchāra. It may be tempting to portray that Brahmin as a bigot because he wouldn’t eat outside no matter how much effort the host took to cook his meal but the Jewish programmer saw him as the only one who did something tangible for him without viewing him through the religious prism.

    Fast forward a few years. I was then with a leading US tech firm in the Bay Area. A sauve, white, Evangelical colleague of mine interviewed a young Mormon man, who had mentioned his missionary activities on his app. Before the young man walked into the room, my colleague had already made up his mind to reject him. I didn’t care about his Mormon background but only his computing grades and how much he understood database concepts. I hired him much to the chagrin of my colleague. A few months later, the three of us met at a work party in San Francisco. The conversation turned to religion. The Mormon young man asked me if I believe in god and whether I’ve heard of Jesus. I said no to the first and yes to the latter and directly told that I took a dim view of Abrahamic religions. The young man was disappointed. My Evangelical colleague waxed eloquent about how a Mormon and an Evangelical have lot of commonalities but could agree to disagree on a few things. His words resonated with the young man and they had an animated conversation for a long time. I had moved on. The young man probably thinks that I am more likely to discriminate against a Mormon and that the Evangelical was the one that rolled out an offer letter to him!

    • Aparna

      Excellent examples…something we all can relate to. Thanks for sharing

  • Kalavai Venkat

    I made two comments on this important, and well thought-out article by Koenraad Elst on my FB wall. Reproducing the first here:

    I would also make an important distinction on the following remark of Koenraad Elst stated in the context of Christian proselytism: “It is perfectly possible to have good motives yet become the cause of destruction of something good.”

    Christians deludedly think that they have good motives when they set out to proselytize and thereby destroy civilizations. Those motives themselves aren’t good or moral because they do not lead to well being. I’ve written a lot on why morality is words and deeds that maximize well being – the term defined as broadly and deeply as possible. Readers may benefit by reading Sam Harris’ Moral Landscape on this. Morality isn’t merely what we think it is. Nor is it relative or merely consensual as post modernists mistakenly believe. It is objectively determinable. To give an example, a Muslim parent who infibulates one’s girl child may deludedly think that they are doing her good but objectively speaking they’re harming her because they harm her well being by extinguishing sexual pleasure.

    In other words, if the motives are good (i.e., they are moral and hence increase collective well being) they cannot result in the destruction of good. Therefore, Christian proselytism stems from evil motives and result in the destruction of good. Only that, Christians, whose worldview is warped by the Christian memetic virus, do not realize that their motives are evil.

    • Prayagrudra

      The
      problem is ideology. Religion is a ideology. All ideologically driven efforts
      forgets the person and will end up with proselytisation.
      Eastern
      traditions did not totally fell in to this black hole , as it is also rooted in
      experience and that experience overrides and rescues it from decadent
      theology.

    • पूर्णमदः

      Locally ‘good’, globally ‘evil’.

  • Ramesh Rao

    Koenraad, your comment about Christian missionaries took me to what Joseph Conrad said about colonists in “The Heart of Darkness”: “By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded”, and when they failed, they cried, “Exterminate all the brutes”. Christian love that kills 🙁

    • पूर्णमदः

      That sir is the wrath of a spurned lover 🙂

  • southernwonder

    It is a very good piece by Dr. Elst, but still i wish he had been a bit more careful.

    He says : Christian missionaries and their ideologues often have far more positive motives than Hindus are aware of.

    Me : if motives are positive how can their means be so foul? this is like the british imperialists telling us they loved india (actually, many british of that era used to actually say that).

    surely, the careful hindus no way can think missionaries’ motives are positive (the sickulars do, however).

    the over-the-top zealotry for christianity does not make their motives positive.

    But Dr. Elst corrects himself quickly a little later : You can’t blame fighters (i.e. the missionaries) for fighting.

    Me : true. i wish dr. elst had said “you can’t blame the warriors for warring”.
    it’s a war indeed, for in a war foul is fair, and the missionaries provide ample proof. And, in this specif instance, what this chap Young has done is just that.

    • Shubhangi Raykar

      He says they have a sincere belief that their God is going to bring salvation . So from their own point of view they are being positive. Being missionaries Christ’s every word is taken literally by them.

      • southernwonder

        they are being positive only about their war-objective, and that war-objective is to win, by any means, fair or foul, usually foul.

        the motive thing is a different thing – at least the way it is being presented; i.e. they “love you”.

        again, if the missionaries’ motive is positive why are they flouting the laws and duping the people for conversion?

        they surely are fully aware – being from the west where “the rule of the law” is deeply and uncompromisingly held – that they are flouting the laws and duping the people. a positively motivated person would not use foul means, would s/he? but a person at war would surely do it with the full intent to undo “the enemy”.

        the fact is they know they are in a war, and the only motivation is to win.
        the hindus did not know – so far, that is, in any meaningful, actionable way – until rajiv ji shed the light of truth on it.

        now the hindus have no excuse to not join the battle. time to call the bluff of christianity, and go the whole 9 yards from its fundamentalist belief system to its operations, its political establishment the whole hog. our best allies in the war are the so-called atheists of the west who know the christianity is one big hoax that is sustained to date by a “positively motivated” establishment. yes, the same establishment that is so “positively motivated” that it paints yoga as “evil”.

        • Shubhangi Raykar

          I agree with you entirely. It has to be “Sanatan Dharma Bachao. Hindus should go to temples in the neighbourhood regularly at Aarati time and should become visible in their unity. All Abrahamic religions have congregations in one form or the other. Hinduism leaves it to the devotee how he/she wants to express faith. We should make it more visible. and should have lectures in temples about the basic tenets of Hinduism and the need for its protection

  • Krishna Kumar

    Christians are the last who can accuse others of plagiarism. Being a south Indian, I know what is happening in South India with the blessings of Church. Just a simple search in the net for “Yesu Sahasranamam” or “Om Yesu Christhaaya Nama” etc you see a list of videos, audios of Yesu Namas being propagated. Are these part of original Christian teachings ? Have the creators of these prayers acknowledged their Hindu sources ? Or have they asked any permission to Hindu society to imitate these rituals and culture of Hindus ? In Kerala, almost all new churches have flag posts, similar to that of Hindu temples. Old ones keep installing such Hindu symbols. They promote a hill called Malayattoor just to imitate Sabarimala. Even the devotees have similar attires, similar kind of rituals. You would sometimes mistake them to be Sabarimala Pilgrims. They started Poojas, Archana, Arathi, Thulaabhaaram, Abhishekam etc in the churches. The names of the rituals also the same as that of Hindus. Why these anti-Hindu secularists do not question such plagiarism happening in a big scale ? In Tamil Nadu you can see churches in the same shape of temples, with arches etc decorated with godly faces. Yesu appears with four hands and three faces. Virgin Mary appears like Mata Parvathi carrying baby Ganesha ! Jesus sitting in the posture of yogi. Those who promote such fraudulent means in India to convert Hindus, should be held accountable first.

  • iNikhil

    Brilliant piece koenrald ji.

  • Akash Ravianandan

    Thank you very much for all the work you are doing Koenraad ji. I have one disagreement vis-à-vis good intentions of Richard Fox Young. I do agree that christian missionaries work with real conviction that what they are doing is right. However RFY has trolled Malhotra with more than 50% of his tweets addressed to Malhotra. If Malhotra’s honest work of protecting Indian knowledge and culture attracts such Vile response from RFY, I cannot see any good intentions here. His resortment to social media for a smear campaign also shows that he lacks ethics. He is also signing petition to muzzle Malhotra’s books as its against his work. Seeing all this, I canmot conclude in any remote way that he has good intentions. Last of all Christians engaging in such activities out of blind faith in the 5th century is excusable. Such mindless behavior in 21st century is unfathomable

    • Shubhangi Raykar

      Missionaries do not move in time except for inventing more fraudulent ways to spread Jesus cult.

  • Ranjith

    For me its a positive development. Rajiv ji announced that his aim is to non-ignorable and achieved it. The opponents have been trying to avoid him as much as possible, but Rajiv ji pushed them to a place where there is no other option left to them but to attack him. The same attack is used by Rajiv ji wonderfully, inspite of almost ZERO support from mainstream media. We are with your Rajiv ji.

  • पूर्णमदः

    > Well, if my ideas can only reach the public by keeping my authorship concealed, so be it. Go ahead.

    🙂 Thank you Koenraad !

  • Shriram Bhandari

    Koelrald Elstji, I personally feel you are mistaken, there is a very big difference between the way Westerners and Easterners actually think. The big problem now is that Indians actually do not realise this currently. Let me just show a few

    1. The Indians or Easterners have no particular notion of actually recording history or rather taking records of history , reason is that the notion of time is completely different in both the cultures.

    2. The kind of logic introduced by the cultures is also completely different the West in general has an idea of logic without middle ground, where as Indian or Eastern logic includes middle ground. For example Non existence has no categorisation in Western logic, Non-existence is non-existence. Where as the Nyaya system of logic in India categorises non existence as follows
    i) Praag-abhava–prior non existence
    ii)Prad dwamsa -abhava– non existence after destruction
    iii) Anyonya Abhava–mutually exclusive non existence
    iv) Atyanta abhava– completely non existence.

    3. The nature of space and even time are completely regarded differently in both cultures. The pradesha and the muhurta is completely different here.

    4. Lastly even knowledge, the Vedas were originally to be chanted and remembered, people who actually studied Vedas from books were considered inferior. Hence knowledge in the East was preserved by people actually embodying them but knowledge in the West was completely dependent on the written word. I believe even Buddhism was not about getting texts. The Pandits in the old days did not use books but simply remembered them and talked about it. There is also an old Sanskrit saying that “knowledge in the books are like money which you cannot use for yourself”. Therefore stressing that knowledge must be in the practitioner.

    • Ananth

      Agree. Agree. Agree.

      I know I just made a useless comment but I had to say it.

      • Shriram Bhandari

        Looks like you have read being different very carefully

        • John Rock

          and Koenraad still thinks that vedas was conceived by humans and hindus got astronomy from greeks – yeah right, nice try. Elst is just another jewish wolf in sheep’s clothing. I do not know when hindus would learn the good cop and bad cop strategy played by the west in so called third world countries with their agents (since colonial times). Elst is a good cop here

          • Krispy K

            You have pointed out the unfortunate reality that Indians (and in particular Hindus) can trust nobody.

          • southernwonder

            elst is from a catholic family in belgium. he quit christianity long back.
            he is real.

          • पूर्णमदः

            And people wonder why Hindus have no friends.

          • Krispy K

            Hindus *don’t* have any friends. The sooner we realise this, and learn to get along without them, the better.

          • पूर्णमदः

            Yours is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          • Krispy K

            No, it’s called being realistic. Maybe you should ask yourself why you feel the need to have “friends” in the first place.

          • पूर्णमदः

            Elst is not one ? Danino ?

          • Krispy K

            The point is we shouldn’t care whether they are friends or not, and we shouldn’t make such assumptions or desire such “friendship”. What the likes of Danino and Elst do they do according to their own conscience, and if they are swayed by whether we view them as “friends” or not then one has to question what motivates them.

            Ultimately, we should strive for self sufficiency in all things. I don’t want to replace one foreign master with another.

          • पूर्णमदः

            It’s not about desire. It’s about the Right dislike for intellectuals, and why it’s so barren – and RM too was kept aside from the ‘Sangh’.

            The trouble of course is that once you start thinking, rationality dictates that not all that you imagine to be true can’t be so; which I imagine rattles them ? Attachment to fantasy is not the answer.

            I agree in any case that we have to be self-sufficient.

          • Sree Charan R

            This myth of Hindus ‘learning’ Astronomy from Greeks has already been successfully debunked, just saying.On the contrary, the Knowledge might have traveled from India to Greece,though research is required in this direction to confirm/validate this.

          • Rama

            Madam Jayshree Saranathan in her site ” Non random thoughts” ( the site is not active now for months) had taken Elst to task and she had blown him apart about his pet theory that Indian astronomy came from Greece.

          • Shriram Bhandari

            Namaste Johnji,

            I don’t know if Elst is a good cop, but he definitely still has his Western lense pretty much intact. The very statement that there is ultimately no difference in the thinking of the Westerners and Easterners is a very misleading statement as I have shown above. So I do agree he can do a U turn at any point in the future but we just do not know when.

          • Udayavar

            I don’t believe that Elst is a Hindu. So, it is not right to call him a white Hindu.

          • Globalaryan

            And to flip that argument, how do we know that you are not a “good cop” wolf in sheep’s clothing? from your comment it does seem like you’re branding a well wisher as ill wisher! Anyone familiar with Mr. Koenraad Elst’s work will know that he is our well wisher and not otherwise. He may not agree with the methods of hardliners amongst us and has lessons for us to be more organized and savvy in our battle but he is certainly our well wisher.

            Be careful to not brand “all western people” with the same brush as Christians as anti-Hindu hell bent on destroying India’s culture and history specifically. Don’t forget that according to Pews Global Religion Survey/Forecast, the second largest denomination in the West will be so-called “Atheist/Spiritual but not religious” category. There already is a significant population of these in western nations as people are leaving church in droves. So, these are the people who have seen the lies/deceit/hypocrisy propagated by the church and have shunned it. Let’s be mindful of them and next time we see a white european stock westerner, let’s not judge them to be anti-Hindu. Form opinion only by their actions and after knowing about their views.

    • Cap

      Perfect answer Shriram 😉

  • indranirampersad

    What a brilliant piece Koenraad. It covered all the issues involved. Rajiv is a pioneer and an honest man. We might not always agree on some issues, but the man is a visionary. I know of no other Person of Indian Origin or Indian who can do what he is doing. I just saw Shashi Tharoor’s statements on reparation for India and keep wondering where was his voice all these years? So few Indians with status and power are willing to stand up and defend India. Rajiv has made the greatest impact in this regard. I am glad that you gave this brilliant analysis, Koenraad.

    • RVenkatanarayanan

      Dr. Indrani,
      I read the other day that much of what Sashi Tharoor articulated so brilliantly about colonial Britain and India had been said by S. Gurumurthy a brilliant and much respected professional-public individual-scholar-avidly practicing Hindu, resident of Chennai. This is just for your information.
      I entirely agree with what you have said about Konrad Elst’s Piece in this contrived plagiarism controversy and about Rajiv’s pioneering work.
      RVN

  • Latha Ganesh

    A lucid presentation of the case !!! and the observation on the ‘secularist ‘ bandwagon not unnoticed…