Talk:Rajiv Malhotra

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Find sources: "Rajiv Malhotra" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR · free images

The current revision fails to establish any kind of notability for Malhotra. Googling, I find 180 google news hits for "Rajiv Malhotra", but most of them appear to be on a completely unrelated individual with the same name, CEO of Polaris Software who was at some point in the news because he was arrested in Jakarta. 141 google books hits, again among unrelated hits mostly citations of Invading the Sacred. Nothing to indicate that this book would meet WP:BK. 98 hits on google scholar, again among them completely unrelated authors of papers such as Alpha1-Antitrypsin Deficiency.

This article falls under WP:BLP, and unless notability can be established in some unambiguous way, I suggest the article should just be deleted. --dab (𒁳) 11:24, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Looking at the links:
  • news: the 2002-2005 period is the only really relevant one, as that was the height of the "Wendy's child" affair. His appointments to various NGOs in NJ could probably be sourced from local media, if needed. And many of the various "reliable sources" scrounged up for Wendy Doniger mention him (Braverman in UoC magazine, Vedantam in Washington Post, Rothstein in NY Times).
  • books: well, the first page of results has him in 6 out of the 10 hits. Do we need more for minimal "notability"? (I will not make an WP:OTHERCRAP argument, rather my appeal is to WP:UCS.) The Kurien book, in particular, has plenty of information about him, "Malhotra" comes up 25 times in a search (see p.202, e.g., for some interesting history). Kurien has also written about him in published journal articles.
  • scholar: the first two hits have him. (Aren't google scholar results ranked for relevance?) And then, after 3 misses, 5 more hits.
So, what does he have to do to become notable, jump off a skyscraper? Of course, I understand the bit about how he's really a Hindutva fascist or somesuch, and therefore we should be trying our best to eliminate any mention of such scum of the earth from WP, which is why we prod articles rather than tag them as unreferenced (== "we don't like him, so we'll play like we haven't heard of him.") rudra (talk) 08:11, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
The current revision of the article is in bad shape and without secondary references, I agree with dab that it reads like a vanity piece and definitely worthy of speedy deletion. Another thing that adds to the confusion is that Rajiv Malhotra is a very common name and one is sure to get mishits. However, the article can be improved, written with proper WP:tone and I see that there are several secondary sources available. As a first step, a minimal, neutral article without the controversial stuff or even favourable things like "non-Hindutva" , "pluralistic" part can be written. We can gradually build from here. Hope this helps. --TheMandarin (talk) 16:22, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Just to clarify (for I was confused and others might be too), the discussion above refers to the version of the article before it was rewritten. Shreevatsa (talk) 19:14, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Malhotra's book Being Different: Qualifies for a Stand-Alone Article[edit]

Malhotra's book Being Different clearly has enough reviews to have its own article (i.e., be considered sufficiently notable by Wikipedia's notability criteria). This could allow more space for presenting the book's content as well as the various reactions of reviewers, and any published responses by Malhotra. I have added the references to several reviews in scholarly journals, including an entire issue of the International Journal of Hindu Studies. There may be other relevant reviews also. --Presearch (talk) 00:18, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Postscript: I started a stand-alone article for Being Different on 8 April 2013. Substantial description of the contents of the book was copied from this article. Therefore credit is due to those editors who wrote that original descriptive text. At top of the Talk page is a template to record that credit. -- Presearch (talk) 21:56, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Large-scale revert[edit]

I was in the process of heavily cutting away the spam that pervaded this article, but then realized that a fairly decent version existed in the history as the spam had been added recently. I've restored back to March; my apologies to anyone whose productive edits were lost, but there was too much to go through it individually. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 05:21, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

It's not clear what you mean by "spam", so I reverted per WP:BRD. I agree the article does have problems, but I would not call them spam. Possibly your approach may be the easiest to implement. Still, some editors (not me) worked very hard to create all that material you eliminated. Could it be that instead of the massive revert, the article needs instead is a shift in voice, better inline citations, and a variety of other changes to more appropriately use the material that was introduced? Please explain your thinking more fully, and what drove you to think that the massive amount of material you eliminated was as worthless as "spam". --Presearch (talk) 16:23, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I see literally nothing that was introduced between the version I reverted to and the current version that was cited to an independent source. (Most was not cited to any source at all. And the promotional user even removed most of the secondary sources we had.) Besides the inappropriate tone, that level of detail, without any proper sources, is not suitable for an encyclopedia - Malhotra has his own website and books to expound at length upon his theories. The proper way to expand the article is by consulting secondary sources and seeing if more detail is to be had, not by converting it into a soapbox for the subject's opinions. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:32, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, that's useful to know your perspective. With that in mind, I'd like to look through the added material to check whether I see anything there beyond what you saw. If not, then going back to the earlier version may be best. It may take me a few days to have time, though. If I haven't done more within a week, feel free to ping me (i.e., talkpage message). Thanks again for your explanation. --Presearch (talk) 19:48, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Cool - let me know what you find. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:53, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Lack of Secondary Sources[edit]

This article contains almost no secondary sources or even proper citations. Nearly everything is sourced from Malhotra's own writings (through the use of summaries apparently created by a Wiki user, most of which are not sourced). Without reliable third party sources, this article may be a candidate for deletion.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 22:49, 22 May 2013 (UTC))

I've just reverted back from the perennial spam version (which removed sources as well as adding spam). What do you think? Of course it could still be better... –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:56, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
It looks much better now; Aside from being a lot more concise, the material presented now has proper citations. I would say this article now meets Wikipedia standards.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 05:11, 24 May 2013 (UTC))
Agree. I've added some criticisms, for some balance, and because it shows Malhotra has attracted attention from a wider audience. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:32, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
The size of this article has tripled in the last 24 hours (in fact, its almost back up to its pre-spam removal size). Please be careful to ensure that the earlier problems are not repeated.(Hyperionsteel (talk) 23:18, 24 May 2013 (UTC))
Thanks for keeping an eye on the article Face-smile.svg; I try to source everything I add, also the copies from previous versions. I've also added some {{source?}} tags. Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:10, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Hindu politics[edit]


The links in the 'See also' section should be relevant

The links in the 'See also' section do not have to be directly related to the topic of the article, because one purpose of 'See also' links is to enable readers to explore tangentially related topics.

From Hindu politics (without the references):


It shows that "Hindu politics" is relevant; Malhotra is inspired by Vivekananda, and the article (and related ones) is not a singular force, but stands in a broader tradition.

Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:57, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Greetings Joshua Jonathan,

I respectfully disagree with this characterization. Most of the above has nothing to do with Rajiv Malhotra.

Some of it does not even make sense. If some political activists claim that they are inspired by some Gurus, does that make those Gurus politicians as well? Or does it mean that all those inspired by the Guru are guilty of political activism?

Just as one cannot call all Chistians colonialists, we cannot call all Hindus politicians. I can quote colonialists who were inspired by Christianity or Jesus. Similarly, we know Terrorists who are inspired by Muhammad or Allah. How far will you carry this labeling?

Rajiv Malhotra is not associated with VHP, BJP, RSS etc., For all practical purposes, that defines the boundary for Hindu politics.

I see this as an effort to malign Rajiv Malhotra by branding him with Hindu politics. He has openly denounced association with any of these Hindu political organizations. When he does associate, we should by all means brand him with "Hindu politics".

--Marthanon (talk) 05:20, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi Marthanon. Thanks for your balanced additions. The term "Hindu politics" has also been discussed at the Talk Page of that article, as far as I can see; apparantly it's nit the most accurate point. "Hindu revivalists" is another term that has been used. He is at the template, so maybe you should discuss that at Template talk:Hindu politics.
My point is with "inspired by Vivekananda, Aurobindo and other modern Hindu Gurus". As far as I understand, Malhotra is inspired by them. Linking to this article gives an overview of related thoughts. By the way, Nussbaum wrote that Malhotra is not exactly a "nationalist"; his 'discourse' is somewhat different. Maybe we should add a section on "Hindu emancipation", in which some of the criticisms of Malhotra being "nationalistic" are voiced, but also his own distancing himself from "Hindutva" ideology, Nussbaum's comment, and the sociological link with the changes in the worldwide Hindu-communities, that is, emigration, better social-economic postion, and growing access to western discourses (see the "Mythology wars" article). That's the other side/background of the fierce Hindu reactions to Doniger et al. I guess there are interesting similarities with the emancipation of "Gereformeerden" and Catholics in the Netherlands in the 19th and early 20th century. Looking at the dispute from such an "emancipation-view" also gives some 'relief' from the antagonistic responses, and provides an understanding for a western audience of the fierce Hindu-responses. But I don't know if that can be backed-up by sources; but it's worth to try to find them, isn't it?
Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:45, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Greetings Joshua Jonathan,

Much appreciate your openness and kind consideration to discuss options.

I am not sure what you mean by "Hindu emancipation" but sounds like something from colonial anthropology. Perhaps we should save the emancipation of Hindus to a page of its own? Perhaps it should go into original research publications than a wiki page? Suggest we not get such ideas bloat the wiki page on Rajiv Malhotra.

The views you are stating on Vivekananda and others are those of AAR and they are the very views that Rajiv Malhotra is challenging. Feels right that his views should get a fair hearing and not muffle them with the views of AAR. The rest of the wiki world is open for voicing the counter views. Is that not the fair approach instead of muting the voice of the man on whom a wiki page is written?

Isn't it interesting that Rajiv Malhotra is doomed one way or the other? If he is associated with Hindutva politics that is one thing. If he is not associated and hence seeks to distance himself, then that too seems to be an issue. Sounds like the U of Chicago police has decided that he is guilty either way.

In the end, how many of these extraneous views and how much of it can we add or link to a page on Rajiv Malhotra? Even as it stands, please see how many references are his own works and how many are by people who are critical of him. Do you really think that it is balanced?

Just for comparison, I went to see what Nussbaum's page looks like. Do you think we can give nearly the same space on Rajiv Malhotra's page for his own views that Nussbaum gets on hers for her views?

Clearly, two kinds of things are clamoring to get in. (1) those things that Rajiv Malhotra is presenting as his views. (2) criticism by others of Rajiv Malhotra, his views, his associations, and his lack of associations.

Both should have their say.

Given how large both these pieces are, should not we have two separate pages for them? It seems outright silly that we should have more on the criticism of the man while forcing out discussion of his own works. Seems we should let Rajiv Malhotra's ideas be the main content on his page. Have a separate page on Criticism of Rajiv Malhotra where all the conspiracy angles and criticism angles can be elaborately discussed.

I am confident we can find a way to rectify this.

--Marthanon (talk) 07:18, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

There is already a separate page on Being Different, which gives even more space to his ideas. It's not usual to write separate pages on criticisms, so they are included in the main page. In the case of Malhotra, he did attract a lot of severe criticism; for balance, some of it should be included. Some of the worst are left out; see Nussbaum's : The Clas Within" for some severe remarks.
As for "Hindu emancipation": I'm aware this comes close to WP:OR. Yet, this article "Mythology wars" mentions some of the background of the responses to Wendy Doniger et al. It might give some background for western readers, to contextualise Hindu responses (if I may use the term "Hindu" here). Greetings, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:34, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
PS: what's "AAR"? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:34, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
At second thought: the page on "Being Different" could contain criticisms on this publication. At the other hand: the replies at "Wendy" should be included in the main-article, as should at least the mention of criticisms of his "style" of challenging. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 10:23, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Found it out: American Academy of Religion Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:05, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

I've moved the long criticisms of "Being Different" to Being Different, but retained a summary, together with Mahotral's response. I've also added praise from one of those critics, but also a critique by Martha Nussbaum, because of the impact that Malhotra has had in the academic field. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:13, 28 May 2013 (UTC)