Rajiv Malhotra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rajiv Malhotra
Rajiv Malhotra.jpg
Rajiv Malhotra
Born (1950-09-15) 15 September 1950 (age 67)
New Delhi, India
Occupation Author
Residence United States
Nationality American
Alma mater St. Stephen's College, Delhi
Syracuse University
Genre Religion and science, civilizations
Notable works Being Different (2011),
Breaking India (2011),
Indra's Net (2014),
The Battle for Sanskrit (2016),
Academic Hinduphobia (2016)

Rajiv Malhotra (born 15 September 1950)[web 1] is an Indian-American author and public intellectual who, after a career in the computer and telecom industries, took early retirement in 1995 to found the Infinity Foundation, which focuses on Indic studies,[web 2][note 1] but also funds projects such as Columbia University's project to translate the Tibetan Buddhist Tengyur.[1]

Apart from the foundation, Malhotra promotes a non-western and nationalistic view on India and Hinduism. Malhotra has written prolifically in opposition to the academic study of Indian history and society originating in Europe and the United States, especially the study of Hinduism as it is conducted by scholars and university faculty of the West, which he maintains denigrates the tradition and undermines the interests of India "by encouraging the paradigms that oppose its unity and integrity".[web 3][2]


Malhotra studied physics at St. Stephen's College, Delhi and computer science at Syracuse University,[web 4] and was "a senior executive, strategic consultant and an entrepreneur in the information technology and media industries"[web 1] until he took early retirement in 1994 at age 44.[web 1] to establish the Infinity Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey the next year.[web 1] Besides directing that foundation,[web 5] he also chairs the board of governors of the Center for Indic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and advises various organisations. American Indologist Yvette Rosser, responding to current political trends in American journalism, describes Malhotra's stance toward Hinduism "as that of a ‘non-Hindutva Hindu’".[3]

Infinity Foundation[edit]

Based in New Jersey, the Infinity Foundation promotes Indic studies.[web 6][note 1]

The Foundation has given more than 400 grants for research, education and community work[web 1] and has provided small grants to major universities in support of programs including a visiting professorship in Indic studies at Harvard University, Yoga and Hindi classes at Rutgers University, the research and teaching of non-dualistic philosophies at University of Hawaii, Global Renaissance Institute and a Center for Buddhist studies at Columbia University, a program in religion and science at University of California, an endowment for the Center for Advanced Study of India at University of Pennsylvania, and lectures at the Center for Consciousness Studies at University of Arizona.[6] The foundation has provided funding for journals like Education about Asia[6] and International Journal of Hindu Studies[7] and for the establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Non-violence at James Madison University.[7]

While the foundation's own materials describe its purposes in terms of education and philanthropy, scholars of Hinduism and South Asia see it largely as an organization committed to the "surveillance of the Academy," and a senior U.S. scholar of Hinduism, Columbia University's Dr. Jack Hawley, has published a refutation of the foundation's characteristic charges against the study of Hinduism in North America.[web 7]

Swadeshi Indology Conferences[edit]

The Swadeshi Indology Conference[8] series comprises one of the activities of Infinity Foundation. As per the foundation's website, this series has been envisioned to counter the 250-year-old narrative of Western Indology, the genre of Orientalism that focuses on India.[9]

Swadeshi Indology Conference 1[10] was held in Chennai in July 2016. Swadeshi Indology Conference 2[11] was held in Delhi in February 2017.

While SI-1 dealt primarily with a purvapaksha of noted Western Indologist Prof. Sheldon Pollock, SI-2 dealt with both a purvapaksha and an uttarapaksha to Pollock's theories.[12]

Swadeshi Indology Conference 3 was held in Chennai in December 2017.

Tibetan Buddhist tengyur[edit]

The Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences, a series of books intended to encompass the entire Tibetan Buddhist Tengyur, is published by the American Institute of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, under the supervision of Robert Thurman. According to Thurman, the project was stalled for years until Malhotra provided funding:

Finally, in the year 2000, the founder of the Infinity Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, Mr. Rajiv Malhotra, saw the relevance of the Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences to the recovery and presentation to the world of ancient India's classic Buddhist heritage, and the Foundation awarded the Institute, in affiliation with the Columbia University Center for Buddhist Studies, a publication grant to start the actual printing. In 2001, the Infinity Foundation joined with Tibet House US in another grant to engage the scholarly, administrative, editorial, and design services of Dr. Thomas Yarnall, to advance and complete the project.[1]

Ideas and writings[edit]

Malhotra's work critiques Western culture, philosophy and political discourse from the perspective of a "Dharmic paradigm" or framework. Malhotra argues that India has been studied from a western perspective, but that Indians have not gazed at the west from a "Dharmic framework".[citation needed] He defended "self-styled guru"[web 8][POV? ] Swami Nithyananda from charges of sexual abuse, arguing that there was more to the case than what was being portrayed in Indian media.[web 9][web 10]

Criticism of American academia (2000s)[edit]

Wendy's Child Syndrome[edit]

In early 2000s Malhotra started writing articles criticising Wendy Doniger and related scholars, claiming that she applied Freudian psycho-analysis to aspects of Indian culture.[web 4] His 2002 blog titled Wendy's Child Syndrome[web 11] was considered as the starting point[13] of a "rift between some Western Hinduism scholars [...] and some conservative Hindus in India, the United States, and elsewhere".[web 4] Martha Nussbaum has called it a "war"[14] by "the Hindu right"[15] against American scholars.[13]

The blog "has become a pivotal treatise in a recent rift between some Western Hinduism scholars—many of whom teach or have studied at Chicago—and some conservative Hindus in India, the United States, and elsewhere."[web 4] Malhotra concluded in his blog: "Rights of individual scholars must be balanced against rights of cultures and communities they portray, especially minorities that often face intimidation. Scholars should criticize but not define another's religion."[web 4]

According to Braverman, "Though Malhotra's academic targets say he has some valid discussion points, they also argue that his rhetoric taps into the rightward trend and attempts to silence unorthodox, especially Western, views."[web 4][note 2]

The essay, together with a series of related essays and interviews, has been republished in Academic Hinduphobia, in the wake of the withdrawal of Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History from the Indian market, due to a lawsuit "alleging that it was biased and insulting to Hindus."[web 12] The withdrawal led to extensive media attention, and renewed sales in India. According to Malhotra "the drama has diverted attention away from the substantive errors in her scholarship to be really about being an issue of censorship by radical Hindus," hence the republication of his critique of Wendy Doniger[web 12] and scholars related to her.[note 3]

American academia[edit]

In his 2003 blog Does South Asian Studies Undermine India? at Rediff India Abroad: India as it happens, Malhotra criticises what he views as uncritical funding of South Asian Studies by Indian-American donors.[web 3] According to Malhotra:

Many eminent Indian-American donors are being led down the garden path by Indian professors who, ironically, assemble a team of scholars to undermine Indian culture. Rather than an Indian perspective on itself and the world, these scholars promote a perspective on India using worldviews which are hostile to India's interests.[web 3]

Malhotra voices four criticisms of American academia:[2]

  1. "American academia is dominated by a Eurocentric perspective that views western culture as being the font of world civilisation and refuses to acknowledge the contributions of non-western societies such as India to European culture and technique".[2]
  2. The academic study of religion in the United States is based on the model of the "Abrahamic" traditions; this model is not applicable to Hinduism.[2]
  3. Western scholars focus on the "sensationalist, negative attributes of religion and present it in a demeaning way that shows a lack of respect for the sentiments of the practitioners of the religion".[2]
  4. South Asian Studies programmes in the United States create "a false identity and unity"[2] between India and its Muslim neighbour states, and undermine India "by focusing on its internal cleavages and problems".[2]

Malhotra argues that American scholarship has undermined India "by encouraging the paradigms that oppose its unity and integrity",[web 3] with scholars playing critical roles, often under the garb of 'human rights' in channelling foreign intellectual and material support to exacerbate India's internal cleavages.[web 3] According to Malhotra, Indian-American donors were "hoodwinked"[web 3] into thinking that they were supporting India through their monetary contributions to such programmes.[web 3] Malhotra compares the defence of Indian interests with corporate brand management, distrusting the loyalties of Indian scholars:[web 3]

Therefore, it is critical that we do not blindly assume that Indian scholars are always honest trustees of the Indian-American donors' sentiments. Many Indian scholars are weak in the pro-India leadership and assertiveness traits that come only from strongly identifying with an Indian Grand Narrative.

They regard the power of Grand Narrative (other than their own) as a cause of human rights problems internally, failing to see it as an asset in global competition externally. Hence, there is the huge difference between the ideology of many Indian professors and the ideology espoused by most successful Indian-American corporate leaders.[web 3]

According to Malhotra, a positive stance on India has been under-represented in American academia, due to programmes being staffed by Westerners, their "Indian-American Sepoys"[16] and Indian Americans wanting to be white — whom he disparages as "career opportunists" and "Uncle Toms" [web 13] who "in their desire to become even marginal members of the Western Grand Narrative sneer at Indian culture in the same manner as colonialists once did."[web 13] Malhotra has accused academia of abetting the "Talibanisation" of India, which would also lead to the radicalisation of other Asian countries.[17]

U-turn theory[edit]

According to Malhotra, the Western appropriation of Indic ideas and knowledge systems has a long history. According to Malhotra, in what he calls "the U-Turn Theory",[16] the appropriation occurs in several stages:[web 14][web 15]

  1. In the first stage, a Westerner approaches an Indian guru or tradition with extreme deference, and acquires the knowledge as a sincere disciple.
  2. Once the transfer of knowledge is complete, the former disciple, or/and his/her followers progressively erase all traces of the original source, repackage the ideas as their own thought, and may even proceed to denigrate the source tradition.
  3. In the final stage, the ideas are exported back to India by the former disciple and/or his followers for consumption. Malhotra cites numerous examples to support this theory, dating from the erasure of Upanishadic and Vijnanavada Buddhist influences on Plotinus to the modern day reimportation of Christian yoga into India.

Another example is William James and his The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), Aldous Huxley and his The Perennial Philosophy (1945), and the works of Ken Wilber, all of which he claims to have been influenced by Vivekananda.[18] Malhotra questions why his influence remains unacknowledged and uncredited in much Western thought.[18][note 4]

Academic Hinduphobia: A Critique of Wendy Doniger's Erotic School of Indology (early 2000s/2016)[edit]

Several of Malhotra's essays from the early 2000s were re-published by Voice of India in 2016 in Academic Hinduphobia: A Critique of Wendy Doniger's Erotic School of Indology.[24] According to Malhotra, the essays have been republished in the wake of the withdrawal of Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History from the Indian market, due to a lawsuit "alleging that it was biased and insulting to Hindus."[24] The withdrawal led to extensive media attention, and renewed sales in India. According to Malhotra "the drama has diverted attention away from the substantive errors in her scholarship to be really about being an issue of censorship by radical Hindus," hence the republication of his critique of Wendy Doniger[24] and scholars related to her.

Breaking India (2011)[edit]

Malhotra's book Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines[25] discusses three faultlines trying to destabilise India:

  1. Islamic radicalism linked with Pakistan.
  2. Maoists and Marxist radicals supported by China via intermediaries such as Nepal.
  3. Dravidian and Dalit identity separatism being fostered by the West in the name of human rights.[note 5]

This book goes into greater depth on the third: the role of US and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, government and human rights groups in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India.[web 17]

According to Malhotra:

In south India, a new identity called Dravidian Christianity is being constructed. It is an opportunistic combination of two myths: the "Dravidian race" myth and another that purports that early Christianity shaped the major Hindu classics.[web 18]

British linguists Francis Ellis and Alexander Campbell worked in India to theorize that the south Indian languages belong to a different family than the north Indian ones. Meanwhile, another colonial scholar, Brian Houghton Hodgson, was promoting the term "Tamilian" as a racial construct, describing the so-called aborigines of India as primitive and uncivilized compared to the "foreign Aryans".[web 18]

A scholar-evangelist from the Anglican Church, Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814–91), pioneered what now flourishes as the "Dravidian" identity. In his Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Race, he argued that the south Indian mind was structurally different from the Sanskrit mind. Linguistic speculations were turned into a race theory. He characterized the Dravidians as "ignorant and dense," accusing the Brahmins – the cunning Aryan agents – for keeping them in shackles through the imposition of Sanskrit and its religion.[web 18]

Being Different (2011)[edit]

Being Different is a critique of the western-centric view on India, characterised by the Abrahamic traditions. Malhotra intends to give an Indian view on India and the west, as characterised by the Indian Dharmic traditions. Malhotra argues that there are irreconcilable differences between Dharmic traditions and Abrahamic religions.[27] The term dharma:

... is used to indicate a family of spiritual traditions originating in India which today are manifested as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. I explain that the variety of perspectives and practices of dharma display an underlying integral unity at the metaphysical level.[28]

According to Malhotra, Abrahamic religions are history-centric in that their fundamental beliefs are sourced from history – that God revealed his message through a special prophet and that the message is secured in scriptures. This special access to God is available only to these intermediaries or prophets and not to any other human beings.[web 19] History-centric Abrahamic religions claim that we can resolve the human condition only by following the lineage of prophets arising from the Middle East. All other teachings and practices are required to get reconciled with this special and peculiar history. By contrast, the dharmic traditions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism—do not rely on history in the same absolutist and exclusive way.[web 20]

According to Malhotra, Dharmic traditions claim an endless stream of enlightened living spiritual masters, each said to have realised the ultimate truth while alive on this earth, and hence, able to teach this truth to others. Unlike in the case of Dharmic traditions, the great teachers of Abrahamic traditions are not living models of embodied enlightenment. Instead, Abrahamic teachers proclaim the truth based on historical texts. The consequences of these divergent systems are at the heart of Dharmic-Abrahamic distinctions.[web 21] Dharmic flexibility has made fundamental pluralism possible, which cannot occur within the constraints of historicentrism.[web 22]

According to Malhotra, both Western and Dharmic civilisations have cherished unity as an ideal, but with a different emphasis. Malhotra posits a distinction between a "synthetic unity" that gave rise to a static intellectual worldview in the west, positioning itself as universal,[29] and an "integral unity" that gave rise to a dynamic worldview based on the notion of Dharma.[29] While the former is characterised by a top-down essentialism embracing everything a priori, the latter is said to be a bottom-up approach acknowledging the dependent co-origination of alternative views of the human and the divine, the body and the mind, and the self and society.

Indra's Net (2014)[edit]

Indra's Net is an appeal against the thesis of neo-Hinduism and a defense of Vivekananda's view of Yoga and Vedanta. The book argues for a unity, coherence, and continuity of the Yogic and Vedantic traditions of Hinduism and Hindu philosophy. It makes proposals for defending Hinduism from what the author considers to be unjust attacks from scholars, misguided public intellectuals, and hostile religious polemicists.

The book's central metaphor is "Indra's Net". As a scriptural image "Indra's Net" was first mentioned in the Atharva Veda (c. 1000 BCE).[30][note 6]:910–911 In Buddhist philosophy, Indra's Net served as a metaphor in the Avatamsaka Sutra[31][32] and was further developed by Huayen Buddhism to portray the interconnectedness of everything in the universe.[31][32][33] Malhotra employs the metaphor of Indra's Net to express

the profound cosmology and outlook that permeates Hinduism. Indra's Net symbolizes the universe as a web of connections and interdependences.... The net is said to be infinite, and to spread in all directions with no beginning or end. At each node of the net is a jewel, so arranged that every jewel reflects all the other jewels.... a microcosm of the whole net.... [and] individual jewels always remain in flux.[34]

The book uses Indra's Net as a metaphor for the understanding of the universe as a web of connections and interdependences, an understanding which Malhotra wants to revive as the foundation for Vedic cosmology,[35] a perspective that he asserts has "always been implicit"[36] in the outlook of the ordinary Hindu.

A revised edition was published in 2016, after charges of plagiarism. The revised edition omits most references to the work of Andrew J. Nicholson but rather refers original Sanskrit sources instead which according to Malhotra, Nicholson failed to attribute his ideas to and explains that the unity of Hinduism is inherent in the tradition from the times of its Vedic origins.[37]

The Battle for Sanskrit (2016)[edit]

The Battle for Sanskrit is a critique of the American indologist Sheldon Pollock. Malhotra pleads for traditional Indian scholars to write responses to Pollock's views, who takes a critical stance toward the role of Sanskrit in traditional views on Indian society. Malhotra is critical of Pollock's approach, and argues that western Indology scholars are deliberately intervening in Indian societies by offering analyses of Sanskrit texts which would be rejected by "the traditional Indian experts."[38] He also finds western scholars too prescriptive, that is, being "political activists" that want to prescribe a specific way of life.[38]

The inducement for this book was the prospect of Sringeri Peetham, the monastery founded by Adi Shankara in south India, collaborating with Columbia University to set up an "Adi Shankara Chair" for Hindu religion and philosophy, sponsored by an Indian donor. The instalment committee for the Chair was to be headed by Sheldon Pollock, whom Malhotra regards as an erudite scholar but also as one who undermines the traditional understanding. Malhotra contacted the lead donor to voice his concerns, which were not shared by the donor.[38] Nevertheless, Malhotra fears "the issue of potential conflict when the occupant of the chair takes positions that undermine the very tradition that has backed and funded the chair."[38] According to Malhotra,

... the Vedic traditions are under assault from a school of thought whose fundamental assumptions are dismissive of the sacred dimension. If, out of naivety, we hand over the keys to our institutions and allow outsiders to represent our legacy, then any chance of genuine dialogue will be lost. Furthermore, because of the enormous prestige and power of Western universities, a view of the Sanskrit will become accepted by the public.[38]

The `network of trust' created by the book is said to have caused 132 academics from India to sign a petition asking for the removal of Sheldon Pollock from the editorship of the Murty Classical Library of India.[web 23]



Scholars have widely recognized that Malhotra has been influential in sparking widespread dissatisfaction with the Western world's scholarly study of Hinduism. John Hinnells, a British scholar of comparative religions, considers Malhotra to lead a faction of Hindu criticism of methodology for the examination of Hinduism.[39] Prema A. Kurien considers Malhotra to be at "the forefront of American Hindu effort to challenge the Eurocentricism in the academia."[40]

Other scholars welcome his attempt to challenge the western assumptions in the study of India and South Asia[41][note 7] but also question his approach, finding it to be neglecting the differences within the various Indian traditions.[43][44] In response, Malhotra points out that he does not state that all those traditions are essentially the same, that there is no effort to homogenise different Dharmic traditions, but that they share the assertion of integral unity.[45]


Martha Nussbaum criticises Malhotra for "disregard for the usual canons of argument and scholarship, a postmodern power play in the guise of defense of tradition.".[46] Brian K. Pennington has called his work "ahistorical" and "a pastiche of widely accepted and overly simplified conclusions borrowed from the academy." Pennington has further charged that Malhotra systematically misrepresents the relationship between Hinduism and Christianity, arguing that in Malhotra's hands, "Christian and Indic traditions are reduced to mere cartoons of themselves."[47] According to Jonathan Edelmann, one of the major problems with Malhotra's work is that he does not have a school of thought that he represents or is trained in. This fact undermines his claims to be engaged in purvapaksa debate. Purvapaksa debate requires location in a particular place of argument.[48]

In May 2015, St. Olaf College Hindu-American scholar Anantanand Rambachan, who studied three years with Swami Dayananda,[web 24] published an extensive response to Malhotra's criticisms in Indra's Net charging that Malhotra's "descriptions of my scholarship belong appropriately to the realm of fiction and are disconnected from reality."[web 24] According to Rambachan, Malhotra's understanding and representation of classical Advaita is incorrect, attributing doctrines to Shankara and Swami Dayananda which are rejected by them.[web 25][note 8] Malhotra's epistemological foundations have also been critically questioned by Anantanand Rambachan. He does not, according to Rambachan, situate his discussion in relation to classical epistemologies or clarify his differences with these.[49]

Allegations of plagiarism[edit]

In July 2015, Richard Fox Young of Princeton Theological Seminary[note 9][note 10][web 26][note 11] and Andrew J.Nicholson who authored Unifying Hinduism, alleged Malhotra had plagiarized Unifying Hinduism in Indra's Net.[web 28] Nicholson further said that Malhotra not only had plagiarised his book, but also " twists the words and arguments of respectable scholars to suit his own ends."[web 28][note 12] Permanent Black, publisher of Nicholson's Unifying Hinduism, stated that they would welcome HarperCollins' "willingness to rectify future editions" of Indra's Net.[web 28]

In response to Nicholson, Malhotra stated "I used your work with explicit references 30 times in Indra's Net, hence there was no ill-intention,"[web 30] and cited a list of these references.[web 31] He announced that he would be eliminating all references to Nicholson and further explained:[web 30][note 13]

I am going to actually remove many of the references to your work simply because you have borrowed from Indian sources and called them your own original ideas [...] Right now, it is western Indologists like you who get to define ‘critical editions’ of our texts and become the primary source and adhikari. This must end and I have been fighting this for 25 years [...] we ought to examine where you got your materials from, and to what extent you failed to acknowledge Indian sources, both written and oral, with the same weight with which you expect me to do so.[web 30]

According to Malhotra, he removed all references of Nicholson in chapter 8 of Indra's Net, replacing them with references to the original Indian sources.[web 32]




Rajiv Malhotra regularly speaks at Indian and international fora, universities and events. Many of his videos are available on YouTube and the Infinity Foundation website.

Other publications[edit]

Key online writings[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b On the Infinity Foundation:
    * Kurien: "The next Indic studies organisation established in the United States was the Educational Council of Indic Traditions (ECIT), which was founded in 2000 (along with an associated Indic traditions Internet discussion group) under the auspices of the Infinity Foundation, based in New Jersey. The Infinity Foundation was formed in 1995 by the wealthy Indian American entrepreneur Rajiv Malhotra, who, after a career in the software, computer, and telecom industries had taken an early retirement to pursue philanthropic and educational activities. As Indic studies gradually became the main focus of the Infinity Foundation, the ECIT was disbanded (the Indic traditions group was also closed down later, in the summer of 2003)."[4]
    * Taylor: "... Rajiv Malhotra, a self-described Indian-American entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader. Malhotra had graduated from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, in 1971, and came to the US to pursue degrees in physics and computer science.... (Ramaswamy, de Nicolas and Banerjee, 2007, p. 472, n.5). He left the business world in 1995 to establish the Infinity Foundation, a non-profit organisation that seeks to promote East-West dialogue and a proper understanding of the Indian civilizational experience in the world, particularly in the United States and India."[5]
  2. ^ See also Jeffrey J. Kipal, The Tantric Truth of the Matter. A Forthright Response to Rajiv Malhotra
  3. ^ The bundle contains the following essays:
    1. The Academic Cult of Eroticizing Hindus[subnote 1]
    2. The Asymmetric Dialog of Civilizations
    3. The Axis of Neocolonialism
    4. RISA Lila - 1: Wendy's Child Syndrome[subnote 2]
    5. RISA Lila - 2: Limp Scholarship and Demonology[subnote 3]
    6. Wendy Doniger on the Couch: A Tantric Psychoanalysis (2015)[subnote 4]
    7. The Insider/Outsider: Academic Game of Sarah Caldwell
    8. Response to Jeffrey Kripal's Sulekha Article
    9. The Bindi as a Drop of Menstrual Blood
    10. The Interpretation of Gods
    11. The Washington Post and Hinduphobia[subnote 5]
    12. Challenging The Washington Post
    13. Hinduism in American Classrooms
  4. ^ Malhotra downplays contemporary academic scholarship[web 16] which shows how western ideas such as Universalism, via Unitarian missionaries who collaborated with the Brahmo Samaj, themselves influenced Vivekananda.[19][20][21][22][23]
  5. ^ In the 20th century Dravidianist, Tamil nationalists, have developed an alternative narrative for the neo-Hindu narrative.[26] According to Bryant, both groups have used colonial Indology to construct opposing narratives which "suited their practical purposes".[26] Brahmins attacked Dravidianism, claiming Tamil to be an integral part of the Brahmin heritage.[26]
  6. ^ The Atharva Veda verse 8.8.6. says: "Vast indeed is the tactical net of great Indra, mighty of action and tempestuous of great speed. By that net, O Indra, pounce upon all the enemies so that none of the enemies may escape the arrest and punishment." And verse 8.8.8. says: "This great world is the power net of mighty Indra, greater than the great. By that Indra-net of boundless reach, I hold all those enemies with the dark cover of vision, mind and senses."Ram, Tulsi (2013). Atharva Veda: Authentic English Translation. Agniveer. pp. 910–911. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  7. ^ The issue of the one-sidedness of the western understanding of India has also been touched upon by westerners. See for example King (1999), Orientalism and the modern myth of "Hinduism",[42]
  8. ^ Rambachan: "Mr. Malhotra is, in reality, representing Swami Dayananda as teaching a version of what is known in the Advaita tradition as the doctrine of jñāna-karma-samuccaya, or the necessity of combining ritual action and knowledge for liberation. Śaṅkara decisively rejects this and so does Swami Dayananda Saraswati."[web 25] See also advaita-vedanta.org, [Advaita-l] jnana karma samuccaya.
  9. ^ Young is the Elmer K. and Ethel R. Timby Associate Professor of the History of Religions at Princeton Theological Seminary. He has authored and edited books on Christianity and Christian conversion in India and elsewhere in Asia. Young's books include "Asia in the making of Christianity: Conversion, Agency, and Indigeneity, 1600s to the Present" (2013, OCLC 855706908), "Constructing Indian Christianities: Culture, Conversion and Caste" (2014, OCLC 900648811), "Perspectives on Christianity in Korea and Japan: the Gospel and culture in East Asia" (1995, OCLC 33101519) and "Resistant Hinduism: Sanskrit sources on anti-Christian Apologetics in Early Nineteenth-Century India" (1981, OCLC 8693222).
  10. ^ Young studied Malhotra's work for an essay published in 2014. See: Young (2014), Studied Silences? Diasporic Nationalism, ‘Kshatriya Intellectuals’ and the Hindu American Critique of Dalit Christianity's Indianness. In: Constructing Indian Christianities: Culture, Conversion and Caste chapter 10
  11. ^ Young gave an explanation for his allegations in an open letter to his colleagues at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he is currently employed.[web 27] See a letter from Fox to his colleagues

    Malhotra comments on his references to Nicholson at Nicholson's Untruths, while "Independent Readers and Reviewers" respond at Rebuttal of false allegations against Hindu scholarship.
  12. ^ Nicholson refers to page 163 of Indra's Net, which copies p.14 of Unifying Hinduism:
    • Malhotra Indra's Net p.163: "Vivekananda's challenge was also to show that this complementarity model was superior to models that emphasized conflict and contradiction. He showed great philosophical and interpretive ingenuity, even to those who might not agree with all his conclusions. [19]"[web 29]
    • Nicholson Unifying Hinduism (2010) p.14: "Vijnanabhikshu's challenge is to show that the complementary model he espouses is superior to other models emphasizing conflict and contradiction. Even his distractors must admit that he often shows extraordianry philosophical and interpretive ingenuity, whether or not all his arguments to this end are ultimately persuasive."[50]
    Malhotra's note 19 refers to "Nicholson 2010, pp.65, 78," not to p.14.[web 29] None of these pages mentions Vivekananda.[51]
  13. ^ So far, Malhotra has given seven responses: Indrasnetbook.com also contains a response byThom Loree, copy-editor of Indra's Net:


  1. ^ See The Academic Cult of Eroticizing Hindus. Interview with Vishal Agarwal
  2. ^ See RISA Lila – 1: Wendy’s Child Syndrome
  3. ^ See RISA Lila – 2 – Limp Scholarship And Demonology
  4. ^ See ‘Oh, Doctor!’ Wendy Doniger On The Couch (A Tantric-Psychoanalysis). "Rajiv Malhotra interviews Stuart Sovatsky an American scholar and practitioner of Psychology and Hindu traditions on the Wendy Doniger syndrome."
  5. ^ See:
    * Washington Post, Wrath over a Hindu God
    * Malhotra's response, Washington Post and Hinduphobia



Printed sources[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Rajiv Malhotra". The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Bio on Being Different Book website". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rajiv Malhotra (2003), Does South Asian Studies Undermine India?
  4. ^ a b c d e f Amy M. Braverman (2004), The interpretation of gods. Do leading religious scholars err in their analysis of Hindu texts? The University of Chicago Magazine
  5. ^ "Infinity Foundation". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Infinity Foundation". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. 
  7. ^ http://religion.barnard.edu/hinduism-here/course-challenges
  8. ^ The Indian Express, Self-styled godman Nithyananda undergoes potency test in rape case
  9. ^ Malhotra, Rajiv. "Lessons from The Swami Nithyananda Saga (17 March 2010)". www.medhajournal.com. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  10. ^ Malhotra, Rajiv. "Swami Nithyananda - Persecution 2.0: My Views on Swami Nithyananda's Case - Rajiv Malhotra | Infinity Foundation". Rajiv Malhotra | Infinity Foundation. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  11. ^ Rajiv Malhotra (2002), RISA Lila – 1: Wendy's Child Syndrome
  12. ^ a b rajivmalhotra.com, Academic Hinduphobia
  13. ^ a b "America Must Re-discover India". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 2016-09-14. 
  14. ^ "Are Indians buying back their own ideas from the West?" lecture at IIT Mumbai, 1 April 2013
  15. ^ Lecture on U-Turn Theory: How the West Appropriates Indian Culture at Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi, 26 August 2006
  16. ^ Hitchhiker's Guide to Rajiv Malhotra's Discussion Forum
  17. ^ Rajiv Malhotra (2011), Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines"
  18. ^ a b c Rajiv Malhotra (2011), How Evangelists Invented "Dravidian Christianity"
  19. ^ "Problematizing God's Interventions in History". 
  20. ^ "Dharma and the new Pope". 
  21. ^ "http://creative.sulekha.com/problematizing-god-s-interventions-in-history_103442_blog".  External link in |title= (help);
  22. ^ "Dharma and the new Pope". 
  23. ^ Nikita Puri, Murty Classical Library: Project interrupted, Business Standard, 12 March 2016. See also the full input of Rajiv Malhotra to the journalist.
  24. ^ a b "Untangling the False Knots in Rajiv Malhotra's 'Indra's Net,' http://swarajyamag.com/culture/untangling-the-false-knots-in-rajiv-malhotras-indras-net/
  25. ^ a b Anantanand Rambachan, Untangling The False Knots In Rajiv Malhotra's Indra's Net (page 3)
  26. ^ FP Staff (7 July 2015). "Historian Richard Fox Young accuses writer Rajeev Malhotra of plagiarism". Firstpost. Network 18. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  27. ^ a letter from Fox to his colleagues
  28. ^ a b c Unifying Hinduism: Statements from the Author and from the Publisher
  29. ^ a b Tradition responds, pp.162-163, 328-329
  30. ^ a b c Rajiv Malhotra, Rajiv Malhotra has a rejoinder to Andrew Nicholson Archived 8 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  31. ^ Nicholson's Untruths
  32. ^ "Changes to Chapter 8 - Indra's Net". Indra's Net. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 

Further reading[edit]

Malhotra's criticisms

  • Ramaswamy, Krishnan; Nicolas, Antonio de; Banerjee, Aditi (2007), Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America, Rupa & Co 
  • Kurien, Prema A. (2007), A place at the multicultural table: the development of an American Hinduism, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 978-0-8135-4056-6 
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. (2009), The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-03059-6 

Background information

External links[edit]