Rajiv Malhotra

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Rajiv Malhotra
Rajiv Malhotra.jpg
Rajiv Malhotra
Born (1950-09-15) 15 September 1950 (age 67)
New Delhi, India
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Alma mater St. Stephens College
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)
Website
rajivmalhotra.com

Rajiv Malhotra (hindi: राजीव मल्होत्रा) (born 15 September 1950)[web 1] is an Indian-American author and Hindu activist who, after a career in the computer and telecom industries, took early retirement in 1995 to found The Infinity Foundation, which not only focuses on Indic studies,[web 2][note 1] but also funds projects, such as Columbia University's project to translate the entire Tibetan Buddhist Tengyur.[1] Malhotra has extensively written about the academic study of Indian history and society originating in Europe and USA, especially the study of Hinduism (Sanathana Dharma) 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]

Biography[edit]

Malhotra studied physics at St. Stephen's College in 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. The U.S. Indologist Yvette Rosser 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]

Swadeshi Indology Conferences[edit]

Swadeshi Indology Conference Series comprise 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[8].

Swadeshi Indology Conference -1 was held in Chennai in July 2016. Swadeshi Indology Conference 2 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[9].

See Swadeshi Indology

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 analyzes and 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".

Dharmic traditions vs. Abrahamic religions[edit]

Malhotra argues that there are irreconcilable incompatibilities between Dharmic traditions and Abrahamic religions.[10] 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....[11]

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 7] 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 8]

According to Malhotra, Dharmic traditions claim an endless stream of enlightened living spiritual masters, each said to have realized 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 enormous, and are at the heart of Dharmic-Abrahamic distinctions.[web 9] Dharmic flexibility has made fundamental pluralism possible which cannot occur within the constraints of history centrism.[web 10]

According to Malhotra, both Western and Dharmic civilizations have cherished unity as an ideal, but with a different emphasis. Malhotra posits a crucial distinction between

  • A "synthetic unity" that gave rise to a static intellectualistic worldview in the west, positioning itself as Universal,[12] and
  • An "integral unity" that gave rise to a dynamically oriented worldview based on the notion of Dharma.[12]

While the former is characterized by a top-down essentialism embracing everything a priori, the latter is 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.

Criticism of American academia[edit]

Wendy's Child Syndrome[edit]

In 2002, Malhotra published a blog, RISA Lila - 1: Wendy's Child Syndrome[web 11][13], in which he criticised the use of Freaudian psycho-analysis to analyse Indian culture.[web 4][14] It was the starting point[15] of what Martha Nussbaum has called a "war"[16] by "the Hindu right"[17] against American scholars.[15] 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]

In this blog, Malhotra concluded

"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]

In early 2000s Malhotra started writing articles criticising Wendy Doniger and related scholars, claiming that she applied Freudian psycho-analysis on aspects of Indian culture.[web 4] His 2002 blog titled Wendy's Child Syndrome,[web 11] was considered as the starting point[15] 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"[16] by "the Hindu right"[17] against American scholars.[15]

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 lead 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]

Along with other critics, 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 neigbour states, and undermine India "by focusing on its internal cleavages and problems".[2]

In his 2003-blog Does South Asian Studies Undermine India? at Rediff India Abroad. India as it happens Malhotra criticises the 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 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 channeling 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 defense 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"[18] 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.[19]

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",[18] 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 complete, the former disciple, or/and his/her followers progressively erase all traces of the original source, repackages 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.[20] Malhotra questions why his influence remains unacknowledged and uncredited in much Western thought.[20][note 4]

Another example is the influence of Vivekananda's influence on western thought, for example William James and his The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902).[20] According to Malhotra, Vivekananda's ideas have continued to exist in the West in various manifestations, for example via Aldous Huxley and his The Perennial Philosophy (1945), and the works of Ken Wilber. Malhotra’s gives an overview of westerners who were influenced by Vivekananda’s ideas across the generations, examining how they shaped 20th-century Western thought, and questions why much of his influence remains unacknowledged and unaccredited.[20][note 5]

Breaking India (2011)[edit]

Malhotra's book Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines[33] 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 6]

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 "Tamulian" 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.[10] 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.[11]

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,[12] and an "integral unity" that gave rise to a dynamic worldview based on the notion of Dharma.[12] 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).[35][note 7]:910–911 In Buddhist philosophy, Indra's Net served as a metaphor in the Avatamsaka Sutra[36][37] and was further developed by Huayen Buddhism to portray the interconnectedness of everything in the universe.[36][37][38] 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.[39]

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,[40] a perspective that he asserts has "always been implicit"[41] 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 Malhtora 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.[42]

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."[43] He also finds western scholars too prescriptive, that is, being "political activists" that want to prescribe a specific way of life.[43]

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.[43] 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."[43] 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.[43]

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]

Nityanand Misra, investment banker and scholar of Sanskrit, has praised Malhotra's book The Battle for Sanskrit saying that it resonates with its target audience consisting of traditional Sanskrit scholars and English-speaking right-leaning Hindus.[44]

Academic Hinduphobia (2016)[edit]

Academic Hinduphobia is a 2016 collection of essays written and published in the early 2000s[45] by Rajiv Malhotra "critiquing Western Indology and discussing a wide range of challenges confronting Hinduism, India and the world,"[46] published by Voice of India. The book was inaugurated by Dr. Subramanian Swamy at an event at India International Centre at New Delhi on 10 July 2016.[47]

The book was reviewed at Pragyata.[48] The author wrote that "The book is a pleasant read because the described characters are variegated and the events on the ground are swiftly advancing all while the ideas are being developed", adding that "It is... persistence of the same anti-Hindu attitudes that makes this book more than a historical document: it teaches Hindus what to expect today if they challenge the Indological establishment."[48]

Koenraad Elst lauds Malhtora's at attempting to write a book on the prevalent anti-Hindu sentiments among indologists and academics in United States. Elst argues that American academia has deep nexus with American foreign policy interests and the Christian missionary apparatus which reinforce each other.[46] Elst summaries the undercurrent of the book and at the same time shows the hypocrisy of the critiqued American indologists by saying,
"Malhotra prepares the ground for his Breaking India thesis, where different forces unite with a common goal: to de-construct India’s majority culture and fragment the country. At the same time, he sketches the psychology of the Hindu-haters, explaining why they have such a good conscience in lambasting Hinduism and trying to destroy it. They like to see themselves as the oppressed underdogs, or in this case as champions of the oppressed, in spite of their privileged social position and their senior position vis-à-vis the born Hindus who come to earn PhDs under their guidance."[46]

Reception[edit]

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.[49] Prema A. Kurien considers Malhotra to be at "the forefront of American Hindu effort to challenge the Eurocentricism in the academia."[50]

Other scholars welcome his attempt to challenge the western assumptions in the study of India and South Asia[51][note 8] but also question his approach, finding it to be neglecting the differences within the various Indian traditions.[53][54] 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.[55]

Hinnells considers Malhotra to lead the traditional Hindu criticism of methodology for the examination of Hinduism.[56] Prema A. Kurien considers Malhotra to be at

...the forefront of American Hindu effort to challenge the Eurocentricism in the academia.[50]

Because of Malhotra's criticism and exposure of bias in Indology, he has also been the the subject of criticism. See also the external links section for some of these controversies.

Reception at wikipedia[edit]

Wikipedia claims that "scholars of Hinduism and South Asia see [the Infinity Foundation] largely as an organization committed to the "surveillance of the Academy", however this is taken out of context from the cited source, which does not make such a general claim.[web 24]

Wikipedia also reports on a very minor issue about Swami Nithyananda, and the source is a primary source (which normally are not allowed in wikipedia articles) (see [1]).

Publications[edit]

Books[edit]

Videos[edit]

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]

Involvement[edit]

Quotes[edit]

  • There is a new awakening in India that is challenging the ongoing westernization of the discourse about India and the intellectual machinery that produces it.
    • The Battle for Sanskrit, p.1
  • so this dharma needs a nation needs a body, so i feel that India needs a positive narrative, India needs an unified narrative because it is the keeper of the dharma and it is a very important relationship, so while my goal is in Dharma, the idea of protecting the interests of India is like a means to an end not an end in itself.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 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.[21][22][23][24][25]
  5. Vivekananda himself eas influenced by western ideas, such as Universalism, via Unitarian missionaries and the Brahmo Samaj.[21][22][24][25] Vivekananda adapted universalism, presenting his own interpretation of Advaita Vedanta as the essence of Hinduism.[21][25] One of the changes he made was the emphasis on anubhava, personal experience, instead of shruti, revealed knowledge, which was emphasised ny Shankara.[26] According to Malhotra, "Before Swamiji's visit, American interest in classical Indian thought was restricted to Universalists, Transcendentalists, Theosophists and other groups limited in their direct direct knowledge of the East."[20] By the time of Vivekananda's visit to America (1893), eastern religious ideas had already been popularised for almost a century. It were exactly these groups, and the New Thought movement, which prepared the ground for Vivekananda, and helped to promote his ideas.[27][21] The Theosophical Society was also instrumental in the revival of Buddhism at Sri Lanka[28][29], and even influenced D.T. Suzuki and his presentation of Zen Buddhism to the west.[30][31][32]
  6. In the 20th century Dravidianist, Tamil nationalists, have developed an alternative narrative for the neo-Hindu narrative.[34] According to Bryant, both groups have used colonial Indology to construct opposing narratives which "suited their practical purposes".[34] Brahmins attacked Dravidianism, claiming Tamil to be an integral part of the Brahmin heritage.[34]
  7. 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. 
  8. 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",[52]

Subnotes[edit]

  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

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Thurman 2004, p. xi.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Kurien 2007, pp. 194.
  3. Rosser 2007, p. 389.
  4. Kurien 2007, p. 155.
  5. Taylor 2011, pp. 153–154.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Campbell 2007, pp. 258–259
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mittal 2006, p. xiv
  8. http://rajivmalhotra.com/infinity-foundation/swadeshi-indology/
  9. http://swadeshiindology.com/si-1/call-for-papers/
  10. 10.0 10.1 Kurien 2007, p. 198.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Malhotra 2011.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Tilak12 2012.
  13. Kurien 2007, p. 202.
  14. Hinnells 2010, p. 53.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Nussbaum 2009, p. 246-247.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Nussbaum 2009, p. 247.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Nussbaum 2009, p. 246.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Kurien 2007, p. 196.
  19. Kurien 2007, pp. 206–207.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Malhotra 2013.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 King 2002.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Kipf 1979.
  23. Rambachan 1994.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Halbfass 1995.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Rinehart 2004.
  26. Rambachan 1994, p. 1.
  27. Versluys 1993.
  28. Gombrich 1996, p. 172-197.
  29. McMahan 2008.
  30. Algeo 2005.
  31. Algeo 2007.
  32. Tweed 2005.
  33. Malhotra & 2011-A.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Bryant & Patton 2013, p. 453.
  35. Malhotra 2014, p. 4–5,310.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Malhotra 2014, p. 13.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Jones 2003, p. 16.
  38. Odin 1982, p. 17.
  39. Malhotra 2014, p. 4–5.
  40. Malhotra 2014, p. 4.
  41. Malhotra 2014, p. 18.
  42. Revised chapter 8
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 Malhotra 2016.
  44. Misra 2016, p. 1
  45. rajivmalhotra.com, Academic Hinduphobia
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 "It’s Time To Counter Western And Islamic Mythmaking". Retrieved 2016-11-18.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ":0" defined multiple times with different content
  47. Launch of Rajiv Malhotra’s new book ‘ACADEMIC HINDUPHOBIA’
  48. 48.0 48.1 Elst, Koenraad. "Defence against “Hinduphobia”". www.pragyata.com. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  49. Hinnells 2010, p. 52.
  50. 50.0 50.1 Kurien 2007, p. 195
  51. Larson 2012, p. 311.
  52. King 1999.
  53. Yelle 2012.
  54. Larson 2012.
  55. Malhotra 2012.
  56. Hinnells 2010, p. 52

Sources[edit]

Printed sources[edit]

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Web-sources[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Rajiv Malhotra". The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  2. "Bio on Being Different Book website". 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Rajiv Malhotra (2003), Does South Asian Studies Undermine India?
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Amy M. Braverman (2004), The interpretation of gods. Do leading religious scholars err in their analysis of Hindu texts? The University of Chicago Magazine Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Chicago" defined multiple times with different content
  5. "Infinity Foundation". 
  6. "Infinity Foundation". 
  7. "Problematizing God's Interventions In History". 
  8. "Dharma and the new Pope". 
  9. "http://creative.sulekha.com/problematizing-god-s-interventions-in-history_103442_blog".  External link in |title= (help);
  10. "Dharma and the new Pope". 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rajiv Malhotra (2002), RISA Lila – 1: Wendy's Child Syndrome
  12. 12.0 12.1 rajivmalhotra.com, Academic Hinduphobia
  13. 13.0 13.1 "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. 18.0 18.1 18.2 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. http://religion.barnard.edu/hinduism-here/course-challenges


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 

Background information

External links[edit]

Main sites[edit]

Interviews[edit]

Selected Articles[edit]

Articles about Malhotra and about interactions and controversies with others[edit]

Selected Videos[edit]