Caste and Caste-discrimination in India


The word ‘Caste’ evokes immediate mental impression of the ‘discriminatory treatment’ of certain people based on their castes, a social practice that has been prevalent in India for thousands of years. It is particularly so with the Western people, who are not much aware of the ancient history of India wherein lie the original roots and rationale of this socially acceptable behavior. We are not concerned here with those who find in this discriminatory social behavior a suitable political opportunity to exploit the situation.  Discrimination on the basis of caste is prohibited by the Indian Constitution and many legal provisions have been made therein to undo the injustice that has been inflicted on certain people as a ‘class by Caste’ in the past. This subject is very relevant to modern India and it is always advantageous to learn more on this subject. Here we are giving a dialog on this subject between Sri Rajiv Malhotra, a well-known Indologist, and Prof. R. Vaidyanathan, a well-known academician.

Rajiv : I wanted to start by asking you about the Jati system. A very controversial topic, the moment you say Jati, people immediately jump on you and say oppression, ‘it’s very bad’, ‘Hindus are to be blamed’. Then Hindus get defensive and say no! But you have a very different view. You are saying that actually Jati structure is very good for the economy and it is not oppressive, it is actually protecting people. So can you elaborate on that?

Prof Vaidya: You brought up this interesting issue of the Jati system. I’ve always maintained two or three important things in this.

First thing is, when we talk about Jati, it doesn’t mean we talk about Caste discrimination. These two are totally different things. People immediately jump and then, second is I think you’ve been writing also, you know quite well that this whole idea of Caste is taken from Portuguese language, prior to this we were not having it. It was not hierarchical, it was made hierarchical with the British in order to suit their own idea of how Bharat should be viewed, because they have this in the Government service in Britain, the A, B, C, D classification, so which is one. If I recall correctly, in 1881, the first to Census, brought in this whole idea of Caste enumeration and hierarchically bringing it. If my numbers are right, some 1300 and odd castes were listed at that time. In 1881, first Census of Bharat, prior to this there was no regular census.

Rajiv: But Jati was different.

Prof Vaidya: But they…

Rajiv: …they turned into castes. So how is Jati economics?

Prof Vaidya: So that’s what they did and you know that is very interesting, In 1881 census, there were quite a number, nearly 100 plus were one-member castes. Only one member claimed under. And then they decided, based upon their own idea, how to make it hierarchical. Till then there was no idea of hierarchical because there is a huge churning that is always taking place. What we consider today as so called lower-groupings in the communities, they came in the higher-grouping in the communities and vice versa. If you for instance, talk to lower-grouping, they will never recognize themselves as lower-castes. They will say we were Kings.

Rajiv: But still I am trying to get what is the economic purpose of the Jati?

Prof Vaidya: Actually what has happened is, we have an uncanny ability to deride anything on which we can leverage. If you look at it, I use the word caste itself, significant amount of economic progress in various clusters, there are some 870-900 defined clusters of economic activity in the country. Not Bombay, Delhi type of thing, there is Tirupur, there is Sivkashi, there is Morbi, there is Punjab. So like that various places. All of these clusters have thriving economic activity,are boom centres and almost all of them are caste based structures.

Rajiv: Not the upper castes?

Prof Vaidya: No! Not at all.

Rajiv: Okay! That’s important.

Prof Vaidya: Including the schedule castes. I have seen in Agra and other places. It facilitates in several ways. One is, risk mitigation for instance.

Rajiv: Ok, so now we have started the real point. First benefit of caste is risk mitigation.

Prof Vaidya: If suppose somebody fails, other don’t look down upon him as a failure or anything. They go and help him.

Rajiv: Do they support each other?

Prof Vaidya: Yes. They support each other.

Rajiv: So it is an economic club.

Prof Vaidya: Yes. Credit is made available without much security or paperwork because they know that there is a caste pressure on him to repay. It’s more a question of honour, not rule. It is more relationship based. We are a relationship based society, not rule based society. Relationship based society has got ideas of concern about fear of God, more than fear of love. The urban people in Bharat, the middle class and merchant banking groups, they don’t have a fear of God.

Rajiv: So is it like a chamber of commerce?

Prof Vaidya: Sort of. You can call it.

Rajiv: There is a chamber of commerce of people who are in one industry or another industry.

Prof Vaidya: Yeah, I accept this chamber of commerce what we loosely call, ‘suited-booted-tied’ people. These people don’t have any of those type of things. They are mostly dhoti-clad, pan chewing and they do not even speak English.

Rajiv: But what is the secret to that they say we’ll be a club, we are all fisherman or we are all growing the same thing, we are not competing against each other, so what is the secret to cooperation not competition.

Prof Vaidya: Secret to cooperation is because their view of the world in terms of business is, the opportunities are so large. So there’s no need for cut throat competition. The other thing is also very interesting, that is an opportunity to take over the activities of another caste person from the same location in Tirupur. I was talking to him why he did not grab it? He said no sir, that is not normally done.

Rajiv: So they will not do hostile takeover? They will not try to wipe out the competitor.

Prof Vaidya: No. He says it’s not required.

Rajiv: It’s not within the honour?

Prof Vaidya: It’s not within the honour. It’s much larger opportunities and other thing is they don’t operate on ‘greed is good’. No! They don’t operate on that. They accumulate wealth and then they share it. Very important. Many of them have told me, the greatest of characters in Mahabharata is Karna. Not Arjuna, not Krishna. For the simple reason, he shared. So, that is what we should do. Our life is short. I think we have to understand this whole groups’ approach toward the business and activity is totally different.

So, risk mitigation, credit, market access – these are the benefits of Jati.  

This system also encourages youngsters. For instance, the Patels who started the Motels in the western coast of US. Practically, they have captured the entire motel business. They have encouraged large number of people of their own community.

Rajiv: Yeah. If you are a Patel, they’ll set you up. They’ll get you a motel. You are in business.

Prof: Correct. Or you go to this Antwerp, a small group of people, Jains actually, they are called Malankar Jains, they are a very small group but they have captured the diamond business in Antwerp. When I was visiting Brussels, some hotel had this Jain food counters. So I was puzzled. Why Jain food? Vegetarian food is okay but Jain food. Since the customer base is like that. To an extent, Wall Street Journal wrote an interesting article because the Jews had 70 percent of the diamond business in around 1970’s-1980’s. Today, these people (Jains) have 75 percent of the business. So, Wall Street Journal wrote a very interesting article, first time, the Jews have been defeated without violence. That’s the most important part of the story. Again they have operated as a very small cluster or a group. Very important is, Caste is a good cluster to leverage on it.

(Note: This article was originally published HERE)

Paneer Pakoda in MacDonald and Tilak in Church – A Matter of Strategy!


By: Rajiv Malhotra

I want to respond to a common confusion about the kind of difference we need to assert in order to protect ourselves. A difference that the other religion can adopt is not sustainable and can easily become a part of the other faith as well.

For example: Removing shoes to enter a temple, wearing tilak, eating with one’s hands without silverware, eating on a banana leaf, wearing saffron clothes, giving prasad, etc. – each of these has become common practice in Christian churches in south India. None of these differences causes any violation in the core tenets of Christianity. They see these practices as mere “culture” that can be accepted by them without any problem.

The church developed the doctrine and practice called “inculturation” precisely to encourage its followers to adopt local cultures, symbols, even festivals, etc. in order to “localize Christianity”.

This is no different than MacDonald’s adopting Paneer Burger for menus in India and Chow Mein for China. It is a very common globalization strategy to adapt products for local markets. The church gave this the name “inculturation” and experimented it for generations in Africa, Latin America before introducing systematically in India. Each adapted product is market tested, feedback given from field operations to headquarters, policies updated, new versions developed, etc. This process is ongoing very studiously.

This is why Western Indologists like to separate religion and culture, so they can reject the former and digest the latter.

What are the Hindu dharma items that the Christian host cannot digest because these items would violate core Christian tenets? These are the kinds of things explained in Being Different. If such a tenet were absorbed by the Christian side, they would need to distort it in order to make it fit their framework and assumptions. Here the Hindu side must forcefully resist letting such distortions take place – for which we need well-informed and assertive Hindus.

What would happen if Christians were to ingest such non-digestible items in their authentic form (i.e. without being able to distort them)? The result would be what I have called the poison pills.

Below is a post I received that I now want to respond to. I have removed references to a

specific guru because that leads to personal fights for/against, which is silly, because what we want to do is to discuss the principles and learn.

The discussion thread was about examples of digestion; a guru’s position on yoga came up in this context. A follower of his defended him by writing the following:

As a counter example, I can say I first learnt one of the main essences of “Being Different” from XYZ’s talks, long before Rajiv’s book “Being Different” was published. Like for example his talk on uniqueness of Hindu Temples, as he says here “Nowhere else in the world, such wisdom exists”, or his talk on how Indian Temples are totally different from places of worship of other religions like Churches or Mosques.’

Note that he is unconscious of the distinction between digestible and non-digestible differences. Merely praising Hinduism is useless if the issue is to explain what/why certain differences are non-negotiable for us and at the same unacceptable to the other side. The question is not how Hindu temples are superior/unique. But in what ways do they have features that are impossible for Christians to adopt and adapt? Clearly the person who wrote the above is not focusing on this, and it remains unclear whether his guru is sufficiently focusing on teaching non-digestible differences. Difference can be at many levels.

What I am requiring is impossible to do without reversing the gaze and first studying the other religion. How can you be sure that Hindu item X is non-digestible into a certain religion, and that it will act as a poison pill, if you have only a superficial idea of that religion?

This is the crux of the matter. Teachers who are mixed up about the other religion, perhaps partly because they want to be politically correct with them, simply lack the depth of knowledge about the other religion to be able to formulate Hindu dharma in non-digestible terms. They can go on praising Hinduism, but that does not address the issue of digestion.

Fighting Western Hinduphobia


By: Koenraad Elst

Rajiv Malhotra is the belated Hindu answer to decades of the systematic blackening of Hinduism in academe and the media. This is to be distinguished from the negative attitude to Hinduism among ignorant Westerners settling for the “caste, cows and curry” stereotype, and from the anti-Hindu bias among secularists in India. Against the latter phenomenon, Hindu polemicists have long been up in arms, eventhough they have also been put at a disadvantage by the monopoly of their enemies in the opinion-making sphere. But for challenging the American India-watching establishment, a combination of skills was necessary which Malhotra has only gradually developed and which few others can equal.

 

In the present book, Academic Hinduphobia (Voice of India, Delhi 2016, 426 pp.), he documents some of his past battles against Hinduphobia  in academe, i.e. the ideological enmity against Hinduism. We leave undecided for now whether that anti-Hindu attitude stems from fear towards an intrinsically better competitor (as many Hindus flatter themselves to think), from contempt for the substandard performance of those Hindus they have met in polemical forums, or from hatred against phenomena in their own past which they now think to recognize in Hinduism (“racism = untouchability”, “feudal inborn inequality = caste”).

 

In this war, American academe is linked with foreign policy interests and the Christian missionary apparatus, and they reinforce one another. Hindus have a formidable enemy in front of them, more wily and resourceful than they have ever experienced before. That is why a new knowledge of the specific laws of this particular battlefield is called for.

(Borrowed with permission from HERE)

In ‘War of cultures’ the unique place of Rajiv Malhotra


By: Vedic Desi

Curry smells, eating with hands, not using toilet paper, squat toilets, public defecation, pollution, caste system, accent, 33 million gods, driving in India, Paan spitting, vegetarianism, reincarnation, British gave you everything, and other clichés.

Astonishing! When people hear about India this is all they will get to know. As if somebody carefully trains them. Although there are many facts on India readily available thanks to the development in couple of years, the “Third World” image is carefully crafted and nutured.

There is another set of people who are totally in love with India. They love yoga, and they want this “SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE” from India. In between the spectrum there are the people, who are still formulating an image about what is India. These form the think tanks, universities who know the reality on ground and know how to spin it, wherever and whenever needed.

At some point, if you feel you need to correct these stereotypes and get a true picture, you need to understand who you are in the first place to present yourself and the facts. Sadly most Indians neither have the depth of knowledge nor interest to explain about themselves. History is distorted. Media is biased. Cultural festivals have ended up being all about Bollywood song and dance.

It is Rajiv Malhotra who brought it all together. Nobody has integrated the current geopolitics and its effects on India as done by Rajiv. He authored Breaking India, which is a seminal book that explains 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.The research tracked the money trails that start out claiming to be for education, human rights, empowerment training, leadership training, but end up in programs designed to produce angry youths who feel disjointed with their Indian identity. More importantly everyone should think about what it takes to put this together. When the problem is explained in such clarity, 50% of it is solved.

Rajiv Malhotra ji is unique because the integrated understanding his works provide is unparalleled. Dr. Subhash Kak’s work is creditable when it comes to Myths of Aryan Invasion and others for other specialties in Indology. But to understand the full spectrum of Indology, you have to come to Rajiv Malhotra.

On why the West works on specialization? 

Simple, America has a goal of global dominance. If the traditional scholars and their pawns understand the foreign policy of US, they would just be glad that someone like Rajiv exists and would put their force behind him to save our Sanskriti.

Not just study of religions regions and languages, do look up, US has an expert on almost everything imaginable on earth. Experts on Science, geopolitics, Religion, regions, languages, cultures, sports, Mathematics, Space, etc list goes on and on. Recently there was an alarm in the US on dwindling Russian experts and this was seen as responsible for hampering the policy decisions.

In US Universities, at the top-level the research direction is determined by National Science Foundation and the topics are split into small sections for research by different universities. This may be seen as a mundane practice by the uninitiated, but it is effective to obtain mastery. Do our traditional scholars know this?

It is the US which is the only country in the world that can print currency continually to fund its needs. As a supplement of the global dominance agenda, there is the goal of some to have Pan Christian world. If you want to dominate the world, you need to understand it thoroughly, only then you can control it. So where are the traditionalist doing the Purva Paksha to understand the US?

Rajiv in his new book – The Battle for Sanskrit has laid open all his years of work and encourages the traditionalists to know the battlefield and join in to save Sanskriti.

In such a complicated situation, if someone like Rajiv is offering a way to fight back, why are traditionalists attacking him? This whole outcry about not crediting previous Indologists is just comical. It is Rajiv Malhotra’s humble attempt and request that others have to take it forward. What more do the critics want? The attacks on Rajiv are unwarranted. All Dharmic minds need to help stop these illogical attacks by traditionalists and start contributing to save our Sanskriti.

In my personal view, an even bigger aim of Swadeshi Indology, as Rajiv Malhotra suggests we work on (not Indology, which is a western view) is to help in spiritual advancement.

In a world, where Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavatham are totally distorted, imagine what lies ahead for the future generations to tackle and develop faith and understanding of Dharma. Today it’s Sheldon Pollock, tomorrow someone else, but the battle has to be fought with a unified front. And the battlefield is best studied and explained by Rajiv Malhotra. Let’s stay on the path of Dharma, let’s unite to support and contribute to The Battle for Sanskrit.

This article is borrowed from this site:

http://www.jagritbharat.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1220

India can, and should, emerge as ‘knowledge producing’ international hub of education


By: Rajiv Malhotra

Indians were once upon a time (during the days of Nalanda, Taxashila and other world-class universities) the preeminent producers and exporters of knowledge, ideas and values to the rest of Asia. Now we are consumers of what the Western institutions teach us. We are stuck in a system of dependency so serious that our elites feel they must get certified by the West in order to be credible back home in India.

But I will explain that a window of opportunity has opened up and we cannot afford to miss this chance to take back our leadership role as knowledge producer and exporter. This window is due to the disruptions caused by the internet.

One of the latest trends in US universities is the growing role of foreigners, including Indians, in the affairs of these universities. First this role was only in the form of foreign students bringing in billions of dollars. Many US academic institutions are financially dependent on foreign students because they cannot meet their expenses through domestic student tuitions alone. An effect of this has been that a large number of Indian elites (both in USA and those returning to India) have been influenced by American values and principles, both good and bad. From the US side, this is not only a great source of tuition fees but also a way to spread its intellectual influence.

A more recent trend is for wealthy Indians to invest in US universities for personal brand building. (See an interesting article, titled, ‘Harvard is a hedge fund with a university attached.’) This is shortsighted and dangerous. Indians are giving grants and endowments to US universities without adequately evaluating the subject matter being produced by the scholars. It’s about wealthy Indians seeking a seat at the high table of prestige in American society. They see their family name on a building or attached to an academic chair as their next step in climbing the social ladder. Few donors get sufficiently involved in the details of the subject matter and the impact that is being created by their donation.

A major contrast between India and China in this regard is that China retains strict control over the disciplines pertaining to its civilization, values, domestic politics and culture. They readily buy (or use unscrupulous means to acquire) Western science, technology and business knowhow. But they do not want to brainwash their youth with Western prejudices in areas of the humanities that are considered sensitive to the interest of national unity and security. India has not been able to appreciate this strategic point even now.

Against this backdrop, I want to explain how some tectonic trends that are taking place in US higher education are rapidly making brick and mortar university campuses obsolete. I wish to advise those giving donations to US academic institutions to step back and rethink their strategies with future trends in mind. Most donations being given are wasteful because they fund obsolete models at a time when they should be funding the incubation of new models.

The single most important trend that is revolutionizing education is information technology, especially the internet. Teaching platforms like the Khan Academy are the wave of the future, not the physical classroom in a brick and mortar building. The old-fashioned teacher is being squeezed out along with the physical classroom. The total cost of higher education in the US is estimated to exceed $500 billion annually, using old delivery models. Many administrators in major universities are worried that their institutions are becoming like the dinosaurs. A disruption is long overdue and we should see this as an opportunity for creative entrepreneurship. This may be seen as a part of the wider trend in dis-intermediation (bypassing of the middleman) taking place in various industries.

The new cloud-based teaching methods are rapidly threatening the old school systems in many ways, such as the following:

Huge campuses are becoming obsolete. In the future, the buildings required will be mostly those with laboratories and high-tech infrastructure that cannot become virtual. The ordinary classroom will become almost extinct.

Old teaching materials are already obsolete. The teacher’s class notes that were once written on the board or handed out in class are now a waste of time because all that is readily available online. With video conferencing, considerable interaction is also available without physical meetings.

This trend will lower tuitions significantly because it is not necessary to hire full-time faculty.

 This also changes the demand side of university professors and impacts the future of academicians as a profession. Many subject matter experts who are not formally classified as professors will be teaching part-time and sharing their knowledge and practical experience. The old style professor with limited real world experience will be replaced by learned persons who will also bring their lived experience to teach.

All this means an end to the ivory tower academic snobbery of the past, in which there was great prestige associated with being a professor disconnected from mundane life. Now the floodgates are opening for teaching that is brought by knowledgeable individuals who are embedded within communities and who also speak as voices of the community.

Higher education will be a lifelong pursuit and not limited to a few years of college/university. Most workers will take online courses as a regular part of staying current with the trends in their field. Education will be seen as something you do all your life and for which you do not need necessarily to take several years off.

While the above list of changes pertains to the teaching side of higher education, there are equally revolutionary changes expected in the research side, especially in the humanities. Let us discuss religious studies in the US academy, as an example.

Twenty-five years ago, when I first started monitoring and intervening in the American academic research on Hinduism, the academic fortress was a formidable center of power. To make any impact, it was crucial to get inside the system one way or another. But today, an increasing amount of high quality scholarly works are being published by scholars and practitioners outside the walls of the academic fortress. Many guru movements have their own writings and publishing houses. The new works produced by Hindu movements are not only about standard topics like Bhagavad Gita, but also pertain to issues of society, politics, family, health, etc. Many other groups started by civic society now nurture non-academic research and publishing. These new suppliers are seen as threats to the turf traditionally controlled by the academicians. The academic empire is fighting back, but it is a losing battle. (I am an example of someone seen as a threat to the officially credentialed producers of knowledge about my culture.)

The number of readers who receive their knowledge about religion from sources outside the academy far exceeds the number who are sitting in class to learn from their professor. The American academicians refused to accept this trend during the past two decades when I tried to explain it to them. They were too arrogant to be open to this new reality. The pride of being the exclusive source of knowledge had been instilled in them during their PhD, and was seen as their ticket to success that could never be taken away. This attitude of the senior professors has misguided the new generation of academicians, and made the academic system insular and vulnerable.

Today, most people get their knowledge about religions (their own and those of others) through television, online sources, personal travels to sacred and holy sites, teachings from their gurus and swamis, and reading materials published by non-academic writers. If someone wants to invest in spreading particular ideas about our traditions, the investment is better spent on such platforms and not on feeding the old system which is rapidly becoming obsolete. Instead, they should rethink the dynamics of this intellectual kurukshetra of civilizational discourse. Only then can they develop a more viable strategy for interventions.

Indians have in the past bought used technologies and obsolete models in certain industries, at a time when the Western countries exporting these were migrating to new paradigms. I feel many of us are being fooled into investing in what will become obsolete models of higher education.

Instead of funding American higher education’s pre-internet era system, India should develop the next generation platforms. And India should not be content with a back-office role in this emerging industry, but should develop and own the brands seen by the end users (i.e. the students). Besides developing the platforms and delivery systems, Indians should also lead in content development and educational methodology, especially in areas where traditional Indian systems would give us a competitive advantage.

‘Breaking India’ project – Western strategy and Indian couter-strategy


By: Rajiv Malhotra

1. DRAVIDIAN IDENTITY CONSTRUCTED, EXPLOITED & POLITICIZED:

The fabrication of South Indian history is being carried out on an immense scale with the explicit goal of constructing a Dravidian identity that is distinct from that of the rest of India. From the 1830s onwards, this endeavor’s key milestones have claimed that south India: is linguistically separate from the rest of India; has an un-Indian culture, aesthetics and literature; has a history disconnected from India’s; is racially distinct; is religiously distinct; and, consequently, is a separate nation.

Tamil classical literature that predates the 19th century reveals no such identity conflicts especially with “alien” peoples of the north, nor does it reveal any sense of victimhood or any view of Westerners or Christians as “liberators.”

This identity engineering was begun by British colonial and missionary scholars, picked up by politically ambitious south Indians with British backing, and subsequently assumed a life of its own.

Even then it was largely a secular movement for political power (albeit with a substratum of racist rhetoric).

In recent decades, however, a vast network of groups based in the West has co-opted this movement and is attempting to transform Tamil identity into the Dravidian Christianity movement premised on a fabricated racial-religious history.

This rewriting of history has necessitated a range of archeological falsities and even epigraphic hoaxes, blatantly contradicting scientific evidence. Similar interventions by some of the same global forces have resulted in genocides and civil wars in Sri Lanka, Rwanda and other places.

If unchallenged these movements could produce horrific outcomes in South India.

2. LINKING OF DRAVIDIAN & DALIT IDENTITIES:

India has its own share of social injustices that need to be continually addressed and resolved.

Caste identities have been used to discriminate against others, but these identities were not always crystallized and ossified as they are today, nor were they against a specific religion per se.

Caste identity faultlines became invigorated and politicized through the British Censuses of India, and later intensified in independent India by vote bank politics.

A dangerous anti-national grand narrative emerged based on claims of a racial Dalit identity and victimhood.

But Dalit communities are not monolithic and have diverse local histories and social dynamics. There are several inconsistencies and errors in these caste classifications: not all Dalit communities are equivalent socially and economically, nor are they static or always subordinate to others.

While Dravidian and Dalit identities were constructed separately, there is a strategy at work to link them in order to denigrate and demonize Indian classical traditions (including spiritual texts and the identities based on these) as a common enemy.

This in turn, has been mapped on to an Afro-Dalit narrative which claims that Dalits are racially related to Africans and all other Indians are “whites.”

Thus, Indian civilization itself is demonized as anti-humanistic and oppressive.

This has become the playground of major foreign players, both from the evangelical right and from the academic left. It has opened huge career opportunities for an assortment of middlemen including NGOs, intellectuals and “champions of the oppressed.”

While the need for relief and structural change is immense, the shortsighted selfish politics is often empowering the movements’ leaders more than the people in whose name the power is being accumulated. The “solutions” could exacerbate the problems.

3. FOREIGN NEXUS EXPLOITS INDIA’S FAULTLINES:

An entity remains intact as long as the centripetal forces (those bringing its parts together) are stronger than its centrifugal forces (those pulling it apart). This study of a variety of organizations in USA and Europe demonstrates certain dangerous initiatives that could contribute to the breaking up of Indian civilization’s cohesiveness and unity using various pretexts and programs.

The institutions involved include certain Western government agencies, churches, think tanks, academics, and private foundations across the political spectrum.

Even the fierce fight between Christians and Leftists within the West, and the clash between Islam and Christianity in various places, have been set aside in order to attack India’s unity.

Numerous intellectual paradigms, such as postmodernist critiques of “nation,” originating from the West’s own cultural and historical experiences are universalized, imported and superimposed onto India.

These ill-fitting paradigms take center stage in Indian intellectual circles and many guilt-ridden Indian elites have joined this enterprise, seeing it as “progressive” and a respectable path for career opportunities.

The book (Breaking India) does not predict the outcomes but simply shows that such trends are accelerating and do take considerable national resources to counteract.

If ignored, these identity divisions can evolve into violent secessionism.

4. RELIGION’s ROLE IN THE COMPETITION FOR SOFT POWER:

Global competition among collective identities is intensifying, even as the “flat world” of meritocracy seems to enhance individual mobility based on personal competence.

But the opportunities and clout of individuals in a global world relies enormously on the cultural capital and standing of the groups from which they emerge and are anchored to.

As goes India and Indian culture (of which Hinduism is a major component), so will go the fate of Indians everywhere.

Hence, the role of soft power becomes even more important than ever before.

Religions and cultures are a key component of such soft power. Christian and Islamic civilizations are investing heavily in boosting their respective soft power, for both internal cohesiveness and external influence.

Moreover, undermining the soft power of rivals is clearly seen as a strategic weapon in the modern kurukshetra.

5. INTERROGATING THE TERM “MINORITY”:

The book raises the question: Who is a “minority” in the present global context? A community may be numerically small relative to the local population, but globally it may in fact be part of the majority that is powerful, assertive and well-funded.

Given that India is experiencing a growing influx of global funding, political lobbying, legal action and flow of ideologies, what criteria should we use to classify a group as a “minority”?

Should certain groups, now counted as minorities, be reclassified given their enormous worldwide clout, power and resources?

If the “minority” concerned has actually merged into an extra-territorial power through ideology (like Maoists) or theology (like many churches and madrassas), through infrastructure investment (like buying large amounts of land, buildings, setting up training centers, etc.), through digital integration and internal governance, then do they not become a powerful tool of intervention representing a larger global force rather than being simply a “minority” in India.

Certainly, one would not consider a local franchise of McDonalds in India to be a minor enterprise just because it may employ only a handful of employees with modest revenues locally. It is its global size, presence and clout that are counted and that determine the rules, restrictions and disclosure requirements to which it must adhere.

Similarly, nation-states’ presence in the form of consulates is also regulated.

But why are foreign religious MNCs exempted from similar requirements of transparency and supervision? (For example: Bishops are appointed by the Vatican, funded by it, and given management doctrine to implement by the Vatican, and yet are not regulated on par with diplomats in consulates representing foreign sovereign states.)

Indian security agencies do monitor Chinese influences and interventions into Buddhist monasteries in the northern mountain belt, because such interventions can compromise Indian sovereignty and soft power while boosting China’s clout.

Should the same supervision also apply to Christian groups operating under the direction and control of their western headquarters and Islamic organizations funded and/or ideologically influenced by their respective foreign headquarters?

Ultimately, the book raises the most pertinent challenge: What should India do to improve and deliver social justice in order to secure its minorities and wean them away from global nexuses that are often anti-Indian?

6. CONTROLLING THE DISCOURSE ON INDIA:

The book shows how the discourse on India at various levels is being increasingly controlled by the institutions in the West which in turn serve its geo-political ambitions.

So, why has India failed to create its own institutions that are the equivalent of the Ford Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, etc.?

Why are there no Indian university based International Relations programs with deep-rooted links to the External Affairs Ministry, RAW, and various cultural, historical and ideological think tanks?

Why are the most prestigious journals, university degrees and conferences on India Studies, in sharp contrast to the way China Studies worldwide is under the control of Chinese dominated discourse, based in the West and mostly under the control of western institutions?

 

(This article by Rajiv Malhotra is reproduced from: http://www.breakingindia.com/six-provocations/ )

Rajiv Malhotra: How do I see “issues” in my work and deal with them?


Be : Rajiv Malhotra

My academic critics concerning my methods and capabilities tend to be either (A) those whose works I target for my criticisms, or (B) weak Hindus who are complicit and aligned with ‘A’ at least in public.

I have already responded to the issue of whether I am qualified – in blogs such as Speaking Tree, etc. My capabilities are to be evaluated as per my goals, which I repeat are NOT the standard goals of a career academician.

In US politics it is fashionable to say “I am not a career politician mixed up in Washington, but an outsider to the political establishment.” Similarly, I might say: ”I am not a career academician mixed up in a corrupt Ivy League liberal arts system, but an outsider to that establishment.”

Then there is the charge that I am controversial and confrontational.

Yes I am. I want to be in order to bring the change that is badly needed.

Unfortunately, Sunthar and Makarand (both dear friends) got “domesticated” by the establishment, turning them into benign goody-goody types that can be mostly ignored and put aside. (In an unpublished book on this syndrome, I call such people “pets”.)

Neither has achieved anything close to his potential given the sharpness of intellect, hard work and genuine intentions each of them has. As counter examples, Koenraad Elst and Shrinivas Tilak (both very academically qualified) have produced a lot of provocative and confrontational works without bothering to appease anyone.

Whether I agree with them on every issue is unimportant, but I like their audacity.

Given my goals, it is vital to be non-ignorable. I know that this subversive strategy brings attacks against me. An intellectual kshatriya must face this to do his job.

This is why I decided long ago not to focus on institution building because that requires a certain amount of “conformity” and being “nice to people”. I did my institution building in business and did not enjoy that even though I made lots of money.

I would rather be the chief scientist (building provocative ideas) than the chief executive (building institutions).

My heart is in (A) the pursuit of adhyatmika experience (as inner scientist), (B) the intellectual analysis and modelling of very complex issues (asouter scientist), and (C) disruption of the public discourse based on my findings (as intellectual kshatriya).

Being consistent with my sva-bhava (innate nature) is what led me to this sva-dharma (purpose/calling). I did not copycat others’ goals, nor do I impose mine upon them.

Seeing through my drishti/lens as indicated above, I find such critics to be mediocre people who have wasted their lives producing little that matters. They are busy adding to their resumes and official credentials, operating below the radar so they dont threaten the establishment that has domesticated them.

I hope I will never take this kind of easy path to be in the good books of others. I would rather be dead than in such a state of coma.

Rajiv Malhotra: Further related matter

The fundamental error these academicians have in understanding/dealing with me is their assumption that they are my target readership, that I seek to influence them, etc. That was true when I started 20-25 years back.

But as I have explained many times, I gave up on the whole idea of changing the academic fortress from within – Gandhi concluded the same about British empire after first wanting to work within its framework and get Indians a fairer deal. He then started his Quit India movement to bring them down.

For the past 10-15 years, my constituency has been the mainstream Indians, wanting to wake them up, get them stirred into action.

My barometer of impact is not how some academicians feel about me. But rather how my fellow-Indians feel.

I find a dramatic awakening and uprising among them. This is evidenced through all sorts of feedback mechanisms. I look at the trends for my books, talks, blogs, Youtubes.

Believe me, I do not bother looking at what some professor sitting in a class with no more than 20 students is saying. Those are dinosaurs. Today the academicians feel left out.

This is called dis-intermediation, squeezing out the middleman or intermediary. Its the trend of our times and the new technology has enabled this.

I feel academicians (of the type 25 years back) are obsolete in religious studies. People learn more out of the classroom and they use mainly sources not produced by these academicians.

The academic presses are going broke in most places. Most brick and mortar universities are increasingly dependent on foreign students to stay afloat because students use new ways of learning – except in disciplines like medicine, etc.

So my trajectory is in tune with the trends. It is the academicians who are now wanting to “deal” with me since they cannot ignore me any longer.

I said “to hell with you” and have built my own constituency abandoning the academicians. I am so glad I did. I have paved the way for new scholars from within our tradition to follow along these lines, and not be so dependent on the good cops of academics.

Next I want to empower the traditional scholar-practitioner in India. I have been building key bridges for this.


A daring lone Rajiv Malhotra in the service of Indology and those who helped and ditched him


By : Sunthar Visuvalingam

While agreeing with you entirely on the fears, motivations and the modus operandi of the ‘Indologists’ I would nuance the take on Malhotra being confrontational.

It’s not as if there is a level-playing field with all sides receiving a fair hearing.

The ultimately monolithic (despite the apparent great diversity on the surface…) discourse, highly detrimental to Hinduism and India as a whole, is powerfully controlled, such that dissenting voice (even from within the academy and playing by the stated rules) is quickly nipped in the bud through a combination of carrots and sticks (the same way the U.S. buys over and bullies elites in the Third World and now Europe itself…).

As an outsider with independent means trying to break into this heavily fortified citadel, Rajiv has realized this very early and has hence become increasingly antagonistic, even toward potential allies perceived as being too weak-kneed or compromising.

It’s not as if Infinity Foundation has not tried the opposite approach, e.g., 2002 Indic Colloquium co-organized with powerful insider Bob Thurman. However, most of the (largely opportunistic…) scholar-participants who took his money and enjoyed the hospitality went on to undermine the common aim (even continuing to bad-mouth him in private…) or have remained silent (while fuming in private against the distortions and prejudices of their Indologist peers…).

Unfortunately, Rajiv has concluded he has to take on the whole burden on his own shoulders, an impossible task even for a consummate veteran scholar.

Many of the issues we are now witnessing (alleged plagiarism, misinformed accusations, descending into ad hominem attacks, serious errors of interpretation and judgement, etc.) are the to-be-expected results of growing frustration (including with his own ‘Hindu’ base…) and overreach.

By: Rajiv Malhotra

Thanks to Sunthar for setting the record straight.

Back in the 1990s Infinity Foundation was the only game in town funding these scholars, working closely with them to improve the fair portrayal of Indic civilization.

I gave 400 grants totaling a few million dollars of my hard earned money. As a % of what I had saved this was a huge chunk.

They gladly took the money and called me a hero – I have testimonies from many prestigious institutions to that effect.

I could have just sat back and enjoyed being put on a pedestal, a status many Indians are craving now.

But I had a no-nonsense approach to my cause with zero concern for what this might do to me personally.

One day maybe I will get help to publish the entire archive of that era. Many of these persons will be embarrassed at the way they flipped sides!

But no regrets and I have enriched myself immensely in ways that really matter.

A dishonest “The Hindu” refuses to publish Rajiv Malhotra’s response to an article published against him


By : Rajiv Malhotra

Some weeks back, I had a phone chat with Ravi (brother of N. Ram who owns The Hindu) over the defamation against me in their newspaper recently. He sounded very open minded and even sympathetic to the points I raised about bias and defamation.

He told me that he was no longer the editor and had turned that over to his cousin Malini Parthasarathy who is the new head. Had he been editor he would have printed my response.

He asked me to email him the same points I had raised with him, so he could pass his recommendation to her. I promptly did that.

But there was no response. So I followed up – actually 4 times. He would pass on my emails to her asking her to respond to me.

Then he suggested that I write to her directly and i did. Still no response or even acknowledgment from her.

Ravi did mention something about there being a “past” encounter I had with their op-ed people, as if that ought to colour their newspaper’s treatment of issues. They are supposed to be objective and honest on each issue and not biased against some person they might have had an issue with in the past.

Today there is a response from the man in charge of filtering reader responses. Pls read it. He gives typical bureaucratic “cover his ass” defensiveness on why he does not have to print my response. Its his right to “exercise editorial prerogative”, he says.

But what about all their talk of journalistic ethics? Free speech? Claims of level playing field? High standards of fair coverage? His article below proves what I have been saying: there is a media mafiamisinforming Indians on a very large scale.

They are above criticism as they control what gets said, and those who disagree have no recourse.

This is worse than politicians who are corrupt because the media can go after them (at least on a selective basis), but who will go after the corrupt media?

I was informed by someone that Malini Parthasarathy owns about one-third of The Hindu media company. Not that she earned it but inherited it. Yet these are the same folks attacking birth based privileges.

At least I can say I did not inherit a single ruppee. Whatever I achieved has been hard earned, with no “family contacts” or “networks” of privilege or pedigree to boast my way ahead…. All hard earned.

But on the other hand, what I have inherited is far greater than what Malini inherited. I inherited dharmic values, ethics, honesty – the things all her family money can never buy.

Further addition by: Gaurav Dogra

The Hindu Exercising its editorial prerogatives:

There was an article today in the Reader’s Editor column where they take a high moral ground describing their “science” of journalism based on : truth and accuracy; independence; fairness and impartiality; humanity; and accountability.

After serving these homilies they harp on exercising their editorial judgement & social responsibility to minimise harm.

This is their typical way of turning upside down the whole issue from free speech  as indispensable in democratic discourse to verbose hogwash of “affirmative action” of rejecting a “spurious” request to “reduce destruction and impairment of democratic institutions”

It says -“Shiv’s critique of Malhotra was particularly trenchant but so too was his criticism of Malhotra’s Western critics and the Indian liberal left”

This is a big fat lie. Even a cursory reading is enough to reflect the tone and tenor as well as underlying agenda that the Vishwanathan purports to further.

Read on the most interesting argument -“The newspaper’s right to exercise its own judgment on the need to give space to a self-proclaimed impugned party, must be protected especially in a climate where frenzy is building up on social media virtually dictating an agenda of political and cultural priorities to the media, demanding compliance. We must be careful not to feed into this frenzy or to legitimise it in any way”

That sums it all. Social media is actually discrediting their plans to manufacture public opinion through their garbage ideology.

Wide ranging questions: Answered by Rajiv Malhotra


Rajiv Malhotra – his life: Slander and Truth


By: Rajiv Malhotra

This article is published at this website:

http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/masters/science-of-spirituality/my-journey-businessman-to-philanthropist-to-scholar-to-victim-556443

Over a decade ago, Professor S.N. Balagangadhara was staying at my house to discuss my writings which had stirred up the religious studies academicians. He is the one who explained that the term ‘autodidact’, which means a self-taught person, was being used to describe me in a pejorative sense. My foes in the humanities said that to be a legitimate scholar one must go through ‘the formal system’, which in my case would be religious studies under their control. I am grateful to Balagangadhara as he made me conscious of the fundamental problem academicians have had with me ever since.

When my non-profit foundation was giving away large grants to these academic scholars, they loved that, and I have a massive archive of correspondences to prove this. But they did not like me having serious ideas of my own on the subject matter, because, after all, they were the scholars and I was the ‘funding source’. They routinely told me how great I was, being the only Indian at that time donating for this field of study, and they wanted to put me on a pedestal at their gala events.

But my heart and temperament are different than such a passive role. I am too hands-on and too original in my thinking to be a mere listener. I work extremely hard and apply my analytical training and intellectual rigor combined with my experiential (adhyatmic) practices under gurus. Surely, I did not switch from a thriving business career to a non-profit role just to write donation cheques and receive accolades. As a result of many arguments, I discovered the prison of Western Universalism in which most Indians in this field are stuck. I could never become a prisoner of it, and I felt that I should free other prisoners by dismantling the prison system. My mind set is provocative and combative, and I decided to disrupt the established structures that are unfair and abusive. I realized that by funding them I was feeding a crocodile hoping to turn it into a friend.

Of course, I am self-taught, but I consider that to be my advantage. I bring fresh, original approaches that are not taught in their formal training. Had I accepted their persistent invitations to ‘become part of the academic system’, I would have ended up like one more mediocre professor of Indology wearing the burqa of the mind.

Even in the West there have been many important autodidacts, one of the most famous being Leonardo da Vinci. Thomas Edison was another example of a brilliant man educated entirely at home. The list of industrialists who taught themselves the skills for success includes many college dropouts like Bill Gates. (Gates taught himself computer programming from an early age.) Steve Jobs dropped out of college and went to India to study Buddhism. His enormous creativity emerged after this immersion into Indian meditation, and was not the result of reading some professors’ works. So much for the claim that formal education is the only way to learn. The West uses the term ‘polymath’ to praise their own thinkers who acquired multifaceted intellectual competence by self-learning.

In India, of course, being self-taught has never been a disqualifier, or else Sri Ramakrishna or Ramana Maharshi would not have become so important. Gandhi and other freedom fighters did not have a political science PhD. Nobody is bothered that Narendra Modi is self-taught as a leader with so many areas of competence. The dharma principle of integral unity applied to knowledge explains why Indians are naturally able to cross the artificial boundaries which the West has erected among various domains, and the ease with which Indians learn topics beyond their formal training.

The Western system of modern formal education began when the industrial revolution demanded large numbers of workers with specialized skills. These were repetitious tasks that could be performed by robots today. The modern education system was thus invented to supply industry with workers, and not for nurturing creative thinkers. This system was exported to India where the East India Company wanted to produce brown-skinned babus to do clerical paperwork and obey rules. The traditional Indian system had been far more creative as Dharampal has documented extensively, and this was systematically dismantled in order to make the youth go through ‘proper education’ and make them easier to dominate.

It is ironic that though the postmodernists attack modernity precisely for such standardized structures, they, too, have replaced the old structures with their own ‘canons’ of standard ‘theories’. In other words, thinking is required to be contained within the scaffolding of some specific normative theory that has been authorized by a consensus of the ‘academic peers’. Naturally, these elders feel threatened by someone like me who has no reason to obey them the way the scholars within ‘the system’ must do.

A few years after my discussions with Balagangadhara, I met an Indian at Princeton who had just finished her doctorate and was looking for work before she returned to India. So I asked her to evaluate a draft of a book I was writing (which still remains one of many unpublished works of mine). To my surprise, she lacked the ability to think critically for herself; she was unable to understand my draft. Finally, she told me one day that she could only understand my book if I start off by declaring which ‘theory’ I use. She said: ‘You use history, then you discuss philosophy, then you discuss religion, then you get into sociology, and in each of these you use many kinds of arguments rather than applying one theory consistently.’ I was shocked that she felt a book must necessarily be within some brand-named theoretical framework.

More recently, a young Indian writing her MA dissertation on terrorism in Afghanistan told me her professors did not want her to mix the disciplines of International Relations and Political Science. Each has its own ‘accepted theories’ and one cannot combine them. Her MA got delayed a whole year just to force her to ‘stick to the process’ and not think out of the box too much. Finally, she caved in and produced a thesis as per the ‘standards’ of writing, but felt it was not her true voice.

I have realized that there is a sort of ‘theory power’ by which minds get streamlined to follow certain ways of thinking. Adding a new theory to this tool kit of sanctioned theories takes a huge movement of shifting the prevailing consensus. This is not something Indians are allowed to do in the humanities; they are taught to master the Western theories and prove their competence by applying these to Indian society. This way, the Western theories become more ‘universalized’ because they are seen as being applicable to India as well. The Indians who dish out such scholarship get rewarded. This is why you cannot cite a single theory in sociology that was pioneered by an Indian and that is not an Indianized version of something imported. From Marxism to postcolonial studies to subaltern studies to feminism to human rights studies to critical theory – in all cases the Westerners (or Western-trained Indians) supply theories and Indian scholars are the data-wallahs/apprentices, whose job is to fill the blank slots in the templates by supplying Indian data that supports the theories. This is mental slavery and works because of the low calibre of many (not all) Indians who enter such disciplines. It is these mediocre ones that get planted in places of importance as loyal chowkidars (gatekeepers). They are the sepoys guarding the gates of the academic fortress.

Almost every article wanting to attack me in recent days has referred to me as a ‘businessman, and at times as a ‘wealthy businessman’. But how do they know this to be true? Have they done their homework as is required by the journalism profession? Those who know me at all are well aware of my story: Over 20 years ago, I had some life transforming personal experiences for which I credit my guru (who has left the body since), and this caused me to completely leave my business and pledge a lifetime of service by giving back to society and not engaging in any for-profit activity. I used the funds I had made from my business to (1) endow Infinity Foundation (see: http://www.InfinityFoundation.com), (2) help out several individuals who approached me for a variety of needs, including total strangers, and (3) set up my personal pension to be able to meet the needs of my family. My wife is a homemaker and my children were aged 11 and 7 at that time. This radical shift was under the guidance of my guru. I was advised to set aside funds to meet family obligations and then be free to proceed with my sva-dharma to serve society. The role model of vanaprastha in a modern sense inspired me, although I admit I do not live in poverty or in some isolated forest. The vyavharika (mundane) world is my kurukshetra, and the parmarthika (transcendental) realm is my inner journey. These are interconnected.

To start out, I personally volunteered for a local hospice organization helping individuals in their final days before dying; then became a certified social worker for New Jersey’s major AIDS organization (http://www.hyacinth.org/); helped set up an animal shelter; became a worker in the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen feeding the hungry (http://www.trentonsoupkitchen.org/); and got involved in numerous other causes of pure compassion. My foundation helped establish a shelter for battered women of South Asian origin, and it was also the first source of funding to bring CRY (Child Relief and You) to the USA – in fact the very first full-time employee CRY hired in the US to get them started was paid by our donation. Only after embodying karuna through numerous such projects did my guru feel I was ready to venture out into ‘intellectual’ areas, which is what I eventually focused on.

Hence, this branding as a ‘wealthy businessman’ is at least 20 years obsolete. It shows the low IQ of many Indian journalists and their newspaper editors who have published whatever rumours look sensational. They merely parrot each other, it seems.

Rather than being embarrassed of my background, I consider my knowledge in physics, computer science, management, consulting and entrepreneurship to be very useful in my present work. My onlyformal training was in physics and computer sciences. I never studied management (no MBA) or how to be an entrepreneur. Yet, I had rapidly advancing careers in each of these fields, entirely by my creative, hard-working nature and my ability to learn by myself.

When I wanted to become an expert on academic religious studies, I approached it two ways: I wanted to use the lens of my adhyatmic practices; and I wanted to examine it as a knowledge ‘industry’ the way industry analysts do. Nobody had ever done an industry analysis of this field. Hence, I built a database (the only one of its kind) on the producers of knowledge of Hinduism, thedistributors/retailers of this knowledge, the consumer segments, the industry bodies (like the very powerful American Academy of Religion), the church seminaries that study it for their own agendas,government agencies that feed ideologies and also use the output to make policies, the think tanks, and so forth.

I remember a meeting with Rajat Gupta in his office when he was head of McKinsey & Company. I argued that before he raises funds for Harvard’s South Asia Initiative, he better do an industry analysis. He raised his eyebrows, saying that these Harvard folks were ‘good people’ whom he trusted, etc. So I asked: would you advocate McKinsey clients to invest in a business venture without doing due diligence on the company as well analysing the whole industry, merely on the basis that the people seeking funding are ‘nice guys’? Aren’t you known for insisting that before investing in a venture the client must study the industry? Then I asked him: Can you estimate how many full-time scholars there are in the West who study India or its civilization? He drew a blank. I gave him my figure and told him that I am the only person who has routinely tracked this industry’s research output, conferences, journals, dissertations, etc. Without knowing who the main industry suppliers of knowledge are, who funds them, what output they produce and what it gets used for, how can you advise a client to invest in them?

I must say Rajat was candid that he had never thought of India studies as an industry; he had only a surface idea of what goes on, and he had never reviewed their output systematically. My colleague at Infinity Foundation, Krishnan Ramaswamy, was in the meeting, as we left feeling that Rajat understood our point about the irresponsibility of the typical Indians funding prestigious academic activities without the necessary due diligence.

It was after giving 400 grants to various scholars and institutions (including Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and various others) that I became my own scholar, starting to write based on my own research both textual and experiential. My corporate training gives me presentation skills that most academicians lack. While the world has moved on to multimedia and newer technologies for education, the Indologists proudly stick to methods of writing that were designed for linear, one-dimensional, non-interactive arcane communications. In other academic fields, like sciences, medicine and business, there is a proliferation of new interactive learning methods; but the writing standards of Indology are frozen in the age of the dinosaurs.

The tension I have with most Indologists is this: they are insiders to the academic field. By the same token, I am an insider to the industry analysis methodology, but even more importantly I am an insider to the tradition as a practicing Hindu. All these insider and outsider perspectives must be fairly represented in the discourse. Right now the playing field is tilted against us.

Naturally, the academicians are angry because I do not fit any of their stereotypes about Indians. I am extremely modern in my upbringing and life experiences, and yet I have great regard for my ancient heritage. I love and admire Americans in so many ways, yet I argue with them on their misunderstandings concerning Indian civilization. I have served the sort of causes mentioned above which the leftists champion, yet I did this as part of my dharma and not by ‘secularizing’ myself. Most of all, I understand the modern and post-modern Western discourse and can respond from my dharmic drishti. This makes it difficult for them to control me in their usual ways.

Furthermore, I do not want whatever they can offer me. And what I seek in this life they cannot give me. So they have no leverage over me and do not know how to locate me in their coordinates and be able to control me. They are frightened because I am out of their control.

They tried to declare me an outcaste in the world of scholars. But then I went directly to the public and achieved far greater success than most of them have. Imagine if many other Indians started asserting themselves the same way I have. Naturally, my success in bypassing them, especially in India, has generated jealousy and anger. If I were not so successful they would not be bothering to attack me so aggressively for the past 20 years, using one false allegation after another.

I am a contrarian in the sense of taking positions that oppose the views of the intellectual establishment on several matters. While this strategy is appreciated as the crucible of creativity in many fields where change is encouraged, in the study of Indian civilization this has earned me a controversial reputation. I bring a unique perspective to this field that complements (but done not replace) the training that insiders of the field have. To do the kind of work I do, one must have the following qualities:

  1. The uncompromising dharmic commitment to want to do this even if a heavy personal price is paid. This requires sadhana to be grounded and have resilience.
  2. The freedom from needing to generate monthly income.
  3. The freedom from greed to go on accumulating materially.
  4. The risk-taking ability and fearlessness.
  5. Originality, creativity and ability to think out of the box.
  6. The intellectual calibre to study intensely detailed works and decode the other side; then be able to write well-structured arguments.
  7. Autodidact with a genuine interest in the subject matters at hand.
  8. Extensive experience managing Westerners from a position of authority – I.e. not be weak or obsequious in facing aggressive Westerners.

The future of the brick-and-mortar university is bleak in the US, because an increasing proportion of students is going for distance learning; new paradigms are emerging in education in which a worker will be continually learning as part of his or her career. Education is increasingly interactive and there is more emphasis on self-education. All this creates economic challenges for American universities. Hence, they actively recruit students in places like China and India to meet their budget targets. Faculty salaries face downward pressure, and many new PhDs in religious studies and Indology are unemployed. In this climate, the quest for wealthy Indian businessmen to donate money is gaining momentum.

The type of ‘good Indian businessman’ they love is one who gives them money with little scholarly expectation and no independent due diligence. The ideal Indian businessman for them is one who lacks depth of knowledge in the field of Indology and judges by superficial appearances, ‘reputation’ of the scholar among his peers, body language, etc. In exchange, they can shower the businessman with praise, media coverage seen amongst important Westerners, positions on prestigious boards, admission for their children into Ivy Leagues, and high level ‘networking opportunities’ for business. In other words, the donor gets a boost in his personal brand and the Westerners get his money as well as the credibility seen as ‘good cops’ helping Indian culture.

It is clear that we have already started an irreversible trend to generate a large number of such thinker very soon. Because my core ideas are rapidly being used as a new intellectual framework, vocabulary and tool kit for our home team, there will be hundreds of others producing similar works. Therefore, undermining me personally will be worthless, and in fact, it will be counterproductive because it will further consolidate our support. One day, we will be in a position to give solid competition to the Ford Foundations of the world.

Why I won’t follow rules set by the West – Rajiv Malhotra


By Rajiv Malhotra

Some 20 years back, I announced publicly that I was starting a satyagraha to decolonise Indology and bring balance into it. I adopted the term ‘satyagraha‘ from Mohandas Gandhi along with many of his methods. Like him, I was dealing with an opponent who has overwhelming advantages of power. Like him, I have had the experience of living amidst Western culture and understanding it well. Like him, I have worked on their side, seeing the good intentions of many of their individuals whom I admire.

In fact, Gandhi had started out wanting to address grievances within the framework of the empire, but concluded that this was impossible, and then turned against the empire. The same is also true of my story, as I came to realise that decolonising could not be left to the very institutions which colonised us in the first place. Claiming one’s  swaraj cannot be outsourced.

My satyagraha, like Gandhi’s, has been a non-violent disobedience of the rules set by the opposing side which we are being required to follow. I adopted Gandhi’s method of being audacious in order to become ‘non-ignorable’ and disrupt the status quo. This means I must pay the price just as he did. But if I stay true (‘satya’) to my cause, eventually the public will rally behind me. Each time the British beat him up, Gandhi’s supporters made sure the public came to know, and the public spoke back in greater numbers. In my case, the public response has taken 20 years, but it has finally begun.

Westerners have made the rules of the game by which Indology is supposed to function. It is not seen through the traditional siddhantas (theories) of our great thinkers, but through various Western theories alien to our traditional experts. We are relegated to being importers and consumers of knowledge about our civilisation, whereas at the time of Nalanda (and scores of other viharas), we were the world-class producers and exporters of knowledge. Sadly, too many Indian intellectuals are largely parroting Western sources, often in awe and gratitude for studying us. They are simply programmed to obey ideas downloaded into them, unable to think much for themselves. Like Gandhi, I see this as a deep inferiority complex that we still carry. Modi’s idea of ‘Make in India’ must also be applied to Indology.

Toppling such a mighty fortress is not easy or free of pain and sacrifice. I started my yajna 20-plus years back on a full-time basis, by putting a large portion of my life-savings into a new foundation set up to fund such projects. I left all for-profit activities forever and have lived on the pension I funded with my resources. For the first decade of thissatyagraha, I heavily funded Western academicians because of their promise to help achieve my goals. However, after considerable effort I realised that often they spoke with forked tongues, or they were well-meaning individuals who were trapped in a system they could not change from within. The same was also true of Gandhi’s experience, as many Westerners were genuinely wanted to help, but were unable to do because of the system.

My experiment to fund a radical change of their system from within has taught me many lessons, because I penetrated deeply into the internal politics of academics, understood the sources and nexuses of biases, and their well-planned strategies. Churchill had famously told Harvard students after the Second World War that the empire of the future will be ‘the empire of the mind’. He passed the baton for Western domination to the USA.

I wanted to learn from various examples of civilisations that were reclaiming their intellectual discourse. Hence, I investigated how the study of non-Western civilisations operates, who funds what and why, where the centres of power lie, and what the main themes and purposes are. Then I researched how certain other cultures had successfully mobilised their own responses. I spent several days each at Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, Council on Islamic Education, China Institute, and Tibet House to name just a few.

Based on this, I changed my approach on how to engage Western academicians. I was most impressed by the example of China as a civilisation protecting its discourse. The international discourse on Chinese civilisation is tightly controlled by them using their institutions based in China. These organisations are invariably run by patriotic Chinese intellectuals. Many of the prestigious China Studies journals are written in Mandarin, not English. The standards, style, idiom and rules of writing scholarship are determined by China’s own traditions and are not a blind copies of Western academic standards. The editors of such journals as well as the committees and boards of major conferences on Chinese civilisation are dominated by Chinese intellectuals. This is the hallmark of a proud civilisation.

Despite all its assertiveness, China has won the USA’s respect and is regarded as the foremost ally in economic affairs. This relationship is largely on China’s terms, and it has persistently demanded a ‘hands off’ attitude with respect to its human rights and civilisational matters. The US is periodically reminded in harsh language to ‘mind its own business’ when it tries to pass judgment on China’s culture or domestic politics. Clearly, it is possible to deftly manage relations with the USA in a manner that keeps different domains separate, but this requires supreme self-confidence which China clearly demonstrates.

Unfortunately, the exact opposite is the case with studies of Indian civilisation. The field known as Indology, or South Asian Studies, is still controlled by Western Indologists and Indians trained by them and/or supervised by them. This allows the Western intellectual lens to disqualify most of the traditional Indian writings as unworthy of being considered ‘academic writing’. It gives Westerners a great opportunity to rewrite and reinterpret the Indian material according to Western norms, and thereby turn the Indian materials into what gets seen as academic scholarship. The scholar who publishes such repackaged Indian material is considered to have done ‘original’ work. Many Western PhDs consist mostly of such repackaging work using academic-grade English as a technology for control.

Once the West has certified this repackaged work as ‘academic scholarship’, then Indians must cite this as the reference point in all future work on that topic. Otherwise they run the risk of being accused of plagiarising and/or distorting the Western scholar. In other words, the ownership and adhikara for academic representation of the Indian tradition on a given topic is thus transferred to Western institutions. The implications of this are very serious: not only are outsiders claiming to become the adhikaris by using their own rules of the game, they are also denying our experts from having adhikara.

Many reasons are being cited for disqualifying Indian writings, such as the following:

Western criteria to be a scholar: The Indian writer is considered to lack the ‘academic credentials’ for being a bona fide scholar of his own tradition. This filter implies that none of the following would be considered legitimate scholars: from Patanjali to Adi Shankara, from Swami Vivekananda to Veer Sarvarkar, from Gandhi to Sri Aurobindo, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, none of our living gurus and acharyas today have Western academic credentials. My question is: Why should they have to be certified when our tradition upholds adhikara on very different criteria? We recognise many different kinds of adhikaris. Some are shastris who have expertise in texts. Some are pandits who are expert in yajnas. Some are great yogis with adhyatmic experience based on which they teach others to attain the same experience. None of these are required (or ought to be required) to be certified according to Western methods. Putting them through a process of ‘Westernisation’ of their adhikara would be a big tragedy as the very process is designed to destroy the shraddha of the person.

Mandated use of Western theories and lenses: The methodologies allowable are those sanctioned by the West. For example, the anubhava of an enlightened yogi or jnani is not considered legitimate access to knowledge, whereas an analysis using Marxism is valid. They have chopped up our knowledge into separate disciplines, each in an independent compartment, whereas our tradition sees them as holistic and organically unified. This means a scholar must get extensively trained in the latest systems of thought that the West has approved. Those few Indians who have gone through this training have invariably turned into brown-skinned Westerners, i.e., Indians wearing Western lenses and alienated from their own culture.

The style of writing, idiom, rules of citation are governed by the West: There are Western academic norms of writing in English that are different from the way English is written for ordinary readers. This training requires one to submit to Western adhikara. Most Indian writers do not conform to these norms as they are alien to our way of thinking. Hence, most Indian writings are not considered ‘academic grade’. For instance, Westerners have mastered the game of copying ‘under the radar’ without being charged with violation, whereas an Indian can be accused on pedantic, technical grounds even if his good intentions are abundantly clear. Western scholars routinely copy Indian ideas but in such a way that their new wording gives the appearance that the ideas are original. They have the advantage in playing the game whose rules they made, just like the English team in the movie, Lagaan, had the advantage of making the rules of cricket and appointing the umpires.

To implement the dream of India becoming the ‘vishva guru‘, we must develop and use our own lens, frameworks, and appoint traditional and modern authorities on various domains of knowledge. There was a time when technology was imported into India as ‘knock down kits’, and simply assembled using what was pejoratively called ‘screwdriver technology’, meaning that Indians could merely put their name and distribute what the West gave us. Today, it’s the other way around in many fields where India is a world-class producer and exporter. Why can’t we do the same for the study of our civilisation?

I have never called for banning ideas or books. Nor do I ever say that all Western scholars are bad, or that only Indians can study Indology. That would be wrong as per our tradition of an open architecture of knowledge. As Gandhi said, we want the breeze to flow freely from all sides to inform us, but we should not be blown away by it. We must stand firm on our foundations and invite all voices to participate with mutual respect.

With this background of where I am coming from, one can better evaluate the latest controversy about my writings. It seems that both sides are winning as per their respective criteria. Western Indologists and their supporting Indians feel they win by smearing me and thereby diverting attention away from my critiques of their work. Gandhi faced this all the time as well. At the same time, my side is getting galvanised in larger numbers than ever before. So both sides are winning as per their own goals. This polarisation will eventually make my issues non-ignorable. The light will eventually shine on the merits of the points I raise, rather than on me personally.

Creative disruptions usually come from outside the prevailing system, and the incumbent side always fights to protect the status quo. In industry, we see this in technology disruptions and new media disruptions. In religion, Jesus Christ became a disruptive outsider both against the Jewish establishment and the Roman rulers. Centuries later, the Church faced dual disruptions from those choosing to undermine it from the outside: the Protestant revolution and the rise of empirical science. Gandhi refused to play by the rules of the British system. The dominant system tries to co-opt (or ‘domesticate’) the external threat by bringing it under its management.

It is naïve for people to ask that I must play by the rules of the system of Indology. However, I do not write by the rules of Western academicians; my target readers are mostly non-academicians who are interested to join my ‘home team’ for this satyagraha. Why would I conform to the very system I consider to be a control mechanism? It is unimportant whether my writings meet the standards set by institutional mechanisms I consider biased and in need of radical reform; their norms do not apply to me.

Of course, I believe in honesty and fair acknowledgment of sources and I work very hard to achieve this. I have already given ample evidence to show that I did not plagiarise, and in fact I over-referenced a mediocre work because I had not fully decolonised my mind. This is articulated along with my immediate plans for a second edition of Indra’s Net at arecent blog. I hope readers will look at that compelling evidence, and think for themselves rather than being influenced by a cacophony of parrots. I might have violated someone’s convention in trivial ways but nobody I showed this evidence had any doubt that I credited my sources (more than) enough.

I am simply offering my humble service to an important cause. I do not think I am the best qualified person to do this satyagraha, and certainly cannot do it all by myself. However, I embarked on this journey simply because others were not doing this kind of work with adequate intensity and single-pointed commitment. Therefore, when people attack me personally and point out my limitations, it does not discourage me. The whole idea is to draw in more people with better capabilities than I have.

The genie is out of the bottle and will not go back. I have developed and spread several compelling new ideas and ways of thinking; these have achieved sufficient currency to be unstoppable. As far as my unfinished work goes, I have made sure it will continue regardless of what might happen to me.

I call upon supporters to take up the substantive issues strictly on merit, without becoming dependent on any personality. The intellectual dharma yuddha has to become everyone’s yajna.

(Rajiv Malhotra has authored Being Different, Breaking India, and Indra’s Net, the last being the target of a concerted campaign alleging plagiarism).

What is Hinduism and what is Neo-Hinduism? Let the debate be taken to Main-Stream-Media!


 By: Rajiv Malhotra

The existence and wide infiltration of the neo-Hinduism thesis is the elephant in the room. Anyone representing Hinduism publicly should become familiar with this thesis and its consequences. Indra’s Net’s purpose is served when Hindus become well aware of what neo-Hinduism is, who started it and why, and what its serious implications are. Then a debate will get triggered in mainstream forums with many voices participating. This controversy is about the very nature of Hinduism, and it must come out of the academic closet.

Shri Rambachan’s defensiveness does not foster such opening of the discourse, because he takes criticism too personally. He must first deal with neo-Hinduism as a body of knowledge without making it autobiographical.

The neo-Hinduism thesis is not the work of any one individual scholar acting alone. It is a whole school of thought. The consequences of Shri Rambachan’s work are not to be seen in isolation. One has to study his work in the context of the doctrine of neo-Hinduism overall – how some scholars have fed building blocks to this doctrine. Therefore, the entire neo-Hinduism thesis and its set of key thinkers must be dealt with in totality.

Indra’s Net has separate chapters on each of the main scholars, and how their ideas flow into each other and reinforce each other. Among those who supplied the main building blocks of the neo-Hinduism doctrine, the two living persons are Shri Rambachan and his mentor, Ursula King. Therefore, it becomes important to shine some of the spotlight upon them. There is no personal attack intended.

The doctrine of neo-Hinduism is what is called such a ‘hegemonic discourse’ and it calls for a response. A hegemonic discourse is a body of ideas produced by an influential coterie of writers. The core ideas get restated over and over again, until they are seen as common knowledge. The group relies on a circle of mutually supportive reviews, and on one another’s institutional contacts and sources of patronage to gain leverage for their views. Under the guise of ‘peer reviews’, this process gives them the semblance of objectivity. As the process unfolds, there is less and less need to defend their positions, and anyone who tries to oppose faces a very heavy burden of proof. Their core thesis is increasingly taken for granted. This mode of thinking then gets implanted in other disciplines and into the mainstream. Even when fresh evidence or arguments come along to challenge it, it continues to live because it is embedded and has momentum.

Shri Rambachan cannot wash his hands off of the responsibility for the work of the academic cabal where he enjoys the status of a thought leader. He has supplied them some key intellectual building blocks for the neo-Hinduism doctrine, which has made it pervasive.

Why has Shri Rambachan not seen this elephant in the room, staring at him throughout his career? How could it be, that after so many decades of working on this specific topic, he has never come out and criticized any of his academic peers? He should have written a book similar to Indra’s Net in which he would directly address his peers’ views on this subject. But he has been silent on them. My intention is to provoke him to talk specifically about his academic cohorts on this topic. I hope he will clarify his position one way or the other. The result will be either distancing himself from his academic friends, or letting Hindus know that he considers Hinduism as an artificial construct that is filled with contradictions.

What is neo-Hinduism?

My book spends considerable space to describe what neo-Hinduism is, and the large number of scholars involved in developing and propagating its prejudices. Rather than restating my analysis in the limited space here, I shall give a sample of quotes by the major scholars involved. These will provide the reader a sense of what the doctrine of neo-Hinduism claims.

Following are some statements made by the scholars I criticize. After each quote I name the scholar. The exact references to each can be found in Indra’s Net. I want to set aside Shri Rambachan at first, so we depersonalize this debate. Later on I will address the issues pertaining specifically to him:

“We can even state it as a rule that up till now the essential impulse and influential elements of Neo-Hindu thought have always come from the West or from Christianity, in such a way that an idea coming from those sources appears so powerful in a particular situation that its adoption is inevitable; that these impulses and elements are then hastily attached to inherited ideas or identified with them at the price of logical incongruity and even a kind of dissimulation; and that on the other hand—in typical Neo-Hinduism, as opposed to surviving traditional Hinduism—ideas inherited from the Hindu tradition hardly ever become significant or effective as such. We can see this also in the realm of language. Literary Hindi nearly always uses Western concepts, and yet uses hardly any loanwords; instead, it uses Sanskrit words as shells in which the Western concepts are inserted. In the realm of political ethics, we should remember that the duty of non-violence, which Tilak, and Aurobindo in his political period, did not recognize, but which has now become a universally binding ideal, was first discovered by Gandhi in Leo Tolstoy’s writings before he attached it to the traditional Indian idea of ahimsa. The Neo-Hindu dogma of the equality of all religions, however much it can be supported by certain Hindu traditions, emerged originally at the beginning of the nineteenth century, probably from the ideology of the European Enlightenment. The Neo-Hindu concept of dharma was clearly prompted by the philosophy of Augustus Comte and John Stuart Mill, but was then expressed in completely Indian terms. In Haribhadra’s ethic of love, and in Vivekananda’s amalgamation of Western and Indian forms of ethical relativism, there is an attempt to fuse inherited Hindu ideas with concepts taken from Christianity or from Western philosophy, which provide the impulse for this attempt, and to fuse them in such a way that the result appears to be genuinely Hindu.” (Paul Hacker)

“Hinduism—the word, and perhaps the reality too—was born in the nineteenth century, a notoriously illegitimate child. The father was middle-class and British, and the mother, of course, was India. The circumstances of the conception are not altogether clear.” (Jack Hawley)

“Hinduism does not merely fail to be a religion; it is not even a meaningful unit of discourse. There is no way to abstract a meaningful unitary notion of Hinduism from the Indian phenomena.” (Frits Staal)

“There has never been any such thing as a single “Hinduism” or any single “Hindu community” for all of India … The very notion of the existence of any single religious community by this name has been falsely conceived.” (Robert Frykenberg)

“Modern Indian notions of religion derive from a mixture of Christian (and mainly Protestant) models, Orientalist and largely Western reconstructions of India’s religious past, and nineteenth-century indigenous reform movements most of which were defensive reactions against the onslaught of Westernization and Christian missionizing.” (Gerald Larson)

“Unlike the Semitic religions which began with a structure at a point in time and evolved largely in relation to and within that structure, Hinduism (and I use the word here in its contemporary meaning) has been largely a reaction to historical situations. The attempt to delineate a structure relates to each such situation. […] What has survived over the centuries is not a single, monolithic religion but a diversity of religious sects which we today have put together under a uniform name.” (Romila Thapar)

“‘Hinduism’ [can] be used (at least in the humanities) only to refer to Hindu culture and not to a single unified faith.” (Julius Lipner)

“The work of integrating a vast collection of myths, beliefs, rituals, and laws into a coherent religion, and of shaping an amorphous heritage into a rational faith known now as ‘Hinduism’ were endeavors initiated by Orientalists.” (David Kopf)

“To appeal to the Indian concept of dharma as unifying the diversity of Hindu religious traditions is moot, since dharma is not a principle that is amenable to a single, universal interpretation, being in fact appropriated in diverse ways by a variety of Indian traditions (all of which tended to define the concept in terms of their own group-dynamic and identity).

[…]

Before the unification begun under imperial rule and consolidated by the Independence of 1947, it makes no sense to talk of an Indian ‘nation’, nor of a religion called ‘Hinduism’ which might be taken to represent the belief system of the Hindu people.

[…]

In Vivekananda’s hands, Orientalist notions of India as ‘other worldly’ and ‘mystical’ were embraced and praised as India’s special gift to humankind. Thus the very discourse that succeeded in alienating, subordinating and controlling India was used by Vivekananda as a religious clarion call for the Indian people to unite under the banner of a universalistic and all-embracing Hinduism. […] The prize on offer is to be able to define the ‘soul’ or ‘essence’ of Hinduism.” (Richard King)

“Its [Samacar Chandrika newspaper’s] ‘construction of Hinduism’ was an undertaking far closer to the literal meaning of the phrase, a manipulative as well as an imaginative construction. The Candrika sought not just to craft a public image of Indian religion but also to promote openly Hindu unity and identity by patterning religious activity for Hindus while decentering potentially divisive issues of belief and Hindu sectarianism. It targeted the actual morphology of ritual, caste, and gender relations to foster a unified and normative Hindu practice. […] In the twentieth century, Hindu nationalists, it has been regularly observed, awoke to the political fruits that the concept of a nationally and historically cohesive tradition could yield. Nationalist groups have pieced together a ‘syndicated Hinduism’ in recent historical memory to suggest a monolithic, ancient religion and have thereby sought to manufacture a certain historical integrity and communal unity for all of India” (Brian Penington)

“Vivekananda’s work has also inspired Hindu nationalists with a somewhat different gloss on Hindu spirituality. One of the most important of them is Swami Chinmayananda, a religious leader who is the founder of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), an organisation that attempts to ‘reclaim’ India for the ‘Hindu majority’. The VHP is at the forefront of an anti-Muslim movement in Indian politics in the 1980s that assails the secularism of the Indian state and attempts to make India into a Hindu nation-state. … The construction of a unified Hindu identity is of utmost importance for Hindus who live outside India. They need a Hinduism that can be explained to outsiders as a respectable religion, that can be taught to their children in religious education, and that can form the basis for collective action … In an ironic twist of history, orientalism is now brought by Indians to Indians living in the West.” (Peter van der Veer)

“The doctrines and practices presented as ‘Hinduism’ by colonial-era Hindu intellectuals and their postcolonial heirs did not exist prior to the British colonization of South Asia. Instead, a vast array of Sanskrit texts, supplemented by variegated vernacular and oral traditions, were the norm.” (Reza Pirbhai)

“Unlike the Abrahamic religions which are wary of epistemological relativism out of the fear of relativizing the Word of God revealed in the Bible or the Koran, Brahminical Hinduism (and Hindu nationalism) thrives on a hierarchical relativism to evade all challenges to its idealistic metaphysics and mystical ways of knowing.” (Meera Nanda)

Now I shall give a sample quote from the pro-Hinduism camp. Indra’s Net cites many such scholars as well. Brian Smith’s quote below makes clear that this neo-Hinduism thesis is biased:

“All religions, at various points in recent history and under varying circumstances, have adapted to the modern world and the accompanying intellectual trends of modernity. ‘Hinduism’ (or ‘Neo-Hinduism’) is not unique in this regard either; the Neo-Hindu movement shares many commonalties with developments in other religious traditions around the world over the past several hundred years. The study of religion is the study of traditions in constant change. […] This kind of indifference to indigenous conceptualizations of self-identity is one unfortunate end result of the argument that Indology and Orientalist concerns singlehandedly ‘constructed,’ ‘invented,’ or ‘imagined’ a unified religion called Hinduism. This position is especially problematic in an age where Western scholars often claim to be concerned to allow the ‘natives to speak’ and ‘assume agency’ over representational discourse. [ … ] Denying the legitimacy of any and all ‘Hindu’ representations of Hinduism can easily crossover into a Neo-Orientalism, whereby indigenous discourse is once again silenced or ignored as the product of a false consciousness delivered to it by outside forces or as simply irrelevant to the authoritative deliberations of Western Indologists. While there are many reasons for scholars to feel uncomfortable with the claims some Indians have and are making regarding ‘Hinduism,’ it is perhaps equally dangerous to deny them the legitimacy to declare what, for them, is ‘Hinduism’.” (Brian Smith)

The issue is not whether Hinduism has evolved over time. Of course it has, and will continue to do so. This is a good quality. The issue is whether what we practice as Hinduism today is roots in the past or whether it was a modern fabrication led by Swami Vivekananda.

Rambachan is a big player in this discourse. He is the best trained Vedanta scholar in the neo-Hinduism camp. If he were to take a stand against neo-Hinduism that would indicate his priority as a Hindu over his career ambitions.

‘Breaking India Project’ – Rajiv Malhotra and his labors


“Breaking India Project’ has been going on for very long. Even the concept of this project could be seen in the thinking and statements of Macaulay in the late 19th century, when he expressed his opinion that India, its people, their culture and thinking are based on a very deep metaphysical or philosophical thinking and that the same cannot be defeated and won over by the British, unless and until it is destroyed by the spread of English language and culture aimed at demeaning their self-esteem, history, culture, religions, social institutions, habits, way of thinking etc. In all the ernestness, soon the British employed this policy.

This danger was sensed for the first time by Swamy Dayanand Sarashwati and to counter this subtle invasion, which was more potent in its destructive consequences than their political conquest, he gave the idea of making Indian people available an alternative system of education. It was his foresight that DAV (Dayanand Anglo Vedic) schools were set up in different parts of the countries.

One should be acute enough in his or her observation to sense that this very resistance offered by Swamy Dayanand Sarashwati was further reinforced by Mahatma Gandhi by promoting Ashram, Dhoti (wearing cloth), cap, Charkha, Indian way of eating (vegetarianism) and thinking (chaste personal life).

This subtle invasion of India has lately been sought to be countered by Baba Ram Dev by promoting Indian way of thinking and Yoga exercise and meditation. This subtle invasion of India was also very brilliantly exposed by late Rajiv Dixit.

However, it is only Rajiv Malhotra, an expatriate Indian based in the US, who has conducted a deep research into this subject and in his works has laid bare the 21st century’s new colonialists’ systemic project of breaking India and colonizing it. The strategy of the new Avatar of Colonialism in the 21st century is: breaking India into pieces; swallowing the disintegrated pieces into its own cultural body; digesting all these good disintegrated pieces to make them its own part; and after re-packaging the digested lot, re-exporting them to India (and to other nations) as their own original product. The current item targeted by them for this process of breaking, digesting and re-exporting to other lands is: Yoga! Believe it or not, if Yoga ever gets craze and currency in modern times (because of its endorsement by the UN), it is going to be the Yoga of the colonialists and not of India! One can imagine, what a Yoga packaged by these masters would look like: a tool of sensual enjoyment!

Rajiv Malhotra is par excellence academician, research scholar, logician trained in the western tradition. Today, he is arrayed as one versus the entire fleet of the ‘Break India’ force. His Infinity Foundation is the hub of his activities.

It is really unfortunate that India – comprising millions of its ignorant people – does not know the fierce war he is waging today for the tomorrow of this land. He has authored highly researched books Indra’s Net, Being Different, Breaking India.

It is very good idea that his these three books are made available in every school, college and university in India for general awareness of the Indian people of the looming danger of our colonization once again. If possible for him, these books must be made by him free of copy right and available on net in pdf format. The present Government of India must help the spread of these books through out the country by whatever means possible.

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