Rajiv Malhotra: In my book “The Battle For Sanskrit”, there is a whole analysis of the power structure that Sheldon Pollock is part of. You must understand that he is part of neo-orientalism – this is what I call the fifth wave of scholarship that has entered India. Before this there were waves such as Post-modernism, Subaltern studies, Post-colonial studies and Marxism etc. They have all evolved and now this huge power structure has a large presence in India in the minds, in the lives of Indian scholars who are part of this structure.
Since Indian scholars are part of this structure, this whole thing is able to function with impunity. That’s what has happened. They can just get away with it. They control the media, they control academic presses, they control journals and we have also discussed that. I have a chapter on that. Then I have a chapter also on the harm and impact it is doing to our society. Then I have a chapter on the sleeping Hindus. After I wrote the book, the biggest attacks that I got was from our own people.
Sonal Mansingh – Liberal Hindus?
Rajiv Malhotra – No. Some Orthodox Hindus are saying who are you to do it? Yeh to humara kaam hain (This is our job). I said but you people are sleeping. Tumne nahin kiya you haven’t done a darn thing so that’s why I’m doing it.
So there is a lobby of people saying that he is not the adhikari, we are the adhikari. If we don’t do it that is okay but you (Rajiv) should not do it. It is more like turf protection.
Then there are people who want to quickly get ahead, who are over-ambitious, over-enthusiastic. Therefore they want to put me aside and just get ahead. So this kind of mentality that shows up in our own people is quite disgraceful.
I started this 25 years ago and now I’m in the third stage. First stage was criticism of western Indology. Second stage was to expose the Indian Left. Now in the third stage, I am against some Hindu intellectuals, or pseudo- intellectuals. Some are opportunists, some are bombastic, over emotional. Some don’t have rigor. So therefore we started this Swadeshi Indology Movement to try and create our own young scholars. To create our own team. This was because I could not go and get people interested in Swadeshi Indology from the Sanskrit universities.
There was an instance when a Sanskrit scholar came to meet me and says that he wants to work with me and discusses the proposal of next conference. I was pleased and told some of my people that it was good that we are getting support. Next day this scholar writes an email to another Sanskrit scholar and stupidly for him copies me also. In this email he says that Sudha Murthy would give them crores while Rajiv cannot give us that much so why to join Rajiv? In other words, he blatantly put in an email that he will sell out to a higher price. So this is the pettiness of our people.
Sonal Mansingh – But tell me who finances them? Who funds Sheldon Pollock?
Rajiv Malhotra – Narayan Murthy funds them big time. Because he gets access to through Columbia University when they put him on Board and Harvard he gets access to deal making. He gets access to the elite, high class club. It is a top level club of prestigious elite kind of people.
Sonal Mansingh – It’s a sellout.
Rajiv Malhotra – It’s like you join some club where you meet the who’s who, you make business deals and you are part of the big circle and all that. It’s like that. So this is our people. This billionaire club is not really very dharmic for us. Many of them are really sold out. Many of these billionaire types are using Indian market and Indian labor to become very rich but really not putting it back into our systems.
Sonal Mansingh – Rajiv, what you said just now about why do they finance it – this whole thing should come out. This should go viral.
Rajiv Malhotra – I have written this in my book called The Battle For Sanskrit.
Sonal Mansingh – But Rajiv everybody is not reading the books.
Rajiv Malhotra – I’m saying I don’t get mainstream platforms. Even some top RSS leaders like Ram Madhav do not invite me to his conclaves.
Sonal Mansingh – What about Social media?
Rajiv Malhotra – On social media we are doing the best. We have a very large number of young people following us. I have now got about 2 million followers on Facebook and about 6000 a day adding. And I checked the demographics – 80% are under the age of 35.
Sonal Mansingh – Great.
Rajiv Malhotra – So this means the youth are following. Twitter I’m not as active. I am putting more time in Facebook and this is a good thing. It means a lot of our people are fed up with what these people are doing what being told. They are fed up of their own leaders, they are fed up of their own some religious leader, their parent, university, or even political leaders.
Rajiv has conducted original research in a variety of fields and has influenced many other thinkers in India and the West. He has disrupted the mainstream thought process among academic and non-academic intellectuals alike, by providing fresh provocative positions on Dharma and on India. Some of the focal points of his work are: Interpretation of Dharma for the current times; comparative religion, globalization, and India’s contributions to the world.
He has authored hundreds of articles, provided strategic guidance to numerous organizations and has over 300 video lectures available online. To best understand Rajiv'sthoughts and contributions, his books are a good resource. Besides Invading the Sacred, in which Rajiv is the main protagonist, he has authored the following game changing books:
Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism
Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines; and
Indra's Net: Defending Hinduism's Philosophical Unity
The Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred, Oppressive or Liberating, Dead or Alive?
Academic Hinduphobia: A Critique of Wendy Doniger's Erotic School of Indology
Currently, Rajiv Malhotra is the full-time founder-director of Infinity Foundation in Princeton, NJ. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Center for Indic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and is adviser to various organizations.
Infinity Foundation has given more than 400 grants for research, education and community work. It has provided strategic grants to major universities in support of pioneering programs including: visiting professorships in Indic studies at Harvard University, Yoga and Hindi classes at Rutgers University, research and teaching of nondualistic philosophies at University of Hawaii, Global Renaissance Institute and a Center for Buddhist studies at Columbia University, a program in religion and science at University of California, endowment for the Center for Advanced Study of India at University of Pennsylvania, lectures at the Center for Consciousness Studies at University of Arizona.
Rajiv Malhotra inspired the idea of Swadeshi Indology Conference. The first ever Swadeshi Indology Conference was held at IIT, Chennai from July 6 to July 8, 2016. This conference hosted well-researched papers that highlighted the discrepancies and mistranslations in the studies of Indology done by Prof. Sheldon Pollock. This conference is the first of a series of conferences that have been planned to address multiple issues raised by Western Indologists requiring astute examination, analyses and rejoinders, culminating in a published volume with a selection of papers.
Another major initiative of the Infinity Foundation is the HIST series. The HIST (History of Indian Science and Technology) series is a compilation of multi-Volume History of Indian Science and Technology based only on solid academic scholarship, and not on wild extrapolations. To accomplish this, each volume was subjected to rigorous peer reviews. The following volumes have already been published and printed as part of this IF project:
1. Marvels of Indian Iron Through the Ages
2. Indian Zinc Technology in Global Perspective
3. Water Management and Hydraulic Engineering in India
4. History of Metals in Eastern India and Bangladesh
5. Harappan Architecture and Civil Engineering
6. Beginning of Agriculture and Domestication in India
7. History of Iron Technology in India
8. Indian Beads History and Technology
9. Himalayan Traditional Architecture
10. Animal Husbandry and Allied Technologies in Ancient India
11. Harappan Technology and Its Legacy
12. Reflection on The History of Indian Science and Technology
13. Chalcolithic South Asia: Aspects of Crafts and Technologies
14. Traditional Water Management
Rajiv Malhotra has an active Facebook following with about 1.5 million followers.
He also has an online discussion group. He can be followed at:
Latest posts by Rajiv Malhotra (see all)
- Who funds Pollock? Excerpts from Discussion of Rajiv Malhotra and Sonal Mansingh - April 19, 2017
- Four tracks of Swadeshi Indology – Part 5 - February 27, 2017
- Grand narrative of India – Part 4 of Swadeshi Indology series - February 1, 2017