Part1: Encounter with John Dayal

This blog will be in two parts. Part 1 is this particular post which deals with Rajiv's meeting with John Dayal in Delhi in Jan 2015. Part 2 will chronicle all the references to John Dayal in Rajiv's book Breaking India.

January 31st saw Rajiv Malhotra engaged in a full day conference titled "Towards a rational Government policy for NGOs" organised by Madhu Kishwar's Manushi. The details of this conferenc can be read at the thread here. He was supposed to have a one on one with John Dayal at this conference.

After the conference Rajiv posted this on twitter

Just left great all day conference on foreign funded NGOs. Packed hall. Good interactions. Indians certainly becoming aware & concerned.

and John Dayal tweeted this

Sanghi think tanks working for ban on FCRA foreign funding for NGOs? Christian groups main target.

Following are a couple of Rajiv's tweets in response

In the seminar was a classic GOOD COP praising RSS, his Hindu daughter-in-law etc. Tweet shows BAD COP side

Glad to have met you. Lets continue the conversation where we can agree and disagree with mutual respect.
Rajiv then briefly summarized the day's interaction at the forum thus:

John fizzled out in the meeting. Spoke about his family mainly, evading the topic. 
After my talk he could say v little. 
I asked point blank what should be done to those Indians who go to Washington to testify against India. He said they should be tried for treason. 
Being goody-goody, loves Hindus, praised RSS, etc.
Later in his tweets he showed his bad Cop face.
Today, in pvt emails to Madhu and me, he is full of contradictions and mumbojumbo.
V. disappointed how this giant sits deflated and angry...
Video will take time to prepare but it will get uploaded - pls wait.

Bharat contributed to the conversation with this:

John Dayal wanted access to Tirumala Hills for conversions

This was an open letter response by Francois Gautier to John Dayal few years back

Dear John Dayal,

A few years back, you wrote a letter to Jenab Mohammad Hamid Ansari, then Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, where you complained of harassment of nuns and Christian workers at bus stops and rail stations in Tirupati government-owned areas and objecting to a request to have the Constitutionality of the Seven Tirumala Hills being made out of bounds to Christians.

Do you really think that for instance the Government of France would allow Hindu proselytisers in Lourdes, one of the most sacred places for Christians? 


The French Government even has a branch of the Home Ministry looking into what they call ‘sects’. Amrita Anandamayi of Kerala is on that list. 

Although she has not committed any crimes except embracing people and although her followers are doing remarkable social work, as good as any Christian organisation in India, she is being harassed in France, the accounts of her group are being scrutinised, she faces difficulties in buying land and she has to keep a low profile.

Tirupati is one of the most sacred places for Hindus. 

Why should nuns and missionaries go there to convert innocent Hindus? It’s an affront to the majority community of this country who have always respected the Christian faith. 

Remember that the first Christian community of the world is the Syrian Christian in Kerala?

Do Christians in India realize how much freedom they have here? 

Any preacher from abroad can come to India, rent huge grounds, organize prayer meetings, advertise in the national press, get media coverage…. Just try to do this in Saudi Arabia, or even China and see what will happen to your preachers!

Then you go on complaining of a “sustained hate campaign by the religious fanatics” of the so-called Sangh Parivar in Andhra Pradesh. 

But you must be knowing that thanks to Chief Minister Rajshekhar Reddy, who died in a helicopter accident, nearly 20% of Andhra Pradesh has converted to Christianity. 

His son Jagan Reddy is very much a Christian too – he has even erected a cross over his massive new house in Hyderabad. Yet his name sounds Hindu. Do Christians in high places need Hindu names to fool the gullible masses of Hindus?

Come on, Mr John Dayal, you are the one who is waging a systematic campaign of hate against Hindus. 

As a born Christian, I can see how Christianity is evolving slowly in the West, where it is becoming more and more accepted in the masses that there are other religions, such as Buddhism or Hinduism which have their own values. 

Yet in India, Christianity is becoming more and more rigid, more and more of a proselytising spirit, like it was fifty years ago in the West. 

Christians in India represent only 2.5% of the population, yet they make so much noise, they occupy so much space in education, health care, journalism [and politics] that you would think that they constitute the majority of this country.

Again recently, you have targeted Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, respected not only by millions of Hindus, but also by many Christians in western countries and even by Muslims (he was received warmly last month in Pakistan). 

By doing this, you are showing that you are practicing a Christianity that is obsolete, aggressive and maybe even dangerous.

It is time Christianity in India becomes a little more humble and quieter. 

Nobody is contesting your faith, but please leave alone ancient places of worship like Tirupathi and great sages such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 

And remember: Sonia Gandhi may not be here forever …

Francois Gautier 

It transpires that post conference there was a private mail exchange between Rajiv and John Dayal which has been compiled below. Rajiv shared it on the forum and it is reproduced in full here.

[The email exchange with John Dayal below took place immediately after the Jan 31 conference on NGOs. It is instructive as to how their minds work. At the end of the day, he refused my offer to debate on camera in Delhi, where both of us are based for much of February. He wants a sponsored foreign trip to Princeton, and there, too, he is likely to waste time evading the issues. But what he has done for many years is well documented in BI. I hope people here will summarize his background in testifying against India before foreign governments, inviting sanctions against India.]

Madhu Kishwar:
Dear John,
Really saddened by your dubbing yesterday's meeting as a "Sanghi" conspiracy in your tweets. I have been against foreign funding of NGOs from the very start of Manushi. That is why we kept saying No to offers from donor agencies. Wish you had heard my opening remarks or read my essays on the subjects written long years before BJP came to power. In fact, BJP is not willing to support me in this because Hindu organizations connected to BJP also depend heavily on raising funds abroad. Any way I am glad you came. I am sure you will agree we gave you a fair chance to put forward your concern. My NGO friends rarely invite people with contrary views. They prefer to talk only to like minded people.

John Dayal:
Dear Madhu
Greetings. The great thing about you which I have admired for three decades and more is your integrity and honesty. You have never made any bones about your views.  Nor the words you chose to express them. That is why I agreed to come to the seminar. I am glad you called several people, though many did not come. I am also glad that PRS and CHRI were allowed to present their views. I was disappointed, but not surprised, at the presentations of our common friends from Princeton town and Bangalore. I understand their focus and preoccupation.  I so wish their data had a comparative component. BTW, I tried hard to reach Prof Vaidya's website to download his PPT, which he said was on the Net. I could not find it. My SMS and emails to him have not borne any fruit. In fact, the SMS seem to suggest the number was perhaps unreachable. I would be grateful for the texts of these two presentations. Will write my own and send it to you.
I agree money, local, FCRA bank-routed, hawala, "donations" to local Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Hindu, communists, cannot be used to sabotage  the Indian state and the harmony, freedom of faith and civil rights guaranteed by the constitution.  I may differ with others' definitions of nationalism, patriotism, and other issues such as nuclear power for civil and military use. all violations of Indian laws must be prosecuted after investigations that are fair, scientific and in due process.
I wonder if you noticed that even before I began my presentation, and  hours before my Tweet, I had read out the sort of Tweets that were flying off from the  people present  at the Rotunda of the IIC, including  from some key presenters. I hope to continue this conversation with you, and with the speakers.

Rajiv Malhotra:
Dear John,
The issue Madhu raises is not one of views of any person - we are each entitled to have ours. Rather, the issue is of BRANDING others. I did NOT brand you in the discussion. Nor did anyone else. So why did you BRAND people in your tweets? What is sad is not that person x disagrees with my views or that I cannot agree with his. What is sad is the branding - too many Indians are unable to think for themselves and the branding is a substitute for critical thinking skills.
Secondly, my views are the same regardless of the forum. You, on the other hand, presented a different face to us than what you project elsewhere.
John Dayal:
Dear Rajiv
The one point, perhaps the only point, I made was that NGOs are needed, as government has failed, over the decades. If you have listened to me in the past, I present the same face everywhere -- polite, non abusive. My ideological preferences do not change. So what was it that took anyone by surprise?
BTW, you said you would be "debating" with John Dayal. And I had been invited to a day long seminar or discussion, not a debate. I am of course, like you, always open to a debate, too. BTW, did I refer to the IIC discussion in any of my tweets? or FB?
Rajiv Malhotra:
I had looked fwd to debate you - honest exchange of views where we might differ, and nothing personal. But you barely discussed the topic of the conference and spoke autobiographically about family etc. Fair enough.
But why go about branding the participants as "sangh" etc. Are people in India incapable of having their own intellect positions unlinked to political parties?
John Dayal:
Dear Rajiv
I did debate your thesis, rejected it. But of course the meeting was supposed to be in the nature of a conclave / consultation / discussion / seminar, and not a debate. Your presentation lacked comparative data, focussed on one sub-sector, if I can call it that, and had its own definitions of criminanility, nationalism, and citizenship. BTW, so did one more presentation, at least. And therefore why brand Christians?
I speak because I KNOW that People in India are capable of having their own intellectual positions, and faith independence too -- both unlinked with definitions invented by political groups.
Did I name the IIC meeting organised by Ms Madhu Poornima Kishwar of the CSDS as a Sanghi? Where? Would be happy to see it. As always, I am also also happy to discuss, debate and exchange views with anyone. Nothing personal. And I am proud of my family, and the example we set. Nothing personal, of course.
Rajiv Malhotra:
Dear John, whatever my presentation was, you had the chance to discuss it there and then. That is what the event was for. But you did not say any such thing then.Why? And why say all this now, since we are no longer able to have an on camera discussion back and forth? In any case, the video will speak for itself and the viewers can decide.
What this shows is that you are unable to function in your old bombastic self, once the patronage you enjoyed is gone. What does that tell us?
John Dayal:
Dear Rajiv
I changed my bombastic style to suit the speakers and he audience, and of course the backdrop. Did I take you and others by surprise? Seminars and consultations are, of course, not debates. Though I am always happy for a debate. I noticed you remained the same.
And I hope your patronage remains. And what does THAT tell us? I hope the text of the presentations will on ms Kishwar's site, and groups. I can wait.
Rajiv Malhotra:
Dear John, you and I should have a one on one friendly chat on video - agreeing and disagreeing as we choose. That would be better, as we can focus more. If you agree I can set up the arrangements.
John Dayal:
Will be happy to do so, Rajiv.
In fact, offer to join you in your Princeton centre investigating  US research on India in its entirety.
I am currently focussing on those who are in India and working against constitutional values.
Rajiv Malhotra:
Dear Abhishek, pls see email exchange with John Dayal below. We have both agreed to have a conversation between just the two of us. Please arrange a room and video grapher and let both of us know. Pls ask John which of my dates in delhi suit him.
Abhishek Jalan:
Dear John Dayal ji, The meeting could be held on the 18th afternoon or anytime on 19th, 20th or 21st. Kindly let me know what date and time will suit you.
John Dayal:
Dear Rajiv
I repeat what I said in my earlier post. I would love to come to your office in Princeton [is it part of the University?] and study with you all the anti India work going on in the US against India by all religious groups. I would be also happy to  assist you in India to study the work of all groups working against national unity and development in the country. Will be happy to debate with you on the basis of comparative and verified non selective data.  Let us have this debate in Princeton, US. I am sure you will agree.
Meanwhile, I wonder if you have seen many of your admirers on Twitter who think they can best express their support and admiration for you only abusing me in rather unprintable language. God bless you, always
Rajiv Malhotra:
Are you saying you wont discuss with me in India? Whats your need to travel overseas for everything?

John Dayal:

Am just trying to mirror your strategy. May flummox some friends
Rajiv Malhotra:
I guess our friend John cannot meet me for a debate this month in Delhi. Unless we pay for more globetrotting, he is not interested. When he has been going around Indian media and forums, where was this "data" he needs"? anyway, so it goes.....
John Dayal:
Dear Rajiv
My data is from US and Indian, non Christian, sources about funding of groups that you do not want to investigate for reasons best known to you. Maybe i should shift to Princeton myself.
Will be interested in your work in US universities and media. Will be happy if you can identify someone like a US version of CSDS which can organise a debate/discussion in Princeton.
Rajiv Malhotra:
John, quit playing games pls. I asked you for an on camera debate. In that debate you are free to cite whatever data you want. OK?
Reason you cant face me is that you have given testimony against India many times before foreign authorities, and this is on official record. Tides changed and this is now a liability to your credibility. At Madhu's event you said point blank that such persons should be punished as traitors. So are you a traitor?
What does this point have to do with wanting even more foreign travel? Have yo not had enough free travel around the world lambasting against India? Lets get honest please. You have the right to decline my offer to debate, but you are digging a deeper hole for yourself.
John Dayal:
I will continue to be polite. We know the quality of your data. And your ideology. You are entitled to it. No purpose will be served in trying a dialogue with you and your fans as patently you are not keen to have it in Princeton while I speak at seminars regularly in India. Easier and more fruitful to converse with state actors
Rajiv Malhotra:
John, lets end this useless exchange - that you are evading is obvious. I will continue to take the debate to the public, which is where it belongs.
John Dayal:
Why are you avoiding Princeton university?
Rajiv Malhotra:
John, Pls come any time but at YOUR expense, not mine. I dont want to sponsor your travel, but you can come and be my guest at my home. Your sponsors have lots of money so you can get them to pay.
John Dayal:
Surely the university can afford it?
Rajiv Malhotra:
I am not affiliated with any university. You can approach them if you like. So maybe you try some human rights groups among the ones that sponsored you over so many years. Surely, those who paid to get you in front of US government bodies to testify against India must h

[Rajiv: I had an image of John Dayal until now as a strong thinker against Hinduism, expecting him to argue with substance. It now seems we over rated hm for these decades. He is a mediocre thinker at best, propped up as a convenient voice to display at international forums against Hinduism. He played that role and enjoyed the patronage, which has now ended.]

A person who tweets with the handle @RichardFoxYoung has been deliberately misleading by quoting selectively from the above compilation claiming that John Dayal has agreed to debate Rajiv in Delhi or in Princeton. Readers can now verify for themselves from the above reproduction and by following the discussion thread on yahoo group discussions here

The post to follow this will detail references made to John Dayal in Rajiv Malhotra's book Breaking India.

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