Is Narayana Murthy a good ambassador for brand India?

April 19
Is Narayana Murthy a good ambassador for brand India?

Rajiv Malhotra posts: In my recent IIT Mumbai talk, I criticized Mr. Murthy by contrasting him to the way the late chairman of Sony projected Japanese culture.

This generated an angry response by one man who says he is close to Murthy. He stopped watching my Youtube when he heard me say this. His defense of Murthy is not based on citing any facts on Murthy's intellectual positions regarding Indian civilization - such  as Aryan/Dravidian issues, dalit divides, foreign nexuses in India, etc. rather it is entirely of a personal kind.

But my critique of Murthy is not personal. Nor do I doubt that he knows his IT/CEO profession well. I am referring to his lack of competence in Indian history and culture to be able to select grant recipients in a manner that benefits Indian civilization.

I have summarized prior messages in this egroup pertaining to this issue, as fyi to refresh memory:

Sheldon Pollock (author of "The Death of Sanskrit") got the Padma Bhushan award by the GOI, and named head of the project funded by Narayana Murthy ($10+ million initial funds) to bring out translations of Indian classics. Many Indian institutions have been digested by westerners and used as a winter home. Pollock is a left-wing Sanskritist who claims that the old "Brahamanical Sanskrit" is long dead; and he is reviving the "real" Sanskrit that belongs to subalterns like dalits, women, etc. whose voices have been oppressed. Narayan Murthy's private foundation funded him to select and translate Indian classical works. He is selecting certain works and focusing on translations that fragment Indian civilization into mutually conflicting segments - languages, authors, interpretations used to show no unity at all except by evil nationalists. He gets to translate and INTERPRET various classical Indian texts - including supporting Aryan/Dravidian divides, dalit/non-Dalit divides, and so forth.
The article, "Columbia U. Professor Broadens Access to Sanskrit, Ancient Language of the Elite", appeared in Chronicle of Higher Education:
The big picture one must know is as follows: The pseudo-sec scholars have thus far been criticized for lack of Sanskrit knowledge and are therefore vulnerable to being considered eurocentric. To remedy this a whole battalion of well indoctrinated young scholars from places like JNU have been sponsored to get their PhDs under him, so these next-gen sanskrit scholars will combine pseudo-sec ideology with knowledge of sanskrit. Imagine a large group of academic professors who are well educated in Sanskrit but opposed to dharma - as casteist, abusive of women, anti-Muslim, chauvinistic, etc. - in other words the standard "caste, cows, curry" stuff. Imagine a sanskrit speaking Arundhati Roy and dozens like her.

This has been going on for a decade, first under Hawley at Columbia (who fluently speaks Vraj bhasha, sings Krishna bhajans, is seen doing "seva" in Vrindavan - much to the excitement of most Indians). Now it has been expanded and deepened under Pollock. ... Infosys has patronized people like Howard Gardener rather than the original sources of their reformulated ideas such as Sri Aurobindo.

Venkat posts:
A good overview of his thoughts is provided below which is a October 2002 Narayan Murthy gave a talk at IIT-d - Learning From The West".

Come adds:
"...I must refer to a video lecture by Francois Asselineau, an economist and intellectual in France who is warning against the creeping destruction of European nations  being promoted by the EU ruling bureaucracies under the influence of the USA. The goal is to break up European countries into smaller provincial "independent" states of Europe, among which the sole common language would be American English and which would be governed by a centralised "transatlantic" Euro-American super-government..."

Gopal notes:
"I remember his speech in Banglore years back where he suggested to one of the event organizers not to sing the Indian National anthem because it can offend foreign students in the audience..."

jp claims:
"...Akshya Patra idea was supported by Narayan Murty. But later he hijacked the entire project in a very shrewd .. way..."

Ajay comments:
"To me it seems, Mr. Murthy doesn't know what exactly he is doing; inadvertently he is harming the very cause he wants to serve. He may not be aware of work of Rajiv ji. Someone who knows Mr. Murthy should present him 'Breaking India' book so that he can understand and realise what elements are working against India and how; should also present him 'Being Different' so that he can better handle the differences various cultures have and doesn't feel sorry or inferior about all this..."

Ananth shares some links:
"...Gail Omvedt embarrassed Narayana Murthy in an article that was published in the Hindu.  The article is available in Ref 1

(Digression: Ref 1 cites Ref 2 as the source.  I am not able to access Ref 2.  However, I was able to dig up Ref 3, which seems to be a reaction to Ref 2 End Digression)..."
Rajiv adds:
"...Rajiv comment: Some of my supporters went to Mrs. Murthy a decade back and presented a Powerpoint on many of the issues i have uncovered, i.e. the things we discuss here. They were told in polite words that it was Mrs. Murthy's decision how she would spend her money. ... Consider, for example, the discussions we had here on Dharma Civilization Foundation. Its chief founders spent over a decade closely following my work with great interest, and with loud expressions of support for me. Yet when it was time to write a donation check, who did they support? Gerry Larson - whose support for foreign Aryans and whose fight against the unity and coherence of Hinduism became the basis for attacking BD." 

Come adds:
"The global zeitgeist imposes a reverence for specialisation which makes people like Narayana Murthy,  who is not an academic scholar on Hinduism, defer to "recognized' authorities, especially if they are western and teach in major western universities. Independent researchers are held as amateurs and few major "Establishment" foundations would dare extend sponsorships or awards to them since they are afraid that this would discredit them in the eyes of the masters of universitary discourse." 

Akshay asks:
"...To understand Murthy, you gotta read Better India Better World. It show's his deep rooted ..."

Additionally, Mr. Narayana Murthy showed up in a few more old threads:
Houston Seminar on Breaking India: September 11, 2011 - Audience Q &
I am looking for a source for the quote from Narayana Murthy that Rajiv-ji mentions in the video.

Timeline: 8:53 to 9:05
<quote> According to Narayana Murthy, when he was asked why Indians were so good in IT, rather than explain that we have a whole learning tradition, he said"Thanks for the British for teaching us Maths and Science."

Rajiv response: I heard this in his talk in 2003 at the Bangalore conference organized jointly organized by Templeton and Infinity Foundation. I felt he was impressing the western guests. The "scientific debt to colonialism" is a common theme amongst many leftists. Gyan Prakash of Princeton has written a book on
Indian science during the British period in which the direction of influence is onw-way from Europe to India as if the europeans learned nothing scientific from
Indians. (Mr. Murthy has said that he was rooted as a leftist in his younger days but that he later turned into a capitalist. That kind of rejection of the left is for its economic model only, but it does not automatically involve
embracing the dharma paradigm.) The key issue is: where lies the root of Indians' competence in science? The west claims to have invented the scientific method - a claim many Indians accept. Thats why I started the very ambitious project of doing 20 volumes on the History of Indian Science and Technology, of which 8 are published already. ...For the same amount of money, Mr. Murthy could have re-ignited a whole India based Sanskrit scholarship and translation under the guidance of pandits. Of course, its his hard earned money and we respect his
right to spend it howsoever he chooses. I am merely expressing my personal opinion on how I wish our tycoons would back their own civilization in the same manner as American tycoons helped build their civilizational foundations. The Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie philanthropy did not go to foreign scholars to write American history.

What do you think? Is Narayana Murthy a good brand ambassador for India? and why. 


  1. Everyday I encounter people like Mr. Narayana Murthy who has great dis regard to Hindus and their culture... I try hard and enjoy the debate with them but what I find most astonishing is that the typical content of their arguments as if they are trained in a single school.... Even the learned and intelligent people otherwise are not open to the thought of Science in Hinduism....

    1. true. mental colonization dictates their business goal is to serve the western audience, thus their thinking is always about means to this end.

  2. if NRN said what he said, he needs to know something...the British originally designed Indian education system to produce supporting actors in administration namely clerks to assist the ICS officers made in the GB. back then it was successfully and even now it is more successfully...on-site vs. off shore...NRN has to his credit being the 'reverse Columbus' of off-shoring India. No wonder Infy is an army of clerks with hardly any IPRs (until recently )...

  3. No he as well as many many like him know nothing about BhaaratVarsha; they know a made up name India and a made up culture .

  4. I find it sad that Mr. Narayana Murthy and Infosys have come to this......but this battle has only just begun. Indians have only now started to realize the extent to which their culture has been hijacked by others - time will tell and Narayana Murthy and his ilk can never win because they are not doing the right thing by India.