Does Devdutt Pattnaik know the meaning of cult?

Here is Devdutt Pattnaik's original article.

And here's a great original rebuttal by Rajiv Malhotra forum member Jithu

Dear Devdutt,
               A writers job is to curb the use of unnecessary words, letters etc. You have used one letter too many. Whereas your article could have been titled "Delightful truths of cult leader', you have very incorrectly made the leader a plural. Because lets face it, its all about Rajiv Malhotra. Though you've touched upon Rampal in the intro, no Hindu with a slightly endowed intelligence would ever accept him as his Guru. Of course he could still be classified as a cult leader. 
               As you could have easily guessed by now, I am a fan of Rajiv's works. Actually have been for more than a dozen years. And at the same time I'm not a fan of your works because, how can I put it? Let me take a shot it. Oh I got it:  its pretty superficial simple, probably a lot like your readers. I know you are the golden boy of the urban educated Hindu who is anxious of the ignorance of his own culture but just doesn't want to know it enough that he may have to seriously spend some quality time in knowing it and doing something about it. Thats where you come in. You talk about 'myths', about  gays, draw some crazy figures on a slate and lo wallah, you are their savior: a little bit of history, a bit of modern psychology. By the way, were you not in some way advising or coaching Rahul Gandhi?  Its really difficult to say who rubbed their intelligence on whom.
              But this reply has not been instigated by Rajiv though I read your article through his forum. And my first reaction was where are the cult leader(s) and where is the cult? Its very obvious that the whole article is about RM, although you sprinkle about other 'rational' leaders' , just as a writing exercise. I wasn't sure which ran longer, your dislike or put more strongly, your hatred for Rajiv or your knowledge of cult leaders. Either way, it makes a poor display of your supposed 'knowledge' 'expertise'.
             Firstly, I'm not sure if you know about this, but for any crime thats been committed the detectives always look at who benefits by the crime. So suppose if RM committed the crime of writing books and debating people, one has to ask, what does he achieve by it? Money, fame? As you already know he used to run multinational companies, so money can't be the goal. He could have been much more famous by writing mundane books: look at you. But he didn't. So what is the end goal of his crime, I wonder!
             Secondly, about the cult. Sure he does ask help from people for his books, research etc. And he does have a lot of fans, readers, supporters etc. He also does rejects people's help when they don't fit his needs, including yours truly. Most of the times when people complain, he asks them to do what needs to be done by themselves, rather than getting himself involved because of his limited resources.Which brings me to the question: Do you really know the meaning of 'cult' ? Or does your definition goes only as far as when Bollywood calls one of its monstrosity as a 'cult' film? For a cult to exist, there should be a cult leader who promises something at the end, usually something pretty looney if I may add, like the Heavens Gate cult, Mormon cult etc. Some even call Christianity and Islam as a cult because they promise an afterlife in heaven. It might surprise you that Rajiv hasn't promised any of his readers or his fans any thing. He doesn't arrange gatherings or even satsanga. And he for sure hasn't announced that there is going to show the light at the end of the tunnel. Frankly he is more interested in his own swadharma and his sadhana. And speaking of 'Swadharma' he is a kshatriya by the way and hence if he takes up the case for 'intellectual kshatriya'  he is just doing his duty. Alas you are far from being a Brahmin. 
             Sure he wants people to carry on his legacy, continue his works. But if you apply your definition of 'cult' for that then you should also apply that for every guru, every sage in India. There should be a Vyasa cult, Ramana cult, Aurobindo cult, Sankaracharya cult etc.
             And thirdly regarding his 'demands' for invitations to speak. You probably haven't heard the phrase 'right of way'. Anyone who learns driving in the U.S would know it. You 'demand' your right of way if you are obstructed while driving on your permitted legal route by others. So if Rajiv demands to be invited to speak, he in fact is entitled to, especially in programmes that have no balancing act of their one sided agenda. Why don't you attend them and participate, debate the other side? Rajiv has done so many debates with people from the opposite side, I don't see you doing it. You sit on your lazy ass and have the arrogance to ridicule him if he takes up the initiative to counter their arguments! Oh wait, you are the other side, nodding to everything Doninger says, shamelessly selling out as soon as seeing some white skin.
             May be she instigated you to write the article. May be you are just afraid that your works wouldn't sell if more people got to know about RM's works or you are frightened how much of a 'sepoy' you are with no hint of original thought. May be you are just jealous. Or may be you are just a little 'cuckoo' in your head. In any case I would prescribe a little reading of RM's works or watch his videos. They might help you to learn something. Or may be sit somewhere silently and meditate. That also clears up the mind. But for Godsake don't put your readers through such banal and petty articles such as the one you published in Mid-day. We don't deserve such punishments.

Added reading is another post on this forum which discussed the issues of plagiarism by Devdutt Pattnaik. Here is the link.

To join the discussion group please register on yahoo. The thread can be followed here

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