TBFS is gaining much traction among traditional scholars in India to whom it is mainly addressed. They have been exhorted to study Professor Pollock more critically when he advances theses on a civilization to which he is an outsider and they the insiders, the civilization in question being the Indian one. Rajiv has started the famed Indian tradition of purvapaksha by extensively analysing and studying Pollock's works.
The traditional side after reading TBFS, felt that there was a case to petition Shri. Narayanamurthy and his son Rohan Murthy who have pledged a huge donation to Pollock to translate 500 volumes from Sanskrit and various other Indian languages into English. This petition has been attracting a lot of signatories with almost 12000 people having signed this petition at the time of writing this.
Expectedly, the counter attack from the purvapakshin camp has begun. Ananya Vajpeyi, featured earlier also on this forum has been mentored by Professor Pollock. She writes thus in an Indology list group. A hard-hitting response is given by Dr. Nityanand Mishra.
Vishal shared Ananya's post:
Dear Colleagues, As many on this list including Dominik Wujastyk, Matthew Kapstein, Madhav Deshpande and Tyler Williams, among others, have pointed out, the petition to remove Professor Pollock from the General Editorship of the Murty Classical Library of India suffers from either a deliberate or a genuine misreading of his writings and lectures. Moreover it is motivated not just by his vocal stand in favour of the freedom of expression and the right to dissent in India and elsewhere reiterated numerous times of late, but also by a desire on the part of the sponsors and writers of this petition to generate some sliver of scholarly attention for Rajiv Malhotra's new book, The Battle for Sanskrit. Apart from being a plagiarist, Malhotra is no scholar of anything, least of all Indology or Sanskrit. (I'm not even sure if any book by him can be accurately described as "new", given his record of plagiarism). His entire strategy of calling attention to his publications, such as they are, is to make ad hominem attacks on bona fide scholars, especially Professor Pollock, and now almost exclusively him (though others of us have been collateral damage in the past). In my view, Malhotra's latest book deserves not one minute of our time, and is best left to rightwing propaganda publications like Swarajya, Niti Central and other blogs, newspapers etc. of that ilk to review (or not). It's an echo chamber of Hindutva paranoia and self-congratulation, untouched by scholarship. Why spoil their party? As for the 10,000 signatures on the petition, these things are easily managed by the cyber-machinery of the Sangh Parivar. Not for nothing are there entire dedicated cells of trolls and bots whose job it is to swell the numbers, as it were, merely the digital reflection of a larger ideology of majoritarianism at work. I am assured by the concerned editors at Harvard University Press and by Professor Pollock himself that HUP and Harvard's legal and PR departments are well placed to handle this kind of -- well, whatever you want to call it -- provocation, irritation, distraction, or incitement. We really need not worry our heads engaging with these people as though they might actually know something about the classics, of any language, whether of early or modern South Asia. Goodness knows we all have enough on our plates, with JNU and other public universities and their students across India in dire need of our material and moral support at a moment of real political crisis. In solidarity, and urging us all to #StandwithJNU, Yours, Ananya Vajpeyi. *Ananya Vajpeyi, PhD * *Associate Fellow* *Centre for the Study of Developing Societies*
Obviously such an uncalled for ad hominem has got Rajiv's online satsang buzzing.
(...) The real thrust of her message is that she has Harward University Press on our side and so she does not have to bother. This divulges the secret as to who their handlers are - i.e. foreign nexuses. How long can they continue this without confessing?
If she can really afford to ignore Rajiv ji, she would have not even bothered to send a long email asking for NOT to waste even a minute. The fact is that they CANNOT IGNORE RAJIV JI ANY MORE. Height of hypocrisy.
This is a very standard response from a stooge with a bogus Ph.D. For what ever reasons if Moorthy family does not change there decisions the insiders should start a parallel project do the similar translation. I am sure I am not the first one thinking along the same lines. I would like to hear from Insider tradition side how the synergies and resources can be put together to make it happen with leadership from Sri Rajivji.
Srinath chips in:
first thing came to my mind upon reading her immature reply - "jobless"
sad commentary on the kind of pathetic people who have filled the humanities void in JNU and elsewhere - trying to further their empty lives with imaginary problems, plus of course the obligatory servitude towards western masters.
still, without responding to this low level of so called "scholarship" on few blogs at least - cannot ramble on (to be fair)!
Sneha on the issue:
Another useful idiot SEPOY for anti Hindu army.
I think we should be tactical and translate all available Sanskrit texts into Hindi and other regional languages and English. It could also be translated into Hindi first and then into regional languages. Sanskrit scholars can be roped in with financial incentives, Sewa or collective action to help the initial translation to Hindi. May be Sanskrit Bharti can help. Once translated it could reach Indians. Currently we are unaware of its legacy, greatness, practical application in various fields of life such as Medicine, Mathematics, Astronomy, Political Science and so forth.
Rohit comes in:
(...) Ananya says she would not read a word of Rajivji, yet she does not hesitate to comment on his work. Hmmm ... Speaks of your scholarship and methods at work Ananya.
To hear that sociology departments in JNU and other public universities wait in dire need for the likes of her to feed them what-ever says volumes about what "scholarship" is housed in these departments in India. (...)
As Rajiv Ji expected and warned several times -- this kind of non sense is expected from LEFT/so called Self Proclaimed experts on Everything/ They Don't debate the Issues, digress, distort, attack the personality...spin it and our slave media will give a Political color.
(...) But to say such negative things about a very courageous man in such efforts appears to be as shutting down a strong voice for our causes. Unless you are pro-Harvard pseudo seculars who are spewing venoms in the disguise of intellects against India's integrety and hurting or religious process /faith (lime Shanatan Dharma)!! Why not allow us to tell everyone from our lense on issues that are being advertised by none other then Harvard Univ.
If you believe in "freedom of speech" and "freedom of response", then yu should not hurl such negative comments about Rajivji.
Dr. Nithyanand responded to Ananya on the indologist list thus.
This is a thread which is likely to see many more responses and this post will be updated as the responses keep adding up.
Dr. Nityanand Mishra replies to Ananya Vajpayee on TBFS, Pollock