Rajiv Malhotra's response to Swarajya article on the DCF issue

Rajiv Malhotra's response to the article at: http://swarajyamag.com/ideas/how-hinduphobia-rears-familiar-head-in-american-academia

Kalyan Vishwanathan of DCF is quoted in Swarjya's article and below is Rajiv's response.

1. He is saying things (and even using vocabulary) that I initiated 2 decades back. But he is hopelessly out of date with my views which have developed since then.

2. The big point is that: we must focus on purva-paksha first, as we cannot do uttara-paksha without the purva-paksha. It is useless trying to "correct the distortions" without first writing solid, direct critiques of the nasty Indologists in the level of detail I have done in 5 books. Short blogs and Powerpoints here and there lack the gravitas to generate the level of energy required.

3. My funding of the US academy in the past led to my competence, experience and courage to be able to do item 2 - i.e. reversing the gaze.

4. What DCF lacks is this specific mission of purva-paksha of Western Indology.

5. Reason for 4 is their lack of experience, core knowledge and courage to be able to do 2.
6. Hence they are trying to skip the "uncomfortable" and "controversial" aspects inherent in 2. They want to jump ahead and produce "positive works". This will FAIL to have sustenance. For one thing they will be at the mercy of the very same western institutions where the purva-pakshin (opponents) are rulers with tremendous clout and power. Its analogous to BJP funding Rahul Gandhi to topple the Congress party. Or like hiring Pakistan's ISI to help convince the Pakistanis on India's position on Kashmir.

7. First DCF must come to terms with the "negative, controversial" nature of the job to be done. They must not imagine the battlefield to be a sort of picnic and public relations party. They try to be too goody-goody which will result in a combo of: (a) selling out, and (b) getting rejected by the western institutions. They are suffering both these now.

8. What Kalyan should do: Spend 2 years full-time and write a heavy book that directly criticizes the writings of the top scholars who led the anti-DCF petition. Dont pick minor players. And dont pick Witzel etc who are already well known, hardened and not very academically active today. Pick some powerful Indologists who actively manipulate Indians into supporting them, but in the end are on the opposite side - like I have done in each book. Do not be generic, but must be specific, and directly name the names. Do not be emotional or bombastic. Use at least 100+ solid quotes from the opponents' works to make your case and give logical rejoinders.

9. After such a heavily researched publication, Kalyan must do tours to sell his ideas and generate huge ground swell of awareness. Dont stay within "like minded circles". Have open Q&A before whosoever invites you, and especially where they will try to bring you down. He must elicit opponents to attack him. That is how their true character will come out and that is how you will generate awareness among our people who are sleeping. He must not try to be ignored by opponents. For only through many such battles can he develop as a kshatriya. Once he has developed battlefield expertise - not hit and run, or hide inside "like minded forums" as he is presently hiding - will he get the prerequisite experience to think strategically.

10. Today they have not even started any of this. They have not even the goal to do this. They are like military generals who never fought in battle, sitting in the VIP lounges watching the battle on CNN, and making decisions on asset deployment.

11. I am their friend who would like them to succeed. They must understand my intentions. I am not the one to make them "feel good" and waste more time and money of our community the way they have been doing. They must get out of this "personal loyalty system" as the management style. They must stop getting defensive about me and be more open to listen.

In friendship and seva of dharma,


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