Responses to an 'elite leftist goon activist'

The writer is dumb. Neither has he read Rajiv Malhotra’s book nor does he have the capacity to understand them (“A rebuttal to Rajiv Malhotra, by an ‘elite leftist goon activist’”). The article perfectly suits the lowest bars set by as it makes the reader scroll quickly through the article. I have never read Scroll article, but read this only because it was about Rajiv Malhotra. Harry Potter novels have more truth than this article. Nikhil Pimputkar


You article regarding Rajiv Malhotra does not include the total facts. You haven't mentioned the leftist goons threatening to stop the video recording. You didn't mentioned the leftist goons manhandling the organiser lady. This shows how you have presented the total story. You are good at selective journalism and it is called left mania which is prevalent in india. If you really have good journalistic principles, you will take a interview of Rajiv who welcomes media and cover the story in totality. This is precisely what he quoted in his earlier videos, media never reviews his books but comes in full swing to hit him. What a pity on indian journalism, which is at an all-time low.

May god bless you to have sound mental health. – Nalam Venkat.


It is good that a summary of Rajiv Malhotra’s “lecture” at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences has been made available. It is only natural that his lecture should be attended by a few outsiders to extend moral and physical support to him. That is because Malhotra cannot be too sure of addressing issues likely to be raised by serious students of Indian history and culture.

There seems to be no coherence in what Malhotra presents as an analysis. I really fail to understand his sudden enthusiasm for China. Does he want a “cultural revolution” in India along the lines of what happened in China several decades ago?

But that revolution is already in the works with the demolition of Babri Masjid, the killing of an Australia, attacking people on trains for alleged possession of beef, and the like. How many more such ravages does Malhotra want?

One may treat his talk more as a joke or an interlude in an absurd play rather than as any meaningful understanding of the problem of culture.

Malhotra should feel honoured that he was invited to TISS. One simple question for the great scholar: You decry those who “have borrowed” all their scholarship and viewpoints from the West, as opposed to yourself, the unalloyed crystal of “Indian” scholarship. Fine, but when can we expect you to quit the US and settle down in the Himalayas to learn and teach “Indian ethos”? G Ramakrishna


I highly disagree with this one-sided article on Rajiv Malhotra’s visit to TISS. It is disappointing when a blatant lie is told to uninformed people, especially when there are eyewitness accounts. Mohnish


What was left unexplained in this rebuttal was why the agitating students didn’t engage with Rajiv Malhotra’s views in a calm academic manner. Weren’t they aware of his body of work and the topic of discussion? If they were aware, then they should have known better not to attend the lecture, given their tendency to be provoked by views not conforming to their own.

The arguments and the act of posting his reactionary tweets after the event was over are just smoke and mirror tactics to divert attention from this core issue. It is good that the director of TISS has apologised for the incident and said that such behaviour is against the principles upheld by the institute, which are to listen to and understand differing perspectives without prejudice.

Then there is the matter of BR Ambedkar’s views on Hindu dharma, which are being brandished as a weapon against Rajiv Malhotra’s work. The students should note that his views or conversion should not be seen as categorising Hindu Dharma as a good or bad, but as a struggle for the rights and justice for oppressed people.

Ambedkar used conversion as a strategy to fix “negative responsibility” on orthodox Hindus. This was done to do away with distortions and rigidity in the system, which based intellectual hierarchy on birth and not qualities/aptitude as per the original meaning of Varna Vyavastha. This is the same thing that Rajiv Malhotra said at the event: that there is good and bad in every society and culture, but that doesn’t mean we throw away the baby along with the bath water. Sagar Raichura


I am distressed to read the one-sided hollow rant of Aravindhan Nagarajan presented as a rebuttal to Rajiv Malhotra’s intellectually provoking talk at TISS in Mumbai.

Nagarajan’s intolerance to an alternate viewpoint is in full display at the very outset. He refers to Rajiv Malhotra contemptuously as being “a self-taught social scientist” - as though that, in itself, is sufficient reason to shout him down and dismiss his ideas. After all, social science is not rocket science that one should have laboratory experience. In fact, social science is all about people and cultures, an evidence-based study, far better understood by observing the real world than merely sitting in the silos of universities and applying general theories to fit all peoples and cultures. Remember how Ekalavya became a better archer than Arjuna through self-study, Mr Nagarajan?

Nagarajan and his friends, if they are serious students of social sciences, would have been open to new ideas, and eager to listen to this ‘self-taught social scientist’ who offers a different interpretation of the motivations for India studies in the West. Instead, they had come with a prejudice against the man. That is why Nagarajan feels Mr Malhotra’s talk “quickly devolved (sic) into a hail of accusations at his audience”.

Nagarajan’s bias is one more instance of a growing body of evidence that academicians have created an “elite club” which restricts membership to only those who toe its line. Indeed, the events at TISS are evidence of Mr Malhotra’s charge that our Universities have become knowledge gatekeepers that will permit only one particular thought into academic discourse. As a consequence, our students have not developed critical thinking skills. Their incomprehension and sense of insecurity, when faced with an alternative point of view showed up in their boorish conduct at TISS.

It is sad that Nagarajan, instead of presenting any concrete intellectual refutation, calls Mr Malhotra “hollow”. To dismiss a man of Malhotra’s intellect and training - a man who has authored four best-selling books - as lacking in substance is intellectual dishonesty. Ironically, it exposes the very intolerant elitist arrogance which was the subject of Malhotra’s talk at TISS. I do not agree with or like the ideas of Amartya Sen and Sheldon Pollock. Would it be proper for me to characterise either of them as “hollow”?

Nagarajan accuses Mr Malhotra of not taking questions when Malhotra actually went out of the way to answer in great detail the charges of plagiarism levelled against him. Not surprisingly, Nagarajan suppresses the abominable behaviour of the young social scientists of TISS during the Q&A session.

Even the much-maligned Dronacharya gave Eklavya the chance to display his skills before chopping off his thumb – a chance that would immortalise Eklavya. Why is the academia not ready to debate Malhotra? Is Malhotra beyond the pale just because he is a “self-taught social scientist”? Shantipriya Arnal