[INDOLOGY] regarding Malhotra's plaguerism

Al Collins nasadasin at gmail.com
Sat Jul 18 22:03:37 UTC 2015

"Plaguerism", indeed!

I think we need to look a little deeper into this matter, and take telling
slips of the keyboard like the above seriously.  Malhotra is clearly
experienced by most scholars on this list and RISA as a form of "plague,"
someone so far beyond the pale (sic!) that he needs to be definitively
suppressed, squelched, cast into outer darkness, to use just a few of many
available clichés for what seems to most responders here to be obvious.  Of
course all are at least tacitly aware that academic ire will do nothing to
shut down the jingoism that is perceived to support Malhotra's project. On
the contrary, it will simply increase the bias against "Western" Indology.

I suggest that the focus be kept on Malhotra as a post-colonial agent, not
on the man as purported plagiarist.  What he is trying to do belongs with
the work of Indian freedom fighters like Aurobindo, Vivekananda, and
Gandhi, and is not an attempt to compete with Halbfass, Renou, or Pollock.
He is a public intellectual, and I think standards  for citation are
different for such individuals. Think of fueilletonists in Weimar Germany
like Walter Benjamin, Karl Kraus, Josef Strauss. Or thinkers like Freud,
Jung, Koestler.  Malhotra is a kind of journalist, one with an ax to grind
(like most journalists) but certainly he has never claimed to be a scholar
and should not be attacked for being a bad one.

The question we should ask is why this obvious fact is not clear. Malhotra
should be considered an object of study, and above all a cultural
interlocutor, not a failed academic competitor.  He needs to be taken
seriously as a Hindu or contemporary Indian phenomenon, not as a scholar,
for which he would never be mistaken.

Al Collins, Ph.D., Ph.D.

Al Collins, Ph.D., Ph.D., BCN
Clinical and cultural psychologist
615 E. 82nd Ave. #102
Anchorage, AK 99518

On Sat, Jul 18, 2015 at 9:50 AM, Ashok Aklujkar <ashok.aklujkar at gmail.com>

> On Jul 17, 2015, at 3:17 PM, George Thompson <gthomgt at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >With regard to his own lack of quotation marks, Malhotra argues somewhere
> [on RISA?] that the early Sanskritists also did not have quotation marks
> either.  But in fact they did have quotations marks.  They used the
> quotative particle iti going all the way back to the
> Rigveda. Malhotra’s remarks are either profoundly ignorant or profoundly
> disingenuous.<
> Malhotra’s actual words are “Sanskrit does not even have quotation marks
> in its character set.” (cf. “Rajiv Malhotra says those accusing him of
> plagiarism are really out to silence his voice,” Newslaundry of
> 2015-07-15.
> http://www.newslaundry.com/2015/07/15/rajiv-malhotra-says-those-accusing-him-of-plagiarism-are-really-out-to-silence-his-voice/
> The words “in its character set” make it clear that Malhotra had written
> or printed Sanskrit in mind. Obviously, he should not be quoted by dropping
> that part of his statement which serves to avoid a possible
> misunderstanding of his point.
> This must be the first time in human history that one or two missed
> quotation marks led to a petition for not publishing an author’s books.
> Could there be something offensively exciting in some absences? Could the
> fact that there were many attributions in the same context to the author
> whose paragraphs Malhotra is supposed to have plagiarized be an
> insurmountable obstacle for some readers in noting that credit has been
> given where it was due? Or, did the readers experience a blinding let-down
> when the attributions suddenly stopped coming?
> a.a.
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