Re: [INDOLOGY] Speaking of plagiarism: Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidyalankar’s Ṛgveda

George Thompson gthomgt at
Sun Jul 19 22:33:30 UTC 2015

Dear List,

Let me clarify my contributions to this discussion.  I am not very much
troubled by Malhotra's plagiarism.  I haven't read any of his books [why
would I? there's nothing there for me!].  No, what troubles me about
Malhotra is that he is  a man with a lot of money who has managed to buy
his way into Indology, and he has bought not only a bunch of nativist
Hindutvavadis!  He has bought a lot of mainstream Sanskritists as well.
See Stella Sandahl's query about his Infinity foundation's funding of a
chair at Harvard.  He has been buying up Sanskritists just as Donald Trump
has been buying up American panditas here in the USA.

So, as Greg Bailey and others have suggested, let us look at his vile
ideology. So, really, does he really say in his plagiarized books that the
only people who can understand and translate Hindu texts are Hindus?  Well,
let us talk about that too.

Best wishes

George Thompson

On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 3:20 PM, Robert Goldman <rpg at> wrote:

> Since the topic has come up, it is illuminating as David and Nancy have
> done, to look beyond the wretched and ignorant writings of Mr. Malhotra to
> examples of work in wide circulation in which the author’s unethical
> reliance on earlier scholarship has not been widely noticed.
> The most serious and extensive example we have  encountered in the course
> of our work is Hari Prasad Shastri’s three volume English translation of
> the *Vālmīkirāmāyaṇa*, *The Ramayana of Valmiki *(London: Shanti Sadan
> 1959). This work has been very substantially translated directly from
> Alfred Roussel’s 1903 French translation* Le Rāmāyaṇa de Vālmīki*,
> (Paris: Librairie des cinq parties du monde. Bibliothèque Orientale, no.
> 8.) as Sally Sutherland Goldman and I have amply documented throughout  the
> annotation of our translations of the epic’s *Sundara*, *Yuddha* and
> *Uttara* (now in press) *kāṇḍas*.
> As others have noted Sanskrit does  of course have a widely used marker of
> quotations in the form of the particle *iti* and the numerous authors
> with whom we have worked are quite meticulous in citing their sources
> whether they agree or disagree with the quoted authors or texts. They do
> not necessarily cite, as  modern western protocol requires, by chapter and
> verse, generally being content with ascriptions to a text, a body of text
> or an author as in *iti śrutiḥ*, *iti pādme*, *iti bhaṭṭatīrthāu *etc.
> But that is the normal scholarly protocol of their intellectual tradition.
> Bob Goldman
> Dr. R. P.  Goldman
> Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South and
> Southeast Asian Studies
> Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies MC # 2540
> The University of California at Berkeley
> Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
> Tel: 510-642-4089
> Fax: 510-642-2409
> On Jul 19, 2015, at 10:49 AM, David and Nancy Reigle <dnreigle at>
> wrote:
> No, I did not intend to imply anything about Malhotra's writings, which I
> have never read. I wanted to call attention to two other cases of
> plagiarism, far more extensive than Malhotra's. Even if the possibility
> that something might be done about them is remote, it may be useful to know
> about them.
> I was very disappointed when I saw what T. G. Mainkar had done with the Sāṃkhyakārikā
> and Gauḍapāda’s commentary, copying even omissions and typographical
> errors in Har Dutt Sharma's translation. It seems that all he did was read
> and edit the English, without even consulting the Sanskrit. He improved
> some English words here and there, and deleted all the parentheses that
> Sharma had used to distinguish his own additions from what is in the
> Sanskrit. Yet Sharma's superior translation has fallen into oblivion, while
> Mainkar's was again reprinted in 2004. I have scanned and posted Sharma's
> book in three parts here:
> Similarly, I was very disappointed to see that Satya Prakash Sarasvati
> and Satyakam Vidyalankar had largely only copied Wilson's translation of
> the Ṛgveda, substituting God for the Vedic gods. The notes they added are
> helpful, and they reproduced Aufrecht's romanized text, and also a
> devanagari text. But I expected their translation to follow the Arya Samaj
> line of interpretation throughout, so that we could see how it differs from Sāyaṇa’s
> interpretation. What unsuspecting readers got instead, other than God for
> the gods, was in fact Sāyaṇa’s interpretation, by way of the silent
> appropriation of Wilson's translation.
> My own work is textual, and these two cases of plagiarism are more
> important to me than is Malhotra's case. I wanted to use the opportunity
> that this discussion of plagiarism provided to call attention to these two
> cases. Sorry that I did not distinguish them more clearly from Malhotra's
> case.
> Best regards,
> David Reigle
> Colorado, U.S.A.
> On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 10:33 AM, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at>
> wrote:
>> Two wrongs don't make a right.  (If that's what you meant.)
>>>>>> Dominik Wujastyk​
>> _______________________________________________
>> INDOLOGY mailing list
>> indology-owner at (messages to the list's managing
>> committee)
>> (where you can change your list options or
>> unsubscribe)
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> indology-owner at (messages to the list's managing
> committee)
> (where you can change your list options or
> unsubscribe)
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> indology-owner at (messages to the list's managing
> committee)
> (where you can change your list options or
> unsubscribe)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list