[INDOLOGY] Malhotra and plagiarism

Audrey Truschke audrey.truschke at gmail.com
Wed Jul 22 15:42:21 UTC 2015

Godwin's Law: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/godwins-law

Audrey Truschke
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Religious Studies
Stanford University
e- <audrey.truschke at gmail.com>mail <audrey.truschke at gmail.com> | website

On Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 8:08 AM, <koenraad.elst at telenet.be> wrote:

> Dear listfolk,
> After having provided the link to what Malhotra has to say to Andrew
> Nicholson's attack on him (linked even earlier), here is the link to what
> he is doing about  it: http://swarajyamag.com/culture/nicholsons-untruths/
> Briefly, in agreement with the publisher, he is throwing Nicholson entirely
> out of his book, replacing him by Indian authors writing on the same
> unifying-Hinduism efforts. After all, he had only quoted a Westerner
> because that is more prestigious and unsuspect, but there is a lot of
> better knowledge about Hindu tradition among Hindus themselves. In the
> spirit of decolonization, he is taking this opportunity to highlight Indian
> scholars in the "decolonized" second version of Indra's Net. The broader
> context of which the present controversy forms part, is given here:
> http://www.firstpost.com/living/decolonising-indology-rajiv-malhotra-wont-follow-rules-set-west-2356234.html
>  Established Western scholars who only talk to one another, might not
> realize it, but as I notice in non-mainstream media, Malhotra is turning
> the tables on his attackers, and is coming out of this affair with
> increased prestige.
> While some of you have provided links to the attacks on him, it has fallen
> to me to provide links to his responses. Given your apparent interest in
> the affair, this must have been a useful service. Amid the holy indignation
> about plagiarism by a man who has amply referred to Nicholson and quoted
> him many times, thus annulling the very rationale a plagiarist would have,
> I find it more anomalous that so many academics consider it perfectly
> normal to hear (and act on) only one half of the story. As Hegel said, "das
> Wahre ist das Ganze" (truth is the whole). But no, the fact that I have
> made his voice audible has served as proof among several scholars that I
> must be in agreement with him, or even in his pay. The latter allegation,
> and conspiracy theory, sure to be a hit among fishwives, betrays an
> interesting mentality: the assumption that defending someone's right to be
> heard implies agreeing with him. By that principle, even Hitler and Stalin
> were champions of free speech -- at least the free speech of those who
> agreed with them. It ought to be obvious to scholars that hearing a
> position and agreeing with that position are two different things. Well
> yeah, while the affair loses its steam, it becomes time for me to formulate
> my own thoughts about it, tomorrow or so.
> Fortunately, we can conclude on a positive note. We should take heart from
> the complaint uttered here that, while so many people signed a petition
> opposing the pulping of Wendy Doniger's book, so few have now signed the
> petition demanding the pulping of Malhotra's book. At that time, I wrote
> that there may be many things wrong with Doniger's book (indeed, a great
> many), but that banning it is not the answer. It seems that today, a
> healthy majority here thinks that to the few things wrong with Malhotra's
> book, banning is still not the right answer.
> Kind regards,
> Koenraad Elst
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