The battle between secular India and Bharat

A  left-leaning centralised socialist model has created a  shortage/entitlement economy. In fact one of the reasons for India's  limited progress is that post-independent India is at odds with its  true nature. It is something that educated right of centre Hindus are  trying to correct, says Sanjeev Nayyar.

Sunil  Sethi’s recent article, How  India is a nation of cheats uses the Vyapam scandal in Madhya Pradesh and Rajiv Malhotra being  accused of plagiarism with respect to his books Breaking  India and Indra's  Net to justify the title.

Using  two examples to say we are a nation of cheats is an insult to 1.25  billion Indians. Notwithstanding aberrations, Indians are honest  people and have earned a fair name for themselves worldwide.

So  far as Indians being cheats has. Sethi read, 'The 10 Biggest Frauds  in Recent US history' published by  Am taking the US because it is where Richard Fox Young, who has  accused Malhotra of plagiarism, resides. Details are:

"Enron. The energy company's bankruptcy in 2001 after allegations of massive  accounting fraud wiped out $78 billion in stock market value and led  to the collapse of Arthur Andersen.

Bernard  Madoff.  New York money manager Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme, the  largest fraud ever by an individual, was exposed in December 2008.

Lehman  Brothers.  Investment bank Lehman, with $600 billion in assets, failed in late  2008. It was the largest bankruptcy in history and a spark to the  worldwide financial crisis.

Cendent. Shortly after the company was created by the merger of CUC  International and HFS in 1997, a massive, decade long accounting  fraud at CUC was uncovered. It was estimated to have cost investors  at least $19 billion.

MF  Global.  The brokerage firm, led by former Goldman Sachs Chairman and former  New Jersey Senator then Governor Jon Corzine, had $41 billion in  assets before failing in October 2011."

To  read about All  Frauds.

Shashi  Tharoor's recent talk at Oxford University tells you how honest the  British were. Watch.

Without  wanting to defend corruption, its scale in India is peanuts compared  to the US! Do these frauds allow us to call all Americans and British  cheats? The answer is NO.

The  root cause of corruption is because government systems and laws have  not changed with time. Shankar Acharya wrote, 'But change has been  slow in coming, far slower than in the "parent" civil  service in Britain which long ago reformed its structure to better  incorporate the specialist needs of effective modern governance.'  Read Burden  of Legacies.

A  left-leaning centralised socialist model has created a  shortage/entitlement economy and ensured the Congress slogan in  1970's and 2014 was 'Garibi Hatao'.

In  fact one of the reasons for India's limited progress is that  post-independent India is at odds with its true nature. It is  something that educated right of centre Hindus, one of whom is  Malhotra, are trying to correct. Read Why  post independent India is at odd with its true nature

Sethi  calls Rajiv, “'the philosopher-in-chief of Internet Hindutva' and  it's as much a fight for intellectual probity and publishing ethics  as a bruising ideological skirmish between liberal left-leaning  academics and self-help Hindu revivalists.”

So  far as the plagiarism accusation is concerned Malhotra recently  wrote, “At most they could claim that in a few instances the  quotation marks were omitted, but there is no doubt that the author  is referring to Nicholson’s work. Also, less than 3 per cent of Indra’s  Net references pertain to Nicholson, because he is relevant only to minor  portions of the book. Hence, he is hardly supplying anything major.”  Read Nicholson's  Untruths.

Notwithstanding  the charge of plagiarism being a poor joke, as Malhotra is usually  quite a heavy citer but knowing the forces working against him he  should be careful henceforth.

Do  readers know that Breaking  India,  co-authored by Malhotra, focuses on the role of the US and European  churches, academics, think-tanks etc in fostering separation of the  identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India?

By  virtue of having lived in the US for decades and growing up in Indian  tradition, Malhotra has unique insights that have allowed him to  write about the church-academia nexus. It is only natural that his  credibility must be destroyed. Read What  happened to the Rs 94k cr that Indian NGOs received.

Many  are concerned about what they call 'Internet Hindutva'. Till the  advent of the net ordinary readers had no way to counter left-leaning  articles in the print media. The net has changed that. Many are  unable to deal with this new reality.  

On  plagiarism here are two examples of Americans having appropriated  Indian tradition.

One,  millions of Americans practice yoga, it is a billion dollar industry.  Since it originated in India should not Americans have taken  permission for its use, paid royalty and credited Sanatan, Buddhist  and Jain Dharma traditions? Instead the Americans coined a term  'Christian Yoga where Hindu symbols are substituted by Christian ones  for e.g. Surya Namaskar is Son Salutations, where the Son is not  Surya but Son of God ie Jesus Christ'.

Two, Malhotra said, “The Anthroposophical Society that was founded by  Rudolf Steiner, was formerly with the theosophists where he picked up  his main ideas from Hinduism, and where J Krishnamurti later became  the head. The huge movement known as 'Mindfulness Meditation' is  nothing other than vipassana and its American copyright claimant Jon  Kabat-Zinn learned it from S N Goenka. 'Lucid Dreaming' is a  technique widely taught in the USA including the US army and various  medical centres, but it is in fact Yoga Nidra.”

Who  do you think highlighted these infringements of intellectual  property? To hear Rajiv  Malhotra's talk at IIT Mumbai, "Are  Indians buying back their own ideas from the West?”.

Rajeev  Srinivasan recently wrote,  'The RISA group of mostly American religious academics who act as  gatekeepers for Western Indology has consistently excluded those  other than their own through the spurious argument of ‘scholarship’.  Indeed, Wendy has spawned -- in nice counterpoint to Romila Thapar in  India -- an entire generation of Hindu-hating ‘scholars’, both  Indian and Western.'

Here  is a personal experience. On May 13, 2015 the author attended a talk,  at the Centre for South Asian Studies Stanford University, titled  'Genocide/Diaspora', by Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas. The  speaker talked about post-Godhra riots, killings in Kashmir, the  plight of Sikh families affected by 1984 riots etc. Not a word about  58 women and children burnt alive in Godhra and 250 odd Hindus killed  in the subsequent riots; not a word about the rape and massacre of  thousands of Kashmiri Pandits resulting in a mass exodus and ethnic  cleansing in the Kashmir valley.

My  protest against such a one-sided view were heard and responded  without answering the point made. A fellow Indian, who attends their  programs regularly, cautioned me against being vocal and said that  similar anti-India rants were common.

The  plagiarism accusation is symbolic of a bigger fight between Western  academics who seek to define Indian Thought and Philosophy and Right  of Centre educated Indians? So far the former defined India and  evaluated Indians based on self-defined parameters. In the last ten  odd years that is sought to be changed.   

What  was outsourced during British/Congress rule is now being reclaimed.

Malhotra  is a pawn in this battle. It is actually a Dharma Yudh between  secular/colonial India vs. Dharma/Bharat.

Disclosure: I have known Rajiv Malhotra for nearly twelve years, met a few times  and had major disagreements. He hosted me for a night at his  Princeton home in the summer of 2015.

The  author is an independent columnist, chartered accountant and founder  of

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