Video: Rajiv Malhotra Explains His Stand on Outsiders v/s Insiders And Denies Plagiarism Charges

Video: Rajiv Malhotra Explains His Stand on Outsiders v/s Insiders And Denies Plagiarism ChargesRajiv Malhotra
  • After a talk on Hinduisim in America at Columbia University, Rajiv Malhotra answers questions on his ‘insider-outsider’ argument, plagiarism allegations and much more.

Acclaimed author Rajiv Malhotra was at Columbia University on 15 April for a talk on ‘Hinduism in America’.

During the question and answer session, he was confronted by Tyler Williams, an Assistant Professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, who started out by insinuating that Rajiv Malhotra has tried to tarnish the image of his colleagues.

Rajiv responded by saying that such insinuations show how some academicians can not handle criticism. In response to the question by the associate professor about the ‘insider- outsider’ argument vitiating the classroom, Rajiv said that the question amounted to propaganda and pointed out that in the very introduction of one of his books, he has expanded on ‘who an insider is and who isn’t’. He said that a lot of whites are insiders while a lot of Indians are outsiders. He explained by saying ‘outsider or an insider is defined by the lens you wear and not the ethnicity ‘.

In response to the academic’s second question on the allegations of plagiarism in Indra’s Net, Rajiv replied that such allegations were false and he had invited Andrew J. Nicholson (the Indologist he was accused of plagiarizing from) to file a case in a court of law or come to arbitration or ‘keep his mouth shut’. He also pointed out that he had mentioned Nicholson’s work 33 times in the chapter which deals with Nicholson’s work.

About 70 minutes into the event, a few women shouted ‘down with Hindutva.’ They were sent out of the hall by the organisers. Rajiv called this mini-protest ‘good entertainment’ . A little while later, he asked Tyler Williams, who was regularly interrupting Malhotra, to ‘behave like a professor or a researcher or whoever you claim to be’ and asked him to ‘have some basic manners’. He answered a few more questions before the event ended.


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