Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has appointed Right wing Hindutva ideologue, Rajiv Malhotra as a visiting professor. Malhotra is expected to deliver his first lecture on 2nd of November at JNU’s Centre for Media Studies.
The appointment is receiving strong reactions from various corners due to the fact that JNU for long has been known as a bastion of left leaning students and professors, while Malhotra is not only a staunch Right-wing Hindutva ideologue but also one of the harshest critics of leftist ideas in contemporary times.
Criticizing Malhotra’s appointment, Left leaning historian Irfan Habib wrote on Twitter, “I don’t think JNU deserved this insult. A pretender, a plagiarist and Hindutva proponent Rajiv Malhotra appointed honorary visiting professor at JNU.”
I don’t think JNU deserved this insult. A pretender, a plagiarist and Hindutva proponent Rajiv Malhotra appointed honorary visiting professor at JNU https://t.co/KWqtF3FLEg
— S lrfan Habib (@irfhabib) October 31, 2018
Though Habib recieved a quick retort from Malhotra, as he challenged several prominent left leaning historians including him for an on-camera debate. “I challenge Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, Wendy Doniger, Sheldon Pollock, @Ram_Guha to have an open conversation on camera where we can share, agree, disagree freely,” Malhotra tweeted.
— Rajiv Malhotra (@RajivMessage) October 31, 2018
Author of books such as, ‘An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism’, ‘The Battle for Sanskrit’, ‘Academic Hinduphobia’, and ‘Breaking India,’ Malhotra is widely regarded as one of the biggest intellectual defenders of the Hindutva ideology of current times.
Malhotra, through his various works has lambasted foreign thinkers such as Wendy Doniger on several occasions for looking at India through what he calls “Marxist lens, a Leftist lens, a Freudian lens.” He has also raised his concern against Western digestion of Hindu practices and rituals, which according to him could be the last mail in the coffin for Hinduism.
In his works, Malhotra puts emphasis on the fundamental social and ideological differences between Indian world and the Western world and why the latter must not be imposed on the former.
Based in New Jersey, USA, Rajiv Malhotra also heads Infinity foundation, an organization which aims to bridge the gap between Indian philosophies and Western Thought. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Center for Indic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and is an adviser to various organizations.
Apart from Malhotra, JNU has also appointed Swapan Dasgupta as a visiting professor. A veteran journalist, having served at The Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, The Times of India, The Indian Express and India Today, Dasgupta is currently a member of the Rajya sabha. In recent times, he has been known to have ideological leanings towards the BJP or more specifically Prime Minister Narendra Modi.