CAMBRIDGE, MA— Rajiv Malhotra, a Hindu activist and author, urged American and Western scholars to respect sacred traditions of Hindus.
Malhotra spoke at a conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, jointly organized by MIT Samskritam, MIT HSC and Samskrita Bharati of Boston. The topic of his speech on Friday was: “The Force Awakens: Indian Tradition takes on American Orientalism.”
A number of curious people and students came to listen to his thought provoking speech in which he discussed the importance of ‘Purvapaksha’ (the tradition of studying the other side) of Western Indologists who dominate the popular discourse on Indian culture and the importance of the insider when interpreting and analyzing a culture and its history, literature and sacred texts.
He proposed his critic of the interpretation of Indian history and culture by the American academics and other European Indian or South-East Asian study specialists with little respect for the sacred traditions of Hindus and without in-depth and clear understanding of Hindu Samskriti.
In his books especially in “The Battle for Sanskrit,” he quoted numerous instances where the Orientalism approach went wrong and was misleading.
Malhotra is a physicist, researcher, Indian-American writer and a Hindu activist who dedicates his full time in critiquing and providing factual information to the challenges given by the Outside and Inside Indologists.
He also talked about building a team of ‘Intellectual Kshatriyas (Warriors)’ who can systematically and academically debate and refute the baseless interpretations of rich Indian history and culture by Western Indologists/Orientalists and preserve the correct analysis of Hindu Samskritam and Samskriti.
His latest book is entitled “The Battle for Sanskrit.”
Jaichander Swaminathan, a MIT Ph.D student and the president of the student body MIT Samskritam, welcomed the audience and the speaker to the special event. Giri Bharathan, who acted as the Master of Ceremony, gave an amusing and pleasurable narration of the program in Sanskrit language with English interpretations.
An elegant introduction was given by Mukesh Chatter, a well-known technology entrepreneur. Venkatesh T. R., a volunteer at Samskrita Bharati of Boston Kendra gave, votes of thanks to the above organizations for arranging this event. He thanked MIT for providing them a wonderful venue and Malhotra for coming over all the way from New Jersey. He also acknowledged the support and enthusiasm of the audience and volunteers.