13th February 2014
Giving Rajiv Malhotra the benefit of doubt, but need his public condemnation of the destruction of Doniger’s book
I requested Wendy Doniger to comment on Rajiv Malhotra's possible role in destroying her book and she wrote: "it was a small group of rather old [75, 85] Indian Hindus. I don't think Malhotra had anything to do with it."
I'm not convinced, but I need to evaluate the facts and make a call.
FACTS SO FAR
A) from Twitter
1) Rajiv Malhotra actively supports destruction of Doniger's book – indicating his support for the destruction of books, hence the destruction of free speech.
2) He argued in favour of the book's destruction in response to Anuj, on the pretext that he had apparently been blocked by Doniger and 'others'. He actively justified the destruction of the book.
3) He has not condemned the destruction of Doniger's book.
B) from this blog
4) He knows about the Indians in America involved in this matter (allegedly some "Atlanata group"). This action against liberty was hatched in the USA.
1) He was perhaps one of the first persons in the world to relay information about this destruction, hence likely directly informed by people in the know.
2) He probably knows all key players involved in this subversion of liberty and likely been involved in supporting them in some way. After all, lawyers don't come free.
3) His writings were probably used by key people to prepare the petition against Doniger, even assuming he was not directly its writer.
Rajiv Malhotra is an enemy of free speech. That is 100 per cent clear.
On balance, he is also involved in this case – probably as part of his public disputation with Wendy Doniger. It is only rarely that smoke is not accompanied by fire. He has the strongest motivations against Wendy, and Martha Nussbaum and Wendy have both commented on his aggressive approaches to disputation.
However, given his denial of involvement, and Wendy's view that he is not involved, I'm giving him the benefit of doubt. As part of this I have removed two blog posts that I published yesterday.
If Rajiv will now PUBLICLY AND STRONGLY CONDEMN the destruction of Doniger's book in India, I will even consider apologising to him (Vidyut's suggestion). I want to be fair even to those who actively promote the destruction of liberty/books.