14th February 2014
Rajiv Malhotra’s response and my further comments. It is getting time to move on.
After Doniger's wrote to me that you may not be involved in the destruction of her book, I am obliged to give you the benefit of doubt.[Haha – so you are a Doniger crony and she gets to decide what you will say about me. How about a course on decolonizing yourself?] [Sanjeev: Your denial PLUS Doniger's view about you possibly not being involved. Are you saying that ALL statements by Doniger are necessarily false – and you are the only one who should be believed. Note that I've never read Doniger – had not even heard of her. And I believe you MAY be entirely right in your views, but the issue is not the content of your work or Doniger's. The issue is the destruction of Doniger's book. ]Last night I removed my two initial posts despite significant doubt in my mind, based on the facts of the case. 2+2 is rarely not 4.No person committed to free speech would have acted as you did on Twitter. Btw, Tweets are not third party' transaction.[Third party point is misunderstood by you. What I mean is that my actions with Nussbaum as an example of a third party has no bearing on YOU, that you failed to understand the context of such interactions with her, and that you have no clue of what my response was to her. SHE IS THE THIRD PARTY BEING REFERRED TO. Nothing to do with twitter. There are 100+ third parties i interacted with and you cannot take their point out of context and apply to me. DO YOU GET IT NOW?] [Sanjeev: Thanks for the clarification. This was merely my further investigation about you after your resort to abuse despite my CLEAR commitment to apologise if I was wrong. This "finding" does not affect the key issue of your support for the destruction of Doniger's book. Your aggression (or otherwise) is not an issue, just like your abuse is not an issue. There are millions of aggressive and abusive people in this world. My issue is about any intolerance which leads to book destruction . That's my main bug bear. The rest is incidental.]Twitter is a tool of public speech and conclusive evidence in many things.
I fully understand that my initial strong language offended you. Yes, I do get very offended by rich and powerful people who want to demolish free speech.
[Did you do any due diligence to assess that I am "rich"? Another example of hearsay as your level of scholarship?] [Sanjeev: I don't have time to undertake detailed scholarship on every comment. But some proof: (1) Rajiv Malhotra (born September 15, 1950), is an Indian-American multimillionaire – Source Wikipedia. (2) "Malhotra has had an unusually rich and influential career: With a background in science and after a successful business venture" – Source ]
Only I am to blame for this weakness of my approach, which allowed you to evade the substantive issues of this matter and take the high moral ground.
At this stage, since you are still communicating after your initial flare up, walking the talk is key. You can help me by publicly condemning everyone involved in forcing the pulping of Doniger's book, including Atalanta group and the relevant Indians (Batra et al). Write to Doniger supporting her right to mislead the world about Hinduism (if that's what you think she is doing).
[I am not going to "help you" under circumstances of intimidation. That would encourage your bad behavior. My own stance on the whole matter is being put up publicly ...] [Sanjeev: OK I'm possibly guilty of bad behaviour in this case – if you are able to convince me that you are a supporter of free speech and not supporter of book destruction. I have no problem in apologising if I've wrongly blamed you for being an enemy of free speech. But please help me with specific proof. The only facts I have at present are your justification for book destruction.]
Voltaire said he'd disagree with someone but defend to death their right to say what they wished. You should take that approach. Such an approach would have attracted me to you, to your work, and I would have been open to reading and considering your arguments.
It is critical that we allow civilised discourse to occur even on matters we totally disagree with.
[This is one point I agree. You must start practicing this in your conduct towards someone like me – especially I am someone you never met or spoke with or interacted online. Your first reference about me came as a series of insults, unsubstantiated allegations, judgments based on false assumptions...] [Sanjeev: I'm afraid your gloating about Doniger book destruction and justification for its destruction doesn't make my views "unsubstantiated". The substantive issue is fully substantitated. Yes, re: the issue of your direct involvement in this shameful event: you have denied it, Doniger thinks you may be innocent. I continue to reserve my judgement till I get clear answers from you on my questions. But in the meanwhile I have removed those posts. ]
Pulping books is the very antithesis of civilisation. We are not fit to be called Hindus if we start destroying books.
I have honed down to a few sections of IPC as the key culprit (s.295A). These sections, very ill-drafted and vague, hit at the very basics of freedom of speech in India and give all kinds of fools and fundamentalists the opportunity to harass authors. If you are serious about liberty, please join me in studying/researching/
condemning/ changing these sections, and demanding absolute free speech in India, including the 'un-banning' of all books and pieces of art.