JNU appoints Hindutva ideologue Rajiv Malhotra honorary professor: US-based author has history of courting controversy

Hindutva ideologue Rajiv Malhotra, who has been appointed an honorary visiting professor by Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, has a history of courting controversy.

 JNU appoints Hindutva ideologue Rajiv Malhotra honorary professor: US-based author has history of courting controversy

Rajiv Malhotra. Image courtesy Rajiv Malhotra's Facebook page

In September, Malhotra, who is based in the United States, in conversation with godman Paramahamsa Nithyananda, proposed a unique concept to manage wealth — the world's first inter-life reincarnation management trust. "If you go to Bill Gates," Malhotra said, "his biggest problem you tell him is when you're dead, your wealth is useless in the next life, unless we can find you and transfer you that wealth."

"Out of the $100 billion you give us $50 billion in trust: to be given to you in your next life when we find you. So if we can — within the rules of the Agama (a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools) — locate where Bill Gates is next time and give him at least $5 billion to $10 billion. He'll be much happier."

A physicist and computer scientist by training, Malhotra drew outrage in August amid the Kerala floods by soliciting donations "for Hindus". "Christians and Muslims worldwide raising lots of money to help mainly their own ppl & agendas," he had said on Tiwtter and later deleted the tweet.

In another example of Malhotra courting controversy, a lecture he delivered at Mumbai's Tata Institute of Social Sciences on 29 January, 2016, according to a report in Scroll, quickly devolved into a back and forth with his audience. Malhotra then took to Twitter to accuse some attending students of being "uncritical leftist goons" and "missionary agents who cannot engage with his views in a calm academic manner".

He tweeted after the talk:

In 2015, Malhotra was accused of plagiarism by historian Richard Fox Young, who alleged that the author had quoted verbatim from other works and lifted his ideas without attribution. Malhotra's books include Indra's Net: Defending Hinduism's Philosophical Unity, Battle for Sanskrit and Academic Hindophobia.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 31, 2018 16:44:08 IST