JNU Appoints Hindutva Activist Rajiv Malhotra as Honorary Visiting Professor

Other recent appointees include Indian-American computer scientist Subhash Kak and journalist-turned-Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta.

New Delhi: Indian-American author and Hindutva ideologue Rajiv Malhotra has been appointed an honorary professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Media Studies. Malhotra tweeted on Monday that he would deliver his first lecture as visiting professor on November 2 on the topic “Sanskrit Non-Translatables.”

A physicist and computer scientist by training, Malhotra is known to be a fiery Hindutva activist who retired from entrepreneurship to launch the Infinity Foundation in 1994 to “pursue philanthropy, research and public service” according to his website.

Popular for his video lectures, Malhotra has been called by some as the “Ayn Rand of Internet Hindutva.” His books include Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity, Battle for Sanskrit and Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines.

In 2015, Malhotra was accused of plagiarism by historian Richard Fox Young. Young accused Malhotra of a lack of academic integrity given his “repeated failure to acknowledge sources”. Malhotra did not deny the charges, instead saying on his Twitter post that the academic standards demanded by Young were “too high”.

Also read: Allegations of Political Bias in Faculty Hiring the Latest Battleline in JNU

In August this year, Malhotra courted controversy in the wake of Kerala floods when he tweeted asking people to donate to help Kerala Hindus. “Christians and Muslims worldwide raising lots of money to help mainly their own ppl & agendas,” tweeted Malhotra, which he has since deleted.

Other recent appointments at the premier institution, which has been embroiled in several controversies ever since M. Jagadesh Kumar took over as vice-chancellor, include Subhash Kak, an Indian-American computer scientist who has been named as the adjunct faculty at the institution’s School of Engineering and an honorary visiting professor at the Centre for Media Studies. Journalist and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta is also among the honorary visiting fellows of the centre.

Scroll.in has reported that Kak was among teachers at US universities who issued a letter welcoming PM Narendra Modi’s initiatives, in response to a statement issued by leading South Asian experts at US universities urging Silicon Valley industrialists to be cautious about doing business with Modi.

The appointment of Malhotra, Kak and Dasgupta as honorary visiting professors comes after a series of allegations were levelled against vice chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar by the JNU academic community for allegedly flouting norms to get candidates close to the Sangh parivar appointed at the university.