Shatavadhani Ganeshji versus Rajiv Malhotra.
This is precisely the problem with Indian scholars.
They do not realize that global benefit, leave alone establishment or certification by global audience, of rich heritage of great philosophical concepts of India requires a multi pronged strategy with multiple dimensions, each having its own impact and importance.
They do not realize the necessity to put up a united face or at least avoid a confrontational approach, towards these multiple dimensions of which Rajiv Malhotra’s works acquire immense importance.
No one needs to agree with everyone on all accounts but then before launching on controversial criticisms one needs to evaluate the target in over all context and proper perspective.
It is very unfortunate that most Indian scholars are egoistic;
They thrive on eulogy of their blind admirers –mostly consisting of like minded people or pathetically ignorant ones who get carried away by the scholarship of these educated ones.
Indian academic circles and artistic circuits suffer from five major diseases, most of which are the outcome of ego satisfaction and material success in academic circles:-
1. Mutual admiration;
2. Unloving criticism;
3. Uncritical love;
4. Sponsorship pleasing attitude- unfortunate though, this is the reason why there are many works even in ancient literature praising the kings, queens and rulers.
5. Pandering to populist narratives or endorsement from some Western academic circle/scholar.
I have been a great admirer of Shatavadhani Ganeshji for his extraordinary memory, immense knowledge, information, communication skills, ability to find relevant and connected literature and material on a given topic from various sources spontaneously on stage and I think there is hardly anyone who can defeat him on stage on these accounts.
However, in depth scholarship involving detailed scientific, rational analysis of ideas, concepts, philosophies require a more wise research, especially one, that needs to reach a wider audience, explain to them the essence of these concepts simultaneously removing the misconceptions and misinformation peddled about these concepts.
This battle field is a totally different ball game and tougher because it also involves explaining everything in the language and idiom of the targeted audience who have an inbuilt agenda of bias perpetrated over centuries of brain washing for various reasons.
So, while I expected Shatavadhani Ganeshji to take the pain to read Malhotra’s work and all the references there along with the reading of Pollock, then delve into valid criticism, I was disappointed that Shatavadhani Ganeshji has also become susceptible like our media folks to select a few statements and deliver his views.
Already and unfortunately Karnataka’s literary circle is damaged by popularizing the works of people like Girish Karnad and Sudha Murthy I expected people like Shatavadhani Ganeshji to stem the rot but I am disappointed to say the least.
I have always admired people like Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganeshji who can pack in a single topic the entire gamut of India’s multi-faceted glory .
I have shared on several occasions Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganeshji’s lectures like this in my blog post [incidentally the link to his lecture was removed from internet, even from internet archives, I don’t know why] http://contentwriteups.blogspot.in/2015/03/singing-our-past-glory-popular-refrain.html
I feel there is lot of wisdom in the following piece which Phenella writes in “The Unwritten Comedy”.
“To be ignorant of many things is expected
To know you are ignorant of many things is the beginning of wisdom.
To know a category of things of which you are ignorant is the beginning of learning.
To know the details of that category of things of which you are ignorant is to no longer be ignorant.”