A review of allegations of plagiarism in: 

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Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines, by Rajiv Malhotra (RM), Aravindan Neelakandan (AN)

(Amaryllis, 2011)

By 

Independent Readers and Reviewers

 

  1. Allegation that on p. 26 authors plagiarized from Wilhem Halfbass (1988).

Analysis: This is not true: In the verbatim quote the authors have exactly specified the source in endnote 19 of chapter 3 (see p. 478). The source being Halfbass (1988, p.3). The two lines which immediately follow after that are not a ‘verbatim quote’ and it is very obvious to the reader that it is a continuation from the same source as cited above. This is standard academic practice known to anyone who publishes in scientific journals. Unless it is a verbatim quote, an exact citation for each statement is not necessary.

Recommendation: It will be better to add an (ibid.) in the next edition.

For the original text and references see:

bi1

 

  1. Allegation that on p. 26 authors plagiarized from Maurice Olender (1992)

Analysis: This seems more to be a simple copy editing slip, because the closely preceding references (Nr. 16, 17 and 18) are to Olender (1992) which makes it substantially clear to the reader that the ensuing text and context is heavily drawn from Olender (1992). This is also evident from neighboring references (Nr. 7, 25 and 26) attributed to Olender (1992). If there were any mal intentions, Olender would not be referred at all. This is a simple mix up between Max Mueller and Olender for attribution, not a case of authors wanting to avoid attributing at all.

Recommendation: Endnote 21 in p. 478 of Breaking India should be Olender. This can be followed by the current reference to Max Muller.

For the original text and references see:

bi2

 

Overall assessment on Breaking India

Based on these two very minor aberrations a plagiarism test by standard software (such as TURNITIN http://en.writecheck.com/) would not throw a figure more than acceptable limits. Of course this varies from subject areas and/or type of publications. But the main issue in plagiarism is an act of direct appropriation of ideas and using direct quotes while claiming to be the author’s own. This, too, is tolerated if it does not cross the norm range. There is nothing to suggest in the above instances that was appropriation of ideas or quotes without acknowledgment to third parties.

Recommendation: No change.

 

A review of allegations of plagiarism in:

InB

Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity, by Rajiv Malhotra (HarperCollins, 2014)

By

 Independent Readers and Reviewers

  1. Allegation that on p. 158 author has plagiarized from Nicholson (2010)

Analysis: Not a valid criticism. The text in question is sufficiently rephrased not to justify putting it under ‘quotes’. This means that by standard practice it is not needed to immediately place the reference at the end of the sentence. Yet, author does specify the exact reference for this phrase which is from Nicholson (2010, p. 3). There is absolutely nothing erroneous or disingenuous about it.

Recommendation: No change.

For the original text and references see:

in1

 

  1. Allegation that on p. 160 author plagiarized from Nicholson (2010)

Analysis: This is no plagiarism. The complainant does not seem to be well versed with scientific publishing. Author rightly refers to both the original sources as used by Nicholson (2010) in p.116. Firstly, there is sufficient paraphrasing not to justify putting them under ‘quotes’. Yet, at the exact places the end-notes 14 and 15 direct the reader to the original sources. Endnote 15 is exactly Vishnu Purana 6.7.35 (unless the complainant implies that Nicholson, 2010 holds to copyright to Vishnu Purana). Endnote 15 is exactly as used by Nicholson (2010). This is again a minor glitch which can be revised in next edition/s.

Furthermore, the chapter in question (Chapter 8) is replete with references to Nicolson, 2010. See Endnotes 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 17, 18, 20, 27, 28, and 29. This makes it very evident to the reader of the continuity of the passages and does not give a sense of disconnecting the reader from Nicholson as source. This is consistent with the best academic practices.

Moreover, the complainant makes an error in stating that ‘Malhotra inserts two endnotes, nos 14 and 15. On page 326 of Indra’s Net’. The endnotes are on page 328!

Recommendation: End note 15 to be written BS 4.1.15 and Ch. Up. 6.14.2 and it can be optionally added, ‘as also stated in Nicholson, 2010’.

For the original text and references see:

in2

 

  1. Allegation that on p. 162-163 author plagiarized from Nicholson (2010)

Analysis: This criticism reflects lack of probity of the complainant and not the author. There are two minor but important differences in the text from Nicholson (2010, pp.122-123) and the text by author.

1. Author inserts the word ‘reconciled’ which is not used by Nicholson.

2. Author leaves out ‘contemplative’ which was used by Nicolson.

These two changes can be attributed to author’s own literary license which makes a different reading of the intent as used by Nicholson. Therefore, author is sufficiently justified to leave out ‘quotation’ marks as this is NOT verbatim. In fact, using ‘quotations’ would be a case of false attribution to the sourced author. Also, author gives attribution to Nicholson in end note 18 (p.329) very appropriately without using ‘quotation’ which is the correct method.

Recommendation: No change.

For the original text and references see:

in3

 

  1. Allegation that on pp. 162-163 author plagiarized from Nicholson (2010) and wrongly attributed to Vivekananda (and not Vijnanabhikshu)

Analysis: The complainant is not accurate that the words are verbatim. The words used are phrases like ‘emphasized conflict and contradiction’ and ‘philosophical and interpretive ingenuity’. As per the norms under phraseology and plagiarism, common phrases can be used independently. The whole sentence/s is not verbatim and hence does NOT justify quotes. Yet, author has referred to Nicholson everywhere surrounding the text which means the reader is already clear by now that these discussions come from Nicholson. There is no need to add reference for Nicholson at the end of each sentence. This is especially true when author uses these phrases to typify Vivekananda and not Vijnanabhikshu as done in the original by Nicholson. It would have been misleading if he claimed direct attribution to Nicholson. Using the phrases to characterize Vivekananda instead of Vijnanabhikshu is totally acceptable as a part of the literary license of the author because this is not inconsistent with the immediately preceding texts. The whole point of the section is to show the continuity from Vijnanabhikshu up to Vivekananda. For example p. 162 last paragraph begins with the sentence ‘Vijnanabhikshu had contributed to the emergence of a proto-Hinduism to which Vivekananda became a worthy heir….’ And then author uses the similar phrase to typify Vivekananda which was used earlier for Vijnanabhikshu. There is nothing wrong here. The complainant seems to confuse between ‘plagiarized’ texts and ‘similar’ texts. This is an important distinction in scientific peer-review because of which it is standard that assessments of plagiarism is not made mechanically but by reasonable assessment of what is plagiarized and what is similar.

Recommendation: To clear any misunderstanding, author might add that ‘Vivekandanda’s challenge, consistent with Vijnanabhikshu’s, was to….’

For the original text and references see:

in4

 

  1. Allegation that on p. 329 author has self-plagiarized

Analysis: This complainant finds this item ‘just for fun’. It would have been a case of self-plagiarism if author had attributed either endnote 19 or 20 to himself! But he has attributed both of them to Nicholson (2010, pp.65, 78). As for plagiarism from Nicholson is concerned, it again needs to be noted that none of the three sentences in the highlighted text by the complainant is verbatim and hence cannot be accurately put within ‘quotations’. Additionally, author has cited Nicholson appropriately.

Recommendation: No change.

For the original text and references see

in5

 

  1. Allegation that on Endnote 2, p. 344 author plagiarized from Nicholson (2010)

Analysis: This appears to be an omission which needs to be corrected in a revised version. It is certainly not plagiarism because in the same endnote the author has referred Nicholson twice, each time with exact page numbers. See second half of endnote 2 on page 345 for references to Nicholson (2010, pp.52-53) and Nicholson (2010, p.39). If there was any intent to plagiarize, the author would have refrained from referring to Nicholson at all. This again brings one to surmise that the complainant is on a witch-hunt and not applying reasonable judgment which is essential in any fair review.

Recommendation: No change.

For the original text and references see

in6

 

  1. Allegation that on Endnote 2, p. 344 author plagiarized from Nicholson (2010)

Analysis: The response follows from response nr. 6 above. Author does cite Nicholson several times in the second half of the endnote and also writes ‘According to Nicholson’. This is not a lack of attribution to Nicholson. Again, unless the entire text is verbatim it cannot be put under quotes or else it would be a false quotation.

Recommendation: No change.

For the original text and references see:

in7

 

  1. Allegation that on Endnote 2, p.345 author used deception in double referencing Nicholson (2010).

Analysis: This is a strange self-contradiction by the complainant. The reader of Endnote 2 will be sufficiently clear that there is no misappropriation of the original author’s intent. By the prefix ‘According to Nicholson’ this is only made stronger. This is not even remotely plagiaristic. This is a combination of scientific citation and use of literary license to convey an idea clearly to the reader. This is how authors are expected to add value and extend others’ scholarship.

Recommendation: No change.

For the original text and references see

in8

 

  1. Allegation that on Endnote 4, p.346 Indra’s Net: criticism that RM has not cited Nicholson (2010).

Analysis: There is sufficient paraphrasing not to justify quotations. But, nevertheless, Nicholson could have been cited.

Recommendation: The following should be added at the closing of Endnote 4: Summarized from Nicholson 2010, 37, 45-46

 

Overall assessment of Indra’s Net:

The overall evidence does not even remotely suggest plagiarism. The complainant often confuses ‘similar’ text with ‘plagiarized’ text, not being able to identify differences between the two as per not only the rules but also norms of scientific publishing. To perfect this important work for the future, we recommend the corrections be made as indicated above in a future edition. These aberrations fall well within the statistically acceptable range of errors in a writing of the scale as presented in this book. An overall assessment not only overrules any impropriety but appreciates the author’s deftness involved in presenting such a complex matter for the reader’s easy access.

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64 thoughts on “

  1. They’re trying to stop the writer by making wrong allegations because they don’t want write things should be disclosed otherwise public will get aware and they will loose their credential

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like a Christian missionary who is very upset. Mate please stop being a fool. Speak to Rajiv Malhotra….an average below intelligence person knows how and where to get him.

    If you are scared and want to fight behind the scenes then it your foolishness and fear is understandable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice to see point by point rebuttal with logical intellectual argument.we need more intellectual kshatriya to bust bogus arguments made by so called liberals from outside and hard core hindu haters (communal) from within.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is an excellent rebuttal. RM has amply acknowledged his sources in all his books. If the subject matter is so complex, it is impossible to reference every statement. Otherwise it would result in an unwieldy bibliography that might be as long as the main text.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I suspect a hidden agenda behind the plagiarism claim. President Eisenhower had warned us of the Military-Industrial Complex in his last and final speech in office Today, I suspect there is an academic-media-organized religion complex.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Leftists are greatest threat, not only to India but for whole humanity. they are also expert in false propaganda Rajiv Malhotra’s work are unique and great exposing the evil natures and nexus of leftists, wahaabi Islam and evangelists.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I support rajiv malhotra sir.truth is always better thats why some people are not ready to accept it so they are opposing .neglect them and go ahead .with you rajiv sir

    Like

  8. Not only the Indian Sepoys, but their employers as Western Indologists are on the run for cover. They are fighting for their unlikely survival….

    Once exposed, they all would be unemployed BIG TIME, like the opposition parties in India against Shri Narendra Modi…..

    Shri Rajiv Malhotraji’s work should have a continuity through future generations too, so that this kind of Indologists’ efforts to belittle hinduism and Bharatheeya traditions and culture are spoiled by intellectual kshathriyas of every future generation….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If complainant is balancedly transperant enough ,&/or
    is not baisedly revengeful and really wants give it a thought again. He will revisit what has been said. .Repeated readings will make him quash most of his complaints. If otherwise he will have to be untrue all his life . Rajiv ji i support you

    Like

  10. The exposure of individuals, institutions by Rajiv’s works’ are expanding amongst Indians and the people of Indian descent. They are understanding and responding to the wrong discourse dictated by western scholarship about India and Indians. The positional arguments and meticulous research by Rajiv from Dharmic lens has justifiably perturbed the opponents and they are engaging in bringing out edits and print mistakes as big issues. For the west Asian traditions, their ‘end justifies the means’ says it all. Slandering Rajiv will only expose the intent of these individuals or anyone associated with them.

    Like

  11. I am a regular reader of Rajiv Malhotras books . I have read all his books ,he is one of the most genuine and as authentic writer . Above allegations are completely Bogus and False, I whole heartedlly support Rajiv Malhotra Ji .

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The Christian Missionaries want to convert Hindus to Christianity, hence they denigrate the people, Leaders, things, philosophy , culture, customs of Hindus so that Hindus feel ashamed being Hindu and then finally convert to Christianity..Alleging Rajiv MalhotraJi is of that kind. All Hindus must be aware of this and fight such Christian Missionary forces.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really feel Sorry for the ppl who hv pointed fingers over Rajiv Malhotra Ji’s writings . I hv a Humble request to them that they should start reading his Books .

    Like

  14. Shri Rajiv Mahotra ji is most genuinely, in all sincerity, in all honesty doing an incredibly great service in establishing Hinduism in the right perspective on world arena and the same time ensuring Hinduism gets it long deserved rightful credit/ due which so far have been denied/ overlooked/omitted deliberately by such unethical anti-hindu campaigners, i understand that they have done it now & surely shall be doing this in future as well only for commercial gains ( DHARM-ADHARM hardly matters to such individuals/groups). Paradoxically, they themselves, in collusion with foreign authors/ writers or other well-oiled networks, of great international repute in the west, otherwise, are consciously, professionally & systematically engaged in plagiarism of many a books of Hindu thoughts/ Hindu wisdom. I whole-heartedly support Shri Rajiv Malhotra ji for titanic work he has accomplished so far. I, am sheerly blessed to be experiencing his divine aura.
    He truly is our modern era MAHARISHI imbibing, refreshing & rebooting in us Hindu PRIDE.

    i, with folded hands & head bowed down,in all humility, reverence & infinite gratitude offer my sincerest ‘ koti koti pranams to परम श्रद्धेय most revered Maharishi Rajiv Malhotra ji.
    Please be our ॐGUIDING LIGHTॐ always.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve not read any book written by Mr.Rajiv Malhotra ji, however, my petriotism can’t be quastioned. From my childhood (age of 14) to till date (55 years age) I’ve not wasted time for any materialistic achievement nor for enjoying worldly happiness. I’ve never been a Secular ( Non-Religious, Atheist, indulge in the acts of playing, dancing, singing,drinking alcohol, having sexual romance with anyone without considering their cast, creed, religion and gender). I’ve never wasted my time for praying, practicing any religious rituals or become member of any Religion. I’ve spent my entire life in search of Bharatiya Darshan (Indian Philosophy) and giving my free humanitarian, social, legal and holistic services to the common people of our country.

    Like

  16. I also paste HEGEMONIC DISCOURSE…….PLEASE read it and understand it, this is how Western Academia, Indian Sepoys and Leftist / Marxist tie up and re write hisotry.

    A hegemonic discourse is a body of ideas produced by an influential coterie of writers. The core ideas get restated over and over again, until they are seen as common knowledge. The group relies on a circle of mutually supportive reviews, and on one another’s institutional contacts and sources of patronage to gain leverage for their views. Under the guise of ‘peer reviews’, this process gives them the semblance of objectivity. As the process unfolds, there is less and less need to defend their positions, and anyone who tries to oppose faces a very heavy burden of proof. Their core thesis is increasingly taken for granted. This mode of thinking then gets implanted in other disciplines and into the mainstream. Even when fresh evidence or arguments come along to challenge it, it continues to live because it is embedded and has momentum.

    Shri R Malhotra is fighting this but if are lazy then HEGEMONIC DISCOURSE will take over all the curricula and we will be slaves to our own mentality.

    Like

  17. Phew! This is how it must have been for the numerous writers who suffered in the hands of the mafia before the advent of social media. Suffering in silence against the organised and unconscionable hit jobs. We see it play out now in the open, for commoners to see and judge for themselves.

    Like

  18. Rajivji, the type of work you continue to create is innovative and greatly applicable to all of humanity. You are putting things in perspective for future students of world religions. We fully support you and will defend you from the evil forces. These forces will place a lot of obstacles in your path and try to prevent you reaching your goals which occurred throughout the history of sanatan dharma. Please ask us and demand the help you need. Thank you for the service you are providing to Hindu community.

    Gajendra savant

    Like

  19. This is an obvious attempt to stifle dissent on practically non-issues. Rajiv Malhotra is doing a pioneering work. His works must be got published. By allegations of plagiarism, the efforts are being made to stifle counter-view since it is proving difficult to factually challenge RM’s thesis by substantial facts.

    Like

  20. The allegations made against Rajiv are malicious, motivated and untruthful. His work is original with all the attributions and citations. In this case the quotes are not needed because the idea was rephrased and attributed the original author. At best it could be called an errata.
    In fact Mr Malhotra must sue Mr Fox for defamation and slander.

    Like

  21. Obviously they’re trying to stop the writer by making wrong allegations. He will have to overcome this kind of game also. It is a standard method they follow just making wrong complaints create publicity and people do not have time to verify these things then they become successful because of their strong powerful connections.

    Like

  22. It is critical that intellectual freedom be preserved. Publishing houses should serve as citadels of intellectual freedom – as readers, we expect nothing less. RM is being attacked by a cabal, much as India’s PM was attacked before the elections, using calumny,innuendo and fear-mongering to further their goals. The so-called plagiarism charges are laughable – RM has several dozens of pages in each of his books for citations; this fact alone should rebut the untenable charges of his opponents, who desire to silence him.

    Like

  23. It seems that those who made allegations & objections have not read and understood the books but just doing so to stop Rajiv Malhotra’s efforts and revelations.

    Like

  24. RM’s scholarship is insightful and not pedantic. What he writes is for right understanding and not display of academic excellence. Moreover, traditionalists like Ananda Coomaraswamy have declared that there is no copyright on truth.

    Like

  25. I think it has happened for the good.Controversy will make people aware of the misdeeds of Marxist ‘intellectuals’
    Long live Rajivji….India needs you badly..

    Like

  26. Every thing that happens is for good. Good work will ultimately get rewarded. Gods laws are supreme. No amount of vested interest would be able to win the final battle.

    Like

  27. It is so refreshing to see such an exhaustive rebuttal by Rajiv Malhotra. Can the folks who levied the original charge of plagiarism against Rajiv respond with the same rigor? Their non-response will be a clear indication of their biased and not-so-noble intentions.

    Sant Gupta

    Like

  28. This is another kind of terrorism against freedom of expression. It cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. An author has the right to say what he thinks and the readers have the privilege to decide what to accept and what to reject. Nobody can come between the two and dictate the terms. I support Dr.Rajiv.

    R.N.Mutagi

    Like

  29. I have read both books “Breaking India” and “Being Different,” and they both present solid intellectual framework in defense of Sanatana Dharma. I fully support Sir Rajiv Malhotra against this slander of Marxist intellectuals and their Western masters.

    Like

  30. A job well done. Congrats to the scholar who took the pains to knock down the foundation of the allegations against RM’s scholarly works.

    Like

  31. May be Leftists are opposing it thinking its “INDIRA’s NET”.. some book on Indira Gandhi and her Net that she tightened around country’s neck during Emergency.

    Like

  32. rajiv malhotra’s work is excellant and he is bringing out clear differences between different ideas clearly indian ideas are compromised In indian traditions you need guru bonafied guru who is embodied in reality (Brahaman ) and well versed in sanskrit language and sastras These university proffesor are just intectuals or politician who just earning their livilihood or fame or stature which are traditions of outsiders not of india we indians must understand that our our traditions involes guru bonafied guru. we should not engage with islamic or chritian scholars because both theology believes in subjugation history tells us the facts. we should engaze with people of science who have logic and facts

    Like

  33. This plagiarist charges are silly, can be
    Seen by anyone with minimal of common
    Sense as such. Whether charges are for the entire idea lifting from somebody’s work
    Or only some quotes from some other work? It is simply nit pickings to malign shri
    Rajeev ‘s path breaking works, a result of years of soiling in research and knowledge investigation at the face of threats and ridicule and plain ignoring !!
    When the historian Mr Huntingdon released his book “Clash of civilizations”
    everybody took notice and. was reference
    Points for many articles and books. But
    Rajivji’s books came out, there was no whimper in any academic circles – local or foreign !! The subject matter is the same.
    The real clash of civilization is going
    to be between Indic Dharmic traditions and western universalism. Very few intellectuals understood this or if understood, prefer to ignore it.

    Like

  34. It is lope sided thinking of the opponents of Shri Rajiv to distract the public from the truth about Indian Philosophy,Hinduism and Vedantic literature. Shri Rajiv and the publishers of his books, should be supported by all the right thinking people, in their drive for their good work for the benefit of the public.

    Like

  35. Thanks for this clarification. Mihir Sharma’s diatribe today in BS was totally uncalled for, hope he gets his just rewards tomorrow from all sane “engineers”.

    Like

  36. How come this allegation comes from the person/people whom Rajiv is attacking in his books? Which means that Richard Fox Young has scanned the books thoroughly and is not able to give a proper rebuttal. Since, he is so intellectually bankrupt, he whines about plagiarism and wants the publishers to withdraw the books.We must all ignore him and look forward to Rajiv’s upcoming books.

    Like

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