Skip to main content

Top Hindutva theorist declares against caste-based reservation, opines it leads to votebank politics

By Our Representative
Hindutva offensive against India’s reservation policy continues unabated, despite BJP and RSS making frantic attempts to deny they are against caste-based reservation. A well-known US-based Hindutva theorist and businessman, Rajiv Malhotra, hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “glorifying our priceless heritage”, has now declared that there should not be any caste-based reservation in India.
In a video he has posted on Facebook, Malhotra is heard telling an interviewer that reservation should be given “on individual, merit basis, on individual economic basis”, adding, he “does not like” the idea that people in groups, caste, religion, or whatever, are “clubbed” and are considered “victims”, and are given “special quota.”
Last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat came in for criticism for his suggestion for to “review” the reservation policy. Coming ahead of Bihar elections, Bhagwat had to retract his statement, saying, reservation is needed as long as social discrimination exists, with BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, too, strongly coming out in defence of reservation.
Suggesting that caste based reservation “would encourage conflicts” with “irresponsible politicians” utilizing it for “votebank", Malhotra who has been one of the most prominent propagators seeking to provide intellectual basis to Hindutva, says, “There is absolutely no reason that a Dalit millionaire is given privileges”.
Introducing his video on his twitter account @RajivMessage, Malhotra says, it talks of “caste reservations as a vote bank/lobby group.” On a query by Counterview, whether it means the “top Modi follower is anti-reservation” and is “following RSS chief”, he immediately clarified, “Please do not misquote me. I am FOR reservations based on INDIVIDUAL factors, not collective identities/politics.”
When queried whether he thought untouchability should be the basis of reservation, Malhotra evaded reply, with some of his supporters seeking the "definition" of untouchability in the “current context of India”, wondering if it could be “evaluated objectively” (@vakibs).
Malhotra’s supporters on Facebook said that for the first time a “renowned writer and speaker" spoke about reservation."Reservation should be covered individually on the ground of economic social status rather than club approach. It’s really appreciable debate”, it was suggested.
However, an opponent of Hindutva, in his critical remark to Malhotra’s on Twitter, said, “So the cat is out of the Hindutva bag? Reservations should promote market economics and not community?” (@BHPanimalwatch).
On Facebook, one Sarath Prasannakumar was more explicit: “Whatever you say we don’t accept this. Because the economic and social disparity in this nation is based on caste. It’s an after effect of centuries old caste system. So to bring the Dalits and tribals as equals reservation will continue to stay till the Dalits and tribals reach equality, socially and economically. Once they reach it take this reservations away and then put it for open competition.”
Malhotra received much media attention spring this year after he declared the need to “protect” Indian culture from western “takeover” through an online petition. He wanted the ouster top Sanskritist Sheldon Pollock as chief editor of the Murty Classical Library of India, a private project floated by IT giant and Infosys founder NR Narayana Murty and his son Rohan Murty in order to "create" an intellectual heritage of ancient India.
Earlier, Malhotra was involved in a controversy when his book “Indra’s Net” was charged with plagiarism by Indologist Andrew J Nicholson, author of “Unifying Hinduism”. Nicholson went so far as to blame Malhotra that he "does not know Sanskrit, so he has to rely on others who do in order to amass the raw materials he needs for his books” Malhotra denied plagiarism charges.

Comments

Arthur Gibbs said…
I am Rajiv's follower and its shameful how you are ready to sell out your own country.

Did you bother to go into reason's of why we want to remove "Sheldon Pollack"?

Or check Rajiv's reply on plagiarism charges? Did you try to find truth (it would have taken simple google search).

Anonymous said…
Biased report. The core issue of 'why reservation for a Dalit millionaire' is conveniently skipped.
Anonymous said…
1. Have you been taught critical thinking by your teachers/parents/masters?
2. Do you know ethics of Journalism?
3. How much money have been paid to you for being slave?
4. Do you know What is your master's strategy to enslave India?
5. Do you belong to thief caste?
6. Since when, your generations are slaves? What are you doing to make your neighbors slave?
7. Why don't you come out and do some real journalism to find out the truth?
8. Have you sold your sons/daughters for money? Shame on you and your Ideology for low thinking !!
Jag Jivan said…
Why are you Anonymous? What are you afraid of?
Jamna Das said…
When you don't have arguments, best thing is to say you are sold out, who paid you, even go so far as to use abusive words, as the second Anomymous person seeks to do. A typical mindset of extremists of all hues. Are you one, Mr Anomymous?
Unknown said…
Junk article probably written by Doniger and Pollocks love child.
Jag Jivan said…
Even reporting EXACTLY what Rajiv Malhotra makes one Doniger and Pollock love child? There's not one comment against Shri Malhotra here, yet it seems his supporters dont like to be shown their face

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).