A few years ago, I saw Rajiv Malhotra’s interview which I didn’t find particularly interesting, and I developed the impression that he was not a profound thinker. So I started avoiding his interviews and books. Last month, I decided to give his book Breaking India a try—to my surprise, I found it brilliant. Once I started reading Breaking India, I could not put it down till I finished it.
After that I have read two more of his books: Indra’s Net and The Battle for Sanskrit. Now I can say that he is one of the best thinkers of Hinduism and Indian culture today. (Aravindan Neelakandan is the coauthor of Breaking India.)
Sheldon Pollock is a very influential Sanskrit scholar—he is close to powerful politicians and industrialists in India and America. Since the 1990s, India’s leftist media has been hyping Pollock as the world’s best Sanskrit scholar. I became acquainted with his work about 15 years ago, at that time I had not heard of Malhotra. I used to feel annoyed by Pollock’s leftist and blatantly Hindu-phobic analysis of ancient Sanskrit texts and India’s political issues.
After reading Malhotra’s brilliant book, The Battle for Sanskrit, I feel satisfied by the way he has out-argued and exposed Pollock. I would recommend Malhotra’s books to those who are genuinely interested in Hinduism and India’s history and politics.