For more than a decade Rajiv Malhotra has been known to the study of South Asian religion as a vigorous critic of the practices and frameworks that academics have employed to represent India to the West. Those who know him from his no-holds-barred online articles or by his unflinching confrontation with established scholars at academic meetings may be pleased by the rather different tone of Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, Malhotra’s latest attempt to intervene in the academic study of the religious traditions of the South Asian subcontinent. Whereas Malhotra has achieved much of his renown through intemperate language, he is and should be remembered also for his demands that practicing Hindus have a say in how they are represented and for provoking a needed self-examination by the scholarly community writing about the traditions of South Asia. These are not the primary concerns of Being Different, and if one reads it motivated by the lurid promise of a new assault by Malhotra on the motives, character, or methods of senior scholars in the study of Hinduism, one will discover the author pursuing a somewhat different agenda.

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