Intellectual bankruptcy and dishonesty
No historian worth his/her salt takes pseudohistorian Nilesh Nilkanth Oak and his extreme dates seriously. His so-called research is not just shoddy, it is downright ludicrous. Some people possess multi-disciplinary scholarship. Nilesh Oak possesses multi-disciplinary pseudoscholarship. Oak has publicly admitted in a post on the Bhāratīya-vidvat-pariṣat (bvparishat) mailing list on 23 March 2021 that his “Sanskrit knowledge is, at best, rudimentary”. When I wrote an in-depth article rebutting Oak’s so-called “third linchpin” [sic] for his dating of the ‘Rāmāyaṇa in July 2021, a scholar no less than Shatavadhani R. Ganesh said he hoped “self styled scholars and indologists who have no first hand knowledge of the original texts would learn from such critical feedback.” Do I need to say anything more when Shatavadhani Ganesh refers to Oak as a self-styled scholar with zero first-hand knowledge?
As Dr. Raja Ram Mohan Roy (RRMR) points out in the chapter “Bluffing and the Game of Numbers” in his book “Critical Analysis of the Dating of the Ramayana to 12209 BCE”, Oak is also intellectually dishonest in claiming 225+ season references and 575+ corroborations from Valmiki Ramayana for his dates without providing their full details. RRMR publicly asked him the full details of these 225+ references and 575+ corroborations on bvparishat on 13 June 2021. Oak never responded with a full detailed list. RRMR shows in his book that Oak claims 575+ corroborations when he has zero (yes, zero) corroborations. A few days ago, Oak lied through his teeth about me. He said in a comment on his YouTube channel that I offered (or was offered by Jaipur Dialogues) to debate online with him in June 2020, I agreed for August 2020, and then “chickened out” (sic). The truth is it was Oak who first expressed his wish to debate me online on bvparishat in April 2021 when I commended RRMR’s article critiquing Oak’s work. And when I said I can moderate a debate between Oak and RRMR, Oak did not respond. On 22 July 2021, Jaipur Dialogues (JD) asked me if I was open to a debate with Oak. It was just a few days after I published the aforementioned article contradicting Oak’s “third linchpin”. I agreed to the JD offer with some conditions (no shouting, precise topic, etc.) and said I could debate in August end as my seventh book, Vyasa-Katha, was scheduled to go to print in August. There was no follow-up from JD in August for reasons not known to me. I did not follow up either as Vyasa-Katha got delayed and I also started working on Hindi version of Vyasa-Katha. When Oak cannot even date and accurately represent an event in 2021, what to say of texts which are thousands of years old?
Oak’s crass language to mock me is nothing new. He uses this trope for all those who question or criticise his work, which is flawed to the core. This is exactly what Devdutt Pattanaik does. This only shows the intellectual hollowness of Oak and Pattanaik. Oak is incapable of intellectually engaging with his critics without ad-homimem and name-calling. It was his use of crass language on bvparishat and elsewhere due to which Oak was first chided by the moderators on bvparishat and ultimately expelled from the mailing list in September 2021.
Sita Ram Goel once said about Purushottam Nagesh Oak, another popular pseudohistorian who made ludicrous claims like Taj Mahal being Tejo Mahalay, “He makes me hang my head in shame at the degradation of Hindu scholarship.” I do not think Nilesh Oak is related to P N Oak, but he is a worthy successor to him as he has outdone Purushottam Nagesh Oak in pseudoscholarship.
Из заметок Нитьянанды Мишры