Vijay Prashad

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Vijay Prashad (born 14 August 1967) is an Indian historian, journalist, commentator and Marxist intellectual.


  • Bolivia’s key reserves are in lithium, which is essential for the electric car. Bolivia claims to have 70 percent of the world’s lithium reserves... Morales made it clear that any development of the lithium had to be done with Bolivia’s Comibol—its national mining company—and Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB)—its national lithium company—as equal partners... Tesla (United States) and Pure Energy Minerals (Canada) both showed great interest in having a direct stake in Bolivian lithium. But they could not make a deal that would take into consideration the parameters set by the Morales government. Morales himself was a direct impediment to the takeover of the lithium fields by the non-Chinese transnational firms. He had to go.
  • The problem of the twenty-first century, then, is the problem of the color-blind. This problem is simple: it believes that to redress racism, we need to not consider race in social practice, notably in the sphere of governmental action. The state, we are told, must be above race. ... We are led to believe that racism is prejudicial behavior of one party against another rather than the coagulation of socioeconomic injustice against groups. If the state acts without prejudice (this is, if it acts equally), then that is proof of the end of racism. Unequal socioeconomic conditions of today, based as they are on racisms of the past and of the present, are thereby rendered untouchable by the state. Color-blind justice privatizes inequality and racism, and it removes itself from the project of redistributive and anti-racist justice. This is the genteel racism of our new millennium.
    • Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity (2002), p. 38
  • There was killing [during the Islamic invasions of India], but that was as much for reasons of warfare and plunder as for reasons of God and tradition.... The numbers are vague, as one might expect, but the culprit is precisely defined: Islam. (…) It reduces the complexity of the subcontinent's rich history into a simple morality play that has only two characters: the Hindu and the Muslim. The latter is the invader who has come and killed the former. Nothing else matters.
    • Hindu Holocaust?”, (25 Sep. 2009), , quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2012). The argumentative Hindu. New Delhi : Aditya Prakashan.

Quotes about Vijay Prashad[edit]

  • Vijay Prashad is a familiar type: a Nehruvian secularist, i.e. an institutional winner but a loser on contents. He was one of the people who clamoured, after my Ayodhya lecture in Madison WI 1996, that “a scholarly rebuttal should be given”, but whose scholarly rebuttal is still awaited. For a while he took part in a debate with Rajiv Malhotra, for which a whole yahoo list was created, but he wimped out. On the Hindu Holocaust too, he takes comfortable conformistic positions but he has never written a serious rebuttal of the “Hindu nationalist” (actually purely historical) theory that Muslims killed millions of Hindus. ... Vijay Prashad who negates history but has never been able to produce a single paper establishing his conformistic whitewash of Islam, is now berating the museum-opener and writer of factual Hindu-Muslim history as having ‘little idea of how to read historical texts’. Texts of which he himself leaves the reading to Romila Thapar. As long as the power equations remain as they are, he will have more success with his lies than we with the facts, that cannot be helped; but eternity will know Vijay Prashad as a liar. ... Quite a few RISA (Religion in South Asia) scholars are inveterate enemies of freedom of speech. When I spoke on the Aryan Invasion Theory in Prof. Andrew Sihler’s Department at the University of Wisconsin in 1996, Biju Mathew and Vijay Prashad of the Forum Of Inqilabi (= Revolutionary) Leftists distributed a leaflet demanding that I be denied a platform to speak at American Universities. This leaflet was subsequently condoned explicitly by Prof. Michael Witzel (7-2-2003) and Prof. Robert Zydenbos (10-2-2003) on the secretive Scholarly Services list. So we know where the enemies of liberty are.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2012). The argumentative Hindu. New Delhi : Aditya Prakashan.
  • I remember Vijay Prashad and Biju Mathew calling for a denial of any platform to myself, and big professors like Michael Witzel and Robert Zydenbos seconding this call; but I don't remember Wendy Doniger coming out in my support.... In most cases, the people clamouring "freedom of expression" on this occasion are very selective in their love of freedom, which they would gladly throw overboard as soon as it concerns the expression of an opinion less dear to them. I have the impression that Wendy herself is in this category too, but she may convince us otherwise by showing off her earlier acts of solidarity with besieged writers.
    • Elst, K. On Modi time (2015). Chapter: Banning Wendy Doniger's "The Hindus"

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