Saturday, June 5, 2021

Résumé, spring 2021


Dr. Koenraad ELST: résumé          




Oriental Philologist & Historian, has worked permanently as independent researcher and writer; author of 30+ books; intermittently employed in political journalism (foreign desk), as foreign policy assistant in the Belgian Senate, and as visiting professor in Indo-European Studies at the Indus University in Ahmedabad and at the Sanchi University for Buddhist and Indic Studies. A sample of papers can be consulted at:; and articles at (English) and (Dutch).



Home and youth:


·         Born in Leuven (Belgium), on 7 August 1959, as Koenraad Jozef Paul ELST, son of Dr. jur. René ELST, civil servant and scholar in social law; and of Clara Elst-DEBEER, teacher turned housewife.

·         Primary school at Sint-Augustinusschool, Kessel-Lo (Leuven).

·         Secondary school at Heilig-Drievuldigheidscollege, Leuven, 1971-73, and Sint-Pieterscollege, Leuven, 1973-77; in Latin/Greek and, from 1974, Latin/Mathematics section; passed qualifying test for higher education with papers on Friedrich Nietzsche’s tainted politics (German) and on the French nouveaux philosophes (History).



Academic training:


·         Passed entrance exam of Engineering department of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL); took up these studies but changed enrolment and then dropped out of university; returned in earnest in 1985.

·         Certificate of summer school Penn-KUL in Translation Studies, August 1988.

·         Chinese Studies, BA 1987 cum laude, MA 1989 cum laude, at KUL, thesis on the concept of Qi (life breath) supervised by Prof. Ulrich Libbrecht.

·         Indo-Iranian Studies, BA 1989 cum laude, MA 1990 magna cum laude, at KUL, thesis on the Ayodhya conflict, supervised by Prof. Gilbert Pollet and Prof. Purugulla Adeswara Rao.

·         Philosophy, BA 1987 cum laude, MA 1991 cum fructu, thesis on the non-retributive understanding of the concept of Karma, supervised by Prof. Herman De Dijn.

·         One year of postgraduate research in Indian philosophy at Benares Hindu University, 1990-1991; accepted for Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies, supervisor Prof. Kedar Nath Mishra, but forced to return home by family circumstances.

·         Asian Studies, Ph.D., magna cum laude 1998, supervised by Prof. Gilbert Pollet, with a dissertation (prepared without the benefit of any kind of grant) on the ideological development of the political Hindu movement, Decolonizing the Hindu Mind, and an additional thesis on the non-existence of Sanskrit references for substantiating the "Aryan invasion" hypothesis.

·         Summer courses at Leiden University of Avestan et al., 2015; of Sumerian at Université Catholique de Louvan, 2015, of Hittite ibidem 2017, 2018.



Other training:


·         Wide experience in various Taoist neijia schools (Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Buqi), Hindu (Kriya Yoga, Sant Mat, Himalayan Yoga) and Buddhist (Soto Zen, Vipassana, Nyingma) yoga traditions.

·         Co-founded aikido club Seishindo Aikikai Leuven in 1978 (practice forcibly abandoned in 1983 after labour accident to the spine); participated in events of these types around Europe, e.g. British Aikikai summer school in Chester 1981.

·         Diplomas of yogācārya issued by European Yoga Union, 1987 and by Yoga Niketan Shakha, Rishikesh (India)/Mechlin (Belgium).

·         Passed exams of first and second year Taoist Studies, Taoist Study Centre (TASC), Antwerp, 1995-7; but the programme meant as 4-years then closed down.



Work experience:


·         From 1978 to 1989, before and during academic training, all manner of menial jobs: brick mason (trainee certificate, RVA Haasrode 1978), demolition worker, factory worker (Marie Thumas, Leuven and Mechelen; Remy, Leuven), gardener, rat killer in the sewers (Rentokil, Brussels), nursing aide in a psychiatric hospital (Sint-Kamillus, Bierbeek), private tuition in mathematics and Latin, carpet-layer, telephone operator in travel insurance (Europe Assistance), bookshop clerk (Johannes, Leuven) et al.; as well as organizer of courses and activities in the Aquarian circuit: the gentle martial arts, habitat ecology, etc.

·         Since 1989, full-time writer, mostly self-employed, bridging scholarship with investigative journalism, columns and book reviews.

·         Journalistic work for a living in 1989-2007 and 2013-present, mostly on free-lance basis, e.g. for business weekly Trends (Brussels) 1992-94, Catholic monthly Nucleus (Bruges) 1992-2009; but in steady employment for publicity firm ID Reklame (Antwerp) 1994-95 and political newsweekly Punt (Antwerp) 2001-02.

·         Editing jobs for Belgian and Indian publishing-houses: Aquila (Leuven), Continent (Antwerp), Pelckmans (Kapellen-Antwerp), Yang Books (Waregem), Van Halewyck (Leuven), Aditya Prakashan (Delhi), Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan (Chennai), Doorbraak (Antwerp) et al.; translation and ghost-writing jobs.

·         Consultancy for the Rockefeller Foundation: Foreign Policy of the BJP, 1996;

·         Consultancy for Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, on promising lines of research and publication in Indology, 1998;

·         Lectures in Indology in Belgium: at Ghent University, 2015, 2017, and at UCL Louvain-la-Neuve, 2015.

·         Jury member in the Ph.D. defence by Rajesh Rai in Birmingham University, 2002.

·         Teacher of Indian cosmology and elementary Sanskrit in the School voor Ayurveda, Ghent 2009-2010, in the teacher training programme of the Flemish section of the European Yoga Federation, 2011-19, and in Bruges Yoga Teacher Training Programme, 2012-13; Teacher of Chinese cosmology and elementary classical Chinese in the CNPV Traditional Chinese Medicine Training Programme, Bruges 2009-11, Brussels 2011-13.   

·         Research assistant in the Belgian Senate advising Senator Jurgen Ceder (first independent, then N-VA) on foreign policy, 2011-13.

·         Visiting Professor for Indo-European Studies, Indic Institute for Special Studies, Indus University, Ahmedabad, 2018.

·         Nominated Visiting Professor for Indo-European Studies, Sanchi University, December 2018; on hold due to regime change in Madhya Pradesh, reactivated in January 2021.

·         Chairman (effectively general editor of a book series) of the Ram Swarup / Sita Ram Goel Memorial Fund, 2019.

·         Fundamental scholarship presented in the lecture circuit, academic conferences, papers in journals, and books.         



Involvement in society:


·         Husband (formerly); father of four.

·         Student representative at department, faculty and university level in 1986-89.

·         Member of the editorial board of Venster op het Oosten in 1987-89, India in 1992-97, Punt in 2001-2002, and Vivat Academia (periodical of VVA, Union of Flemish Academics) in 1998-2004; Folks magazine, Manipal, since 2011; Law Animated World, Hyderabad, since 2014; Sutra Journal, 2015; Doorbraak, Antwerp, since 2016.

·         Board member of martial arts society Seishindo Aikikai Leuven 1978-83, of De Ronde Tafel (debating society focused on the critical evaluation of emerging trends in the interface of science and religion) since 1992; of the Flemish National Debating Society in 1997-2010; of Res Publica 2009-13; of the Antwerp chapter of the Union of Flemish Academics (VVA) in 2010-14; of yoga society Atma Jyoti Tirth in 2012-13; and of the Yoga Federation of Dutch-speaking Belgians from 2019.

·         Active member of the Flemish skeptics’ society SKEPP since 2001.

·         Politics: was an active camp-follower of the far left in 1975-77, and a lukewarm camp-follower of the soft left until ca. 1985, e.g. in the anti-NATO-missiles demonstrations of 1981-84; matured to more conservative views after that. Active member of, movement for direct democracy, in 2005-15.

·         Participant in the ongoing debates on God and on religion and politics; on the ethical questions; on multiculturalism; on nationality questions in Belgium, the EU and India.

·         Co-writer of or signatory to various petitions against the NATO war on Serbia and in favour of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience, both in India and in Europe.



Papers at academic conferences:


·         Conference on Religion and Conflict, Varanasi 1990, on religious conflict;

·         International Ramayana Conference, Leuven 1991, on the politics of the Ayodhya temple/mosque controversy;

·         Privately organized by Prof. Andrew Sihler, Madison WI 1996, on the Out-of-India Theory;

·         Annual South Asia Conference, Madison WI 1996, on the Ayodhya evidence;

·         World Association for Vedic Studies, Atlanta 1996, Los Angeles 1998, Hoboken NJ 2000, Dartmouth 2002 and Delhi 2006 and 2016, on topics in ancient history;

·         Most of the Annual Belgian Indology Conferences since 1998, on Indian astronomy, Hindu nationalism outside the organized movement, Hindu-Buddhist relations, etc.;

·         Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Philosophiques bi-annual philosophy conference at Delhi University 2006, on “Conservative thought in modern India and China”, and on “The leftist critique of Buddhism”;

·         Nietzsche, Power and Politics conference, University of Leiden 2007, on “Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy”;

·         Annual conference of the Dutch Association for Philosophy of Science in Leusden 2007, on the epistemological status of reconstructed proto-languages (not read out in person due to medical complications involving heart transplant surgery);

·         Vedic Workshop in Austin TX, 2007, on Vedic astronomy (id.);

·         Deutsche Orientalistentage of the Morgenländische Gesellschaft in Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 2007, on Ram Swarup’s treatment of “idolatry”, and on the poor performance of the Indocentric school in the Aryan invasion debate (id.);

·         DANAM session at AAR annual conference in San Diego 2007, on the non-retributive understanding of karma (id.);

·         Rethinking Religion in India conference (Ghent & Kuvempu U.), Delhi, January 2009: “Secularist vs. Christian accounts of Hindu resistance to conversion”; and workshop on Hindu self-presentation in multicultural educational textbooks;

·         Religion in Asia after 9/11, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, January 2009: “The place of atheism in interreligious dialogue”;

·         Deus Ridens conference, University of Antwerp 2009, on “Humour in Hinduism”;

·         Metaphor in Philosophy conference, University of Antwerp 2009, on “The colour spectrum as metaphor of multiplicity in pluralistic and emanationist cosmologies”;

·         Hindu Transnationalisms conference at Rice University, Houston TX, on “Hindu activism outside the Sangh Parivar” (not read out in person due to family matters);

·         DANAM session at AAR annual conference in Montreal 2009, on “Yoga for the layman: modern fad or return to the roots?”

·         Uberoi Foundation annual conference in Denver CO 2010, on “The case for Orientalism”;

·         AAR annual conference in Atlanta 2010, on “From the mono/poly debate to the Identitarians: politicized neo-Paganism in Europe”;

·         Torchinov Conference in Oriental Studies, St-Petersburg 2011, on “The Ayodhya verdict”;

·         Conference on the Origins of Indian Civilization, Dartmouth MA 2011, on “The latest linguistic findings pertaining to the roots of Indo-European”;

·         Conference on The Future of Creation Order, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 2011, on “The debate on natural order in Chinese thought”;

·         DANAM annual conference in San Francisco 2011, on “The martial origins and involvements of Shramanism”;

·         AAR annual conference in San Francisco 2011, on “The Sapta-Shîla as a summary of Buddha's socio-political views”;

·         Lecture for the organizers of the World Hindu Economic Conference, Hong Kong, June-July 2012, on “Asian Values revisited”.

·         Gregynog, Wales University, conference on “Warren Hastings’ Orientalist regime”, July 2012; on “Indian secularism and the Orientalists”;

·         AAR annual conference in Chicago 2012, on “The Gatherings of the Elders as a fledgling Pagan international”;

·         Friedrich Nietsche Society, Cork, September 2013, on “Nietzsche and Indian atheism” (but couldn’t be there in person).

·         Deutsche Orientalistentag, Münster, September 2013, on “Ram Swarup über Monotheismus und Götzendienst”, on “Iṣṭāśva”, and on “Sprachwissenschaftiche Argumente für die OIT”;

·         “Talking Neolithic”, Indo-European conference in Leipzig December 2013, on “Agricultural terms in Sanskrit and Hindi revisited”;

·         Madariaga conference on EU-Chinese relations, in Brussels, on “The impact of the Tibet issue on the mutual perception of China and the European Union”; but cancelled.

·         Accepted for the conference on The Gap (between Indian and Western cultures), Ghent 2014, on “Indian vs. unfaithful Western secularism”; but conference cancelled.

·         ECSAS, Zürich, July 2014, on “Vasishtha, the earliest attested case of divinization in India”.

·         India Ideas Conclave, Goa, Dec. 2014, on “The gentle cure for intolerance”.

·         Gathering of the Elders, Mysore, Feb. 2015, on “The continuum of Indian tribal religions and Hinduism”.

·         Dharma Civilization Foundation’, Bangalore S-VYASA, Feb 2015, on “Down with decolonization”.

·         Saraswati Conference of the Draupadi Foundation, Delhi, March 2015, on “Why Linguistics must provide the solution to the Indo-European homeland question”.

·         OZSW Philosophy Conference, Amsterdam Free University, December 2016, on “Indian sources of Stoic meditation practice”.  

·         Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Delhi, 10 Feb. 2016, on “What is a god?”

·         Maharaja Agrasen College, Delhi, 12 Feb. 2016, on “The Politics of Indian History”.

·         “Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti” conference (“The wise ones call the one reality by many names”), Allahabad University, 16 Feb. 2016, on “Ilā, the Dīn-i-Ilāhī, and Ilāhābād”.

·         Swadeshi Indology Conference, Chennai, 14-15 July 2016, on “Sheldon Pollock’s thesis of a NS Sanskritism”.

·         Indian Council of Historical Research, Delhi, 17 July 2016, on “Śākyamuni the Reactionary”,

·         European Cultural Astronomy Conference, Bath UK, 12-15 Sep. 2016, on “Širk, deification in Ugarit and the world”.

·         Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan conference on “Sanskrit and Europe”, Delhi, 9-10 Oct., on “Comparatism as a European contribution to Sanskrit studies”.

·         Draupadi Dream Trust’s Indraprastha Conference, Delhi, 22-23 Nov. 2016, on “Convergence of evidence on a chronology of the Mahābhārata events”.

·         Indic Academy, Pune, 3 Dec.; Chennai, 5 Dec.; Delhi 17 Dec. 2016, on “Ancient history and modern politics”.

·         Hindu Samhati, Kolkata, 8 Dec. 2016, on “Islam in Indian history and today”.

·         Indus University, Gandhinagar, 13 Dec. 2016, on: “Indian secularism, European multiculturalism”.

·         WAVES Conference, Delhi 15-18 Dec. 2016, on “Chinese roots of Indian kuṇḍalinī yoga”.

·         Swadeshi Indology Conference, Delhi, 17-19 Feb. 2017, on “The Buddha vs. Sheldon Pollock”. Indic Academy, Delhi, 19 Feb. 2017, on “Mahābhārata as a source of political history”.

·         ICHR, Delhi, 20 Feb. 2017, on “Secularism in India, multiculturalism in Europe”,

·         WAVES, Delhi, 23 Feb. 2017, on “Definition of Dharma”.

·         Indology Department’s Indology Day, Ghent University, 10 March 2017, on “Chinese logic behind Indian kuṇḍalinī yoga”.

·         Ghent School for Ayurveda Conference, Ghent, 26 March 2017, on “Triguna”.

·         European Archaeological Association’s annual conference, Maastricht, 31 August and 1-2 September 2017, on “State of the Art of the Indo-European Homeland Debate”.

·         European Association for the Study for Religion, Leuven, 18-21 September 2017, on “Secularism: From Europe to India and Back”.

·         Deutsche Orientalistentage, Jena, 18-22 September 2017, on “Chinese logic behind Indian kuṇḍalinī yoga”.

·         Indic Academy, Frankfurt, November 2017, on “Why Europe needs Dharma”.

·         Conference of the Rohingya issue, Delhi IIC, 30 December 2017, on: “Why the International Media and NGO’s Side with the Rohingyas”.  

·         IIT Ahmedabad, 15 January 2018, on “Vedic Archaeo-astronomy”.

·         Conference, Kurukshetra University, 19-20 January 2018, on “New Trends concerning the Linguistic Evidence for the OIT”.

·         Conference Jindal University, 23-24 January 2018, on “The Buddha’s Seven Precepts of Non-Decline”.

·         Conference on Dimitrios Galanos, Banaras Hindu University, 8-10 February 2018, on: “Dimitrios Galanos, or Orientalism Acquitted”.

·         Seminar on the Evolution of Indic Civilization, Ahmedabad, 15 February 2018.

·         Conference on “Indian History – Emerging Perspectives” by the Indian Council of Historical Research, 5-6 March 2018, Delhi, on “Linguistic Evidence for the OIT”.

·         School for Ayurveda conference, Ghent, 11 March, on “Vājikaraṇa. Concept of virility in Hindu civilization and medicine” (but conference cancelled).

·         Conference on History & the Mahābhārata, Gandhinagar, on the “Chronological Data in the Mahābhārata”, 15-16 April 2018.

·         Quinquennial World Congress of Philosophy, organized by the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Philosophiques, Beijing Daxue, 13-20 August 2018, on “Friedrich Nietzsche’s atheism and Chinese non-theism”, and (improvised upon request) “Deendayal Upadhyaya’s vs. Jacques Maritain’s Integral Humanism”.

·         Dutch-Flemish Philosophy Day on “Revolution”, 13 October 2018, on “No revolution without vanguard party” (about Mao Zedong’s strategic insights).

·         Shaktatantra Conference, 17-19 Dec. 2018, Sanchi University, “Chinese logic behind Indian kuṇḍalinī yoga”.

·         Zee TV’s Arth Festival, IGNCA Delhi 8-10 Feb. 2018, Delhi, debate participation on Ayodhya and on the “Aryan” question.

·         “The Mahābhārata in Art and Culture” conference, Chennai 14-16 March 2019, on “Greek or Indo-European. A more-than-Dumézilian response to Fernando Wulff Alonso's attribution of the Mahâbhârata's inspiration to Homer through the Indo-Greeks”; plus the valedictory address.

·         “Bulgaria, the Balkans and the Circumpontic area: cradle of the Eurasian Civilization”, Plovdiv (Bulgaria), 22-23 June, keynote speech on the Indo-European homeland debate (couldn’t deliver in person due to missed airplane).

·         Hindu Charter conference on “Equality for Hindus”, 21 September 2019.

·         JNU Social Science department, JNU, Delhi, lecture on the near-completed Ayodhya affair; with Prof. Kapil Kapoor.

·         India Foundation, lecture on the near-completed Ayodhya affair.

·         Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida, 29 September 2019, lecture.

·         NIILM, Kaithal (Haryana), 3 Oct lecture on the Aryan question.

·         Ambala university, 4-5 Oct. 2019, ICPR conference on curiosity & truth-seeking, lecture on Socrates and the attainability of truth.

·         "Social Justice Policies of Modi Government" seminar of/at Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi, on 16-17 November, 2019, in collaboration with Satyawati College, Delhi University, on: “The paradox of reservations: progressive reform or colonial stratagem?”.

·         Mangaluru Literary Festival, 29-30 November, panel discussion.

·         Wider Association of Vedic Studies (WAVES) conference on “Women in the Vedas”, 5-7 December 2019, viz. “Goddess triplets in the Vedas, as everywhere else”.

·         Sanskrit department JNU, Delhi, December 2019, lecture on the state of the art in the Indo-European Homeland debate.

·         Indic Academy Hyderabad, December 2019, panel discussion on the linguistic evidence in the Indo-European Homeland debate, with Shrikant Talageri.

·         Srijan Foundation, Delhi, December 2019, Delhi, Lecture.

·         Indic Academy, 5 January 2020, discussant at book presentation of Jaitirth Rao: The Hindu Conservative.

·         Sambal University, 7 January 2020, lecture on “William Shakespeare and the Indo-European Homeland debate”.

·         Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, 16 Jan. 2020, lecture on “Update on the Aryan debate”.

·         Kurukshetra University, 28-29 Jan. 2020, conference on the Saraswati river, lecture on: “Ila, Bharati, Saraswati: the main trio of goddesses in the Rg-Veda”.

·         Bhubaneshwar University, Conference on Buddhism and World Peace, 8-9 February 2020, on: “The Buddha’s seven precepts of non-decline”, and on: “The shoulders he stood on: the Buddha’s Samkhya teachers”.

·         Workshop 20-22 March on “Western Buddhism as the UN’s de facto state religion”. (Cancelled due to Corona)

·         Conference on Religion and Racism, Reykjavik, 22-24 June 2020, lecture on Inequalities in India’s secular Constitution. (Cancelled due to Corona)

·         Teleconference 6 July 2020, Panjab University, lecture.

·         Organized and chaired a conference on the legacy of Ram Swarup on the occasion of his birth centenary on 12 October 2020 (teleconference); plan the same for Sita Ram Goel on 16 October 2021.

·         Hatha Yoga conference of Indic Academy, Bengaluru, 24-25 April 2021: Origin of the Cakras and Kundalini.


Occasional lectures at academic institutions: Ann Arbor, UC Berkeley, Denver and MIT 1993 on secularism and communalism; Madison WI 1996 on “the Indo-European homeland debate”; Manchester Metropolitan and Birmingham University in 2000 and 2002, on the contemporary political relevance of ancient history; at Delhi University’s Sanskrit Department, 2006 on the Hindu need for a sense of historicity; at Bhaktivedanta College Radhadesh (Durbuy, Belgium), 2008, on the Aryan invasion debate, and 2010, on ISKCON as a case study in Belgium’s policy vis-à-vis new religions; at JNU Delhi 2008 and 2014 on India’s religio-political conundrum; at Osmania University Hyderabad 2010 on the Ayodhya verdict; multiple lectures at the School voor Comparatieve Filosofie Antwerpen, on Sufism, and on non-violence and just war in the Mahābhārata; on topics in Indian history at Delhi University’s Hansraj College every other year since the mid-1990s till 2010; on the Hindu movement, Université Catholique de Louvain, Oct. 2015, panel member at book launches of Rajiv Malhotra’s The Battle for Sanskrit, JNU and DU, Delhi, Feb. 2016; lectures at BHU Varanasi, 7-8 February 2018; NIT Surat, 16 Jan. 2020; Hindu University of America on history distortions, 28 Jan. 2021, and on the “Aryan” debate, 1 May 2021; et al.

·         Participant in many more Indological, Indo-European and philosophical conferences or attendance at lectures;

·         And in many foreign policy conferences in at Madariaga College, European Institute for Asian Studies, European Conservatives & Reformers, etc., Brussels, 2011-2021.

·         Active role in the tri-annual global conferences of the International Council of Cultural Studies (formerly known as Gathering of the Elders), Maisuru 2015, with lecture upon request on the “Status of the Tribals in Hinduism”, Thane 2018, with lecture upon request about the “State of the art in the Homeland debate”, and teleconference 27-28 Feb. 2021 with lecture about my own Werdegang in this field.



Intellectual contributions to the wider society:


·         Countless lectures before cultural, political, religious and philosophical societies in Belgium (including political associations spanning the whole political spectrum, from the Communist Masereelfonds to the Flemish Nationalist Marnixring), France, the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Sweden and India.

·         Lectures at ethnic Indian community centres in Germany 1992 and 2017, Canada 1993, the USA repeatedly since 1993, latest in May-June 2019; and frequently in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium;

·         Lectures at non-university institutions of learning, e.g. Jnana Pravaha, Varanasi 1996; Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Saylorsburg PA 1998 and Coimbatore 2003; sVYASA, Bangalore, 2004 and 2015; Vivekananda International Foundation, Delhi 2010 and 2014; India Inspires Foundation, Indore 2014 and Noida 2015; Young Thinkers’ Forum, Bhopal 2018-21; Upword/Pragyata, Delhi 2018-19.

·         Lectures on India-related subjects from ancient and contemporary history before a variety of international audiences, e.g. the Union of Concerned Scientists, Boston 1996, about “Hindu nationalism and disarmament”;

·         Lectures and debates on topics of general political or cultural interest, e.g. at the VVA conference on new threats to press freedom, Antwerp 1999, and for the Rudolf von Laun Stichting on conservative thought in India and China, Leeuwarden 2003; for the Conservative Club Brussels 2016; discussant at  Jaitirth Rao’s book presentation of The Indian Conservative, Delhi, January 2020, etc.

·         Lecture series about yoga history for the Belgian Yoga Federation, spring 2021.

·         Interviewed about philosophical-religious and India-related issues on Flemish radio BRTN/VRT: Radio Trottoir (1991-95), Aktueel (1990-92), Voor de dag (1991), Het Pak van Sjaalman (1998), Rondas (2004-05), Jongens & Wetenschap (2005), Feyten & Fillet (15 Jan. and 11 Feb. 2010); in popular weekly Dag Allemaal (17 Mar. 1998 and 16 Oct 2001); on Dutch radio AVRO (1998) and OHM (2002); and on Hindu and Jewish ethnic TV stations in California 1993 and 2001, New York 2002 and Chicago 2008; in India political weekly The Week, 11 Nov. 2001; on India Tomorrow documentary series, Delhi, January 2007; in newspaper De Standaard, 16 March 2005; on French-speaking Belgian radio RTBF, Et Dieu dans tout ça?, 8 January 2009; in Dutch weekly Katholiek Nieuwsblad, July 2009, on Hindu-Christian relations; on Dutch Buddhist radio BOS, February 2011, about my published critique of Buddhism; on French-speaking Belgian television RTBF, 13 October 2010, and on Russian Television, 27 July 2011, about Belgium’s institutional crisis; on BOS, May 2012, on bio-ethical questions; on RTBF radio, Et Dieu dans tout ça?, 3 March 2013, on the Hindu bid for recognition by the Belgian state; on Sanātana Dharma television, Amsterdam, May 2013; in The Pioneer newspaper, 1 Jan. 2014, on Mahatma Gandhi’s Western sources; in online paper India Facts, 6 Jan. 2014, on the Ayodhya problem, and on 29 Sep. 2015, on the conspicuous defects in Indian history-writing; in Centre Right India, Jan. 2014, on India’s secularism; in Economic Times, 21 Dec. 2014, on conversion; in Turkish weekly Zaman, 1 March 2015, on repression against dissident opinions; in Vaartavaani, the Sanskrit programme on Doordarshan (India’s state TV), taped on 3 and 4 Feb. 2016, on Orientalism; in Swarajya, Bengaluru, autumn 2016;  on the Varanasi Hindi video broadcaster Gap Sap, 3 Feb. 2018, about my discovery of India; for private documentary-maker Mayank Jain, Delhi 18 April 2018; for radio stations in Chicago and San Antonio 5 and 9 Sep. 2018; interview Times of India, taped on 19 Feb. 2019; Indian ethnic TV stations in New York, May-June 2019; debates and lectures in interview format on Indian online media in 2020-21: Jaipur Dialogues, Srijan Foundation/Sangam, Atharva; Kali Dasi, Upword; and with Shambhav Sharma, Chicago.



Publications in Dutch


  • Regular contributor of articles, book reviews and columns, mostly on language policy issues in Europe and Asia, on multicultural questions, on ethnohistory of science, on Indian and Chinese philosophies, on Islam, and on contemporary religious and political developments in Asia; to various Dutch-language papers and periodicals including Veto (leftist university weekly, Leuven, 1986-89); Venster op het Oosten (Asian Studies student paper, Leuven, 1987-89); Toestanden (leftist weekly, Antwerp, 1989); Inforiënt (Asian Studies periodical, Leuven, 1988-91); De Standaard (quality daily, Brussels, 1989-93); Gazet van Antwerpen (popular daily, Antwerp, 1991-97); De Wereld Morgen (Third World monthly, Brussels, 1991); Nucleus (Catholic monthly, Bruges, 1992-2009); Doorbraak (Flemish political monthly, 1996-present); Kort Manifest (conservative bimonthly, Antwerp, 1993-2010); Teksten, Kommentaren en Studies (conservative quarterly, Antwerp, 1993-95); Traditie (folklore quarterly, 1995-98); ‘t Pallieterke (Flemish political weekly 2002-2016); Trends (business weekly, Brussels, 1992-97); India (Brussels 1992-97, organ of Shanti Darshan Belgo-Indian Association); Kultuurleven (Catholic cultural monthly, Leuven, 1993); Natuur en Gezondheid (ecology bimonthly, Antwerp 1994-95); Netelblad (ecology monthly, Antwerp 1997); Secessie (political science quarterly, Antwerp 2000-05); Filosofie (philosophy monthly, Netherlands, 2003); Vivat Academia (organ of the VVA, Flemish Academics’ Union, 1998-2004); the skeptics' periodical Wonder En Is Geen Wonder (2002-4); the weekly news and debate magazine Punt (Antwerp, 2001-2002); internet papers Brussels Journal (2005-11), Diogenes (2006), Nieuw Pierke – Forum voor Democratie (2011-14), (2005-14), the newsletter of Atma Jyoti Tirth (2012-13) and the weblog-papers In Flanders’ Fields (2009-21), Doorbraak (2001-21) and De Bron (2013-18).


  • Veldtekens aan het Zwerk (2 vols, privately published, Leuven 1989-90; on correlative cosmologies; new edition in preparation).


  • contribution to Peter De Roover, ed.: To the Intellectuals of Zoetenaaie and Lootenhulle (Vlaamse Volksbeweging, Antwerp 1990; on the use and disuse of Dutch in academe).


  • De Islamitische Zuil. Verslag van de 6de Konferentie van Europese Moslims te Genk (privately published, Leuven 1992, summary published in Trends magazine; detailed on-the-spot report on Islamist mass conference in Genk, Belgium).


  • contribution of the Persian word-list to the 31-language word-list in the Dutch language course for foreigners, Nederlands  voor Anderstaligen, of the Provinciaal Instituut voor Moderne Talen, Hasselt 1993.


  • De Vier van Breda. Het Nederlandse Spellingvraagstuk (Delta-Stichting, Antwerp 1996; on spelling reform in Dutch).


  • De Islam voor Ongelovigen (Delta-Stichting, Antwerp, 1997; on the origin and political doctrine of Islam; second edition through Doorbraak, Antwerp 2016).


  • Rechtzetting bij het Boek der Veranderingen (privately published, Leuven 1997, summaries in periodicals Netelblad and Wonder En Is Gheen Wonder; on some unexpected Sinological reasons for not relying on the Chinese oracle Yijing).


  • “Het taboe: de islamisering van onze cultuur”, contribution to Luc Pauwels, ed.: Recht op Antwoord (Delta-Stichting, Antwerp 2002; on threats to freedom of opinion); proceedings of a Delta conference in 2000 on freedom of expression where I stood in for Professor Pim Fortuyn, the later politician and murder victim, who chose the title of this lecture; awarded the Gouden Lampje (“little golden lamp”) award by the Werkgroep Literatuur en Media, Leuven, 22 April 2004.


  • De Islam, Hoelang Nog? Vlaamse Polemieken over de Islam (Delta-Stichting, Antwerp 2003, a collection of articles on the Islam debate).


  • “Kaste en de Indiase wetgeving”, Ars Aequi (law journal, Nijmegen, Feb. 2007; on the status of caste in Indian law).


  • “Genocide, het groot kanon in desinformatiecampagnes”, in Pieter Huys: Correctheid (Nucleus, Bruges 2008, on the over-use of the label “genocide” as a publicity ploy).


  • Het boek bij het Boek: Recensies over Islam en Koran 1992-2008 (Yang Books, Waregem 2009, a collection of my book reviews pertaining to Islam).


  • De Moord op de Mahatma (Davidsfonds, Leuven 1998; on the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, with a first-ever critical presentation of the assassin’s defence); with translations in English (q.v.) and French, Pourquoi j’ai tué Gandhi (Les Belles Lettres, Paris 2007), revised and enlarged edition in biography format in Dutch, Mahatma Gandhi (Aspekt, Soesterberg 2009), and in Hindi (forthcoming).


  • “Leve het nieuwe Vlaanderen of... leve het oude België?”, in Johan Sanctorum, ed.: De Vlaamse Republiek: van Utopie tot Project. Denksporen naar de Vlaamse Onafhankelijkheid (Van Halewyck, Leuven 2009, on solutions to Belgium’s institutional crisis).


  • “Radhabinod Pal”, in Ars Aequi (Nijmegen, September 2010; on the Indian judge who gave a dissenting opinion during the Tokyo trial 1946-48).


  • “De islam in India”, in Sam van Rooy & Wim van Rooy: De Islam, Kritische Essays over een Politieke Religie (ASP, Brussels 2010).


  • De Donkere Zijde van het Boeddhisme (Mens en Cultuur, Ghent 2010, on Brahmanical, Confucian, Communist and other criticisms of Buddhism);


  • Heidendom in India. Hindoes en christenen: dialoog tussen vreemden (Stichting Mens en Cultuur, Ghent 2014).


  • “Luc Pauwels en Europa”, in Liber Amicorum Luc Pauwels, 2015. 


  • “Botsende beschavingen op Nieuwjaarsnacht”, in Perry Pierik, ed.: Keulen, Kalifaat-light (Aspekt, Soesterberg 2016).


  • Moordwapens en dooddoeners (Aspekt, Soesterberg 2016).


  • Contributions to Peter Derie, Remi Hautman en Wim Van Rooy, eds.: Islam (De Blauwe Tijger, Groningen 2016, a thesaurus).


  • Welslagen en Falen van de Vlaamse Beweging (Polemos, Antwerp 2019, collection of articles 1988-2019 on the Flemish question in Belgium).


  • To be published: Kaste (Aspekt, Soesterberg 2020, on the caste system).


  • In preparation: Eenvoud door Tweevoud: Sāṁkhya, het Wereldbeeld achter Yoga (Stichting Mens en Cultuur, Ghent 2021, an introduction to Sāṁkhya philosophy).


  • In preparation: Leve het Volk! (Polemos, Antwerp 2020, on direct democracy).


  • In preparation: the first Dutch translation from the original Sanskrit of the Īśvara-Gītā (a Puranic ode to Śiva including a variation on Patañjali’s Yoga-Sūtra), 2020.


  • In preparation: Een Andere Kijk op de Wereldbrand (surprising life stories in WW2, mainly in Asia), Antwerp 2020.


  • In preparation sine die: Reikt de Hemel de Aarde de Hand? (on the long-term decline of religion behind the present appearances of revival, and post-faith prospects for religion).




Publications in English


  • Columns and reporting in The Pioneer (daily, Varanasi edition, 1988-90; Delhi 2001, 2009-11, 2014); Observer of Business and Politics (daily, Delhi, 1993-97); Outlook India (e-weekly, 2001, 2010); Kashmir Herald (e-monthly, 2002-2003); Hinduism Today (Hindu-diaspora bimonthly, Honolulu, 1994-2004); Shehjar (e-monthly, 2008), Folks Magazine (Manipal, 2012), Hindu Human Rights (2011-14, London), Bharat-Bharati (2011-14, Chennai), Law Animated Journal (2011-14, Hyderabad), Centre-Right India (2012-4, Bangalore), India Facts (2014-21, Bengaluru), Swarajya (2020), Pragyata magazine (2016-2021, Delhi), MyIndia (2020-21, Houston).


  • Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid, a Case Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict (Voice of India, Delhi 1990; based on Indology MA thesis; largely reproduced in V.C. Mishra ed.: Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid, Historical Documents, Legal Opinions & Judgments, Bar Council of India Trust, Delhi 1991; also published in Kannada translation).


  • Ayodhya and After: Issues before Hindu Society (id., 1991; excerpts reproduced in Anand Shankar Pandya, ed.: Ayodhya, an Answer to Terrorism and Fundamen­talism, Bombay 1993; also published in Marathi translation).


  • “Party-line history-writing”, in S.R. Goel, ed.: History vs. Casuistry (bundle of evidence on the history of Ayodhya; id., 1991); reprinted in S.R. Goel, ed.: Hindu Temples, vol.1 (id., 1998).


  • Negationism in India. Concealing the Record of Islam (id., 1991, second updated edition 1993, third updated edition 2014, on politicized history-writing in India).


  • Psychology of Prophetism: a Secular Look at the Bible (id., 1993, on existing psychological theories of the religious experiences of Jesus and the Biblical prophets).


  • Indigenous Indians, Agastya to Ambedkar (id., 1993, on ethnic and quasi-ethnic conflicts in India).


  • Dr. Ambedkar, a True Aryan (excerpted chapter from Indigenous Indians, id., 1993, on how Dr. Ambedkar’s politics was based on a rejection of the Aryan-Invasion-centred paradigm of Indian history and ethnography and on the plea that Untouchables like himself were just as much “Aryan” as the upper castes).


  • "The Ayodhya demolition: an evaluation", in Swapan Dasgupta et al.: The Ayodhya Reference (id., 1995).


  • Review of Greta Van Damme: De jakhals in de Oudindische Pañcatantra, in Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica (KUL Asian Studies periodical, Leuven, 1995).


  • Contributions to Ishwar Sharan: The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple, 2nd ed. (id., 1995, on the origins of Christianity in India).


  • "The Ayodhya debate", in G. Pollet, ed.: Indian Epic Values (Peeters/KUL, Leuven 1995).


  • Bharatiya Janata Party vis-à-vis Hindu Resurgence (Voice of India, Delhi 1997, on specifically Hindu criticisms of the BJP).


  • "Linguistic aspects of the Indo-European Urheimat Question" and "Political Aspects of the Aryan Invasion Debate", in Bhu Dev Sharma and Tabarun Ghose, eds.: Revisiting Indus-Sarasvati Civilization and Ancient India (World Association for Vedic Studies, Atlanta 1998).


  • "Update on the invasionist reaction to the Aryan non-invasion theory", in Bhu Dev Sharma: New Perspectives on Vedic and Ancient Indian Civilization (WAVES, Atlanta 2000).


  • The Demographic Siege (Voice of India, Delhi 1998, on the Hindu apprehension of an impending demographic minorization).


  • postscript to the Indian reprint of Daniel Pipes: The Rushdie Affair (id., 1998, on lesser-known cases of persecuted writers in the Muslim world); and to its 2nd American edition (Transaction Publ., New Brunswick NJ and London 2003).


  • “The Rushdie rules”, Middle East Quarterly (Philadelphia, 1998).


  • "Ban this book", in S.R. Goel: Freedom of Expression (id., 1998, on the attempts to get Ram Swarup’s book Hindu View of Christianity and Islam banned).


  • Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate (Aditya Prakashan, Delhi 1999).


  • foreword to A.J. Kamra: The Prolonged Partition and Its Pogroms (Voice of India, Delhi 2000, on the fate of the minorities in East Pakistan).


  • The Saffron Swastika. The Notion of 'Hindu Fascism' (2 vols., id., 2001).


  • "India's only communalist", in Arvind Sharma: Hinduism and Secularism after Ayodhya (Palgrave, London 2001, a brief biography of Sita Ram Goel).


  • Decolonizing the Hindu Mind. Ideological Development of Hindu Revivalism (Rupa, Delhi 2001; based on doctoral research; topped Asian Age non-fiction top 10 in May 2001).


  • Gandhi and Godse. A Review and a Critique (Voice of India, Delhi 2002; a detailed discussion of N. Godse’s defence speech during the Gandhi murder trial); updated American edition planned with Edwin Mellen Publ., New York.


  • Who Is a Hindu? Hindu Revivalist Views on Buddhism, Sikhism and Other Offshoots of Hinduism (id. 2002; on whether or in what sense Buddhism, Sikhism etc. can be counted as branches of Hinduism).


  • Ayodhya, the Case against the Temple (id. 2002, a review of the different lines of argumentation against the pre-existence of a Hindu temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya).


  • Introduction and "A reply to Robert Hathaway", in Ramesh Rao and Koenraad Elst, eds.: Gujarat after Godhra. Real Violence, Selective Outrage (Har-Anand, Delhi 2002, on the political exploitation of the Gujarat riots in early 2002).


  • Ayodhya, the Finale: Science vs. Secularism in the Excavations Debate (Voice of India, Delhi 2003, a review of the Court-ordered findings in Ayodhya and their reception in the media).


  • "Linguistic aspects of the Aryan non-invasion theory", in Edwin Bryant & Laurie Patton, eds.: The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History (RoutledgeCurzon, 2004).        


  • ed.: India’s Only Communalist, a commemoration volume on the late Indian historian Sita Ram Goel (id. 2005).                         


  • Return of the Swastika (Voice of India, Delhi 2006; more on the notion of “Hindu fascism”; reprint by Arktos, London 2014).


  • “Christianity, a man-made religion indebted to India”, in Michel Danino, ed.: Expressions of Christianity, with a focus on India, issue of Vivekananda Kendra Patrika (Chennai, Feb. 2006, p.18-36, on claims of Buddhist influence on early Christianity).


  • Return of the Swastika (id. 2006; more on the notion of “Hindu fascism”).


  • Asterisk in Bhâropiyasthân: Minor Writings on the Aryan Invasion Debate (id. 2007).


  • The Problem with Secularism (id. 2008); a Tamil translation of its chapter “Wahi”, a secular analysis of the Quranic trance, was separately published as a booklet (Chennai 2008).


  • “Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy”, in Vasti Roodt & Herman Siemens, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics, Walter De Gruyter, Berlin 2008.


  • “Extremism in South Asia”, review of Deepa Ollapally: The Politics of Extremism in South Asia, in Journal of Asian Studies (Cambridge UP), vol.69, p. 637-639.


  • “Humour in Hinduism”, in Walter van Herck & Hans Geybels, eds.: Humour in Religion, Continuum, London 2011.


  • Review of D.N. Jha: Rethinking Hindu Identity, in Journal of Asian Studies (Cambridge UP), vol.70, p. 872-874.


  • “Ayodhya’s Three History Debates”, Journal of Indian History and Culture, Chennai, September 2011.


  • “Taj Mahal or Tejo Mahalaya: The Incurable Hindu Fondness for P.N. Oak”, Law Animated World, Hyderabad, 15-30 Nov. 2011, p.86-90.


  • “The Rushdie Affair’s Legacy”, Law Animated World, Hyderabad, 15-29 Feb. 2012.


  • “Mapping the Sarasvati. Review of The Lost River by Michel Danino”, Vedic Venues, Athens, spring 2012.


  •  “The Indo-Aryan controversy is a real debate. A reply to Nicholas Kazanas”, Quaderni di Semantica, Bologna, June 2012.


  • “Some unlikely tentacles of early Indo-European”, in Girish Nath Jha and Angela Marcantonio: Perspectives on the Origins of Indian Civilization, DK Printworld, Delhi 2012.


  • The Argumentative Hindu. Essays by a Non-Affiliated Orientalist, Aditya Prakashan, Delhi 2012.


  • “The Indo-European, Vedic and post-Vedic meanings of ‘Ārya’”, Vedic Venues, Athens, spring 2013.


  • “Safeguarding Hinduism’s Essence & History”, p.51-57, Hinduism Today, October 2014, Kapaa HA.


  • “True Hindu Greatness”, in Saradindu Mukherji, ed.: Prabodhan. Thoughts on Hindu Society, WHC, Delhi 2014.


  • On Modi Time. Merits and Flaws of Hindu Activism in Its Day of Incumbency, Voice of India, Delhi 2015.


  • “The conflict between Vedic Aryans and Iranians”, in Journal of Indian History and Culture, Chennai, September 2015.


  • “In favour of freedom of speech”, Astha Bharati, autumn 2016, Delhi.


  • “Vasishtha, the earliest attested case of divinization in India”, in: Sanskrit Vimarsh, Delhi, December 2016.


  • “Why linguistics necessarily holds the key to the solution of the Indo-European homeland question”, in BR Mani, ed.: Indus-Saraswati (Harappan) Civilization vis-à-vis Rigveda, Draupadi Trust, Delhi 2017, p.199-224.


  • Still no Sign of the Aryan Invasion (a collection of my papers 2007-17 on the Indo-European homeland debate and ancient Indian history; at Aryan Books International, Delhi 2018).


  • “An archaeologist of consequence: Prof. BB Lal”, in Mani, BR, et al., eds.: Felicitating a Legendary Archaeologist: Prof. BB Lal, BR Publ., Delhi 2018, p.115-118.


  • Is the term Dharma untranslatable?”, in Saradindu Mukherji, ed.: Prabodhan 2. Thoughts on Hindu Society, WHC, Delhi 2018.


  • Entry “Ayodhya” in Pankaj Jain, Madhu Khanna and Rita D. Sherma: Encyclopedia of Indian Religions, Springer Verlag, 2019.


  • “The historicity of the Mahābhārata”, in Mishra, Neera & Lal, Rajesh, eds.: Mahābhārata Manthan, BR Publ., Delhi 2019, p.425-431.


  • India’s Culture Wars, Rupa, Delhi 2019.


  • “Ever closer to Bhāropīyasthān. State of the art of the Out-of-India debate”, Les Etudes Classiques (Festschrift for my erstwhile professor Lambert Isebaert), Namur 2020.


  • In preparation: The Buddha and the Shoulders He Stood On, Shubhi Publications, Delhi 2021.


  • In preparation: The Way of Heaven: Philosophy of the Rāśicakra, Shubhi Publications, Delhi 2021.


  • In preparation: Idolatry (Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi 2022).


  • In preparation sine die: English translation of Jesuit missionary Ferdinand Verbiest’s classical-Chinese trilogy of argumentation against Chinese divination, known as the Refutatio Astrologiae.



Languages spoken


  • Fluently: Dutch (mother tongue), French, German (other national languages of Belgium), English.
  • Working knowledge: Hindi, Chinese.
  • Notions: Arabic, Persian.
  • Classical languages: Latin, Sanskrit, Wenyan, notions of Greek, Hittite, Sumerian.




Special areas of interest and current research:


·         The political uses of history;

·         The tradition of scholastic debate in Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity;

·         Doctrines of jihād and khilāfah and their possible counterparts in non-Islamic traditions;

·         Political philosophies of China and India;

·         History of astronomy in China and India;

·         Comparative cosmology, Greek-Indian-Chinese et al.;

·         Chinese-Indian links in qigong/yoga;

·         Indo-European origins;

·         Ancient Hindu atheism, and the how and why of its decline of in favour of devotional theism;

·         Against “traditionalism”: the phenomenon and value of progress in reputedly age-old traditions such as yoga and the soft martial arts;

·         Hindu revivalism and nationalism outside the Sangh Parivar;

·         Modern history of China: late empire, Maoism and post-Maoism;

·         Asian perspectives on World War 2;

·         Language policies in Asia and the EU;

·         Fundamental political thought, left/right, progressive/conservative, as applied in the West and in Asia;

·         The incipient dominance of Asia in cultural globalization.





                   Dr. Koenraad Elst

                   Singel 35, B-2640 Mortsel

                   tel: +32-3-2973050; +32-478-938862


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