George Gheverghese Joseph serial plagiarist and mathematical ignoramus, invited for conference on math education by Hyderabad University. Gopal Guru and Rochelle Gutierrez concur

After my book Cultural Foundations of Mathematics: the nature of mathematical proof and the transmission of calculus from India to Europe in the 16th c. CE (Pearson Longman, 2007) it is well known today that calculus developed in India a thousand years before Newton and Leibniz. Cochin based Jesuits stole it and took it to Europe where it was later falsely attributed to Newton and Leibniz.

History, they say, repeats itself. In 1998, I officially started my research project on the origin of Indian calculus and its transmission, on a grant from the Indian National Science Academy, and publicly advertised for a post-doctoral position, outlining my project objectives. Ever since then, George Joseph, author of the Crest of the Peacock, and his accomplices have been systematically stalking my work and serially plagiarising it. I trusted an utterly dishonest Joseph who got hold of my unpublished papers from 1998, and used them without acknowledgement since the 2000 edition of Joseph’s Crest of the Peacock. (The earlier edition had no mention of calculus transmission, the 2nd edition mentions copied various passages in my works, copying at least 3 of my mistakes.) But it is still little known that not only was calculus stolen from India, but my thesis that the calculus was transmitted, was similarly stolen.

This despite the fact that George Joseph and his accomplice Dennis Almeida have twice been indicted by ethics committees of Exeter and Manchester universities. Exeter University later sacked Dennis Almeida who apologised twice, once in 2005, then again in 2007. The second apology was a total deceit, since shortly after that he teamed up with George Joseph to plagiarise a full paper of mine, almost verbatim.

The plagiarised paper was one submitted to George Joseph who organized a conference in Trivandrum in the year 2000. As conference organizer Joseph had privileged access to the paper, which privilege he violated by copying the papers verbatim. It is so sad that editors of respected journals like EPW indirectly support this kind of editorial fraud by sharing a platform with Joseph.

The proof of verbatim copying is easy. There are three very similar papers involved: (1) my paper (part 1 and 2) of 2000, submitted to Joseph’s Trivandrum conference and called Trivandrum 2000 paper, (2) a slightly modified version of that same paper published ANONYMOUSLY and in violation of copyright law and ethics in the proceedings of the Trivandrum conference edited by Joesph, called Trivandrum 2003, and (3) the same paper (Manchester 2007) but with Joseph included as author, by the artifice of changing the affiliation of the anonymous author to include Manchester university, put on the Manchester university website in 2007, and accompanied by a fake news release which clearly identified Joseph and Almeida as the authors, and led to media blitz in India. The news was clearly fake, since the relevant “research paper” was never published, not even as of now.

After the resulting media blitz only the Hindustan Times was decent enough to publish a retraction.

It is very easy to check that the Manchester news release was fake news. Just compare the papers Trivandrum 2003 (in the proceedings edited by Joseph) with the Manchester 2007 paper which accompanied the fake news from Manchester. How did a paper published in 2003 turn into a new research paper in 2007 just because it acquired a new author? The news release also said that the publication was funded by the British Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC). How could that be when the paper was already published by the beginning of the grant? Incidentally, that also shows that Joseph and Almeida are financially corrupt.

This already shows that Joseph is a brazen liar who can tell any kind of lie, which normal academic plagiarists will not conceive of. But Joseph’s plagiarism can be proved through the internal contradictions in his own claims, and without reference to my Trivandrum 2000 paper.

I could not attend Joseph’s Trivandrum conference of  2000 because I was invited to deliver a keynote address at an overlapping major international conference (8th East West Conference) in Jan 2000 in Hawai’i. The related paper was published in Philosophy East and West 51(3) pp. 325–62 in 2001. In that paper, I introduced a new standard of evidence for the history of calculus transmission: the standard of proof beyond doubt used in criminal law. Here is the relevant extract on the history of calculus from that published 2001 paper (and here is the whole Hawai’i paper). The Hawai’i paper was the first to be published in 2001, and the first to state this standard. That is the essence of the paper plagiarised by Joseph. Just compare it with the Trivandrum 2003 paper, and the Manchester 2007 paper. Some more details of cut paste copying from the Hawai’i 2001 paper, in the later papers, are posted online.

Another oddity, the UNPUBLISHED version of the Hawai’i paper from 2000 is acknowledged in the Manchester 2007 paper, but not in the Trivandrum 2003 paper. Obviously, if Joseph and Almeida knew about my paper for the Jan 2000 Hawai’i conference, but not of the published version, they knew it from 2000. So, why is it not acknowledged in the earlier (Trivandrum 2003) paper, but acknowledged in the later (Manchester 2007) paper. And once my Hawai’i paper is acknowledged, what exactly is original in either of those plagiarised papers?

This is not the sole attempt to fudge references. In the 2000 edition of his Crest of the Peacock., Joseph copied a key passage with mistakes, but without acknowledgement from my 1999 Agra paper on the Yuktibahsa. The Trivandrum 2003 paper acknowledges this Agra paper in notes 3 and 48. But because of the Exeter indiction, in which he participated as a “disinterested party” feeding all sorts of lies to the ethics committee, by 2007 Joseph was aware that I was on to his tricks. Hence, the Manchester 2007 paper makes a clumsy attempt to cover up, by deleting this Agra reference. The attempt is clumsy since a reference to the Agra paper as “cited earlier” is still present in note 53. What clumsy crooks Joseph and Almeida are! Is this what Hyderabad university wants its students and faculty to imitate?

The Manchester University ethics committee in 2010 asked its media office to apologise for its fake news of 2007, about Joseph and Almeida, which grabbed media headlines in India because Indian journalists still believe the prime formula of colonial education “trust the West, mistrust the non-West”. Only the Hindustan Times actually investigated the matter and then put up a retraction to its earlier front page news item. As for Manchester university it first said the ethics committee was not authorised to ask the media office to apologise. Later, it took down its fake news of 2007, for even in 2010 that fake news from Manchester university was still unsupported by any published paper. But then it slyly put the fake news right back, after some time, with just an acknowledgement of my work (falsely implying that the the verbatim plagiarist Joseph had contributed even an iota). No sir, neither Joseph nor Almeida did any serious work on calculus transmission; they just stole the thesis, like Jesuits earlier stole the calculus .

By inviting a serial and verbatim plagiarist Hyderabad University is doing a grave disservice to the academic community. Is it sending a message to its own academics to plagiarise in this way? Or does it till subscribe to the colonial ethical standard for history that it is OK for Britishers to plagiarise from Indians, but not the other way around. That is the colonial standard isn’t it: loyalty and submission to the Western master?

I even put up a blog some time back giving some details “George Joseph: serial plagiarist”. Upon hearing of the Hyderabad conference, I wrote to Gopal Guru and Rochelle Guttiriez who are other plenary speakers at the conference. But neither responded back. I am sure Gopal Guru understand the ethics and politics of silence, and I had hoped that he would refuse to participate. If he does still participate, he surely knows that by doing so he is asserting his and EPW’s tacit academic support for such plagiarism and awfully dishonest editorial standards by sharing a platform with a serial plagiarist, and a dishonest editor. On the Jain ethic, actions speak louder than any purported intentions, so this precedent sets the unwritten policy of EPW as regards plagiarism. Double standards are anyway to be expected from Western academics. Not like #MeToo is it? What does it matter if the minds of millions of colonised are damaged?

The second part of this post will deal with the issue of how condoning plagiarism results in bad math education.

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