Reality Check India

Trail of places where Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar claimed a University of California, Berkeley PhD

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on August 28, 2022

We have documented the toxic unbecoming profile of Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar (@kryes on twitter), who was recently awarded a PhD A Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by a University in the state of Tamilnadu (India)

Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar (second from right) during the convocation where he received his PhD D.Litt from Periyar Maniammai University in presence of Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, and a High Court Judge

Delivering the convocation address at the Periyar Maniammai Institute of Science and Technology at Vallam near here on Saturday, the Madras High Court judge said that nowadays social media was playing a major role in manipulating the thinking ability of the people.

..

More than 1,000 students received their degrees on the occasion, which was attended by the PMIST Periyar Maniammai Institute of Science and Technology at Vallam) chancellor, K.Veeramani, vice-chancellor, S.Velusami and others. A Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) was presented to Kannabiran Ravishankar, Adjunct Professor in Comparative Literature (Tamil), University of Paris.

source : The Hindu dated Aug 20, 2002 https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/social-media-manipulates-thinking-ability-says-justice-anand-venkatesh/article65790844.ece

Doctorate in Tamil claim from University of California, Berkeley

Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar has consistently claimed he had a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Those with knowledge of Tamil and not of the Dravidian ideology never believed it. It would be a miracle if such a foul character with no demonstration of reasoned thinking held a doctorate from one the worlds most premier Universities. More so when he claimed his dissertation was private and even an abstract was not visible anywhere.

In this post we document various places where he claimed to be a doctorate from Berkeley.

Published books

In the book Ariyapataatha Tamizh Mozhi அறியப்படாத தமிழ்மொழி ( The Tamil language not known ) published by Tatakam Press (Chennai – Tamilnadu) and made available with much fanfare at book fairs.

Book 1 UC Berkeley PhD Claim Ariyapadaatha Tamizh Mozhi (2018)

Evidence 1: LInk on Amazon

In the preface itself he claims he holds a Phd from University of California at Berkeley.

The underlined part says (in Tamil) … “in UC Berkeley in Tamil language one who received a Doctorate and also working as a part time professor”

Book 2 UC Berkeley claim in தமிழா? சம்ஸ்கிருதமா? Tamizha? Samskiruthama? (2021)

This book published as recently as Apr 29 2021. He repeats the claim he has a PhD from UC Berkeley Tamil.

Evidence : Amazon link

And in the preface

The underlined part now says ,” in University of California Berkeley from the Comparative Literature Department received a PhD degree, in New York Columbia University and in University of Paris who has worked there (sic)” He means this department “Comparative Literature” https://complit.berkeley.edu/

Editor in Chief of Dravida Pozhil journal

Periyar Maniammai University runs an academic journal called Dravida Pozhil which can be found at their website https://dravidapozhil.pmu.edu/

Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar is the editor of this academic journal

The editorial board of the academic journal of Periyar Maniammai University (Tamilnadu) India.

and the editorial board. I have circled Dr Soma Ilangovan who is a leading co-ordinator of Dravidian-Tamil associations in United States and associate in the United States and is close to Prof Dr. George L Hart from the SSEAS in UC Berkeley.

In the journal Dravida Pozhil Volume 2, Issue 1 | January 2022 – March 2022

Evidence : Journal Volume 2, Issue 1 (PDF)

he claims in the author profile itself.

Academic paper : Dravida Pozhil Inaugural issue Vol 1 Issue 1 “Dravidian canvas in Sanga Tamil” (PDF)

Again in Dravida Pozhil inaugural issue which was launched in Tamilnadu with much fanfarea

and the claim

One of the Tamil (Dravidian) scholars hosted the Dravida Pozhil at another renowned American University U.Penn which would increase its reputation in Google and in the Scholar community.

Subdomain berkeley.academia.edu

He created a profile on berkeley.academia.edu that for the untrained eye looks like berkeley.edu

He has deleted that page after this but here it is from the archives.

Evidence : https://web.archive.org/web/20210429045236/https://berkeley.academia.edu/krs/CurriculumVitae

Claims as a Post Doc with SSEAS University of California Berkeley

He deleted the academia.edu profile but notice the CV page carefully, he claimed until very recently that was was a Post-Doc at School of South and South East Asian Studies SSEAS at University of California Berkeley, Click on the web.archive link and zoom in to this part

Quora profile with UCBerkeley

His quora profile where he claims UC Berkeley PhD. The Tamil says PhD from UC Berkeley

Evidence from his own Twitter account @kryes

The following evidence trail from his own twitter account followed and promoted by the top most Tamilnadu politicians. He frequently posts pictures taken with them , will be releasing them shortly.

Claims renowned UCB professor George L Hart as his guide

In 2014 May in the middle of his “PhD study” at Berkeley he put out tweets saying George L Hart was his guide to his friends.

His friend (identity blurred) straightaway asks if George L Hart was his guide and he says “Yes!!”

in another tweet he confirms that his Department was School of South and South East Asian studies at UC Berkeley.

To another friend of his Mr SKP Karuna a popular Tamil tweeter and leader he confirms that he had received an email that his dissertation was accepted.

Did Prof George Hart not know that Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar was not a PhD? How was he introduced to him?

Using a fake graduation photo

This one was comical when it came out. A University of California, Berkeley PhD is something to be super proud of. Yet he released a picture of his graduation in a blurred format. In that time he was maintaining a line that some Tamils would be upset at his Comparative Literature thesis.

In 2017 he posted something about a Doctorate then he posts an image of processed image appearing to be him with a PhD diploma, then she asks what was the Doctorate on and he says ” I got it 1.5 yrs ago Doctor of Literature (Tamil)” This was mixed with constant photos of Berkeley city and the bay area to make it appear he was there.

We ran some algo check on the image and found it to be lifted from a online graduation gown catalog with some facial similarity with Mr Ravishankar.

Claiming to have been invited to deliver a lecture at UCBerkeley on Tamil and Islam

The tamil says “Islam and Tamil, Berkeley university I have been requested to deliver a research speech. In the same institution I studied in, I am given an exposition. I am smiling”

Notice the number of likes and retweets. As I already said, he is a very influential propagandist in the Dravidian ideology ecosystem.

Using a letter fom UCBerkeley Prof Dr. George L Hart to certify himself

This is the most serious part. Involving reputation of The distinguished scholar and Prof Emeritus Dr. George L Hart and the entire Univ of California, Berkeley SSEAS dept.

When confronted about the missing credentials Mr Kannabiran produced a letter written by Prof Hart commending him as a way to say ‘look the top international scholar has certified me‘.

Evidence: https://twitter.com/kryes/status/1561571287935459328

In Tamil he says

Here is a certification from the world renowned international professor Prof. Dr. George Hart , the first scholar to work for getting classical status for Tamil.

Only the wise intellectuals will recognize other wise

Only the learned men want more and more relationship with other learned (Moothurai – Old Tamil Poetry)

How was Prof Hart conned

From what I gather the distinguished professor is kindly to a fault. He trusted an acquaintance of Mr Kannabiran (see circled picture of the editorial board of the academic journal above) who also happened to be his friend. He did not cross check Mr Kannabiran’s claims with the UCBerkeley Dept of Comparative Literature This was a long con in the making. He then trustingly edited some work and also gave a letter of recognition. Now that letter is being used to prop up the hoax.

Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar alleged Dissertation topic as he claims was bang centre of Professor Hart’s territory comparing Kamban and Ilango the Tamil poets with Shakespeare Shelly. If this was known to Prof Hart it would certainly piqued his curiosity that such a PhD Dissertation was not done in his department SSEAS but in the Dept of Comparative literature (COMPLIT) Again how was he introduced to Prof Hart. We have to wait for a clarification.

Confirmed from Berkeley so far

We have confirmation from University of California, Berkeley School of South and South east asian studies that none of the current professors know anyone by that name.

We have confirmation from Prof Dr George L Hart that Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar was never his student and he only trusted a close friend (circled in above picture) and agreed to write a letter. He merely trusted Mr Kannabiran Ravishankars’ self declaration that he had a Doctorate from the Dept of Comparative Literature complit.berkeley.edu in the same University.

We have confirmation from the Asst Director of Media Relations and Communications Univ of California, Berkeley that there are no records of a Kannabiran Ravishankar at their University.

The latest claim that is in opposition to his earlier claim is that he did not get his PhD from SSEAS but from the Department of Comparative Literature, does not seem to fit at all. The department strengths seem to be in English and Greek,Russian,Persian etc. We checked the department alumni and the faculty list he wasnt there. While it is possible some alumni may choose not to be listed, it is out of character for such a loud person.

Mr Kannabiran claims that the thesis title was “The Comparative Nuances of Drama and Social Justice between the Master Poets – Shakespeare Shelley Ilango and Kamban” -(2015)

Neither the thesis nor any publications of Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar can be found

The following is from a long winded clarification issued by Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1ss47g4 ( It is in Tamil)

All combinations and words were searched with ProQuest and using CALID in the UC System. There are no publications at all not only in UCBerkeley but in any other US university on ProQuest.

Conclusion

As shown above, University of California, Berkeley, distinguished professor George Hart’s, SSEAS, and Comp Lit departments names are being widely used in Tamil language out of sight to scaffold a very unsavory and unscholarly con man we know in Tamil sphere.

This person is being elevated sky high with a Honorary Doctorate in big events in front of 1000s of youth boy and girl graduates and feted by Vice Chancellors and Judges by a powerful ecosystem with the “Dravidian” ideology.

An official note from UCB Authorities and a clarification from Prof Hart himself would help. All legal steps must be taken against this.

The event where distinguished top academics from Tamilnadu conferred the honorary doctorate and also mentioned about he “Previous doctorate” from University of California, Berkeley.

More links

Other claims as Professor (Adjunct) CNRS University of Paris – Sorbonne

No one is unable to find any online trace, former students, his name in University Directory or any other evidence such as University Email of this claim.

Fake claim of Professor (Adjunct) at the CNRS Paris – Sorbonne University

In a conference organized by Periyar International USA in 2019 at Silver Springs MD, USA. Mr Ravishankar Kannabiran presented himself as a Professor in CNRS Paris (Sorbonne) and did not mention his UCBerkeley PhD presumably because Prof George Hart was also a speaker and he might have gotten curious.

Periyar International Conference where the CNRS Paris was claimed

The founder and chief of Periyar International Inc is the same Soma Ilangovan who is close to Prof Hart. It was inaugurated in 1994 in the presence of Mr K. Veeramani who is the head of Dravidar Kazhagam the chief ideological body of the Dravidian ideology. He is also the Chancellor of the Periyar Maniammai University which conferred the Honorary PhD to Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar. The chain seems complete.

At the Periyar International Conference 2019 he was featured as a speaker adjacent to real unsuspecting scholars such as Prof George Hart (UCBerkeley) , US House of Representatives (D-MD) Jamie Haskin, and others. This was probably designed to place him in a company of scholars and selected US Congressmen Politicians and earn legitimacy that way.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

Here Ravishankar Kannabiran openly claims he is a Professor at the CNRS University of Paris (Sorbonne).

The link is still there http://periyarinternational.com/pi-aha2019/speakers.html

We asked a renowned Prof Jean-Luc Chevillard of the CNRS if he knew this person.

Hence the CNRS claim in Periyar International Conference was outright fake. HIs name does not show up in University of Paris, Sorbonne directory search. He claims Adjunct Professors are low level and hence do not show up.

Stonybook University symposium

Evidence : https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/cas/

In the Stonybrook University College of Arts and Sciences a symposium was organized where Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar was placed alongside other real professors and a LINK from Dot.EDU domain. A trail of such claims with a link from a .EDU alongside other scholars were used to build a persona.

A few more pics about this symposium.

American Tamil Academy Advisory Board

AMA appears to be a group organizing various Tamil schools across the USA. They also produce print resources (books) for learning the Tamil language. Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar is in the Advisory Board . At least three members are also propagandists of Dravidian ideology – the ideological base is a virulently anti-brahmin(ical they say sort of) – in Tamil language in the state of Tamilnadu. They have been featured on Dravidian Professional Forum run by Dr P Thiyaga Rajan who is the current Finance MInister of the Indian state of Tamilnadu. Imagine this association many of whom are very Twitter savvy felt no qualms about appointing such a vulgar hateful and crass person to write text books to learn Tamil.

LINK : https://www.americantamilacademy.org/?page_id=9

The WHY

Now I understand many fake their degrees for various social and professional reasons. That is NOT the pattern here.

First, Mr Kannabiran Ravishankar is not just anyone as I explained he is major propagandist of the Dravidian Ideology – a political ideology. His continuous tempo as documented is a ‘drumbeat’ that sets the pace of the entire political discourse in the state of Tamilnadu and increasingly rest of India. He is of course not the only drumbeat, but he is the most prominent one. A UCBerkeley PhD and a Univ of Paris Sorbonne Professorship simply amplifies his vituperative tweets 100 fold. Which is why they went to such extent to platform him. More on this later.

Secondly, he was awarded a Honorary Doctor of Letters at the Periyar Maniammai University, Vallam, Tanjore. Where he was praised by Vice Chancellors, Chancellors, and a High court judge. This was in front of a 1000 students and parents. Now if we do not fact check this person – then a these innocent Tamil students will grow up looking up to him as a role model.

9 Responses

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  1. Tom said, on August 28, 2022 at 11:05 am

    Please mention fake degrees of french college soubourne & AUP .. U forgot to mention.

  2. Vijay Vanbakkam said, on August 28, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Funny in his profile for Dravida Pozil, he is called Professuer

    • Vijay Vanbakkam said, on August 28, 2022 at 12:29 pm

      Funny in his profile for Dravida Pozil, he is called Professuer Adjoint. It is always Adjuct never Adjoint . He can’t even lie properly. If he is a professor in French uni, why not give email from that university. His email is pmu.edu which is Periar Mani Uni

  3. Kannan said, on August 28, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Atrocious, anarchism of doctorate education…misused and a bad precedent to the future students..

  4. commonman said, on August 28, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    This is as good as one guy floating around all social media as “well known economist” where is he mere 2 cents congress member and stooge…and establish anti modi/anti bjp narrative..you google this https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=behindwoods+economist+interview

    • commonman said, on August 28, 2022 at 4:47 pm

      he is nothing but anand srinivasan..i wish you call him out on twitter too…because he is known for establishing anti bjp narrative for long time..in sly of budgeting suggestions..

  5. rk2308 said, on August 29, 2022 at 3:15 am

    Fantastic work and exposé RCI 🙏🏽. Thank you for the great work and persistence dealing with this section of people. Hope your anonymity and safety is not compromised by these unsavoury element and their counter efforts.

  6. agee0088 said, on September 2, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    Could you kindly DM. Not sure how to contact.


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