Wanderlust (pt. 2)

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Apr 5 16:49:20 EDT 2001


>(Indeed, Talageri shows that Witzels's  study depends even on manufacturing
>of Piltdown textual data and reminiscenses of the Urals !!).

Again, Subrahmanya has not read the text carefully but repeats others' web
In my 1995 paper I only quoted the opinion of a (non-Vedic) scholar, with a
lot of qualifications, -- clearly indicating that I did *not* believe in
"reminiscences of the Urals"in the RV. Misrepresentation and libel.

>See an expose of Witzels'Piltdown text'at

I have repeatedly dealt with that dead horse, also in INDOLOGY. The matter
is, in short, a mistranslation (it should have been a paraphrase), based on
misplacing one parenthesis.
How happy people are to have found one wrong translation in nearly 30 years
of publications!

(Incidentally, the Baudh. SrautaSutra  passage in question, late as it is,
cannot prove or disprove an "Aryan immigration" -- and that was not my aim
either. I used it as additional evidence. The matter is complex and can be
found discussed, in margine,  in the forthcoming issue of EJVS, 7-3,
footnotes 44-46.)

>Witzel's incoherent writings in other papers have also been noticed

V. Agarwal (also well known to this list, see Archives) is of course
exactly the person from whom to expect an expert opinion. Amusingly, for
his present *long* discussion of my *2pp.* "brief communication" (not
"writings"!), he says that he has spent months and that he has taken the
help of several unspecified persons.

The result of this arduous search for faults is not encouraging:  Agarwal
has not done his homework well enough either. I briefly looked into the
matter during my stay at the College de France in January. Evidence is
already  on my server but I will publish a  note on this only when I get
time again, which is not likely to be before the early Summer. Again: there
are other, more urgent things to do rather than to engage in this sort of
futile tertiary excercises.

>For a sampler of euro-supremacist writing:
>1. "Something of this fear of the horse and of the thundering chariot, the
>"tank" of the 2nd millennium B.C. is transparent in the famous horse
>'Dadhikra' of the Puru king Trasadasya ("Tremble enemy"" in RV 4.38.8)
>2. "The first appearance of thundering chariots must have stricken the local
>population with teror similar to that experienced by the Aztecs and the
>Incas upon the arrival of the oron-clad, horse riding Spaniards."

Pray, what is "Euro- " and what is "supremacist" in these 2 sentences?
Only, that their author  happens to be a European.  That does not make him
supremacist or "invaderistic" (remember?)

These two sentences  deal with South Asian, originally "Afghani" (or at
best, "Bactrian") people (not "Euro-s") of the 2nd mill. BCE who used quick
horse-drawn chariots in sport and war.

Again, SuB. has not done his homework. I suggest (a) that he read HISMSELF
whom I intend to be on those chariots and (b) he read some account of the
battles of the 2nd millennium BCE Egyptians, Hittites and Hyskos or even of
Alexander and Poros. Or even Cesar in Britain.

The quick, light-weight chariot was of course used in battle (on even
ground!). And it is effictive because of its speed. Also, no one wants to
be run over by the horses or even the leigh-weight, but 2-man chariot.  I
invited SuB. et al.  long ago to stand still in front of an advancing line
of mounted police.  People did not even understand the reference then.
Maybe they never wanted to get close to that / a lathi charge...

SuB.  still seems to be fascinated by his/their invented "tanks thundering
down the Khyber" which, boringly : once again, is a line that I never

People like SuB should move on and learn to stomach that someone can
criticize and deconstruct their new hero, Talageri (who has been mute so
far). No factual criticism of my deconstruction by anybody so far, just
the usual uninformed  but heavily opinionated web chatter, --  such as the
one above....

Onward, saffron soldiers! Chatter on!


Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

ph. 1- 617-496 2990 (also messages)
home page:  http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm

Elect. Journ. of Vedic Studies:  http://www1.shore.net/~india/ejvs

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