[INDOLOGY] Petition against Pollock: revision

Michaels, Axel michaels at asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de
Sat Mar 5 04:02:29 EST 2016


Dear all,

I was just informed, that due to massive protest the petition has meanwhile been changed and the SAI is not mentioned anymore. For the original version, see http://www.newsgram.com/132-indian-academicians-call-for-removal-of-sheldon-pollock-as-general-editor-of-murthy-classical-library/. The rest of our declaration remains the same and true. Here is its latest version of  with more signatories:

The South Asia Institute (SAI) at Heidelberg University and its friends are puzzled by the fact that the lecture "What is South Asian Knowledge Good For?" delivered by Professor Sheldon Pollock at the celebration of its 50th anniversary on May 8, 2012, has resulted in a petition (https://www.change.org/p/mr-n-r-narayana-murthy-and-mr-rohan-narayan-murty-removal-of-prof-sheldon-pollock-as-mentor-and-chief-editor-of-murty-classical-library[1]), initiated by Professor Ganesh Ramakrishnan from IIT Bombay, to remove him from the General Editorship  of the Murty Classical Library of India published by Harvard University Press (http://www.murtylibrary.com/). Following the motto of Heidelberg University (semper apertus, "always open"), the SAI has always been a place of religious and political tolerance, freedom of speech and diversity of intellectual and methodological approaches. It would never have tolerated a key note that would contradict these principles, and in fact - as is clearly evident from the text of the lecture (http://crossasia-repository.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/3183/) - Professor Pollock, in his lecture, highlighted the importance and value of Indian traditions and knowledge systems - quite the opposite of what is claimed by the authors of the petition.

We, the undersigned, condemn all ad hominem attacks on bona fide scholars and students as well as any attempt to limit academic freedom and the freedom of speech on campuses.  We are shocked by the deliberate misrepresentation of Prof. Pollock's message. We regard it as our duty, as intellectuals and as citizens, to work cooperatively with our Indian colleagues toward better understandings of each other, of our pasts and our present.  Such improved understanding requires continual rethinking and, if necessary, revision of existing theories, along with a mutual respect for religious, philosophical, political and social ideas.

Prof. Christiane Brosius, Excellence Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University
Prof. Gérard Fussmann, Collège de France, Paris
Prof. Joerg Gengnagel, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Dr. Martin Gieselmann, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Prof. Niels Gutschow, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Prof. Hans Harder, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Prof. Jens-Uwe Hartmann, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch, Institute for European Global Studies, Basel University
Prof. Ute Hüsken, Oslo University
Prof. Monica Juneja, Excellence Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University
Dr. Agathe Keller, CNRS-Université Paris Diderot, France
Prof. Birgit Kellner, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Prof. Hans Martin Krämer, Institut of Japanese Studies, Heidelberg University
Prof. Hermann Kreutzmann, Freie Universität Berlin
Prof. Hermann Kulke, Kiel University
Prof. Joachim Kurtz, Excellence Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University
Prof. Thomas Maissen, Deutsches Historisches Institut / Institut historique allemand, Paris
Prof. Joseph Maran, Excellence Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University
Prof. Axel Michaels, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Prof. Rahul Mukherji, National University of Singapore
Prof. Marcus Nüsser, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Prof. Sumathi Ramaswamy, Duke University
Oyndrila Sarkar, Excellence Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University
Prof. William S. Sax, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Prof. Ingo Strauch, Lausanne University

________________________________

[1] Due to massive protest, the petition has meanwhile been changed and the SAI is not mentioned anymore. For the original version, see http://www.newsgram.com/132-indian-academicians-call-for-removal-of-sheldon-pollock-as-general-editor-of-murthy-classical-library/.
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