Book Review:"Negationism in India"-Part 1

Sunando Sen SENS at
Sun Nov 21 08:18:35 UTC 1993

ucgadkw at (Dominik Wujastyk) writes:

> On Nov 14,  3:43am, Richard Lariviere wrote:
> > Is there any way to keep the sort of rancid pablum Mr. Karanth has sullied
> > our screens with from re-appearing?   
> I'm afraid not, at the moment, Richard.  Freedom of speech and all
> that.  I haven't checked whether Karanth is actually a subscribed
> member of the list but, as I understand it, anyone can post
> mail to INDOLOGY and it will be distributed to members.  I don't think
> this is what we really want; people should at least have to subscribe
> before being able to distribute messages.  And I gather that the next
> version of unix-LISTSERV  -- 6 -- enables us to protect the group more,
> along these lines.  But we have to wait until the Liverpool team
> (thanks lads!) install the new version.

But still, anybody can subscribe to the list.

> Another possibility would be for INDOLOGY to become a moderated list,
> i.e., the heavy hand of an editor would fall upon all messages before
> distribution (and perhaps combine batches of messages into a single
> bulletin).  But I don't have time to do this, and I don't think our
> volume justifies it.
> I know it is annoying to have one's mailbox flooded with unwanted
> stuff, but for the present I'm afraid that it's the price paid for
> receiving a lot of other, more interesting, messages.
> 'Just say "Delete".'   :-)

It is possible to filter out messages if it contains one or more 
occurances of certain strings, such as:

1.  Konrad Elst
2.  P.N. Oak
3.  Subhash Kak
4.  Negationism
5.  Golwalkar
6.  Babri
7.  Ram Janambhumi

And so on...

> One more thing: Yesterday I returned from Madras, where I had a number
> of fascinating discussions about anti-brahmin feelings, about language
> controversies, learned about new anti-fundamentalist organizations, and
> so on.  I am sure that others have had similar experiences.  It is
> clear that India (or at least the subset of people I met in Madras) is
> going through a period of great intellectual ferment and
> self-examination.  There is a lot of uncritical and dangerous
> balderdash in circulation, but I think we ignore it at our peril.  I
> was particularly glad to find that some middle-class Indians are
> actively forming groups to counter some of these ideas, however
> tiresome it may be for them to have to do this.  Although these issues
> are not the bread-and-butter (chapatti-and-ghee?) of INDOLOGY it
> probably does little harm to be reminded of them by the occasional
> irruption.

If you went to Madras, it should have been butter-milk and rice, rather 
than chapatti and ghee!  In any case, I would be very grateful if you 
care to summarise your experience in Madras.  It would certainly be a 
refreshing change from the usual shop talk one sees here.  

  Incidentally, I am glad that you found out that `some middle-class 
Indians are actively forming groups' to counter communalism.  The fact 
is, there always were groups of individuals who faught communalism, and 
sometimes paid for their conviction with their lives.  There are many 
grassroots organisations whose works are seldom reported in New York 
Times, but they do exist.  I am sorry if all this has nothing to do 
with Panini and Truetype Devnagari fonts, but I hope you will 
understand the anguish one has to go through when one sees one country 
literally torn apart by a bunch of... [I daren't write anymore]

Sunando Sen

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