Political dimension of Indology

aklujkar at unixg.ubc.ca aklujkar at unixg.ubc.ca
Tue Nov 8 19:06:03 UTC 1994

        Many excellent points have been made in the communications from
Jonathan Silk, Rob Mayer, J.B. Sharma,  Purushottama Bilimoria, and
Frederick M Asher regarding the connection between political issues and
Indology, both as a discipline as a list serve. I hope the scholars who
were thinking of quitting will change their minds (at least until the
reasons adduced by the afore-mentioned scholars are ably controverted),will
(fore)see that any other network they start will not be immune to the
problems they perceive, and will also not lose sight of the good work
INDOLOGY has so far accomplished (despite Jonathan Silk not getting any
help on the very interesting questions he has asked. Sorry, Jonathan, time
is the only consideration that prevents me from reading the texts to which
you refer). 
         The remedy of having a monitored/censored list will be worse than
the perceived problem.
Where will one draw the line? Will I be prevented from observing that
Buddhism disappears from north India as Islam expands there? How could it
be ensured that I become aware of changing paradigms in the field? 
        My experience has been that it does not take more than ten seconds
to eliminate a message one does not wish to read: one can go by the subject
title, the sender's name, or the first few sentences of the message.  The
experience of seeing unwanted or uninteresting messages is no worse than
coming across books with misleading titles in the pursuit of one's research
        One day when more up-to-date histories of our discipline (whatever
its contours and subconsciously accepted assumptions may be) are written,
the very discussions we are having will be ground for historical insights.
Could we have had the discussions without an open network? To separate the
theory of indology from the details of indological questions and findings
is as artificial as separating indology as a discipline from INDOLGY as a

        In the spirit of the above words, I, as one who knows nothing first
hand about VHP, am still interested in knowing what impact, if any,
information and views to the contrary have had on Mr. Nelson's view. Since
he caused the discussion, I think there is some professional ethical
obligation that he should let us know if what the other side has asserted
is correct, incorrect,or  partly correct (if partly correct, to what

Ashok Aklujkar


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list