VHP and Indology

bhatcher at titan.iwu.edu bhatcher at titan.iwu.edu
Fri Nov 11 22:57:05 UTC 1994

	Having followed the discussion on the VHP now for a few days, I
	thought I would simply add that in my own work I have found
	some very interesting ways to explore the crossover between
	Indological pursuits and some kind of engagement with political
	issues in India today.

	If I may I would refer to a recent essay in which I explore the
	use of the 'mantra', vasudhaiva kuu.tumbakam, by groups like
	the VHP.  My analysis of this mantra involves considering its
	context with Sanskrit ethico-didactic literature, its
	interpretation by the eminent Indologist Sylvain Levi, and its
	emergence in recent neo-Hindu literature as a statement of
	humanist ideals.  My attempt is to problematize the easy
	appropriation of this phrase by groups like the VHP, especially
	where their cosmopolitanism runs hand in hand with communalist
	tendencies.  But I am also interested in issues of Orientalist
	and post-Orientalist frames of reference on the comparison of
	notions like humanism and the relationship of individual to

	The essay is entitled, "'The Cosmos is One Family' (vasudhaiva ku“.tumbakam):  Problematic Mantra of Hindu Humanism."

	It appears in Contributions to Indian Sociology 28/1 (1994) 149-62.

	Since this was originally intended as a 'discussion' piece, I would be happy if it could contribute to the discussion we have beenhaving on the net.

	Brian A. Hatcher
	Department of Religion
	Illinois Wesleyan University
	Bloomington, IL  61702-2900
	e-mail:  bhatcher at titan.iwu.edu

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