VOI message

lbigelow at sas.upenn.edu lbigelow at sas.upenn.edu
Tue Mar 28 18:22:49 UTC 1995

I second Daud's statement.  Based on my reading of the foreword, I 
agree that Elst's book carries a very strong political statement, as does 
VOI's unfortunate choice of the Indology list as a potentially receptive 
audience.  And while I am not one who feels that politics should 
necessarily be kept out of a forum on pre-modern South Asia (is any 
discussion apolitical, in any case?), I understand and defer to the 
consensus of the list members who feel that political debate belongs 
elsewhere.  That said, VOI and Dr. Elst should be made aware that this is 
not the place for the promotion of any work whose purpose is the 
advancement of a particular political agenda.

--Lyn E. Bigelow, University of Pennsylvania

According to Daud R. Ali:
> It seems that Indology is not so a-political after all.  Of the various 
> internet 
> venues, indology has been singled out by Voice of India as "cacaphony" 
> free for the dissemination of such a book.  
> I believe that VOI should understand that just because we study 
> pre-modern India does not mean that we should be receptive to what I think
> can hardly be considered an a-political message.  Of course I am 
> assuming, perahps naively, that everyone would agree on this point.
> I suggest that we, if there is some consensus, should respond to Voice 
> of India that this venue is not for politics.  If we fail to do so, 
> then, well, we must admit that a very hot political topic has been 
> dropped in our midst, and then, I'm afraid, we will be forced to talk 
> about it.  Communalism and the writing on pre-modern India might actually 
> be a very interesting topic.  If we don't want to take it up, and stick 
> to our stated "apolitical agenda," then, I think a response to VOI is 
> in order. 
> daud ali


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