Place of Hindi in Indology

Satyanad Kichenassamy kichenas at
Wed Nov 20 17:42:11 UTC 1996

On Wed, 20 Nov 1996, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:
> Doesn't this strike you as a bit arrogant? I can't see that the quality of
> communication improves if you speak broken Kannada instead of broken Hindi.

The quality of communication in Hindi with a native speaker of KannaDa who
only knows little or no Hindi is poor indeed.

Besides, are we talking about the languages helpful to a tourist, or to a
student of Indology?

> Isn't this a rather emotional argument? Quantitative arguments are
> important, given the fact that academic studies have to be funded. The
> "weaker" languages may then survive under the protective cover of the
> "strong" languages in the academic funding fray. Since this has already been

I guess the above argument amounts to:

 (1)  Hindi has, as I gather from this discussion, more funding than, say,
         Sanskrit, without clear indological reasons;
 (2)  One should nevertheless give it the first place in Indology because
         it receives this funding, rather than try to disseminate 
         information about other branches of Indology. 

The idea is not to take funding away from Hindi, but to attract more
resources to Indology. This would benefit everybody, including Hindi

                                        S. Kichenassamy
                                        kichenas at


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