INDOLOGY (Was: Etymon: paTTaN); Witzel, Krishnamurti; Tokunaga

Robert J. Zydenbos zydenbos at BLR.VSNL.NET.IN
Thu Nov 27 20:27:39 UTC 1997

In re the recurring matter which was brought up by Profs.
Krishnamurti and Witzel:

(quoting Prof. Witzel)
>  Did members notice that many of the professionals have simply shut
> up and kept away?

This is just what I did for some time about a year ago, when I
mentioned Prof. Chidananda Murthy's Kanna.da ;Sakti Keendra and
another poster expressed wonder that a Kannada association has a
Hindi name. There is too much of such crass idiocy on the list. As
for (quoting Prof. Aklujkar)

> "wasting" a few seconds to delete the postings about
> the non-validity of which one is certain.

, I now immediately delete everything of which the subject line
does not immediately tremendously fascinate me, unless the name of
the poster guarantees a level of seriousness. In other words, I
delete almost everything without reading it. I am aware that this
is contrary to the aims of the list; and I am completely in
sympathy with Prof. Aklujkar's thoughts; on the other hand, Prof.
Witzel's remark:

>  No one wants to waste time in re-inventing the wheel or
> engage in
>  inane debates (Holi,India & Greeks, German Indology, Kratylos type
>  etymologies, IE & semitic roots,  potters & stupas, etc. etc.)

is perfectly true, and if there is too much of this, and if the
serious scholars stay silent (check the long list of subscribers!
how many ever feel motivated to seriously participate in a
discussion?), then too the list fails to achieve its aims.

As for Prof. Witzel's question:
>  What to do about it?

Perhaps we can keep copies of Dominik Wujastyk's general
introductory remarks about INDOLOGY being intended to be an
academic list ready, forward them as a reminder to those who do not
know their place (their place may be some usenet
alt.cul.india.something group) and try to appeal to their civic


P.S. By the way, I sympathise deeply with Prof. Muneo Tokunaga in
Kyoto. It is indeed frustrating for a foreigner who takes India
seriously to see urban would-be Indian intellectuals think and act
otherwise. Unfortunately, there seems little an Indologist can do
besides try to rescue for overseas academic libraries what still
can be rescued.

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