SV: Vicious Debate

Thu Dec 3 23:29:16 UTC 1998

>The reason why I go on about this, is that it often seems to be assumed that
>Western Indologists somehow share the same prejudices as their colleagues a
>century ago. Therefore, a clear answer to the question stated above would be
>most interesting.
Ok...Infact, I had a reply prepared..but decided not to send it to
the list. Anyway, here goes...

Do you think that the Indian scholars will gain anything
financially or politically ?  They are honest people
as well - why is it ok to accuse them of politics.
They are as interested in knowing the truth about
India's past as anyone else.

As has already been stated there is a tendency among Western
scholars to make these so called Indo-Europeans somehow more
equal than others. Please read Jim Shaffers papers to see
how these biases worked -these are not from a century ago,
they are from Wheelers time. There has not been much change
since then.

What is so special about these so called Indo-Europeans ?
European identity depends a great deal on who these so called
Indo-Europeans were, so they found no problem in interpreting
data to fit according to their perception who they are. A
perception about themselves which was created by colonial
history and economic superiority.

It is just plain impossible to know the rate of change of language.
There is no way of even knowing that there was 'a Proto-Indo-European
Language' whethar it was in 3000BC,6000BC or whatever.
Dixon,sees the possibility of a Proto-Indo-European linguistic
area. This area could very well have been an area from NW-India to
New archeological and linguistic data are now available which
have to be taken into consideration. The views of Indian scholars
are as important as anyone else. So, an open mind is needed to
look at all possibilities.

The only people who will lose something are those academics
who have projected themselves as scholars on India and
have dissertations,papers and books that wont be worth anything.
That is a great personal loss - and a great reason to
keep the status quo going. `

Anyway, the quote that I gave in the previus message was Denis Sinor's.


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