Truth and method in Indology, III

Mon Jun 1 15:19:45 UTC 1998

On Sun, 31 May 1998, "S. Kalyanaraman" <kalyan97 at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>> ---Lars Martin Fosse <lmfosse at ONLINE.NO> wrote:

>> I think you forget one very important factor here - MONEY.

>So, the thread should read: truth, method and money!

Money is everywhere, academic exchange programs are everywhere. Why are they
not or very little used for Vedic studies, in spite of their cultural
importance? I presume that if a study results in more than mere guesswork,
there are better chances to get (international) funding for it, or to get
acceptance for academic exchange, etc. So we come back at 'method'.

Note that I am not considering the exchange programs from the point of view of
well-intending individuals, but I am talking of the level of academic
administration. Moreover, I am aware of some international cooperation programs
in which Indian universities are involved (without focus on Vedic studies as
far as I know); but it seems that the exchange between Indological departments
of e.g. U.S., German, Japanese universities is much more intensive. I forgot
the details, but in pre-second world war Germany there was a conscious program
to accept a few excellent Indian students/scholars for philological training in
Germany. As far as I know this produced some internationally renowned
Indologists working (in India or elsewhere) according to the highest possible
scholarly standards of their time. To get afoot, now or in the future, any such
exchange program with places of academic excellence in India with support from
any government or university (India or elsewhere), a period of research
resulting in more than mere guesswork is needed, so we are back at the point of

I could give a list of points on which Western (European) and Eastern
(Japanese) scholars could make *methodological* improvements in their research.
(Note that my interest concerns the root of the tree of knowledge rather than
its fruit; I am aware that many Indians would like to see different
*conclusions* from Indological research.) But I would like to get such a list
from an Indian student or scholar trained at and connected with an Indian
university, and focusing on Indology and Vedic studies. Why was there (as far
as I could discern) no such person among the participants in the Indian im-/e-
migration discussion last month and before? (For obvious reasons we have to
exclude all well-intending NRIs.) Computers are now present at many Indian
institutes and universities, and subscription to the Indology list is free
(thank you, Dominik). Is there eagerness to improve methods only in medical and
technical studies (remember the succesful atomic BOMB project), but not in
Indian Indology? We are back at the point of 'method'.

S'ubham astu, JH

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list