An appeal to Indologists (Was Re: Indo-Aryan invasion)

Viktor V. Sukliyan madhava at CH1.VSNL.NET.IN
Fri Mar 6 09:55:40 UTC 1998

Dear Robert, that is what I also feel,
and agree with Palaniappan.

On Thu, 5 Mar 1998, Robert J. Zydenbos wrote:

> A few remarks in response to Palaniappan's observations about
> Dravidian studies.
> > All in all, I
> > do not see much future for an unbiased pursuit of Indological
> > knowledge in India. This is where the West and especially the
> > American universities can play an important role.
> Sympathetic as your thought is, I am rather pessimistic, with the
> present trend in commercialisation and reliance on outside funding.

  What I feel here in India, where I live near about 2 years, that
 people here are not interested in their own cultural heritage and
 especially classical ancient history, arts, languages and folklor.
 I mean it still exists in some remote village areas and carried on
 basically by
 old aged layer of population.But drastically decreasing and washing out
 from contemporary Indian life. Soon we will hear about Indian culture
 only from pulpits some where in Oxford or Harvard.
 Now here everybody is interested only in MBA and computers.And how to go
 abroad to earn crazy money.When I approach people and say I want to learn
 and discuss your culture and languges, get in answer forget it, better
 you learn computers and do business.
 It is exhausting.Now It is a dream to see High Culture-in Classical
meaning, we find just opposite.

> Such funding is from industries and goes to rocket science etc.
> (although occasionally we come across a happy exception, like
> Volkswagen funding Indology in Germany. Of course Germany is
> special). In Europe, entire Indology departments have been shut
> down due to 'paucity of funds', although the social sciences,
> women's studies etc. are thriving -- in other words, it seems there
> is no popular support / political will at present.

Because so many Indians came to the West with purpose to dive in and
consume Western Pop values, and doing it very successfuly with more eagerness
than native Westerners. It appears they become more West-rooted than natives.
And also richer.
Although some Westerners traditionally are still and inspite of it remaining
interested in India Study.

> > When the
> > pool of good language and literature specialists dries up what will
> > the Indologists do? It takes many years to produce an expert in a
> > language/literature.

I am student of Classical Indology and in a big difficulty, because
to find out even now and even in INDIA bonafide aware PROFESSORS is seems
to be impossible.

> You may like to know that Western Indologists who do Dravidian
> studies are punished. To give one of my own experiences: one of my

You may say about Classical Indic studies same.
There is not a single Scholarship dedicated to the field.

> The only non-Indian colleague I know who did his doctorate on something
> Dravidian in the confidence that he could continue his further research
> in a conducive academic environment was from Japan. But then, the
> Japanese academic world apparently is less affected by market
> forces and other fashions. Major work is going on there (like the
> large Kannada dictionary project), and it will not be surprising if
> also in this branch of Indology the rest of the world will soon
> have to look towards, and up to, Japan.

Japanese Society is very traditional itself, that is why they are interested
to study traditions of other countries, especially India-oldest still
living traditional Society.

> dare contradict that. But I think we have to admit that the serious
> study of India is out of fashion. (This is largely because India is
> out of fashion.) Indology is something for independently rich
> bachelors to pursue. At present, to have it as a profession is
> highly irresponsible, and Dravidology is practically suicidal. How

 In our nowdays popculture-read false valueless artificial culture
world studies of High Real Culture Traditions are looking like eccentricity
or  dullness. Example: recent appearance of Spicy Girls in Khajuraho
Temples in Madhya Pradesh denotes TOTAL devaluation, rather devastation
of tradition.
Have to agree:
we live in anti-intellectual, anti-cultural therefore anti-human world.

Viktor V. Sukliyan

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list