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

Charles cponcet at IPROLINK.CH
Sun Mar 8 03:15:00 UTC 1998

K V N Gopal wrote:
> On Fri, 6 Mar 1998, Viktor V. Sukliyan wrote:
> >   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.
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > 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 say about Classical Indic studies same.
> > There is not a single Scholarship dedicated to the field.
> >
> > 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.
> >
> >  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.
> >
> > Sincerely
> > Viktor V. Sukliyan
> > Chandigarh.
> >
>  Dear Viktor,
>   I very much share your concern  regarding the total lack of interest
> in their own culture and heritage among a large percentage of Indians.
> This malaise has been steadily eating into the society for the last
> few decades and can be observed in every walk of life.  Right from areas
> like movies and music (woeful lack of appreciation for classical music/
> movies and music of an earlier period). In a way there are certain
> factors which cause these indirectly... the breakdown of social values
> brought about a peculiar convoluted idea of democracy + economy.. a
> poor standard of living forces most people to drift towards things which
> will help them acquire a better standard of living. As I often say this
> seems to be the 'age of pygmies' when 'mediocrity is glorified as
> excellence' in almost every field of human endeavour. When such is the
> case field of indic studies and humanities as a whole has become the
> first casuality of such an attitude among people. Though I am an research
> scholar in aerospace engineering I take tremendous interest and spend
> a lot of time learning things not related directly to my area of work
> because of the sheer joy I finding in learning and appreciating those
> things. The monetary usefulness of those things should be the last thing
> in mind but well I guess reality seems to be different. Sorry for
> rambling, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on these things which
> are dear to my heart and on which I feel so strongly about.
> gopal
> _____________________________________________________________________________
> K.V.N.Gopal                    | A friend thinks of you when everyone
> Research Student               | think of themselves
> IISc, Bangalore                |
> email:gopal at |
>   |
> ___________________________________________________________________________
I think both Viktor V. Sukliyan and K.V.N Gopal have a point and their
preoccupation with preserving a precious cultural heritage is entirely
I would like to interject a note of optimism, however.
 It seems to me that our Indian friends may simply be doing what we did
in Europe : we "unlearned" Latin and Greek in our schools; we
"unlearned" classical litterature and poetry. We "unlearned" attending
theaters when they play Shakespeare, Racine or Goethe.We "unlearned"
going to classical concerts unless some star is plkaying, etc. All of
this of course was to the benefit of the Mac Donald's culture which is
prevailing nowadays.
Yet this does not mean that our cultural heritage disappeared. It simply
became common ground of joy and study for fewer people than before. May
be this is what is happening in India ?

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list