some remarks

Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at UNICE.FR
Wed Mar 18 08:17:01 UTC 1998

Dear Indologists,
        Despite my intention don't to touch my keyboard in dubious debates,
I can't restrain to write few words ;)

1) can we stop to playing with words ?

Bhadraiah Mallampalli wrote: "can not grasp and remember simple words like
"Scheduled castes" of Indian society, and continue to use the incorrect
"untouchables" (a word banished from official Indian media long ago)"
        1) I suppose English and American peoples are better judges about
the use of their own mother tongue ;)
        2) Changing names don't change the reality. I find ridiculous the
new tendancy of "banishing words". In France, it's today incorrect to say
"aveugle" (blind) or "sourd" (deaf), they must be replaced by "non-voyant"
(not seeing) and "mal-entendant" (badly hearing): what is changing for
them? I agree with a french humorist who suggested to replace "con"
(bloody) by "mal-comprenant" (badly undrstanding). I'm afraid that
rejecting "untouchables" is nothing but a poor essay to close the eyes over
a real problem; "scheduled castes" seems to me an insulting euphemism and,
speaking French, I'll continue to use the words "intouchables" or "parias".

George Thompson wrote: "we're supposed to be talking about a *migration
theory*. If you keep on insisting on an *invasion theory*, where there is
none ..."
        I don't understand clearly the difference between the two words.
Was the coming of Europeans in East America a migration or an invasion? Was
the coming of East Americans in West America a migration or an invasion?
        From the American point of view they were peaceful farmers going
toward free lands, undoubtly a migration. Alas, Amerindians knew well the
land was not "free", the peaceful farmers were armed with guns and
travelling with a powerful army, undoubtly an invasion (some
ill-intentioned people say a genocid)!
        Once again, debating about words is not debating about reality but
about ideological point of view ;)

2) colonialist scholars ?

        I, personnally, reject firmly any accusation of colonialism or
neo-colonialism. I know perfectly that India was colonized by England, a
big part of Africa by France, Greece and Gaul by Roma, &c. I know perfectly
that few scholars gave an ideological support to all conquests and
slaveries, eurindianist Germans to the nazi power, Russian biologists to
the stalinian one, &c. But they were very few!
        In a large majority, scholars are honest and honourable* peoples,
rarely supporting the politic of their government, rarely involved in
military or economical war. To reject the point of view of westerner
scholars with an accusation of colonialism is not only insulting, but also
        When I consider the Indian civilization as an Eurindian one, that's
based on many serious and published studies. I have nothing to do with the
eventual "greatness" of any land! I'm studying them but I don't like
Eurindians nor their ideology. They were war fans and the extension of
Eurindian languages all over the world shows perfectly they had no problems
in destroying civilizations. It's true that some of them, by a later
evolution, attained a wonderful state of spiritual development, but just
few of them (I know only Greece and India in this way). I suppose (just my
religious opinion: no debate, please) that other ones were "perverted" in
their evolution by bellicist monotheistic ideologies ("Dieu reconnaitra les
siens", "Gott mit uns", "the Holy Bible in each GI's pocket", &c.).
        I hope to be a religious, peaceful and honnest man, but I'm not
sure that all my pitaras were good guys and I don't intend to defend them
blindly. Hence, I don't intend to be judged for their faults and, in the
actual case, for the English conquest of India! ...


* not in Antonius' sense ;)

Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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