Truth and method in Indology, III

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Sun May 31 20:19:25 UTC 1998

At 22:01 31.05.98 +0100, you wrote:
>More than a month ago, Fri 20 Mar 1998  Edwin Bryant wrote:
>>You are right that no serious scholar talks of invasions anymore (although
>>see Allchin as late as 1993 in Possehl's "Harappan Civilization").
>>However, we should be aware that many people (including scholars in many
>>universities in India) do not have access to state-of-the-art material
>[ . . . ]
>This is a sympathetic position, but:
>If Indian universities and institutions make serious efforts to get the latest
>information and get trained in the best methods in medical and technical
>disciplines and establish international exchanges etc. in order to acquire the
>ability to make reliable decisions in these fields
>(and to make atom bombs that WORK . . . ),
>why should much lower standards be accepted if someone claims to make reliable
>statements about the cultural and linguistic past of South Asia ? After all,
>this past contains a rich 'cultural capital' (to speak with Bourdieu), and its
>own potentially explosive material.

I think you forget one very important factor here - MONEY. India has
invested in the "hard" sciences, and in those skills that will make India -
presumably - work like a 21st century regional power. But since India's
means are limited, something has to give, and in this case, I think that
"something" are the humanities. In other word: Indian humanities are
seriously underfunded, and have been so for a long period. Result: Indian
research libraries are not updated on scholarly material from the West, both
as far as books are concerned and as far as journals are concerned. Not to
mention the fact that most Indian scholars would be utterly unable to buy
books published in the West for personal use. (Some of these books are even
beyond MY purse!).

It is clear that Indian and Western scholarship is out of step. I think
funding may be one of the reasons. But it would be interesting to get some
data from Indian scholars working in India on how the the funding situation

Best regards,

Lars Martin Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo

Tel: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at
Mobile phone: 90 91 91 45

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