Rajaram's bull

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 4 21:34:41 UTC 2000

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann <reimann at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:

>But it is also true that many of them are exposed to all sorts of ideas
>from relatives (who read Rajaram et al), and in some cases they don't have
>access to scholarly information on the subject unless they enroll in

>A scientific background can definitely be very good, but for some areas it
>needs to be combined with some training in the humanities.

Agreed, on both counts. But the required exposure to humanities
can be given to the general public in ways other than a course
in south Asian studies in a university.

For various historical reasons, the average Indian prefers to
pursue higher education in scientific and technological fields,
if not in commerce, finance and management. But there is a huge
amount of interest in humanistic areas too, especially where
these relate to Indian history and culture.

What Indologists need to do is to popularize Indology. Like it
or not, there is a general feeling among Indians that Indology
as a rule subscribes to too much Indophobia. I'll go out on a
limb here, and cite the example of Jeffrey Kirpal getting an
award from AAR for his book on Ramakrishna. One might say,
"that is religious studies, our interests are different", but
those outside a university environment do not see a difference.

How such a feeling came about among Indians, and whether it is
valid or not is besides the point. Given this sentiment, unless
western Indologists exhibit some Indophilia, their detractors
who come with xenophobic attitudes will keep gaining strength.
It is up to professional Indologists to decide whether this is
a problem that needs to be addressed and how to address it.

Best wishes,
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