Rajaram's bull (response to LS)

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann reimann at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU
Mon Aug 7 17:25:20 UTC 2000

A few remarks on Lakshmi Srinivas' comments on what I wrote.

>Indeed British - Colonialist scholarship is a concern
>for the Hindutvavadin scholars because of the crass
>crudities of the Aryan invasion theory. As examples,
>we have V Gordon Childe, a Marxist scholar and
>Mortimer Wheeler, an archaeologist who held Indra
>responsible for a few skeletons in MohenjoDaro. The
>AIT and the uses to which it was put has been analyzed
>in detail by T Trautmann, who is not a Hindutvavadin
>by any stretch of imagination.

Precisely.  Trautmann would surely fit more into the category of a "Western
Indologist," and it is he who is criticizing the ideas of other "Western
Indologists."  As for the skeletons, it was the late G. Dales, a Western
Archaeologist (from right here in UC, Berkeley) that disputed -almost 40
years ago- the theory about them as evidence of violent destruction.  See:
Dales, G.F. 1964. The Mythical Massacre at Mohenjo Daro. Expedition, vol.
6, 3: 36-43.

>The OIT may be held to be a response to the AIT theory
>from nationalist scholars of a particular hue.

Yes, but please note that Indology is not the AIT theory.  The arrival of
aryans into India, or their exit out of India if serious evidence ever
points in that direction, is only one of many topics in Indology.  People
like Rajaram turn their distaste for the migration theory into an attack on
Indology as a discipline, a discipline that is then said to be part of a
wide conspiracy against India.

>Hindutvavadin's have not yet internalized the AMT
>(Aryan Migration) theory which is clear from their
>pronouncements since they still get riled up by Max
>Mueller etc but not by more modern scholars espousing
>the AMT theory. I suppose these things take time.

This has been discussed before on this list.  George Thompson, for one, has
complained repeatedly about the reliance on 19th century ideas on the part
of those who criticize this "insidious discipline" of Indology (to use
Rajaram's words).  This might be understandable for non-specialists, or for
people in India that have no access to Western publications.  But would you
say it is acceptable from would-be scholars, some of whom have ample access
to modern materials and even live in the West?

But let me ask you.  If these Hindutvavadins do "internalize" it, will it
really make an important difference?  Whether by invasion or migration it
still means they arrived from somewhere else.  Wasn't your second point
about "scholarly Hindutva" its conviction that "The Hindus (and their
ancestors, the "Aryans") are autochthonous to the region"?

>But to be sure, the AMT theory has not been
>internalized in the West either. Learned people still
>quote Will Durant...

In the West this is a pretty specialized topic that is not of general
interest, and many who write about it are, unfortunately, not up to date.

>My daughter's 6th grade social studies
>text... has on its
>chapter on India, the AIT theory emblazoned across it
>like the bunting of a long forgotten victory.

One of my sons probably used the same book last year.  But I wouldn't
expect you to think this is the result of some current imperialist,
colonial ideology that tries to portray India as inferior, as opposed to it
being information that has not been brought up to date.

>LGR's other remarks on "yugAnta" etc, imho, seem to be
>a case of "Cherchez le Brahmin" mindset.

Your reaction seems to prove my point.
I would suggest that you read the following articles:

Sharma, R. S. 1982. The Kali Age: A Period of Social Crisis. In India:
History and Thought, Essays in Honour of A. L. Basham, ed. S. N. Mukherjee,
186-203. Calcutta: Subarnarekha.

Dwivedi, R. K. 1977. A Critical Study of the Changing Social Order at
Yuganta, or the End of the Kali Age: With Special Reference to the
Mahabharata. In D. D. Kosambi Commemoration Volume, chief ed. Lallanji
Gopal, 276-97. Varanasi: Banaras Hindu University.


Luis Gonzalez-Reimann
University of California, Berkeley

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