Rajaram's bull (response to LS)

Lakshmi Srinivas lsrinivas at YAHOO.COM
Tue Aug 8 02:28:54 UTC 2000

--- Luis Gonzalez-Reimann
<reimann at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:
> A few remarks on Lakshmi Srinivas' comments on what
> I wrote.

I'm afraid the point of my earlier post was partially
or wholly missed.

You wrote on 8.3.2000

>> Much of the current attack on "Western" Indology
>> seems to be part of a strategy that aims at
>> defending Brahminical traditions and
>> institutions ...

The object was to show that Hindutva has to do with
appropriation of political power in *modern India*,
not with a return to an ancient India or to some
brahminical tradition. 'Scholarly' Hindutva is its
ideological counterpart.

But it is frankly absurd to think that a turn of the
Christian Era text (or its modern deconstruction) can
unravel or even throw light on a phenomenon such as
Hindutva which is grounded primarily in post
Independence political and intellectual atmosphere
obtaining in India even if it has its proper
antecedents in the colonial era.

All nationalist or for that matter chauvinist
doctrines require an ethnic, religious or linguistic
"other" to focus on. Beyond that there's no
resemblance between the "yugAnta" doctrine and the
current Hindutva articulation.

The "yugAnta" doctrine may have been Brahminical in
inspiration. But in extrapolating an untenable
parallelism to modern Hindutva, an undue primacy is
attributed to brahmins and 'brahminical institutions'
in the Hindutva universe which is clearly not
consistent with ground realities. BTW, what on earth
does the term 'Brahminical institutions' mean in the
context of modern India?

While this undue preoccupation with brahmins is
endemic to Indology and is understandable in view of
the nature of its sources viz., purely textual, one
does not have to necessarily accept it in the analysis
of a modern Indian phenomenon, no matter what the
'register' and the 'discourse' might have been.
Primarily because the parallelism seems to be hardly

Incidentally, the point of refering to Trautmann etc
was incidentally to show that just as there are good
theories and bad ones, there are good *western
Indologists*  as there are bad ones. I wouldn't
essentialize "western Indologists" as a category which
some on this thread give the impression of doing, as
indeed Rajaram and his band of fellow travelers do but
in the opposite sense.

Thanks and Warm Regards,


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