SV: Rajaram's bull (response to VS)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 7 21:11:12 UTC 2000

>Brahminical, in the sense I used it, implies the varNa dharma.  Would it
>sound different to you if I said dvija instead?  But I agree that it is
>important to be aware of the impact the use of the term can have today.

The only problem is that terminology has different meanings
for different people at different places and times. We come
back to the pratijnA here - popularization and a better
dissemination of Indological words and concepts to a wider
audience, consisting predominantly of Indians, with all
their contemporary concerns. Perhaps the word varNa and its
derivatives should be used to denote the larger phenomenon
in society, rather than Brahminical. The word dvija means
almost nothing to the general Indian ear nowadays.

Re: Lars Martin Fosse's comments, I quite agree that the
academic scholar should not compromise on facts, for fear
of what impact it may or may not have on society. Perhaps
the only point I want to emphasize is that the scholar
should at least be aware of what impact it may have, and
take it into account in the manner of delivery, not in the
content of what is delivered. As for the nuanced nature of
the reports of controversies like ICHR in India, everything
depends on the individual journalist and editor. There are
some vernacular papers that present reports that are as
balanced or even better analyzed than English language ones.
And there are also sensationalist accounts, designed to
incite, mostly by authors who submit to remote control
from elsewhere.

I would second Ferenc's suggestion to change the name of
the thread, but to a nicer sounding one! Very few Indians
on this list subscribe to the "dirty whites" ideology.

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