SV: recent messages

Hans Henrich Hock hhhock at UX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU
Wed Dec 13 16:14:31 UTC 2000

For what it's worth, Romila Thapar has been attacked by South Asian
Islamic fundamentalist for her truthful reporting on the excesses of
Mahmud of Ghazni's raids--a fact rather studiously ignored by her
Hindu fundamentalist detractors.  Somebody who manages to upset
fundamentalists on both sides must be doing something right!

Hans Henrich Hock

>Lynken Ghose [SMTP:lynkenghose at HOTMAIL.COM] skrev 12. desember 2000 17:56:
> > There have been a few recent postings calling for the redressing of
> > grievances for the Muslim invasions of India. Admittedly, these invasions
> > were tragic, and, from what I have read, did wreak destruction. However,
> > am not sure how constructive it is to dwell on something that happened so
> > long ago, or, to stir up anger against an entire group of people, making
> > them the scapegoats for something that happened before they were even
> >
> > If this is the point of such messages, then I am against them.
> > However, if the point of the messages is just to try to avoid
> > history, then I am for them.
>Much of the point of "whitewashing" history, both in India and in the West,
>is to avoid that irresponsible people use historical information to stir up
>trouble in society and increase violence. There are more than enough
>examples of this, and responsible politicians sometimes try to manipulate
>history teaching in order to avoid stirring up past dirt and get society
>going in a productive direction. However, historians have a duty to speak
>the truth, and their reputation will suffer if they compromise. In
>practice, most of the "real" historical discussion in democratic societies
>takes place in heavy-duty academic publications far too dry for the general
>public and therefore remains within the educated elite, which correctly or
>not is assumed to behave responsibly. The general public is served a
>sugar-coated version of history with nice colour pictures, and
>easy-to-grasp narratives. As long as these narratives are held in a
>non-inflammatory tone, not much evil can happen. But this is the arena
>which the demagogue and trouble-maker will chose when history is used as a
>political tool. None of the serious academic works I have read on Indian
>history try to hide the fact that Muslim conquerors did very unacceptable
>things. But using such information as a tool in today's politics is not
>only morally dubious, it is unspeakably stupid and can in the long run only
>hurt the Indian population at large, Hindus, Christians as well as Muslims.
>Lars Martin Fosse
>Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
>Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
>0674 Oslo
>Phone: +47 22 32 12 19
>Mobile phone: +47 90 91 91 45
>Fax 1:  +47 22 32 12 19
>Fax 2:  +47 85 02 12 50 (InFax)
>Email: lmfosse at

Hans Henrich Hock
Professor of Linguistics and Sanskrit
Linguistics, 4088 FLB MC-168, University of Illinois
707 S. Mathews, Urbana IL 61801-3652
telephone: (217) 333-0357 or 333-3563 (messages)
e-mail: hhhock at
fax: (217) 333-3466

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list