Violence, 'threats to culture', etc.

Thu Dec 14 20:32:30 UTC 2000

Dear Indian/Hindu friends:
As I have understood it:
1. The Indology group was formed by <ivory-tower> scholars who are genuinely
interested in very technical matters: grammar of IE and related languages,
current archaeological findings and their interpretations, classical texts:
Sanskrit, Tamil, etc. and the light they throw on ancient Indian history,, etc.
2. By and large, they all have great respect for and interest in Indian/Hindu
3. Nor do they (many of them) share the same kind or  intensity of cultural
affiliation or emotional attachment that most Hindus have,  much less the anger
and anguish that modern Hindus feel in the context of alien
intrusions/invasions/occupations/exploitations, etc. that the Indian
subcontinent has suffered over the ages. It is also unrealistic to expect them
to have such feelings, any more than that we feel anything about the Roman
occupation of Britain or the German Occupation of France.
4. Therefore, it seems to me that if they do not wish to get involved in our
feelings,  frustrations, and perspectives, we cannot compel them into this. Nor
is it fair for us to be unpleasant in our disappointment or even anger, given
that there is no indication that any of them harbors any ill-will towards our
culture or heritage.
5. What some of us may fear most from all this, and what some other Hindus will
probably welcome, is that in a few decades scholarly interest in India on the
part of non-Hindu scholars might diminish considerably. Whether this will be
for India's good or bad, only the future will tell.
6. In the meanwhile, if we are not welcome here, it is only fair that we should
probably leave, as Mr. Tiwari wisely did.
With best reards to all,
V. V. Raman
December 14, 2000

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