Fw: Re: Oedipus in Sanskrit?

Koenraad Elst koenraad.elst at PANDORA.BE
Sun Feb 13 16:54:41 UTC 2000

Stephen Hodge <s.hodge at PADMACHOLING.FREESERVE.CO.UK>
 wrote on 8 februari 2000 18:20 about Immanuel Velikovsky:
> You may be unaware of the events that transpired in the 50s that
> resulted in his being hounded out of academic circles by a cabal of
> conservative anti-semitic scholars who did their best to discredit his
> theories.   A bit reminiscent of AIT contraversies.

Sure.  Recently I came across the following quote
attributed to V. Mair (I keep hoping it is a misquote), about European
Homeland dissenters: they are "extremists, chauvinists and
other types of deranged -- and possibly dangerous -- persons (e.g. those who
locate the IE homeland in such highly improbable if not utterly impossible
places as the Arctic, along the Indus Valley, in the Tarim Basin, in China;
nationalists and racists of various stripes; kooks and crazies who attribute
the rise of IEs to extraterrestrial visitations, etc.)"

Meanwhile, Prof. Witzel's Panzer chariot adventure illustrates how the
problem is not just on one side of the AIT divide.

Fortunately, while the dogs bark, the caravan moves on.  I am happy to draw
your attention to the publication of Shrikant Talageri's milestone book:
*The Rigveda, a Historical Analysis* (Aditya Prakashan).  One of those books
which make you
say: So it was all there, why hasn't anyone seen this before?  I propose a
wager: before this year is over, that book will have made a dozen
established Indologists change their minds about the AIT.  And I don't mean
they will opt for the "extraterrestrial visitations" theory.  Talageri's
book has a fair amount of the kind of evidence Prof. Witzel just asked for:
how the development from PIE to Indo-Iranian etc. took place within India.

>  It seems that sometimes the baby gets
> thrown out with the bathwater !

Certainly.  One example is Dr. Wujastyk's decision to ban "not bringing out
the best in people" by banning the AIT debate altogether.  It was quite
understandable, and as the recipient of a fair dose of hate-mail on and off
list, I welcomed it as saving me precious time from nasty quarrels.  And
given the Panzer story, I fear there really is a case for keeping or rather
reviving the ban.  So, I hurry to apologize to Dr. Wujastyk for trespassing
against this ban.  All the same, the ban on discussion of such a pivotal
question for the whole Indology field risks receiving a footnote mention in
some future Blunder
Book of how academics missed yet another train of scientific progress.

> It is also noteworthy that several of
> his key ideas have become somewhat more respectable (...)  You must be
> aware that there are several scholars who have
> argued the need for extensive revision of Egyptian chronology though
> often without acknowledging Velikovsky's contribution.

It's promising to learn that there is some justice in this world.

Best to you all,
Dr. K. Elst


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