Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sat Mar 18 04:33:32 UTC 2000

Swaminathan Madhuresan has refreshingly new, good point in these times of
online wars:

>Allotting a good percentage of funds pie available for Indian studies in the
>West to build a chronological dictionary of Dravidian words and features
>in IA and Sanskrit, something like ongoing projects EWA, KEWA
>(to find relationships between IE, German, Sanskrit,...) will prove
>to be fruitful.

Indeed, as the DED/DEDR of Burrow/Emeneau is just a beginning, comparable
to the Indo_European materials contained in Pokorny's Indogermanisches
IE and Drav. studies have progressed well beyond the stage that these two
great dictionaries represent. Luckily Mayrhofer's EWA fills the gap for
Old Indo-Aryan now.

However,  while we all ---
> By now hopefully Indologists realize the importance of
>increasing Dravidologists breed amidst them, and you can see that in
>India, ideology sometimes acts as a barrier to do good linguistics

--- the following is not so easy:
>Hope Indologists will help increase in academic Dravidology pursuits.
>It is within their power and budgets.

Not really. I, for one, have tried since my arrival here in 1986, to get a
Dravidian chair. However, to no avail: one cannot expect that the
University administration just gives you another post, like that. They have
other goals, predilections, problems. Nor can we expect much help from the
general wealthy populace (they like Tibet or Buddhism),  and apparently
also not those who should be interested in the first place, South Asians
here and in S.Asia herself.

I could give along list here, but will resist the temptation. Let me just
say: many unkept promises, and a great loss of time... And, chairs are not
cheap. They now cost 3.5 million here (the interest of which is used to pay
the  prof.).

Let me rather sum up: most Indians here are (understandlingly) much more
interested in building temples. But, --- Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Arabs
do a much better job  to propagate their civilization outside their area.

In sum, if you want more Indian Studies in "the west", do something about it!


Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138

ph. 617-496 2990 (also messages)
home page:

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