Indological funding pie

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Mon Mar 20 16:14:54 UTC 2000

 How is the oldest classical language of India, ie., Tamil
faring nowadays in London and Europe? Does Stuart Blackburn
teach at SOAS? He just went there a few years ago.

--- Stephen Hodge <s.hodge at PADMACHOLING.FREESERVE.CO.UK> wrote:
> > The undergraduate course in Sanskrit at SOAS is the latest thing to
> > go. There will be no intake for the 2000/2001 academic year, and
> > the course has effectively been cancelled until further notice
> The current situation at SOAS is just the latest installament of a
> process that has been going on since the late 60s when I was an
> undergrad there.  The then director, C Phillips, had an early
> "Thatcherite" vision of "value for money" -- courses deemed to be
> commercially/business  orientated and desirable were encourages while
> those that were not were pruned.  Dominik may know of the saga
> involving the professorship for Indian Philosophy.  Other staff were
> pressurized to take early retirement with their courses shut down --
> Sanskrit is just one language to have got the axe and there are a
> number of others.
> The library is also on the verge of collapse for lack of funding --
> very few "specialist" books are purchased these days in most
> departments.
> My overall impression is that the much of the teaching at SOAS, in
> areas I am familiar with, is symptomatically of poor quality these
> days -- for example, the teaching of Buddhism is hardly adequate but
> is often used as a platform to deride Buddhist doctrines under the
> guise of "academic objectivity" -- despite complaints from Asian
> students upon whom SOAS relies for funding !  Sanskrit is/was poorly
> taught without any imagination using an antiquated text-book.  The
> place is also rife with nepotism with posts regularly allocated to
> cronies -- the interview process is often a complete sham.  Little
> wonder half the students spend most of their time in the bar smoking
> marijuana.
> Best wishes,
> Stephen Hodge

Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list