Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at GMX.LI
Mon Oct 2 08:59:38 UTC 2000

A reply to two recent messages is most relevant and called for in
the context of the 'Rajaram episode'.

Am 1 Oct 2000, um 6:25 schrieb Lakshmi Srinivas:

>   Robert Zydenbos <zydenbos at GMX.LI> wrote:
> [...]
> btw, why do Dutch people complain so much about the German occupation
> during WWII when they themselves
> displaced/colonized/acculturated/killed off the Celts? Maybe the Dutch
> should consider handing over their entire country, incl Leyden :-), to
> the Irish who at least speak a Celtic language?

Please note the following: (1) Nanda Chandran (an individual), who
claims to speak for Hindus in general, talks of 'getting back' what
he considers their 'most important temples'. On the other hand, I
(also an individual) did not demand back anything, in the name of
any group of people. (2) I do not complain about the German
occupation (that took place a mere _two generations_ ago),
because I know that it is wrong to do so. (Hence, too, my deep
unbelief that a grudge in India about something that took place
_centuries_ ago can be justified. In my humble opinion, it is a
phoney excuse for something else...)

(And BTW, I have nothing to do with Leiden. ;-) )

Am 1 Oct 2000, um 13:16 schrieb Arun Gupta:

> Zydenbos writes :
> My reply : your contempt for Hindus is showing.

(1) To be critical of Mr Chandran does not imply contempt for
Hindus. There is a basic logical error in your reply. (2) You should
have noticed that in that same message of mine I spoke up for
other Hindus, viz. those who do not support the kind of views of
which we should be critical.

There have been a few requests here for courtesy. A first
requirement in courteous correspondence is that one attentively
reads what the other writes, instead of imputing what is not there.

I most strongly object to the communalisation of these
discussions, as is illustrated by the two messages referred to
above. When I criticise Mr Chandran, I am not criticising any
community of his. Neither should any community be arbitrarily
ascribed to me (whose relatives are from nine countries and adhere
to various religions) and be made the base for further, totally
misplaced, criticism. To do so is not justifiable, nor can I call it

I am grateful for the two abovementioned demonstrations of the
communalistic mentality. They should give the readers on this list
something to think about.

The first thought that should arise is that any decent, rational
discussion between persons becomes impossible if the
communalistic mentality is at work. *This* is the issue under
discussion here; this is what the 'Rajaram episode' is about, and
L.M. Fosse has already eloquently argued why any decent person
must oppose that mentality.

A possible second thought is: how much courtesy do, for instance,
wilful hate mongering and misinformation in any forum deserve?
Particularly a forum that was originally meant for academic
exchanges? I agree that basically, courtesy is a fine thing; but
sometimes, its respectability is dubious.


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list