Rajaram Episode

Steve Farmer saf at SAFARMER.COM
Mon Oct 2 18:14:26 UTC 2000

Arun Gupta writes:

> I ordered the two volumes, received them in three weeks,
> and was able to locate Rajaram's "horse-seal" for myself; and I then
> confirmed by the catalog number given by Witzel and Farmer.  The broken edge
> of the seal is clearly visible there, and the fact that it is not a horse.
> I conclude that Rajaram, with more resources and more friends in academe
> than I, could have easily checked this most important point for himself

You miss the point —— or, rather, are doing everything in your
power to evade it. Rajaram didn't make an error caused by a lack
of resources. We have hard evidence that he possessed a good
reproduction of Mackay 453. Instead of printing that reproduction
in his book, he doctored it in his "computer enhancement" and
published that instead. M. Witzel and I didn't attack Rajaram for
scholarly sloppiness but for falsifying data to deceive the
public -- with very big historical and political issues at stake.

Unlike Arun Gupta, Samar Abbas *does* get the point, and
expresses it with considerable eloquence:

>  It is not just one person - it is the whole Vedic Harappa theory that is
> at stake here. The entire Vedic Indus hypothesis is now in severe danger
> of going down with Rajaram.
>  As Rajaram's model is the only Sanskritic model to date, and is now part
> of Indian school curriculum, it is only natural that so much attention
> should be focussed on it. Also, Rajaram said that he only cared about the
> Indian press where "millions" read his work, and did not bother about
> Western academic publications which "rot away in dusty library shelves".
> It was essentially an open challenge to Indologists - which has now at
> last been taken up in the only forum which Rajaram bothers about: the
> Indian mass media. Demolishing his claims in Western journals would have
> had no effect and would have been too kind.

Our deconstruction of Rajaram wasn't an unkind act of scholars
vs. scholars. Rajaram doesn't care a bit about what researchers
think about him. He does care very much about his public image,
however. The mess this is kicking up in India -- including the
attacks on M. Witzel and me as buddies of communists, etc. (see
also recent IndianCivilization posts! -- shows how much trouble
Rajaram's crowd is in.

S. Farmer

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list