"Science" in India

V.C.Vijayaraghavan vijay at VOSSNET.CO.UK
Sun Oct 22 17:54:03 UTC 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr Y. Vassilkov" <iiasguest10 at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL>
Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2000 11:35 AM
Subject: Re: "Science" in India

>     I think it is very important for us to understand WHY the majority of
> European Indologists and some Indian contributors response to one and the
> same thing so differently.
>     From the point of view of European (and I hope, of many Indian)
> scholars, Steve Farmer did nothing wrong. He just expressed his opinion
> about the system of technical education in another country.

>     But there appear now more and more people in India for whom such
> balanced and reasonable response to any kind of critical remarks is
> excluded.

Let us not counterpoint 'balanced and  reasonable" Western scholar vs
Indians (scholars or otherwise) for whom balance and reasonableness does not
mean a thing. I for one certainly  don't take amiss Steve Farmer's criticism
or shall we shall we say, concern about lack of humanistic training among
India's technical elite. Nor do I ( and i think many Indians) see it as
wicked criticisms of Rajaram's Harappan theories.

As long as you treat it as episodic and not systemic , nobody can have a
cause for a grievence. But when Rajaram is treated as tip of the fascist
iceberg in India and keep repeating then you run into problems. It is not
just what S.Farmer's scholarly criticism  , but you have to take the
totality of the context. In India , many intellectual professions like
Indology are politicised and you are running into a political crossfire
escpecially if associated with a veteran leftist protogonist like The
Frontline. As long as you keep clear of the poltical battles in India -
which are mostly a euphemsm for competitive name calling  and labelling- you
are not inviting anybody's base passions.

To some extent , you have also fallen into the trap of steoreotyping Indians
as unbalanced and unreasonable , but let me and other Indians take it as one
off and does not mean anything more

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