neo-Orientalism (ii)

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 31 10:00:09 UTC 2000

RZ writes :

>Firstly, I do not think it is basically wrong to be a liberal humanist (it
>is unclear from LS' post what he thinks about this)

Wow! You know how to wear some traditional Indian dress, but for
all your scholarship and knowledge of India, you still cannot
distinguish between masculine and feminine names!

>India has no better friends in the West than Indologists.

With friends like these ...

>Nobody denies, e.g., to Indians the right to develop European studies and
>formulate their own ideas and opinions, to have departments of European
>studies at their universities, and to do all the things that Westerners do
>out of an interest for India.

Yeah, but such a thing isn't happening and so is irrelevant here.
But how would you like it if, say, your native country (Holland?)
was poor and we rich (!!!) and influential Indians who'd colonized
you, try to interpret your history for you, which doesn't agree with
what you think of yourselves? And to your consternation - all your
political leaders and modern intellectuals awed by the Indians meekly
accept these theories! And all fringe sessionist elements in your
country try to elaborate on these theories and try to split up your

So would you like it?

As far as I can see, the Dravidian race theory has practically
no benefits for a united India. It only encourages seperatism and
liguistic chauvnism. Sure, Tamil need not take a second place to
Sanskrit. Let's consider them as equals and derived from an even
earlier tongue. Let's have Tamil recognized as a classical
language. So why should the Tamils have any problems with this?
I think normal Tamils will be more than satisfied with this. But
what about the "Dravidian" scholars? Are they scared of losing
their relevance if such a theory is accepted?

>when I say that India is culturally greater than any single Western country
>- because that is what I am saying.

We're not into any supremacy games here. We don't want to be
greater than any country or culture. We're what we are and we're
pretty content to be so. What we don't like is people trying to tell
us what we are, based on their mistaken conceptions of our history.

>look at the facts (all the facts that are relevant in the comparisons),
>check your definitions, and do not seek refuge in conspiracy theories and
>misplaced rhetoric. If your view differs, explain why it differs. Explain
>it with relevant facts and logical reasoning. That would be decent and
>helpful. Then all of us will listen politely and with interest.

I do not know whether you're serious or joking! If you go through the
archives, you'll find that it is specifically your posts which elicit
such a polemical response from Indian members of the list. If foreigners
themselves were anaethma to Indians, then why don't other foreigners face
the same problem as you? Many foreigners are able to carry on a civil and
meaningful conversation with Indians regarding Indology.

I'll give you the benefit of doubt. Maybe you don't realize or intend it,
but the fact is - you come across as a Hindu baiter! Best thing for you to
do is to heed your own advice, as to how to respond to mails.
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