Wanderlust of the RV Tribes

Steve Farmer saf at SAFARMER.COM
Wed Apr 4 19:01:44 UTC 2001

I don't know how many people have looked yet at Michael Witzel's long and
devastating analysis of S. Talageri's _The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis_
(2000). ("Westward Ho! The Incredible Wanderlust of the Rgvedic Tribes,
Exposed by S. Talageri," by Michael Witzel.) It shouldn't be overlooked.

Talageri's book has been held up by the usual parties (e.g., K. Elst, who
is described in Talageri's book as a researcher "whose brilliant writings
have contributed to, or aided, the Indian cause") as groundbreaking,
revolutionary, based on a fresh look at the old texts, etc.
Witzel shows that Talageri's new book is closely linked to earlier
propaganda pieces like Talageri's _The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian
Nationalism_ -- a book high on the BJP's recommended booklist (see the
"Book Shop/Publications" link under http://www.bjp.org/organ.htm ).

Witzel shows that Talageri's new book on the RV is as methodologically
unsound as the endless stream of nationalistic apologetics put out by
Rajaram, Frawley, Danino, Elst, etc. Talageri's historical fictions are
based wholly on late sources like the Anukramanis & Puranas, and not
(as Talageri claims) on a reading of Old Vedic sources. (Indeed, Witzel
shows that Talageri's "invincible" study depends totally on Griffith's
Victorian RV translation!)

See the preliminary draft of Witzel's paper at

For a Talageri sampler, see my chart (also cited in Michael's piece) of
Talageri's chronological absurdities at
http://www.safarmer.com/pico/talageri.html . Here we find, predictably,
that the RV took over 2,000 years to compose, and that its earliest strata
are the oldest texts on the planet.

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