[Y-Indology] Berlin Indology (2)

Ithamar Theodor theodor at RESEARCH.HAIFA.AC.IL
Fri Jan 5 16:52:00 UTC 2007

I, for one, would like to write a letter and send it through e-mail. Kindly 
supply the name and position of the person or persons to be addressed, and 
my letter will shortly follow.

  With best regards,
                                 Ithamar Theodor

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harry Falk" <falk at ZEDAT.FU-BERLIN.DE>
To: <INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk>
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 5:52 PM
Subject: Re: [Y-Indology] Berlin Indology (2)

> Dear list members,
> since it is my post which is planned to be sacked when I leave office in 
> 2012 I would like to thank Michael for his enduring efforts, which 
> outshine everything that has been done in this respect anywhere in 
> Germany.
>     May I recall the basic fact: it was planned that the dept. of Indian 
> Philology moved to the Humboldt-University in town. This was not a bad 
> idea, given the depts. of Indian history already there. The shift over 
> there was planned to be accompanied by a shift of the Egyptian Archaeology 
> from there to us, the Free University. This way no university would have 
> been forced to augment its staff, just a swapping of depts. with no 
> financial burden involved would take place. Unfortunately, the Egyptian 
> Archaeology refused to move and the president of the Humboldt universtiy 
> missed the occasion to kick them over par ordre du moufti.
>    Our president had firmly planned for a future without Indian Philology. 
> Now that I cannot go - because the Egyptian Archaeologists don't come - he 
> still sticks to this plan. What is worse: he refuses to talk about our 
> field with me or anyone else who could make him change his mind.
>    He and his colleague at the Humboldt-University should be reminded that 
> no higher authority, like the senator for education and sciences in town 
> or the Wissenschaftsrat, has ever pleaded for a closure of Indian 
> Philology, and that even with the missed swapping no additional personal 
> is to be paid anywhere.
>    All arguments regarding the importance of the field, its long history 
> in town, Sanskrit, Indian history etc. will be accepted as important, but 
> they will not be taken into account. At least at present. No one should 
> expect an instant result; however, as long as complaints from all over the 
> world keep pouring in these two presidents will be reminded of something 
> they have to deal with. Just say that
> - there never was a plan to erase Indian philology
> - no additional money is needed since the swapping would not have changed 
> the number of staff
> -
> Michael Witzel schrieb:
>> Dear List members,
>> Before Christmas, I have written to you about the planned closure of the 
>> Berlin Indology department.
>> Many of you have already written to the Berlin authorities then.
>> However, a second push may not hurt, as the case is by *no means* closed 
>> yet.
>> So, please, those of you who have not yet written, do so now during the 
>> New Year break!
>> As you know, we have set up an email address to which you can send your 
>> letters:
>>        berlinindology at gmail.com
>> If you want to write *directly* to the various authorities concerned, 
>> please let me know, and I will then send you the proper addresses.
>> [[ By the way, someone (the World Sanskrit Association?) should organize 
>> such efforts worldwide, as cutbacks in all classical fields, from Latin 
>> and Greek to Chinese, are and will be with us for a while. Eventually, 
>> even administrators and  politicians will recognize that you have to know 
>> a bit more about the world's civilizations than just current elections 
>> and economics... ]]
>> With many thanks
>> and best wishes for 2007,
>> Michael Witzel
>> -----------------------
>> Please select from the following or compose a letter yourself.
>> Just a  few lines will do!
>> =================================================
>> To whom it may concern:
>> A few days weeks we have learned, worldwide, that Indian Studies in 
>> Berlin are to be abolished. I therefore write to you to request to 
>> preserve the world famous Institute of Indology.
>> This does not only concern modern South Asian Studies, that still are 
>> well represented, but also „Classical Indology“ or „Indian Philology“.
>> Classical Indian Philology has existed at Berlin since 1821, and the 
>> discipline has been continued at Humboldt University even after 1945 by 
>> Professors Ruben and Morgenroth, as well as at the new institute of the 
>> Freie Universitaet (Prof.s Bruhn and Falk). Indology prominently deals 
>> with the indigenous weltanschauung, religion and history of thought, as 
>> they are represented in Sanskrit and other texts. Without this kind of 
>> background modern India cannot be understood.
>> The study of the Sanskrit language, that was one of the official 
>> languages in India until 1835, is essential for any understanding of the 
>> immense number of Indian texts, from c. 1500 BCE until today, for example 
>> in fields such as traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) or indigenous 
>> Indian linguistics (Panini), a field that has supplied important stimuli 
>> to western linguistics.
>> As is obvious even from this minimal discussion, modern India can only be 
>> understood -- just as any other important civilization – if one studies 
>> its foundational texts and their impact during the medieval and modern 
>> periods.  (I have constantly experienced that myself during my five years 
>> stay in South Asia.) Indian history, spanning some 5000 years, is 
>> becoming ever more important even in the political arena, for example 
>> during the past elections of 2004, which had the effect that even 
>> classical philologists were drawn into the fray, whether they wanted or 
>> not.
>> Consequently, both modern as well a classical Indology are essential.  We 
>> appeal to you to continue both branches of our discipline.
>> Berlin Indology can look back, as mentioned, to a tradition spanning some 
>> 200 years. Many internationally famous scholars have emerged from Berlin. 
>> In the early 19th century, the study of India belonged to one of the 
>> major points of Humboldt’s reform of the German Universities. This should 
>> not be forgotten now that India receives great attention worldwide, as it 
>> grows economically and politically.
>> Finally, it may be added that German Indology has a very good name in 
>> India, as Indologists have seriously endeavored to study Indian culture 
>> without prejudice. This long-standing and continuing attitude of German 
>> intellectuals towards Indian civilization has made Indology the best 
>> ambassador in India. It will be met with disbelief both in India  and 
>> worldwide if the German capital will have to do without an Indian 
>> Institute.
>> The preservation of the internationally highly regarded Indology of 
>> Berlin therefore is important also for the reputation of Berlin as a 
>> place of research.  The demolition of Indology would also  be 
>> unreasonable in view of the large collections of manuscripts of the 
>> Prussian State Library and the Academy, as well as the rich holdings of 
>> the Museum of Indian Art. It would bring 200 years of a great tradition 
>> to an end.
>> We therefore sincerely appeal to you to preserve the discipline and its 
>> BA., M.A., and PhD. courses. Anything but this would be a disaster, a 
>> waste of material and human capital.
>> Yours faithfully,
>> X.Y.
>> (official position)
>> (address)
>> (email)
>> ==================================
>> Michael Witzel
>> Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
>> 1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138
>> 1-617-495 3295           Fax: 496 8571
>> direct line:       496 2990
>> <http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm>
>> <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/compmyth>
>> <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Indo-Eurasian_research/>
>> < http://users.primushost.com/~india/ejvs/>
>>  Yahoo! Groups Links
>> <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
>>     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/INDOLOGY/
>> <*> Your email settings:
>>     Individual Email | Traditional
>> <*> To change settings online go to:
>>     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/INDOLOGY/join
>>     (Yahoo! ID required)
>> <*> To change settings via email:
>>     mailto:INDOLOGY-digest at yahoogroups.com 
>> mailto:INDOLOGY-fullfeatured at yahoogroups.com
>> <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
>>     INDOLOGY-unsubscribe at yahoogroups.com
>> <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
>>     http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list