Indology and "the disastrous ideology of the 'pure Aryan race'"

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
Wed Jan 10 16:55:48 UTC 2007

Please allow me to second this motion as well.
The issue, if it is to be further aired, should be
aired in its own forum. As I recall, this all began
as a digression from the topic of justifying the
study of Sanskrit in the contemporary academy. Its proliferation
pretty well illustrates the parable of the pipal seed --
like karman, it begins small but in the end takes over
the neighborhood.

It may be well to recall that Indology is not the only field in
which questions of the nazi or far-right ideological background
of certain figures has become controversial (Heidegger in Philosophy,
Paul de Man in Literary Theory, Eliade in Religion, G. Frege (who of 
course long preceeded the nazis) in symbolic logic, etc., as well as the 
many Japanese militarists who resurfaced in prominent academic positions
after the war). There are troubling issues raised by this that
certainly deserve to be aired, but they can and should be
probed appropriately in the context of 20th century intellectual
and political history.

Matthew Kapstein

On Wed, 10 Jan 2007, Rosane Rocher wrote:

> Please allow me to second this motion.
> Rosane Rocher
> At 11:01 AM 1/10/2007, you wrote:
>> I would like to suggest humbly that this subject has been
>> sufficiently explored in this list.  In any event, I thought the
>> Indology list is concerns issues and ideas pertaining to classical
>> Indian studies, whether in Sanskrit or, occasionally, in the other
>> classical language of India, Tamil (which is non-Indo-European and
>> certainly does not represent the "pure Aryan race," whatever that
>> is).  If some members wish to pursue aspects of the history of the
>> Third Reich, perhaps they could start another list.  George Hart

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