[INDOLOGY] Nalanda revival

Andrea Marion Pinkney, Prof. andrea.pinkney at mcgill.ca
Mon Jul 13 18:30:53 UTC 2015

Dear Colleagues,

With regard to the discussion of the Nalanda revival and Amartya Sen’s recent essay, I have tried to provide some background and reflections on the project here: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9455424&fileId=S0026749X13000310

With best wishes,

Andrea Marion Pinkney
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Religious Studies
McGill University

Recent publications: https://mcgill.academia.edu/AndreaMarionPinkney

On Jul 13, 2015, at 12:00 PM, indology-request at list.indology.info<mailto:indology-request at list.indology.info> wrote:

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Message: 1
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2015 19:23:30 +0200
From: Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>
To: Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at gmail.com>, Indology
<indology at list.indology.info>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] More uninformed discussion of ancient India
<CAKdt-CdLyQK7g4dMkO5h2ekiP-mNcb981qZRBeSh3+mopqfbrg at mail.gmail.com>
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I agree with you about the limitations of Sen's piece.

Furthermore, I don't understand why there is now a second "Nalanda"
recreation, when the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, deemed university, that has a
developed program of teaching Buddhism and the languages of Buddhism, has
existed since 1951 at the presumed site of the ancient Nalanda.

Dominik Wujastyk

On 12 July 2015 at 17:00, Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Friends,

In a somewhat different vein than the ongoing discussion of a certain
Hindutva partisan, you might want to take a look at Amartya Sen's piece:

In my opinion, while his political position seems to be something close to
180 degrees the opposite, he is in some ways remarkably similar in his
almost studied ignorance of classical India. His portrayal of Nalanda is
nothing short of fantasy, and I confess that I am disappointed and
depressed to see such fictions repeated by someone who, until recently, was
actually significantly influential in this 'neo' Nalanda project. That it
might be advantageous to say certain rosy things in a political context is
one thing, but the result is, to my mind, an utter misrepresentation of the
historical truth. A final point is that by portraying Nalanda as an
international university, using in his description explicitly secular
categories, the anti-Hindutva Sen succeeds in virtually entirely subverting
the Buddhist nature of Nalanda.

I am curious if I am alone in my impressions of this piece.


J. Silk
Leiden University
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
2311 BZ Leiden
The Netherlands

copies of my publications may be found at

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