[INDOLOGY] On śabdacaurya (plagiarism) and Being Different (from the way one really is) [1]

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 22:21:05 UTC 2015

On śabdacaurya (plagiarism) and Being Different (from the way one really
is) [1]

Quotation from a well-known text of the Sanskrit tradition
(Kāvyamīmāṁsā of Rājaśekhara, ed. by C.D. Dalal and R.A. Sastry, Baroda
1934, p. 57):
पुंसः कालातिपातेन  चौर्यमन्यद्विशीर्यते ।
अपि पुत्रेषु पौत्रेषु  वाक्चौर्यं च न शीर्यते ॥
My English translation:
Any other case of stealing committed by a man fades with the passage of
but the stealing of language (plagiarism) never fades away, not even in
one's sons
and grandsons.

By now it may have become clear who is predator, who is prey,
who is tiger, who is goat, AND who the tiger posing as a goat or sheep (no
time to fully digest
intellectually his victim) :
"It would not be feasible to swallow a large prey whole within
the predator's body. ... Ultimately, no trace remains of the prey's
own DNA ... " (RM in International Journal of Hindu Studies vol. 16,
Dec. 2012 [2013], p. 396)
So far the only "academic" piece I read of RM is this Author's response to
Symposium participants on RM's Being Different. On account of, i.a., the
important role
in this piece of the deterministic application of hybridly defined
categories such as "The West"
it has not yet inspired me to read more. The Symposium and the Author's
response have
contributed considerably to giving an academic status to the one who is now
said to claim
no higher rank than a journalist. In this 2013 Author's response we read
"a limitation in the English language in failing to allow for a category
that is between
"real" and "unreal"." (p. 378)
A failure to distinguish between language and logic?
An invalidation of RM's own arguments formulated in English?
Then why not write in Hindi or Sanskrit?
The PLAN to correct or circumvent, in a future, revised edition of Indra's
clear cases  of plagiarism i.e. cases of non indication of clearly borrowed
formulations and
pieces of information, is a step in the right direction AND it is a de
facto admission
to these cases of plagiarism, even if these are limited in number and even
if they are accompanied by other correctly indicated references. To
advertise this projected move as a
"satyagraha" and as "decolonization"
is an insult both to Mahatma Gandhi's "satyagraha" AND to the long tradition
of original thinkers and serious scholars of India FROM the Vedic rishi
whom I identify as the first author to clearly "quote" different opinions
on metaphysical
issues (RV 1.164.12 and my discussion in JAOS 120.4 2000) TO (at least)
Daya Krishna.
Methods of referring to quoted or borrowed material are inevitably
different depending on whether an intellectual culture is mainly
based on orality or on written transmission of knowledge, both in the
"West" (eg Havelock 1986) and in "India" as I pointed out at several
places (eg Journal of Indian Philosophy 30 [2003] p 475 footnote 5).

Jan Houben


Directeur d’Études

Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite

*École Pratique des Hautes Études*

*Sciences historiques et philologiques *

54, rue Saint-Jacques

CS 20525 – 75005 Paris

johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/attachments/20150725/5cc5c306/attachment.htm>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list