[INDOLOGY] Tagore, Aurobindo, and Malhotra

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at uni-muenchen.de
Mon Jul 27 21:57:14 UTC 2015

Nagaraj Paturi wrote:

> [...]
> Just as American scholars of Indian history and culture are called
> American Indologists, I think ​Indian​ scholars of American history and
> culture can be called Indian Americologists. Is there a field called
> 'Americology'? Are there Indian Americologists?

I hope there are. If not, I can imagine it would very good to have some.

Many years back, an Indian sociologist (Hiremallur K. Ishwaran of
Dharwad, Karnataka) came to Leiden in the Netherlands and did research
on changes in Dutch family life during the previous 100 years. An
anthropologist from Leiden told me that his big discovery was that there
were no substantial changes – and he could convincingly prove it.

I myself did not go through that work, but I have it on the authortiy of
the anthropologist that the Dutch colleagues in the social sciences were
so convinced that so much had changed during the previous 100 years that
there 'must have been' fundamental changes in family life, the way the
generations within a family dealt with each other etc., as well. Because
Ishwaran came as an outsider to Dutch society, he could perceive things
from a distance in such a way as his Dutch colleagues could not. His
research was solid, he got his doctorate, married a Dutchwoman and
proceeded to Canada, where he became professor of sociology at York
University, Toronto. He wrote on Indian society too (e.g., interesting
studies of his Lingayat community), but his field of enquiry was
unlimited. In his native Dharwad he is something of a local hero, and a
college has been named in his memory.

A methodically solid Americology / Europology in India would be a highly
interesting thing, valuable not only to India but also abroad.


Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Institute of Indology and Tibetology
University of Munich

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