[INDOLOGY] Tagore, Aurobindo, and Malhotra

Nagaraj Paturi nagarajpaturi at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 09:05:13 UTC 2015

> Let us imagine s'Astra becomes THE method of study for all academics
> in America.
>Is this realistic?

Sentences used hypothetically in a communication intended to suggest
empathetic (getting into the other side's shoes) understanding need not be

Rest is self-explanatory on the same lines.

This was a method-related discussion, limited to that.

On Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 2:16 PM, Robert Zydenbos <zydenbos at uni-muenchen.de>

> Dear Prof. Paturi,
> Since these remarks of yours have until now remained unanswered, I am
> taking the liberty to write a few words.
> Nagaraj Paturi wrote:
> > Let us imagine traditional Sanskrit scholars of India build a new
> > s'Astra called amerikAdhyayanas'Astra, amerikAs'Astra in short. The
> > s'Astra follows praMANas, tarkapaddhati/vAdapaddhati, paribhAshAs, and
> > all other essential features of a s'Astra to study American society.
> The comparison is partly wrong, because (just to point out the most
> obvious omission) in order to study America properly, one would need
> knowledge of the English language – just as Indologists who want to be
> taken seriously learn relevant Indian languages.
> In reality there already exists an amerikādhyayanaśāstra: here in
> Germany, my university offers a course of studies called "Amerikanistik"
> (http://www.en.amerikanistik.uni-muenchen.de/index.html). The university
> at Augsburg offers "Kanada-Studien"
> (http://www.uni-augsburg.de/institute/kanada/ – apparently a word like
> 'Kanadistik' or 'Kanadologie' did not sound nice in the opinion of the
> Augsburgers. See also
> http://www.kanada-studien.org/angebote-fur-studierende/virtual-canadian-studies/).
> Multiple parallel examples can be given from other
> universities not only in Germany, but across Europe.
> I am not aware of any American businessmen, enjoying the benefits of
> living in Germany, who react to such studies in anger and revile German
> Amerikanisten.
> (Nor am I aware of any Americans and Canadians who plagiarize several
> portions from the writings of a German researcher and then state that in
> earlier times the 'English character set' did not contain quotation marks.)
> > Let us imagine s'Astra becomes THE method of study for all academics
> > in America.
> Is this realistic? Could you explain why and how this one method of
> study would necessarily become the only one (in your illustration, not
> only in India, which is already odd enough, but also in America?).
> Perhaps I should repeat what I wrote last Friday: "Mr Malhotra shouts
> that Indians must take back the study of Indian culture? What nonsense.
> Real traditional studies were never taken away from them. Or did all the
> pāṭhaśālās, the gurukulas, the Sanskrit Colleges disappear? And I know
> of a fact that what is taught in Indian universities is not (and cannot
> be) a mindless copy of what is taught in Western universities." I do not
> know Hyderabad, but I find it hard to imagine that things are different
> there.
> Amerikanistik, the discipline that seeks to improve the understanding of
> America in the German-speaking part of Europe, is part of a much larger
> humanistic effort to understand humanity (vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam, is it
> not?), and Indology is another part of it.
> Well-founded criticism from all sides is always welcome, and this
> already is an established practice. What Mr Malhotra does is something
> else.
> RZ
> --
> Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
> Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie
> Department für Asienstudien
> Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

Prof.Nagaraj Paturi

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