[INDOLOGY] Against the petition against Prof. Pollock

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Mon Mar 7 00:36:04 UTC 2016

Dear colleagues,

As the petiton stands today (Sunday 6 March), it still asserts about Prof.
Pollock that,

"He echoes the views of Macaulay and Max Weber that the shastras generated
in India serve no contemporary purpose except for the study of how Indians
express themselves. He has forcefully articulated this view in his career,
starting with his 1985 paper, ..."

The specific reference to Pollock's 2012 Heidelberg lecture, that was the
reference originally given for the Macaulay & Weber idea, has been removed,
and the accusation has thus been rendered generic, referring only to "in
his career."

Prof. Ganesh Ramakrishnan, the person apparently now responsible for the
petition, has asserted
that the petition has been updated (presumably as a response to my post of
27 Feb and to similar observations by several others), removing the
arguments that I pointed out were based on complete misunderstandings of
Pollock's writings.  In fact, it is *not* the case that the petition has
been fixed.  Every original criticism of Pollock is still present in the
petition.  All that has changed is that the specific citation of these
arguments from the 2012 publication has been removed (the footnote
reference has been deleted, if you like).  The petition thus retains all
its original errors, although it has been edited to make it harder to do
the fact-checking.

I understand from recent correspondence in this forum that Prof. Kutumba
Sastry has withdrawn his support for the petition specifically in his
capacity as President of the IIAS and former principal of the Rashtriya
Sanskrit Sansthan.  However, his wishes have not been respected by Prof.
Ganesh Ramakrishnan or whoever controls the public petition, since as of
today, the petition still says,

5. Prof. V. Kutumba Sastry, President, International Association of
Sanskrit Studies, Former Vice Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New

Out of respect for Prof. Kutumba Sastry, those who control the petition
should abide by his wishes.

Dominik Wujastyk

Professor Dominik Wujastyk
Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity
Department of History and Classics <http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
University of Alberta, Canada.
Academia home page <http://ualberta.Academia.edu/DominikWujastyk>

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