[INDOLOGY] Eli Franco and the Fate of Indology

Harry Falk falk at zedat.fu-berlin.de
Mon Jan 16 09:34:41 UTC 2017

Dear Eli,
Thanks for putting so much time into rebuking something that doesn't
even deserve a rebuke. As you say at the end: this useless book is not
about German Indology, it is about the two authors.
They want to be right, they want to be taken as authorities, because
they are Indians, and for that reason at least one of them fought to
get a university degree.
This hubris presupposes that any view from the outside must be
inferior to a view from the inside. However, they needed a reason to
show that any view from the outside must necessarily be defective.
Familiarity with the Sanskrit texts cannot provide such a reason, as
the outsiders are certainly no less familiar with the Vedas,
vyakarana, languages used for Buddhist texts, etc., than the ordinary
inside exponent. So they played the “German” card, which to some
non-Europeans is always clear evidence for evil as such. Anyone who
opposes evil automatically is on the side of the good, forever,
irrespective of proof or counterproof. One's own goodness, once it is
deeply felt inside and in addition confirmed by a book with
anti-German content – whatever it may be –, is unassailable by
rational arguments. You may write ten more rebukes, of increasing
length, but none will ever make you an insider.
Rationality is not the battle-ground of the said authors; and as you
cannot adopt their irrationality you can never win the irrational
battle they are putting up.
Better stay on your home-ground and write another classic in classical
Indology, German or not.
Best, Harry

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list