[INDOLOGY] Nazis, India

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Sun Oct 28 20:57:24 UTC 2018

Dear Shyam Ranganathan,
This is a legitimate question, which merits an adequate response.
My "two cents":
You may already have looked at the bibliographical article “German
Indology” by Joydeep Bagchee (JB) (Oxford Bibliographies online:
www.oxfordbibliographies.com under “German Indology” or:
Since, as I pointed out elsewhere, “Indology was more or less since its
beginnings, end 18th – beginning 19th century, mainly “European” in
character with intensive cooperations between French, British and German
specialists, and has thus not only been sharing Oriental dreams but also a
Nazi-nightmare,” the focus on “German Indology” in JB’s article is itself
problematic, especially because the author justifies it by invoking “a
distinct history and traditions” for German Indology, and “unique concerns
that set it apart from other forms of research into India” (“German
Indology”, section “Introduction”). Given this and other peculiar premises,
the article contains nevertheless useful bibliographic references and brief
evaluations (from the author’s point of view) of relevant publications,
especially – for your subject – in two sections of the article: “National
Socialism” (topic: German Indology and National Socialism) and “German
Responses to National Socialist Indology.” Another relevant section is
“Orientalism Debate” which, in the view of the author (JB), as he expresses
it in his evaluation of Halbfass’s India and Europe (1988), really starts
with the publication of “Pollock 1993” (see above). It is hence regrettable
but not entirely surprising that the collective volume Beyond Orientalism
(1997) is regarded by JB as a work which “does not directly address the
orientalist debate; it is really an overview of Halbfass’s work as a
post-orientalist scholar.” In this section a reference is lacking to my
review of this work which discusses and demonstrates how the work and in
particular Halbfass’s dialogical contributions to it are indeed directly
relevant to the “Orientalism Debate” (“Orientalism, its critique, and
beyond: review article of Beyond Orientalism, ed. by K. Preisendanz and E.
Franco, Amsterdam 1997” (15 [1998]: 16) IIAS-Newsletter : Newsletter of the
International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden), no. 15. 1998 :
https://www.academia.edu/6169112). With regard to Halbfass’s unsurpassed
India and Europe (1988), the author (JB) thinks that it “needs revision in
light of newer discoveries” but fails to point out that several currently
self-styled “new discoveries” need, in fact, also revision in the light of
Halbfass’s monumental achievement in comparative philosophy which is
exceptionally well-founded both in “Western” and in Indian philosophy.
I have in the meantime also updated my almost antique "conference report"
(of the 29th DOT of the DMG in Leipzig, 1995)
with two "Further Postscripts", the second of which containing a brief *compte
rendu* of VA&JB's *The Nay Science* in which I address two "key-problems"
that remain in this work, a heavy “stone in the pond” of Indology and Asian
Studies, in spite of the large number of reviews and rejoinders that have
already appeared, and propose two "keys" to solve them.
With best regards,
Jan Houben

On Mon, 15 Oct 2018 at 18:26, Shyam Ranganathan via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear all,
> Forgive me if this question has an obvious answer that I don't know.
> I recall that in *India and Europe,* Halbfass discusses the development
> of ideas associated with National Socialism by those who took an interest
> in India. I'm wondering if there is anything classic on this topic. I'm
> trying to reference, in passing, the racist reception of India in Europe
> (the friendliness to "Arya" or "Swastika" for instance) where India was
> treated as a kind of European prehistory, and I'm not sure what to point
> to. I'm happy to point to Halbfass, though I was wondering if there was
> something specifically on this topic (a paper or book).
> Thanks,
> Shyam
> --
> Shyam Ranganathan
> Department of Philosophy
> York Center for Asian Research
> York University, Toronto
> shyam-ranganathan.info  <http://shyam-ranganathan.info/>
> *Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation
> <https://www.routledge.com/Hinduism-A-Contemporary-Philosophical-Investigation/Ranganathan/p/book/9781138909106>*
> *The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Ethics
> <http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-bloomsbury-research-handbook-of-indian-ethics-9781472587770/>*
> *Patañjali`s Yoga Sūtras
> <http://penguin.co.in/book/classics/patanjalis-yoga-sutra/>* (Translation,
> Edition and Commentary)
> *Translating Evaluative Discourse: The Semantics of Thick and Thin
> Concepts <https://philpapers.org/rec/SHYTED>*
> Full List, Publications <https://philpapers.org/profile/22035>
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*Jan E.M. Houben*

Directeur d'Études, Professor of South Asian History and Philology

*Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite*

École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, PSL - Université Paris)

*Sciences historiques et philologiques *

54, rue Saint-Jacques, CS 20525 – 75005 Paris

*johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr <johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr>*

*johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu <johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu>*


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