Vicious Debate

Bijoy Misra bmisra at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Wed Dec 2 08:06:18 EST 1998

Again disclaiming proficiency on the subject,
I would only say that the evidence does not
seem to be clear on various propagated
hypotheses.  The "hindutva" people have
a political obligation (I think)
to counter any nationalistic harm done by 
"anti-hindutva"  elements.  Political debates 
should have  a different forum, since their 
strategy is short-term.

Ed Bryant gives a public lecture at Harvard on Dec 12.
The title is "The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate".
More on this is at
Scholarly debates to concisely present evidence and
provide analytic reasoning are utterly desirable.
We need a lot of facts though..  Looks to me
that all the facts aren't in yet..  

If you are in the area, do join us on Dec 12.

Bijoy Misra

On Wed, 2 Dec 1998, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

> Robert Zydenbos wrote:
> >This 'debate' (why do I place quotation marks? because it is too
> amateuristic, dirty and vicious to be considered a true debate) has
> been on this list before, and we may assume that the same noises
> will be made again. What is still lacking, however, is a deconstruction
> of why anyone could be fanatically and irrationally interested in
> opposing the well-established conclusion that the Indo-Germanic
> languages entered the Indian subcontinent from outside. It looks like a
> thinly disguised attempt at reviving E. Said's "Orientalism" thesis
> (which has already been thoroughly exploded) using quasi-scientific
> arguments.
> I think the answer to your question is partly to be found in internal Indian politics. I have been digging around in the little nationalisms that India produced at the turn of the century and that partly are still there (particularly Dravidianism), and it would seem that Indigenous Aryanism is a knee-jerk reaction to some of the more Aryan-unfriendly ideas that turned up in the South. (I think there are other reasons as well of a non-scholarly nature).
> But this is really another debate. I have no doubt that the followers of Indigenous Aryanism believe strongly in their ideas, and that we therefore have to relate to I.A the way we relate to any other set of ideas. But it is a puzzle that persons like Dayanand Saraswati and Tilak had no problems accepting the idea that the Aryans came from outside India, whereas their nationalist followers find this highly unpalatable. I would really like to know when I.A. became a fixed part of the Hindutva nationalist ideology, or for that matter, when I.A. "got started". 
> Best regards,
> Lars Martin Fosse
> Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
> Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
> 0674 Oslo
> Norway
> Phone/Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
> Email: lmfosse at

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