Unpleasant quarrels

R Srinivasan rsrin at PACIFIC.NET.SG
Fri Dec 15 19:03:22 EST 2000


<<History is not, it never has been, a recalling of facts from the past,
but
an interpretation, sometimes calm, sometimes passionate, but always
fascinating, of recorded and reported events, and it sometimes serves to
inspire pride and joy, sometimes to anger and resentment too.>>

Beautifully said. Lessons of History by Will Durant is a fascinating read..


-----Original Message-----
From: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at LISTSERV.LIV.AC.UK]On Behalf Of V.V.
Raman
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 8:39 PM
To: INDOLOGY at LISTSERV.LIV.AC.UK
Subject: Re: Unpleasant quarrels


1. Mr. Kumar's posting yesterday was thoughtful, reasonable, and  calmly
articulate.

2. My only question is: Could it be that these (Exo-Indology) folks are
getting
upset because they started this group with an entirely different purpose?:
To
study etymology, linguistics, ancient documents, etc., and not to explore
Hindu-Muslim antagonism? The founder and others  have made it quite clear
they
don't regard those matters as coming under the theme of Indology. We can't
really blame people for choosing to study  something, and not something
else,
can we?

3. Given that, would it perhaps be a good idea to start a separate listserve
or
e-group which explores <only> Indian history from say, 700 CE? [Perhaps
something like that already exists. I don't know.] This would leave these
basically decent people in peace: to pursue their lively exchanges in the
several possible origins and nuances of the word NArAyaNa, whether the
Tamils
thought their God was black or blue, how the horse was called  in
proto-Hittite
or whatever, whether the Skandapurana was Skanda, Kanda or Scandinavian, and
such other esoteric, if (for some of us) not so exciting topics, rather than
debate about whether Babur demolished the Ayodhya temple out of sheer
malice,
or because he liked the place, and what can be done about the matter, and
whether the RSS or the VHP is serving the cause of Hinduism better.

4. There are botanists who study every leaf-form and twig slice. Then there
are
ecologists who are concerned about rain forests. Perhaps both groups serve a
purose. Indeed, their subject matters are inter-related, and they could even
throw light on each other's interests. The crypto-botanists, armed with
their
microscopes and source books, feel (rightly or wrongly) that all this
screaming
about ecological disaster may or may not be justified, and are pleading with
us
to please not do that that in their serene laboratories, and they don't want
to
have anything to do with the very concerned ecologists. What can we do?

5. On a slightly different note, to me, an old-timer, there is an irony in
what
is happening in these exchanges on the role of the Moguls in India. When I
was in
high school, many long decades ago, my very nationalistic history teacher
used
to tell us that the British grossly exaggerated the negative impacts of
Mogul
rule in India in order to create a division between Hindus and Muslims for
their own selfish interest, when, in fact, the two groups had been living in
peace and harmony for centuries. And now....

6. History is not, it never has been, a recalling of facts from the past,
but
an interpretation, sometimes calm, sometimes passionate, but always
fascinating, of recorded and reported events, and it sometimes serves to
inspire pride and joy, sometimes to anger and resentment too.

V. V. Raman
December 15, 2000



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