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Progress Of Indic Languages Vs English - 2
Indo-European ==> bhAropIya
Proto-IE ==> prAk-bhAropIya
Indo-Iranian ==> bhAratpArasIya

<!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Bharatvarsh, when you get a chance can you please tell me who translated the below book from Hindi to Telugu?

DLI: Vismrutha Yatrikudu by Rahul Sankrityayan, 1965
Dear Bodhiji,

The drop in the circulation of the English newspapers may be attributed to the growth in the readership of the Indian language newspapers. If that is true then it is indeed a very positive development. However, it needs to be checked whether the drop in circulation of the English newspaper is due to the fact that more of the readers are now reading the newspapers on their computers and internets. It is a fact that more and more English newspapers are bringing out electronic and pda editions.Therefore, it needs further investigation to ascertain the actual situation.
On the ground, the heavy pressure on the English medium schools is indicative of the direction in which the wind is blowing. If the present trend of the youngsters is allowed t progress unchecked, the sari will soon be a rare species in Urban India.
It is AlUri Bhujanga Rao
thank you vishwas. Is it good?

<!--QuoteBegin-ravish+Nov 10 2008, 03:22 PM-->QUOTE(ravish @ Nov 10 2008, 03:22 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->The drop in the circulation of the English newspapers may be attributed to the growth in the readership of the Indian language newspapers. If that is true then it is indeed a very positive development. However, it needs to be checked whether the drop in circulation of the English newspaper is due to the fact that more of the readers are now reading the newspapers on their computers and internets. It is a fact that more and more English newspapers are bringing out electronic and pda editions.Therefore, it needs further investigation to ascertain the actual situation.
On the ground, the heavy pressure on the English medium schools is indicative of the direction in which the wind is blowing. If the present trend of the youngsters is allowed t progress unchecked, the sari will soon be a rare species in Urban India.

- Drop in the English Newspapers is proportional to the rise in the English News Channels.
- Their target audience, so too the TRP of English News Channels is pretty limited only to the 15-20 mega-cities of India. Real India, and larger India, as you would know, does not live there.
- Rise of Indic newspapers is due to consolidation. Smaller publications losing out to bigger players. This is true in Hindi, Telugu and other bigger markets.
- On medium of education, if you have followed this thread, survey published by GOI shows decent rise in Hindi, Marathi and Telugu medium school joinees. Although English medium has grown more than these mediums, but still is far behind - will take another 50 to 100 years to catch up.
- Even in English medium schools, the trend is for pro-traditional schools to rise and for convent/missionary to shrink.
- Dont know what Sari had to do with discussion on progress of newspaper readership.
Sitar-i-hind Raja Shivprasad kept sermonizing on the need for an "aam-faham" and "khaas-pasand" language, that is urdu, but fate of Hindi had already decided the course. Hindi prose wanted to take which direction, this indication was very clear, whether he noticed it or not, liked it or not. When all other members of Indic language family had, since eternity, taken energy from the familiar Sanskrit, her structure, vocabullary, and continuity, how could Hindi be forced to abandon this emotional connection for adopting a foreign spirit through import of foreign words, as advocated by him? Now that Bangla, Marathi, and all her elder sisters in south had already gained the revivalist momentum, no! Hindi was not destined to be bound in stagnation of foreign imperialism. She was not ready to sever her ancient and spiritual ties with sister-languages. Born from the womb of the same mother, she was agonized on being forced to become a stranger to them. Such was the landscape, and Raja Lakshamana Singh had already seen it and did his best to preserve the movement. Need however was of some great talent to fill up her empty structures with worthy literature. That was the moment when Bharatendu Harishchandra appeared with the sanskara-s of an already rich Bengali, along with his brilliant friends, to offer the needed service to this new language at crossroads.

translated from gadya sAhitya kA avirbhAva, AchArya rAmachandra shukla, nAgarI-prachAriNI-sabhA, 1929.
The real classical languages debate
Sheldon Pollock

Thursday, Nov 27, 2008

I have been observing with extreme bemusement the debate over the classical
status of Indian languages, since the issue was first raised in these pages
in 2006 in the case of Kannada. Yes of course, it is dangerous to introduce
invidious distinctions among languages, and yes of course, the scholarship
upon which these distinctions are founded is often empirically thin and
theoretically weak. But with respect to the core problem of the debate, I am
reminded of what the great poet Bhartrhari said: One should not wait until
the house is burning to dig a well (sandipte bhavane tu kupakhananam
pratyudyamah kidrsah). And the house of Indian classical language study is
not only burning, it lies almost in ashes.

Who cares if language X, Y, or Z is given “classical” status if there is no
one who can read it? And if the award of classical status is a means to
ensure serious scholarship, then there are a dozen or more languages in
India — indeed, the entire pre-modern literary past — that is in desperate
need of this recognition.

At the time of Independence, and for some two millennia before that, India
was graced by the presence of scholars whose historical and philological
expertise made them the peer of any in the world. They produced editions and
literary and historical studies of texts in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and
Telugu — and in Apabhramsha, Assamese, Bangla, Brajbhasha, Gujarati,
Marathi, Oriya, Persian, Prakrit, Sanskrit, Urdu — that we still use today.
In fact, in many cases their works have not been replaced. This is not
because they are irreplaceable — it is in the nature of scholarship that
later knowledge should supersede earlier. They have not been replaced
because there is no one to replace them.

Two generations of Indian students have been lost to the study of classical
Indian languages and literatures, in part due to powerful economic forces no
doubt, but in part due to sheer neglect. The situation is dire. Let me offer
a few anecdotes. A great university in the United States with a long
commitment to classical Indian studies sought for years to hire a professor
of Telugu literature. Not one scholar could be found who commanded the
tradition from Nannaya to the present; the one professor of Telugu
literature in the U.S. who does have these skills will soon retire, and when
he does, classical Telugu studies will retire with him. The same can be said
of many other languages, such as Bangla, where the number of scholars who
can actually read not just Tagore, but Vaishnav pads or the great
seventeenth century biography of Caitanya, the Caitanyacaritamrta, are few
and far between.

For several years I studied classical Kannada with T.V. Venkatachala Sastry
of Mysore, a splendid representative of the kind of historically deep
learning I have mentioned. During all my time in Karnataka I did not
encounter a single young scholar who had command over the great texts of
classical Kannada — Pampa, Ranna, Ponna — to say nothing of reading
knowledgeably in the extraordinary inscriptional treasure house that is

Today, in neither of the two great universities in the capital city of
India, is anyone conducting research on classical Hindi literature, the
great works of Keshavdas and his successors. Imagine — and this is an exact
parallel — if there were no one in Paris in 2008 producing scholarship on
the works of Corneille, Racine, and Molière. Not coincidentally, a vast
number of Brajbhasha texts lie mouldering in archives, unedited to this day.

This is even truer of Indo-Persian literature. Large quantities of
manuscripts, including divans of some of the great court poets of Mughal
India, remain unpublished and unread. When I ask knowledgeable friends about
the state of the field, I hear them speak of great scholars in their 80s –
and almost no one younger.

Two year ago, I attend a large conference in Udaipur on the present state
and future prospects of the humanities in India. I asked the more than one
hundred delegates there, some of the best literary scholars in the country,
how many of them actually train their students to read literary texts in an
Indian language. Three people raised their hand, all Sanskrit teachers.

Nine years ago, H.C. Bhayani, the great scholar of Apabhramsha, passed away.
With his death, so far as I am able to judge, the field of Apabhramsha
studies itself died in India. To my eyes, the situation with Apabhramsha is
symptomatic of a vast cultural ecocide that is underway in this country. And
not just language knowledge is disappearing but all the skills associated
with it, such as the capacity to read non-modern scripts, from Brahmi to
Modi to Shikhasta.

To be sure, I have not systematically canvassed every university in India,
and there are undoubtedly some exceptions to the trend I am sketching. But
by no means do I think it even remotely an exaggeration to suggest that
within two generations, the Indian literary past – one of the most luminous
contributions ever made to human civilisation – may be virtually unreadable
to the people of India.

There is another Sanskrit proverb that tells us it is far easier to tear
down a house than to build it up (asakto ham grharambhe sakto ham
grhabhanjane). The great edifice of Indian literary scholarship has nearly
been torn down. Is it possible, at this late hour, to build it up again?
India has shown itself capable of achieving pre-eminence in anything it sets
its mind to. Consider the Indian Institutes of Management, of Science, and
of Technology. Universities and companies and organisations around the world
compete for the graduates of the IIMs, IISs, IITs. Why should India not
commit itself to build the same kind of institute to serve the needs of its
culture — not just dance and art and music, but its literary culture? Why
should it not build an Indian Institute of the Humanities devoted not just
to revivifying the study of the classical languages, but to producing
world-class scholarship, as a demonstration of what is possible, a model for
universities to follow, and a source of new scholars to staff those
universities? It is not too late. The reward of success would be
incalculable; the cost of failure would be catastrophic.

(Sheldon Pollock is Ransford Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies,
Columbia University, New York, Editor of the Clay Sanskrit Library, and
author of, among other books, The Language of the Gods in the World of Men.)
Vedic Vocalisation and the Regional Languages : http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part6/chap11.htm
From an interview of Nandan Nilekani, Co-Chair of Infosys:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><i>Nitin Pai: Will India modernise its infrastructure before the Chinese
learn English? What if it is the latter? More generally,
how do you see the India-China relationship
evolving over the next few years.</i>

Nandan Nilekani: It's more than that. If the Chinese had their
way, they'll make Mandarin one of the global languages,
if not the global language. That way, the
playing field moves to their strength. India is a
swing country in this because our embracing English
in a big way will be an important reason for
English to continue being a dominant global language.
India is in a strategic position. One of the
things I have been advocating is that not only
should India learn English internally, we should
actually spread English globally. The more
strongly we do this, the more strongly we secure
our own strategic position as opposed to someone
whose language is not English. We have to make
sure that remain the dominant business language
of the world and global communications.


Hmmm... just think of where we have reached... and remember it used to be the conglomerate of Hindu traders and grand sArthavAha-s and mighty guilds of Indian shreShThI-s trading and doing business with far off words -- who were one of the important vehicles that had made saMskR^ita the accepted global language in large parts of the once literate world! Just remember of the tamil shreShThI-s who used to establish the temples in mainland china during the times of choLa-s.
actually there is more to this^ in Nandan Nilekani's book.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There are also some historical inaccuracies – largely due to (I guess) over-reliance on the kind of academic research led by leftist historians. E.g. he mentions “Sanskrit” as an “alien” tongue that entered the region with an “invading army” (Pg 101) – clearly an allusion to the Aryan Invasion Theory link<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

So that is where it comes from. saMskR^it-hatred and English-love go hand in hand, I should have guessed.

And no doubt, Narayan Murthy wanted "English" education in all the rural schools -- his therapy to pull the poor out of the poverty.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Any child must have the option to go to an English-medium school. Many of the cleaning women in Infosys have told me they would like to send their children to English-medium schools so that they could grow up to be in professions like software — Infosys chief mentor Narayana Murthy at Vision Bangalore panel<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ram Prasad Bismil had also written these Hindi booklets:

Bolsheviko.n kee karatoot (black deeds of Bolsheviks)
man kee lahar
kranti geetanjali

first is his criticism of bolshevik revolution.
last two are collection of poetry.

The above were brought to light by Madan Lal Verma, and have been recently re-published by Praveen Prakashan, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, Delhi.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Bodhi from your old post.

Looks like he also authored one more called "svAdhInathA kI dEvI":
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->स्वाधीनता की देवीःकैथरिन by बिस्मिल, रामप्रसाद
Publication: जयपुर , साहित्य चन्द्रिका प्रकाशन,  2007.  103पृ.  22 सेमी(सजिल्द). 
Item Types: Hindi Books    Copyrightdate: 2007 .  Call No:  921 / कौथरि ,    ISBN:  8179320618,    HIN-80460
Availability: 1    Copies available: D.B.Act.Division (1),<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mahabharata in Telugu Literature

By Dr.Sonti Venkata Suryanarayana Rao

The very first literary work in Telugu literature, Andhra Mahabharata which appeared in the mid 11th century, forms the best introduction to classical Telugu poetry. Since it is the earliest version of the great Epic in modern Indian languages, it has helped in the publication of the standard edition of Mahabharata by the Bhandarkar Institute in Poona’. Kannada has two earlier versions but they are adaptations making Arjuna or Bhima the central figure. A still older Tamil version is said to be unavailable today. The Andhra Mahabharata is not merely the earliest but the best work in the language by literary standards. Moreover, this large early literary work serves as an authority for grammar and usage even today and the three member team who could bring it into chaste and polished Telugu diction that could be easily understood by the average reader, are called the ‘Trinity of Telugu literature (Kavitrayam). The first poet Nannaya Bhattu left it abruptly in the middle of the Aranya Parva, probably due to death or political reasons. His patron, Raja Raja Narendra (1019-1061)’ of the Eastern Chalukya dynasty, was, by a strange coincidence, engaged in fighting for his throne with his half-brother throughout his life and Nannaya was his ‘Kulabrahmana’ or spiritual advisor. They had to seek the help of his maternal uncle, Rajendra Chola in the South. The great literary undertaking was therefore, of topical interest. Even otherwise, herioc tales appeal to the Andhras and Udyotana (ca. 892), a prakrit poet mentions them in his work, Kuvalayamala as being constantly engaged in warfare. Tikkana Somayaji resumed the work in the 13th century from Virata parva onwards and completed the Telugu version. The unfinished portion in Aranya parva stands in the name of Errapragada (early 14th century) who was an equally eminent poet.

In their Telugu version these poets have not attempted a literal translation. Instead of being a chronicle as in the hands of Vyasa in Sanskrit, they adopted the kavya or poetic style and by skillful abridgement reduced its size to nearly one half of the original by omitting repetitive passages and for brevity in expression. Nannaya for instance, performed a major poetic surgery by omitting Bhishma’s long eulogy and enumeration of Krishna’s earlier Avataras in the Rajasuya-Sisupala Vadha episode and made it quite crisp and dramatic. Tikkana required only 70 verses to convey the message of Bhagavadgita in Bhishma Parva. Anomalies in characterization were also ‘rectified’ in the Telugu version. Some modern critics have however, questioned such freedom in the translation of the national epic. Since they had to rely on contemporary manuscripts it is difficult to criticise their work.

Another interesting feature easily discernible even to the average reader is the basic difference between the earlier portions of Nannaya and the latter work of Tikkana. Nannaya adopted the narrative style and his diction is more Sanskritised than Tikkana's. But Nannaya's verses run smoothly and sound more pleasing to the ear with internal rhyme and rhythm obtained by the happy choice of the consonants (Consonance) unsurpassed by any other poet. Moreover his Sanskritised version is sometimes more easily understood than Tikkana's poetry in a more colloquial diction, many times due to deceptive style and syntax. Not withstanding the general admiration for Nannaya who commenced the exercise, Tikkana who completed the work is ranked higher by the later poets and critics for his dramatic and more vigorous style and skill in characterisation. He scores over his predecessor in imagination, versatility and spirited expression. In Stree parva for instance, he employed forty five metres probably to vivify the ghastly scene after the horrendous Armageddon. His translation is quite realistic even in other portions since he came from a family of administrators, warriors and poets. He was himself the Prime Minister of a small Chola kingdom at Nellore ruled by Manuma Siddhi (1248-1263). He is generally known as Tikkana Somayaji, probably for performing a great Yagjna. His military prowess is not known but his father was a 'Dandanatha' (Warrior). His military background helped him to clear the confusion regarding the 'Vyuhas' (battle formations) of Kurukshetra in the Sanskrit original. He completed the translation of Mahabharata, like Milton, after retiring from public life after his patron's death. Like the first poet, Nannaya's patron Raja Raja Narendra, Manumasiddhi was also at war with his cousins and on one occasion Tikkana had to lead a large embassy to the great Kakatiya Emperor, Ganapati Deva (1198-1262) at Warangal to seek his help in recovering the kingdom. Like Dante's confident use of the regional dialect and idiom, Tikkana's preference of colloquial Telugu helped in the growth of its language and literature. Errapragada, the third poet who took up the left-over portion of Aranya parva was also a gifted poet who bridged the gulf between the styles of his predecessors quite successfully, He lived under the patronage of the Reddi kings in the early 14th century and he had other notable works to his credit like Harivamsam which is considered an addendum to the Mahabharata. The well known story of king Nala and Damayanthi is a good example of Nannaya's style in translation while Tikkana took special interest in Virata parva which is more elaborate in his hands compared to the original. The famous story of Savitri can be read in Errapragada's translation.

In addition to the well known translation of Telugu Mahabharata, a critical edition of which was published by the Osmania University, Hyderabad, giving reference to the Bhandarkar text of the national epic, there is some evidence of another early translation probably in the 11th century itself by one Atharvanacharya. Only a handful of verses are extant from his work today even upto the Karnaparva, there being no plausible reason for the loss of this version. Nannaya and Atharvana are said to be bitter rivals and two grammar texts discovered later are ascribed to them.

A fresh translation of the Mahabharata was undertaken around 1600A.D., again by a team of three poets, Battepati Thimmayya, Bala Saraswati and Atamakuri Somana. These poets adopted the 'Dwipada' metre (rhymed couplets in tetrametre). This later translation has also been preserved carefully; and, the Andhra University, Waltair took up its publication. Scholars and critics have not found any literary value in it, although at times, it is more elaborate and reads well. A more recent study shows that it is not totally devoid of literary elegance. A prose translation by Kaluve Veera Raju which appeared hundred years later (ca 1700) had better success. He was the army chief under Chikka Deva Raya (1672-1704) of the Mysore Kingdom. Jaimini Bharata which is also popular all over India for the Aswamedha parva, is also available in Telugu. Pillalamarri Pinaveerabhadra Kavi, one of the eminent classical poets (ca 1485) rendered it into Telugu during the heydays of the Vijayanagara empire. The prose version of Jaimini Bharata is by Samukham Venkatakrishnappa, court poet of the Naik Kings at Madura in the early days of the 18th century.

In addition to the translations of the whole work, several kavyas have been written by eminent poets on different episodes like Draupadi Swayamvara or Subhadraharanam. Leaving these learned works apart, the real impact of the Mahabharata on the cultural life of the common people in Andhra can be judged by the host of ballads and songs in vogue as folk literature like Nala Charitra, Devayani Charitra, Dharma Raja's game of dice, Keechakavadha, Savitri Charitra Padmavyuha, Matsyagandhi-Parasara episode etc. In addition to Subhadraparinayam, the most popular Mahabharata theme in Andhra is Sasirekha Parinayam. According to legend, Balarama had a daughter, Sasirekha (called Surekha in northern India) on whom Abhimanyu had a strong claim since crosscousin marriage is quit frequent in Andhra and even obligatory in olden days. When Blarama arranges for her marriage with his disciple Duryodhana's son, Krishna plays a trick with the help of Ghatothkacha to unite the lovelorn cousins.

The story of Mahabharata translation into Telugu is incomplete without mentioning a fresh modern translation, single handed by a very eminent poet, Sripada Krishnamurthy Sastry (1866-1960) of Rajahmundry, the very city where Nannaya took up the task in the 11th century. It was a laudable attempt since he wanted to offer a verbatim translation of the whole epic to the Telugu people. Unfortunately the new version is yet to gain acceptance for two reasons. Traditionalists are guided by outmoded literary standards and younger poets like neither old themes nor long poems.


A more successful experiment in modern age was recasting the whole of the Mahabharata story into six plays by Tirupati Venkata Kavulu (Postea). Their Pandava Udyogam dealing with Krishna's embassy to the Kaurava court before the battle, contains verses in traditional metres which are known to every Andhra throughout the length and breadth of Telugu Nadu. In this latest and original version, these poets took a lot of liberties in characterisation unpalatable to the traditionalists. lEverybody will surely be liberated. But one should follow the instructions of the guru; if one follows a devious path, one will suffer in trying to retrace one’s steps. It takes a long time to achieve liberation. A man may fail to obtain it in this life. Perhaps he will realize God only after many births.

- Sri Ramakrishna

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->O V Vijayan is without a doubt one of India's finest novelists; his work is noted for its lyrical beauty and distinguished by its many layers of meaning. His debut novel, The Legends Of Khasak, created a sensation in Malayalam, marking the arrival of modernity in a literature that had hitherto been dominated by romanticism. Khasak is arguably the most influential work in Malayalam in the last 50 years, the seminal opus that liberated fiction writing there -- the works that followed were much more willing to take risks in form and content.

Later, The Infinity Of Grace (Gurusagaram) won the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award. His 1997 novel Generations (Thalamurakal) is a towering masterpiece, a superb family chronicle, yet to be translated into English.

Several of his works, including The Saga Of Dharmapuri, Khasak, Infinity and the short story collection, After The Hanging And Other Stories, are available in English from Penguin India. Viking Penguin recently brought out an omnibus edition of these works in English, all translated by the author: Selected Fiction.

I met Vijayan at his modest home in Secunderabad. On the gateposts it says simply, 'Theresa' and 'Vijayan' -- one on each post. I was afraid I was disturbing Vijayan and his wife -- they had expected me earlier in the day, and here I was arriving at around 10 pm. But they were most gracious.

Vijayan (OV his wife calls him) is tall and slender and slightly stooped, with a long, white, narrow beard. He tells me, apologetically, that he suffers from Parkinson's disease, which makes his voice weak. And he cannot control a pen. How ironic, I think, for a cartoonist and writer!

He asks me about the US -- his son is in Los Angeles. I ask him if he has visited there; he smiles ruefully and admits that he almost went, he even bought tickets but didn't go in the end. I tell him about San Francisco and Stanford and the Silicon Valley.

He is a charming host: attentive, thoughtful. I ask him about his political cartoons -- and he insists on showing me his portfolio from the 70's and 80's. Bitingly satirical, incisive. And oddly enough, some of them could be published today and would still be meaningful!

You have been writing for many years now and you have written a number of books. Do you have a favorite? For instance, I understand that when you received the Sahitya Akademi award for Infinity, you said you had deserved the honour for Khasak?

I may have been misquoted about this. I didn't exactly say this; but it is true that some members of the academy told me privately that when Khasak first came out, they couldn't relate to it or understand it, but that Infinity was much more acceptable.

Khasak was, of course, the book that I poured myself into. As my first novel, it will always be special to me. I had written a chapter and given it to the editor of Mathrubhoomi (a Malayalam weekly) for his review; but it ended up being printed as a short story in the magazine.

Generations is very close to my heart because it talks about places and people that are no more. I also wrote it with the foreboding -- my health is indifferent -- that I might not be able to complete it.

Weren't you also a journalist during your time in Delhi?

I have been writing for almost 40 years; I spent 35 years in Delhi as a political observer and a cartoonist for The Statesman, The Far Eastern Economic Review and other publications.

In looking at your work, you seem to have metamorphosed from a radical in Khasak to a transcendentalist in Infinity to perhaps a nationalist in Path Of The Prophet; and then you wrote the story of your ancestral family in Generations. What has influenced you and caused these changes?

The influences on me have changed as I myself changed and perhaps grew. When I started, I really didn't know what I was writing about, except that I experienced a great joy in the wild spaces of my native Palakkad and the solitude of the countryside. I was not even particularly conscious of it, but it certainly influenced the language and the very words that I used in Khasak. The sights and sounds were so powerful: the wind whistling through the Palakkad gap in the Western Ghats; the clattering of the black palm trees. As a writer, I was concentrating on the story and not on myself; and I have not analysed it much further.

Among Malayalam readers, a certain group, especially young men, has always been your biggest fan. Do you have a cult following, sort of like The Catcher In The Rye appeals to rebellious young Americans? How has Khasak been a consistent cult classic?

I acknowledge that there might be a similarity in the effect; but then, unlike Catcher, Khasak is not a rebellious book. It may be slightly dangerous to say this in today's charged atmosphere, but it has a subconscious Hindu framework. But the experiences of Khasak also incorporate and ingest the Muslim folk experience of Malabar.

Khasak is a difficult book.

It moves along, if you will, in a deeply emotional mode, in a constant search for cosmic mystery.

In the context of the sacred and the profane, let me ask about another book, not in the present collection: The Path Of The Prophet. The treatment of Sikhs, the story of the Gadar Party, of the Komagatu Maru -- it is stunning in its historicity and its emotional impact.

It became almost a theological essay; but it is transparent and an easier read. I lived through the 1984 riots in Delhi, when Sikhs were targeted. I termed it the lament of the first-born innocents -- they, who have done so much for India! People didn't understand it, branding Sikhs as terrorists.

Was it not a statement of protest? As are your other books?

Not really. In Khasak too, I was an anarchist, but there was no protest; if anything it was a soft and muted anarchy.

But Saga is definitely a novel of protest -- a predetermined offensive about the whole concept of the state, against war, consciously written about a future where the rights of the plant or the vegetable will be upheld. In some ways, it is anti-civilisation. As in some of the short stories, especially the ones about dystopias.

Saga was written before and after the Emergency; it was reacting to the Soviet-Indian left wing and its efforts to prop up both socialist-communist leaders and a political dynasty. My friend S K Nair agreed to serialise it, and started to before it was to be finished in July, 1975; of course, the Emergency was imposed in June, 1975, and the book went into hiding. Not knowing how long the Emergency would last, I meddled with the story a lot. They serialised it after the Emergency ended. When it was to be made into a book, I corrected some of the excesses and restored its aesthetic professionalism.

Saga was written in anger; it was a cleansing and catharctic experience.

You return to the Emergency in many short stories.

Yes, especially in those allegories of power: The Foetus, The Wart, The Examination and Oil. I kept them in cold storage until the end of the Emergency. I looked at tyranny in various forms; one as an organic quantity, as in Oil, then as allegory in The Foetus and The Wart and as comedy in The Examination.

In addition to the allegory, I quite liked the decent protagonist in The Wart, under attack from an implacable and omnipotent evil force in the form of a wart; one of the things I remember is the protagonist's memory of his ancestors and their Ayurvedic knowledge.

It was the story of one who could only resist in the spirit and that had a connection to the satvic past, which is what Dhanvantari indicates. Good triumphs over Evil eventually; The Foetus is redeemed with a lot of love; in The Wart, the triumph is more ambiguous.

The Foetus is a thinly veiled story of the excesses of Sanjay Gandhi and his cronies. Is it fair to say that you object to the Nehru dynasty?

No, that would not be accurate. The story should not to be reduced to the level of personal animosity towards anybody. It is only a take-off point to indicate human evil, evil in the state, evil in negating nature. There is no calling for retribution.

Speaking of evil and weapons of mass destruction, how do you react to India's entry into the nuclear club?

It baffles me; and I am neither for nor against. One cannot react to a Hiroshima, because the magnitude of the evil is so great that one's reaction inevitably comes across as false. In India's case, one could possibly say that the bomb has come to implement a certain part of one's destiny. Somewhat beyond the scope of one's understanding -- powers that we are not able to comprehend. Not necessarily divine, but great, unseen forces. I sometimes also wonder if the rich nations would like to incite atomic warfare amongst the poor nations: it would be a bizarre ethnic cleansing; easier and cleaner and more final the nuclear way.

Infinity, and some of the short stories of transcendence (such as Airport, Little Ones), surprised me because this is not what I expected from the author of Khasak. Did it surprise other people too?

Not many (laughs). Only those obsessed with ideology. You see, I was once a card-carrying Marxist, a candidate member, a coffeehouse type.

What caused you to break away from the left?

It's a long story; it began with the experiences in Hungary and Imre Nagy. I had always been a little uneasy about Stalin. And Czechoslovakia completed my disillusionment. That also made it difficult for me, as a writer, because my very words were associated with my left wing self-image. A brief period of stasis and then it was a simple act to walk into the realm of the spirit: it happened naturally and I have stuck to it ever since.

You moved into your transcendental mode before you wrote Infinity. Was this the influence of Karunakara Guru, whom you dedicate the book to? In Infinity, I expected that Kunjunni would find a guru, but he finds it in surprising places and in himself. It is a happy ending to a long quest.

There are elements that I am not able to understand fully -- in the search and in the transcendence there are elements of bhakti that cover and overcome the element of ideology in fiction. It is not necessary that I have become a religious person, but I have experienced in my own life things that must be termed magical, for want of a better word. My own search for a guru was perhaps effect, not cause: as my views changed, I felt the need for a guru to guide me.

You have written some of the most surprising short stories, such as The Little Ones, about invisible beings, benign spirits.

This was based on a dream I had, where I saw thousands of cowrie shells, illuminated as it were from inside. I believe there is magic around us; we just have to look for it.

Is Malabar magical, with its theyyams (folk dances with mystical connotations) and odiyans (shape-shifting wizards)?

We didn't actually have theyyams in Palakkad, but certainly there were odiyans who, it was believed widely, could cast spells on you.

I hate to even bring this up, because it is sort of the kiss of death, but have you been influenced by Latin American magical realism?

I wrote the surreal story of Appukkili (the retarded man in Khasak) in 1958, long before Gabriel Garcia Marquez was even published in English, which was in 1975. People have the tendency to suggest derivative work, so it makes writers defensive when you make such statements.

In reading your short stories, occasionally with the English and Malayalam versions side by side, I have sometimes thought they were actually better in English.

I am not sure they are better in English -- wouldn't you miss something of the background? Perhaps since you are already familiar with Kerala's cultural background, you find the English version appealing. It might be less so for others from outside the culture.

Are any of your books being made into films?

Some have been; I am willing to work with a director if we could really see eye to eye, and the essence of the work can be captured.

Someone like an Adoor Gopalakrishnan or an Aravindan, perhaps?

I worked with Adoor on one of the Film Festival committes; a very great artiste, one who is fully in control of his material. I knew Aravindan, of course, as a fellow-cartoonist. But we never actually worked towards filming one of my books.

I am astonished that you live in Hyderabad. Why did you move here from Delhi, and why aren't you in Kerala?

We moved here because my wife has family property -- this house. I felt Delhi was becoming meaningless; and, in Hyderabad, I feel out of place. I am seriously thinking of moving to Kerala. There is a problem -- I do get mobbed in Kerala, but it is home. Or it is one of my two homes, to be precise: Delhi being the other. But even when I was in Delhi, I wrote about Palakkad, remembering the dry Palakkadan wind whistling through the pass in the Ghats.

I have some problems of privacy in Kerala. People come up to me constantly -- it's sort of a celebrity status that is hard for me to deal with. But it's a humbling experience too. I find all kinds of people come and talk to me -- not just the middle class. Even when I travel by train, people come and tell me, 'Vijayan saar', how much they enjoy my work. It is gratifying that people in all walks of life are reading my books.

You were bereaved recently.

My sister passed away; and I could only go there to see her dead body. I cannot travel much. She was more than a sister, a playmate. We were very intimate. Her death affected me very much.

How about your work as a cartoonist?

I am thinking of publishing my old cartoons in book form; I am not doing any more at this time.

Perhaps you can recycle your old cartoons from the 1970s -- the things you said about Sonia Gandhi then seem to be coming true.

I must have been prescient (laughs).

What are you working on now?

A sequel, perhaps, to Generations; and I have begun the effort of translation into English. Unfortunately, given my inability to physically hold a pen, I must dictate my writing. I used to have a secretary who did this well, but he has left. This makes it very difficult and my progress is very slow. I am sort of struggling with the technology -- my son suggests I should get a dictaphone to do my dictation, but I am a bit of a technophobe.

How was Generations received in Kerala?

With very high regard: I read a number of appreciative reviews and the reading public liked it too, not only the critics. Although it was considered a little heavy, and some of the Marxists didn't like me poking a little fun at them. There were underlying levels and it was a multi-layered narrative, although structurally it was a very simple story.

How much of your own life and your ancestral family are in Generations?

There is a certain element of autobiography, including some stories that are family legends, but there is a significant element of fiction and imagination. The House Of Ponmudi is based on my ancestral family, the tharavad. Even when I was a child, the family home had been alienated. It was a magical house. But I remember how I found the deity from the family temple, a non-anthromorphic deity, shaped like an inverted pyramid, sort of thrown in the trash.

One of the primary themes in Generations seems to be caste.

I was not even aware of caste and prejudices until I went to college, because I had a privileged, upper middle class upbringing even though I belong to the 'backward caste' Ezhava community. But caste is still a major part of our lives: I have come to that realisation. It certainly was a major factor in the lives of my ancestors.

Moreover, I think caste will persist; not the rigid, inflexible system we have had, which is really casteism. But, because of inherent differences among people, we will always have these differences which become institutionalised in caste.

You sort of gave the book a happy ending, even though it is a tragic story.

It was not a contrived happy ending; it made me feel good. It was a vision of a non-racial and compassionate future. It was optimistic and pessimistic at the same time.

I wrote in a review of Generations that you deserved the Jnanpith for the body of your work. How do you react to that?

(Laughs) I accept all statements that are nice to me. But U R Ananthamurthy said recently that the literary establishment had not been quite fair to Vijayan. So maybe there is hope...

How about the Nobel Prize?

Well, I haven't lobbied for it. Do you know how one goes about lobbying for the Prize (laughs)? I know Vaikom Mohammed Basheer got nominated for it, but I also understand there were many derogatory comments made about him at the time.

And Vijayan indicated the interview was over. As a parting gift, he gives me two of his books -- Khasak and Prophet in Malayalam. He inscribes them, with obvious difficulty in holding his pen, "To Rajeev, with love." I am touched by his kindness and I leave, wishing I could somehow help him with his problem of transcription. I intend to return to Hyderabad to speak some more with this charming and extraordinarily interesting man, one of the greatest living masters of Indian fiction.

Voluntary work


Quote:Indian sound recordings bring history to life

By Mark Dummett

BBC News, Delhi

A collection of Indian sound recordings from the early 20th Century, which has never been made public before, has been put online and is available to download free.

The recordings were made by British colonial officers as part of a massive effort to study hundreds of different languages and dialects spoken in Britain's Indian Empire, which in those days stretched from the frontier with Afghanistan all the way into Burma.

The gramophone records were only recently tracked down, gathering dust in the British Library, by Professor Shahid Amin of Delhi University.

"This is a unique collection and that it has gone online is a thing to be celebrated," he told the BBC.

"We didn't just want to put the recordings on to CDs and then leave them in a research centre," he said.

"The people who really know these languages might be living in a village. They too can go to a cyber cafe and listen to these voices from the past."

Almost 250 gramophone records in all have been digitised and put on to the website of the Digital South Asia Library, which is run by the University of Chicago and the Centre for Research Libraries.

They contain songs and stories in 97 different languages and dialects compiled between 1913 and 1929.

Recording them all was a mammoth project, which involved a single gramophone operator criss-crossing the subcontinent.

His cut-glass English accent can be heard introducing each new narrator and singer, who themselves sometimes had to travel hundreds of kilometres.

The archive includes the only known recording of a famous "dastango", or storyteller of Delhi, Bakr Ali, whose stories normally lasted for hours, rather than the three and half minutes that could be put on to a gramophone record.

The Indian government hoped that the sound archive, complemented by 19 volumes of text, could be used to teach trainee civil servants from Britain the language of the region in which they were about to serve.

To help the British compare the different languages, a single, standard text was also translated and its narration recorded.

The project was known as the Linguistic Survey of India. The man behind it, George Grierson, chose the Biblical passage The Parable of the Prodigal Son to be this text.

Prof Amin says that perhaps this was not very appropriate for a country with relatively few Christians.

"Grierson really coyly remarks in a footnote that this was the best thing because here you have all the three tenses, past, present and future and all the three persons in a relatively short story," Prof Amin said.

"That was fine for a grammatical exercise. The real problem was that not everyone knew the story."

Prof Amin describes Grierson as a "linguistic genius" who dedicated decades of his life to this project.

But after his retirement from the Indian Civil Service the recordings disappeared into obscurity - until now.


Have the Iliad and Odyssey been translated into Hindi or other desi languages?

Hektar-badho, in Bangla by Michael Madhusudan Datta in 1871

Homernum-iliad, in Gujarati by F B Karani in 1888

Sanskrit, began in mid of 1700s under Bajirav II, did not complete


1897, under same title, in Kannada
(Years laterSmile ^What?^ The Iliad etc in Indian languages? Fortunately/Mwahahahaha, I don't need that. 'Cause my sister used to narrate entire passages from both Epics to me (and from other ancient GR material) in the original. :win: (She'd translate afterwards of course, since I couldn't understand G or even L. But even if she hadn't followed her narrations up with her translation of what was just said, I'd have listened willingly: both G&L sound very pleasing to mine ears, and made more so when rendered by my sister's pleasant voice and her enthusiasm for the material.)


[color="#0000FF"]I was recently contemplating how Hindoos - and their current state - reminded me of the Tanooki from Pom Poko in so many ways[/color], while also admiring the latter for its many qualities and insights (several of which have seeped into my understanding in a subconscious way, rather than directly - attests to PP's brilliance).

Then I saw the following at the Rajeev2004 blog today, and it reminded me once more of PP, and its creators: why it is natural that the Japanese would have made it and made it the way they did. And the following also clarified suspicions I had in how the christo-conditioned western experience and understanding of PP would invariably be incomplete and that they would only be able to approach it as outsiders, since contrary to their perception of its "novelty"/uniqueness, PP's more than a "novel cultural" take on the situation it deals with: it's actually the product of innately-heathen minds (and hence explains the medium/POV chosen and the various ways this is presented and the aspects focused on). The heathenness of the minds behind it is obvious not just from the mere facts that the Tanooki is a special/sacred Shinto animal and that animals are considered a part of the religious world in Shinto, but even from the Japanese creators' ease of choice in the POV and the "self-evidential" way they go about presenting this, including the range of scenes included: it may have a wistful ending and the underlying situation may be more serious than its lighthearted protagonists enact it as, but there's some truly striking moments in there. Next to the heathen ones (like the hold of heathenism over the Japanese humans, which the heathen Tanooki try to turn to their advantage), there's the delightfully endearing take on romance and family life - including a sense of romance and family life in animals. (Actually, one of the scenes reminded me of a shloka in the SL.)

Anyway, the article on Rajeev2004. (It's because it's somewhat about language that I figured this would be the thread for it. Especially as there's no "Animals" thread on IF.)


Quote:Seeing Through Cultural Bias in Science [no, white western experience should not be the universal norm]

Not only in science but in every form of discourse. This is why English is a curse as well as a blessing. It is a mask of conquest. For instance just take the expression 'Holy Land'. Whose holy land is the west Asian desert? Not mine, for sure.

On Jun 10, 2012 4:07 AM, "sri wrote:

Quote:Seeing Through Cultural Bias in Science

Jul. 4, 2002


Most people now accept that fields like politics and journalism

reflect and perpetuate cultural bias. Yet we imagine science as free

of unexamined cultural assumptions. This is more or less true for some

fields - say, chemistry or physics. My own corner of science,

ethology, or the study of animal behavior, is certainly not pristine.

How we look at animals reflects how we view ourselves. The founder of

Japanese primatology, Kinji Imanishi, could attest to this. Imanishi

argued that nature is inherently harmonious rather than competitive,

with species forming an ecological whole. This rather un-Darwinian

perspective so upset a British paleontologist, the late Beverly

Halstead, that in 1984 he traveled to Kyoto to confront Imanishi.

Unconstrained by first-hand knowledge of Imanishi's works, which were

never translated, Halstead told him that his theory was "Japanese in

its unreality."

What compelled Halstead to be so rude? Why did he later write an

article criticizing not just Imanishi's views, but his country? Why

did " Nature, " one of the most prestigious journals in science,

publish it, in 1985, beneath the patronizing assertion that the

"popularity of Kinji Imanishi's writings in Japan gives an interesting

insight into Japanese society"? Could not the same be said of Darwin's

theory of unremitting competition, which grew out of a society giving

birth to free-market capitalism?

Even if Imanishi's ecological and evolutionary ideas were problematic,

he and his followers were right about quite a lot. In fact, well

before Halstead's contemptuous pilgrimage, Western ethologists began

adopting Eastern concepts and approaches--although without being aware

of their sources. To understand how this could occur is to appreciate

the role of different cultural assumptions about the relations between

humans and animals and how linguistic hegemony affects science.

Eastern philosophy has no counterpart to Plato's "great chain of

being," which places humans above all other animals. In most Eastern

belief systems, the human soul can reincarnate in many shapes and

forms. A man can become a fish and a fish can become God. There are no

grounds in Eastern thought for resisting the central idea of

evolutionary theory: that all animals are historically linked.

Unlike in the West, this acceptance of evolution was never tainted by

hubris or an aversion to acknowledging human-like characteristics in

animals. Japanese primate researchers assumed that each individual

animal had a distinct personality, and they did not hesitate to give

their subjects names. They plotted kinship relationships over multiple

generations, believing that primates must have a complex family life,

just like us.

They did all of this well before any Western scientist thought of it.

In 1958, when Imanishi and his students toured the US to report their

findings, they were ridiculed for humanizing their subjects and for

believing that they could distinguish between all those monkeys. The

Western view of apes regarded them as akin to Rousseau's "noble

savage" - autonomous individuals, devoid of social ties and

obligations, driven by instinct to swing haphazardly from one fruit

tree to the next.

But while Jane Goodall was describing female chimpanzees and their

dependent offspring as the only socially bonded units in the primate

world, a Japanese team, working only 130 kilometers away, eventually

proved that chimpanzees live in large communities with stable

memberships. We now know that chimpanzee society is male-bonded, and

there is ample evidence of territorial warfare between communities.

The initial discovery arose from the assumption that chimpanzees, so

close in evolution to humans, could not be as "individualistic" as

Western science supposed.

The same initial assumption led Imanishi in 1952 to suggest that

animals might have culture, which he reduced to its lowest common

denominator: the social rather than genetic transmission of behavior.

If individuals learn from one another, over time their behavior may

diverge from that of other groups, thus constituting a distinct


We now know that cultural learning among animals is widespread,

including birdsong, the use of tools by chimpanzees, and the hunting

techniques of whales. Yet only a few decades ago, some Western

professors forbade their students even to make reference to papers by

Japanese colleagues! How could a cultural outlook that the West

treated with such raw condescension - even in 1985 - simultaneously

shape Western science so profoundly?

The answer lies in language. A single language for scientific papers

and conferences is clearly desirable, and the language of

international science is English. Good scientific ideas formulated in

bad English either die or get repackaged. Like a Hollywood

interpretation of a French novel, their origins become erased. Eastern

thinking could creep into ethology unnoticed partly because it

filtered into the literature through awkward formulations and

translations that native English speakers found it easy to improve on.

The problem is not the English language per se [color="#800080"](not in this matter, though it is in others)[/color], but the attitude and

behavior of many native speakers. Naturally, you speak and write your

own language faster and more eloquently than any other, and this can

place scientists whose English is poor at a severe disadvantage.

Imanishi's influence is now pervasive - all primate scientists have

adopted the technique of following individuals over time, and animal

culture is the hottest topic in our field. But Imanishi's writings are

rarely, if ever, cited. We should not wonder at the difficulties that

other cultural and linguistic groups must experience in gaining a

voice and proper acknowledgment in science.

Posted by nizhal yoddha at 6/10/2012 01:36:00 AM 0 comments Links to this post

I think the modern west is very uncomfortable with animals. Recollect that Henry Beston - with his very poetically stated views on animals (reproduced in the vegetarianism thread I think), and on nature in general - was influenced in his views in no small measure by a native American community, the Navaho I think. But that was obvious, wasn't it? After all, his is not a naturally "western" view - i.e. it cannot be naturally-derived in someone who is a product of a christoconditioned society. There was clearly a heathen influence behind it, and the fingerprint was moreover clearly native American, and this straightforward supposition predictably proved to be true.
3 items at the rajeev2004 blog from some time back that touched on language.

Can't believe it took Indians this long to work out that what was so long touted as India's great "advantage" over many another Asian country - our supposed proficiency in English (which in the Indian case was definitely metamorphosing into the deadly monolingualism of a moreover *alien* language) - was actually our death knell. [Gee, ya didn't need a crystal ball to work that out, if you just had your eyes open to the obvious erosion going on in plain sight.] Meanwhile in Asian countries, they are becoming excellent at English and other European and Asian languages, without killing their own for it (i.e. without loss of their own identity).



Quote:Friday, October 05, 2012

Putting An End To The Macaulay Chapter

It is the equation of "English" and "Modernity" that must be broken. In this context, India would do well by taking a leaf out of the books of China and Japan who have developed all the trappings of modernity – heavy industry, a dynamic economy and improved standards of living – without embracing the English language as the pre-eminent mode of instruction in the modern subjects. It is no paradox that those non-Western peoples who have fared best out of the encounter with modernity are precisely those who have kept English at bay. As Altaf observes, “learning a language and learning in a language are two very different things.”

CRI: Standing Upon the Ruins of the Macaulite Project: India, The English Language and the Need for a Native Idiom of Intellectual Discourse

[color="#FF0000"]Something to ponder: For some, the great thing about retail FDI is that it opens it up for our English educated class (MBAs, 'retail experts') ... in a sector currently dominated by native speakers[/color]

Posted by Inferno at 10/05/2012 08:11:00 PM No comments: Links to this post

Labels: colonialism, Macaulay

But it's too late to complain. Why whine now? A hundred years from now, give or take, the anglicised progressives are going to lament the loss of their languages and threaten to "rediscover" them, as can only happen to dead languages and to a dead people.

2. The bold bit in the final line is what's so telling.

Quote:no surprise! they only need them *before* they convert | Church discriminates against dalit priests

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Radha Rajan

Date: Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Subject: Church discriminates against dalit priests



The protesters questioned the motive for suspending six dalit priests.

Posted on October 8, 2012, 8:30 AM

File photo of dalit Christians protesting

Rameswaram: Dalit Christians reportedly indulged in violence over non-inclusion of priests from their community in the silver jubilee celebrations of a church in Tamil Nadu.

They blocked some 200 priests and nuns in a procession to the Oriyur Punitha Arulanandhar Church in Tiruvadanai near Rameswaram, said parish priest Fr. Susai Manickam.

The protesters questioned the motive for suspending the six Dalit priests.

They also said that they would not allow celebrations unless the priests were included in special prayers.

Police said the protesters indulged in violence, broke festoons and street lights.

Church officials decided to suspend the celebrations to hold talks with the dalits as tension prevailed in the ares and negotiations with them failed.

Meanwhile people in seven coastal hamlets in Rameswaram hoisted black flags in support of dalit Christians and demanded that they be allowed to participate in the rituals.

They also hoisted black flags at the [color="#FF0000"]Paraloka matha church[/color] in the island in protest, police said.

Posted by nizhal yoddha at 10/08/2012 11:05:00 AM No comments: Links to this post


"Paraloka matha" church. <- Notice how samskritam becomes totally acceptable to the seemingly anti-Samskritam tamizh "dravoodian" and "dalit" movements when it is inculturated upon by christianism. This just further exposes dravoodianism and "dalit" movements as no more than christianism in disguise, trying to dismantle Hindu religion alone.

Christianism - even in TN - has no issue with samskritam. It is very much open to inculturation on it. Christianism's real objection is that *Hindus* should know Samskritam and that Tamizh Hindus should recognise it as their own. Their intention is to break Hindu identity and temporal and spatial continuity (i.e. Hindus relation to their Hinduness through time and space).

Christianism eagerly erodes the tamizh language in TN too, attempting to replace it with inglish, all while propagating tamizh as christianism's language in TN and SL.

Just an aside: A silly christian Indian woman from TN who works here could be seen "collecting" kollam designs (I think they call kollam "rangoli" in Hindi, is it?) She clearly imagines these are some "vanilla"-tamizh or "Indian" culture, except they are specifically *Hindoo* being deeply Hindoo religious in nature. <- Something which the dimwitted christian convert sheep in India won't realise, of course. Nor would they want to: they need to encroach on "culture" because christianism has none to give them, and the last thing they want is to admit to realising that everything of value that is advertised as "Indian" or even local (say "tamizh") "culture" is actually Hindoo religion.

3. rajeev2004.blogspot.com/2012/09/gurcharan-das-do-we-value-scholarship.html

Quote:gurcharan das: Do we value scholarship?

Gurcharan Das’s column in today’s Times of India quotes professor Pollock of Columbia University to suggest that “India is about to become the only major world culture whose literary patrimony, and indeed history, are in the hands of scholars outside the country.”


Two things:

a. Didn't NS Rajarum get all hysterical when lecturing Hindus that they should give up scholarship in their own religion (including language and history, since Hindu religion is tied intimately to both)? I suppose it's possible that eventually Rajarum will u-turn and bow to Pollock's assessment and change his tune, since a supposedly "greater mind"* has declared it is so.

* Pollock is foreign and of some sort of European origin I presume, so Rajarum is likely to respect Pollock far more than he would any Hindus advocating the retention of native Hindoo scholarship. After all, Rajarum has a massive self-loathing issue going on. I'm not saying Rajarum doesn't demonstrate an ego the size of an oceanic mountain - considering he lectures Hindoos as a class apart from him and that he himself can do no wrong, therefore - he only hates *Hindu* identity. And since his ancestors were Hindu, I use the word "self" in "self-loathing" to describe his issue. He hates his inherited Hindu identity in him and hates its continuity in others who do not suffer from his affliction and who would therefore not capitulate to his assessment thereof.

b. Pollock's gloating is hollow:

- It's not merely premature: contrary to his own wishes and consonant with Rajarum's fears, Hindoo scholarship is Still Alive and Still Kicking. [By which I mean only *Hindoo* scholarship and not wannabe-Hindoo scholarship (there's a major difference).]

- It is unfounded:

When Hindus extinct themselves by extincting their knowledge of their languages in themselves (language is connected to identity and recollection, understanding and perception of our collective identity; I'm not going to argue this point. I think I'd already done that long ago on this or an Skt thread)

When Hindus extinct themselves by extincting their knowledge of their languages in themselves - extincting themselves as Hindoos in the process - the extinction will NOT make aliens the "experts" on any Hindoo matters (language or history) "by default". No. It merely extincts all such knowledge for all of the planet for all time.

It's akin to how we don't, can't and won't "become Hellenes" by reading Hellenistic works and understanding them. We're not Hellenes and we never had their perception. Our understanding of them will always be - at its best - second hand. It's how Hindus are the only ones who can be expert Hindus.

Anyway, Pollock's ill-judged but over-eager mis-assessment of the situation remind me of a portion of the lyrics to a sort of love song I was rather attached to when I was a teen (aka a *long* time ago). The original lyrics were a bunch of words tied together to make them rhyme and sound pretty and profound - lyricist Gore preferred form to substance (so do I: I prefer sound/music to the meaning of the words; it's just the way I am. Although I'd like words to make sense too, that is a secondary wish and need not be satisfied). Anyway, the relevant part of the lyrics has suddenly gained some meaning in the context of Pollock - and indology in general, and so too of all alien dabbling in Hindoo religion, its language and its texts. I quote from memory below (but I think I remember the lyrics to the song very well, for predictable reasons) - and a shout to all the DM fans out there:

Quote:All the clerks and the tailors

The [color="#0000FF"]sharks[/color] and the sailors

Are good at their trades but...

[color="#0000FF"]They'll *always* be failures[/color]
(Emphasis mine.)

Dabbling in other people's stuff will Never An Expert Make. Aliens will forever - at most and at best - be dabblers, dabbling in Others' Stuff.

So even in the worst case scenario where Hindoos extinct (such as by death of their Hindoo identity, their heathenism), Hindoos still win. And Pollock et al's haughty gloating remains empty. For all time.

Because, all of this - this being a living religion to Hindoos, demonstrated as a living religion by Hindoos - lives and dies with the Hindoos.

Oh, and by the way, Pollock should rather be concerning himself about the very real impending extinction of languages (and identities) of various European languages of ancient antecedents. I work in a field where lots of professors come to lecture us about the near-extinction (and attempt at retention/preservation) of their own ancestral European languages, also faced with the unrelenting march of English and the English-language mind-set. Their histories - which also fell into the hands of English-speakers- were very much rewritten by the English also.

Further, several major European languages have already quit the race to keep themselves as leading-edge languages, also in favour of yielding to English, and that means they're just some time away from a form of extinction too.

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