Western Indology and Its Quest for Power

Infinity Foundation India conducted two conferences in the recent past (in July 2016 and February 2017) which examined the impact of some of the writings of Prof. Sheldon Pollock of Columbia University. While the first conference had four themes, the second had six more; and all these ten topics pertained to the interpretations proffered by Pollock. While there is no intention of, or point in, targeting particular individuals the focus on Pollock was due to the fact that he is the most formidable of the American Orientalists today, and his views and interpretations.… Read Volume Editorial.

Śāstras Through the Lens of Western Indology – A Response

As noted in the Volume Editorial of the first volume (Western Indology and its Quest for Power, 2017), two Swadeshi Indology conferences were conducted by IFI (Infinity Foundation India) in 016 July and 2017 February, which sought to examine some of the writings of Professor Sheldon Pollock of Columbia University. The first conferences had four themes, and the second one had six more.It goes without saying that there has been no intention of targetting one individual. It only happens that Pollock is the most formidable of the American Orientalists today… Read Volume Editorial.

Reclaiming Ramayana: Disentangling the Discourses

It is typical of Western scholars to treat Indian Itihāsa-s and Purāṇa-s on par with their own epics – viz. the poems of Homer (dated around 8th c. BCE). But Dr. V. Raghavan, one of the finest Sanskrit scholars of the last century, had already cautioned: “To place the two Indian epics on a par with Homer or Virgil is to ignore how the Indian poems have been adored and how they have moulded the character and faith of the people”. Brockington is not unaware of the prejudices that alien labels such as “epics” may inject into readers’ minds.Already by the time of Plato… Read Volume Editorial.

Western Indology on Rasa: A Pūrvapakṣa

As has been indicated in the Series Editorial, and in the Volume Editorials of the earlier volumes, Western Indology has steadily endeavoured for two centuries (and with a great deal of success) to take full control of Indic studies. Alaṅkāra-śāstra (the discipline in Sanskrit that studies the very concept of literature in its origins as well as effects) has been flourishing in India easily for over two thousand years, and the Rasa Theory propounded by this śāstra, with greater and greater ramifications and clarifications through centuries, has much to contribute… Read Volume Editorial.

The Land Of Dharma

The collection opens with the essay by Ravi Joshi and Yamuna Harshavardhana in which the two authors set out the task of disaffirming the Myth of Dravidian-Aryan Divide by challenging the deeply contentious AIT theory (along with its very questionable methodology) by examining and critiquing the writings of (1) George L. Hart (Professor of Tamil language at the University of California, Berkeley), (2) Robert E. Frykenburg (Professor of History and South Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison), and (3) E.V. Ramasamy Naicker. The authors bring out the internal differences between Tamil Nadu on the… Read Volume Editorial.

Fount Of Culture

Since the dawn of civilization it appears that there were many pockets of human habitation, inter-spersed with vast tracts of dense forest in India. In the days when people were still nomadic, it is easy to imagine that different groups moving in different directions would cover great distances within a few generations so that by the time they found advantage in a more settled life with cultivated fields and livestock, settlements may have come up quite independently in many places at around the same time. Human migration in and out of the Indian subcontinent seems to go far back to prehistoric times and was a gradual but… Read Volume Editorial.