Rohan Murty defends the choice of Pollock (as expected) with the following words:
"The root of the problem, he said, is that there aren't more scholars in India capable of carrying out such translations from ancient literature."
So he admits what I have said, namely, that the Murthys and their supporters believe Indians are not up to the job of Indology. Firstly, is this true? Secondly, if true, is it curable with a program to upgrade the quality and quantity of Indology in India? Or is it some kind of inferiority we Indians inherently have compared to Westerners?
If it is curable, then all the more we ought to bring about this upgrade in India's own Indology. To feed US Indology is shortsighted, and makes the gap even worse.
1. Are there NO SCHOLARS in India capable to carry out such a work?
2. Rohan Murthy seems to have evaluated whole of Indian scholars to make such a CONCLUSIVE remark.
3. On the statement below in italics, Did Murthy make a public announcement of his library and did he call for all the scholars and make an evaluation before settling in for Pollock?
"Murty said not one of the signatories had approached him since he launched the library and questioned the timing of the petition instead. What stopped any of these people from getting in touch with me? Not one single person came forward, which is incredible,"
He also (arrogantly) believes that it wasn't his due diligence needed re: how many insider scholars exist etc. rather it is incumbent on those scholars themselves to engage with him before he undertook such project.
All this points to the same dogma "have money will do" and because I can throw $ therefore I'm not the one lacking in research but others are (!)
Only solution for such deep rooted anti samskrti is for insider movement to devalue products resulting from this "library" by presenting authentic alternatives.
Until then arrogant rich boys will keep referring to genuine samskrt and India based scholars as "peanut gallery"...
The potential damage that could be inflicted by a person who carries such deep biases(replete in his earlier papers).
I would have expected a well intentioned person to explain/devise a mechanism that prevents such problems. Instead, he deftly deflects the question by digressing to JNU. This for me suggests some degree of complicity. (Alas, this petition didn't happen before the JNU issue).
Murty (s) should simply say that their business interest in USA has forced them to take Pollack. They should be just a businessmen and should not try to judge something of which they do not know even 'a'. I will leave the world of academic if Mr. Murty(s) can read out one para of Sanskrit text or one hymn from any of the Vedas. Money does not make one scholar or intellectual.
Look at their attitude! USA does not have even fraction of what India has in terms of Sanskrit scholarship. Let Murty(s) carry "white man's burden and be their slave -- both mentally and physically", but should not impose it on nation. Many of you may recall that N. Murty spent a huge money and many articles came to be written in magazines and news papers that he is the right person to be the President of India. My God!
Here is a suggestion. Boycott being part of Murty-Pollack project in any way -- be it translation, editing, writing or even reading and citing. No one can stop you doing that.
N Murthy's Son Ii Law is a Conservative member of British Parliament. His business model is still based on labor arbitrage for which easy visa regime is a necessity. He was a member of Ford Foundation and also was on NDTV board. NDTV has close connections with Communists and Congress.
So, Hindus should not expect anything from him.In fact should be vary of his willingness to harm Hindu civilization for personal reasons. More important issue is to inform our own about the BI forces and our own elites propensity to be in bed with Hinduphobic forces.
The least we can do is to popularize TBFS and ensure that our children do not take any courses in South Asian, Hinduism courses from any American Univ. Boycott the courses, then South Asianites will be under pressure and learn about hinduism from AVG, Chinmaya Mission or traditional Indian Scholars.
1. Why do the (English-speaking) elite believe that India lacks the scholars? And why are they so miserly in growing Indian scholarship?
2. The problem of inadequate number of scholars (i.e., India has some great scholars, but far too few for a country of the size of India) can be highlighted.
What about the non-English elite, exemplified by PM Modiji think, and what do they plan to do about it?
3. That in turn leads to the whole question - what is the track that India has been on since Independence? How did India get into the position that it now seems to have to outsource the preservation popularization of its cultural DNA? What have the whole cohort of Romila Thapar and others been doing all these so many years? Isn't the failure of modern Indian universities highlighted? And most important, what is India going to do about it?
This beautiful opening to raise all these issues to a national debate and increasing public consciousness should not be lost by slinging about ad hominem attacks. This is no longer dismissable as some Hindutva thing; the problem of sustaining the Indian samskriti has been pointed out by no less than the Murtys.
Look at it: one, give some long-missing recognition to Indian scholars who can do the translations of high quality. Two, that there may not be enough to do the 500 books in the stipulated period may be highlighted, and the cause for this situation may be discussed. Three, what will the government, and philantropists and universities and people do to remedy the situation? And so on.
Please, ultimately, the samskriti is not in these books or in the shastras; it is in the practice. Rajivji is struggling to bring back purva-paksha, please try to practice it in as many situations as you can. All the shastras and literature of the past are the end-product of these and other practices we have forgotten, and not the cause. The paw mark in the soil shows the passage of a tiger, we want to revive the tiger, more paw marks will follow. What we have are the literary traces of a great civilization, merely cherishing its paw marks will not revive it.
Money is yours. Choice is yours. Several secular people before Pollock has tried to misinterpret our culture and this is another attempt. But this time it is huge because of your money power and internet age. You choose insider or outsider that is your choice.
But being Indian whenever people like you fund secular translation of our indian heritiage we as an insider and practitioner has full right to stand and stop you. Ultimately it is not about only money and profit of yours but about mis-interpretation of culture.
Unfortunately because of foreign education your mind trusted secular / foreigners more than the practioner and you instead of doing due dilignece and research of scholars here in India you took shortest popular route. So you chose the best of the Ameria! And now saying that in India we do not have scholars to do the kind of work which you are doing.
In india you will find all kind of people. They can do secular translation for you and secred also. But I think you were looking for a person who can do secular translation of our heritage.