Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Manasa Taramgini on Sheldon Pollock

Read this like a story from the Panchatantra. Quote:

Pollock is the most interesting of all the American Indologists alive today, but surprisingly the least known to the average Hindu, despite having been given the padma-shrI puraskAr by the secular government of India. On one side Pollock is the opposite of Doniger – he is a solid scholar who has pursued key avenues of Hindu thought that were begging to be pursued. When I first started looking into these lines of Hindu historical development there was no Indian or western student pursuing them. Then I discovered Pollock and, to give due credit, found him to be taking the course that needed to be taken. In fact Pollock’s studies cut down several fantasies of some of the white Indologists including Doniger (as Agrawal has correctly noticed) and the German gang. However, Pollock is no saint – in fact despite seeing the truth before his face (and perhaps privately acknowledging it, for he appears neither schizophrenic nor dumb) he spins of web of well-crafted obfuscations to deface Hindu history.

Let us look at a well-known example from Pollock that has been repeatedly quoted by other Hindu-hating dasyu-s in raising rabble about Hindus and their political institutions.

Pollock wrote an essay on the historical awareness and interest in the rAmAyaNa among the Hindu elite (rAmAyaNa and the Political Imagination in India, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol 52, No.2 1993). Here Pollock claimed that the rAmAyaNa has been a key part of the Hindu awareness and has inspired Hindu political systems for at least a 1000 years.

Even as Pollock was making this claim, other assorted mlechCha Indologists and Hindu haters claimed that the interest in Ayodhya was due to Ramanand Sagar’s popular Hindi TV serial on the itihAsa. Now various Hindus pointed out that Ramanand had little to do with the popularity of the rAmAyaNa and the popularity of his TV serial was because the epic is one of the first things a real Hindu learns in his life. Several people saw Pollock’s position as supporting the Hindu position that rAmachandra’s life and thereby Ayodhya had been important to the Hindus even before Babar had demolished the temple to build his eye-sore of a “disputed structure”.

Filled with indignation, Lorenzen, a mlechCha well-known for his studies on kApAlika-s and kAlAmukha-s, declared the essay of Pollock to be “deeply flawed”. This shows how the mlechCha-s are sensitive to even the slightest chance of the Hindu position being reality. However, Pollock, as a true-blooded, Malhotran U-turning mlechCha clarified that his article was woefully misinterpreted and that it was really meant as a critique of Hindu nationalism and of the “instrumentalization” of the rAmAyaNa for political dominance and manipulation by the Hindu elite. Once he clarified the matter, Pollock’s article became dear to the assorted South Asianist dasyu-s who have no better business than to meddle in our affairs.

Says Pollock:

“If the rAmAyaNa has served for 1,000 years as a code in which proto-communalists relations could be activated and theocratic legitimation could rendered…it makes sense that it would be through this mytheme par excellence that reactionary politics in India today would find expression in the interests of a theocratization of the state and the creation of an internal enemy as necessary antithesis.”
There can be little doubt that Pollock is very clear in his conclusion here. Yet, elsewhere in an interview to another Hindu-hater Pollock states:

“Of course, every imperial ruler shared the same basic goals. They wanted to beat up a lot of people and take their money. But they all did it in different ways–Augustus and Darius said they did it because god was on their side, whether Jupiter or Ahura Mazda, and he had granted them the title to the whole world. But no one in South Asia ever appointed a divine real estate agent–it’s a very important distinction in the history of political thought.”
So the man is master of what our yavana cousins called eristics! This is his device of obfuscation of Indic history by talking both ways and trying to present the facts and at the same time be a true-blood member of the mlechCha academia that gangs up against Hindus to sign instruments like the vatsala-patrikA.