In the first part, we talked about Susruta and who he was and how present-day politics which is polarised along communal lines, to say the least, reacts at any mention of people like him and what they achieved.
This is the second part of the article where we shall examine how a Western man speaks with a forked tongue on issues regarding our civilization because he has no “skin in the game”.
Now, in India, largely only leftists choose humanities as a discipline to pursue as part of their academics. This would have been perfectly alright and indeed necessary (if one accepts that education has to be pigeonholed into watertight disciplines and compartments) to bring to the fore all that was right with our culture and tradition and also all that needs to change. This is how one builds a grand narrative of their nation. But far from it, India is the only place where humanities courses follow and are only theories and ideologies imported from the West. So, you will find that most humanities students are votaries of things like postmodernism, subalternism, feminism and whatever other “progressive” “ism” that is the gift of the West. And over and above these fads, they definitely have to subscribe to Hinduphobia.
The Indian state has created no incentives for learning Sanskrit or offering courses on India and its civilizational evolution.
It is absolutely uncool to talk about dharmic achievements in fields of science, engineering and so on with such people. A person who does so is branded as bhakt, Hindutvavadi, troll, fascist, regressive and whatever other negative complicated sounding adjectives that such humanities folks freely use.
But if a Western person endorses Indian culture, they are absolutely bowled over. Then there is no question about India’s prowess. The craving for Western endorsement is unnaturally high. For example, the same Susruta and his craft at rhinoplasty (discussed in part 1) is covered in the below video by well known Indologist Prof. Dominik Wujastyk.
Prof. Dominik Wujastyk is an expert in Sanskrit linguistics and is extremely appreciative of the Indian expertise. It is a great video and Prof. Wujastyk as the expert explains the very same Susruta method for rhinoplasty in a very engaging fashion. He is credited with having translated the Susrutasamhita from a copy of the Sanskrit manuscript preserved in a museum in London. The characters in the video are all westerners and the expert is also western. The video is presented to cater to a primarily western audience with Prof. Wujastyk being granted the right to speak for a Sanskrit text. There is no problem per se in this and India and Hindus must appreciate that he has showcased India’s ancient prowess in medicine. However, why is it that there are no Indians doing this?
In the land of Susruta, all one hears is denigration and ridicule of India’s ancient accomplishments because a class of people wants to believe they are more scientific and rational than the scientists themselves. This is compounded by the problem that the Indian state has created no incentives for learning Sanskrit or offering courses on India and its civilizational evolution. Thus, India is willingly and voluntarily transferring adhikar of interpreting her culture to “no skin in the game” western Indologists. For Prof. Wujastyk, interpreting this text is part of his means of earning his livelihood as a Sanskrit professor. In this case, he has been correct in giving Indians, more particularly Hindus, their due but the question is why should Indians learn about themselves from a White man? Why have they neglected their own heritage?
It was generally conceded by scholars that the Aryan Invasion Theory had no legs to stand on.
The same Prof Wujastyk in another case demonstrates that he is least concerned about what the demonization of a living civilization that he professes to study, is doing to the civilization itself. He and his fellow Indologists have completely distorted and twisted the writings and legacy of our ancestors by applying their modern and Eurocentric lenses. These lenses simply do not sit easily on a worldview as different as Dharma is from any modern ideological “ism”. He is a supporter and proponent of the widely discredited Aryan Invasion Theory.
Perhaps he has changed his stance over the years and we must grant that, but he cannot shy away from the fact that he was a signatory in 2005, to a campaign led by Prof. Michael Witzel of Harvard demanding that requests from Hindus in the diaspora have the section on Hinduism and the Aryan Invasion Theory in school history textbooks changed in the state of California, not be entertained. This despite the fact that by 2005, the world over, it was generally conceded by scholars that the Aryan Invasion Theory had no legs to stand on. This pernicious theory first articulated during colonial rule in India. It has played havoc in this country where the second part of the theory viz, the driving out of the so-called “Dravidians” by “Brahminical Aryans” has created a whole brand of secessionist politics in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. This threatens to fragment and destabilize India and western Indologists have no mean part to play in this sinister Breaking India game.
The link to the letter is below:
Yet, these are the kinds of people that our people fawn over and invite to speak at various academic seminars and conferences believing they know better than our own learned exemplars on how to interpret our culture for us. They are feted and given awards for interpreting our culture, to us, through their lens!
The White skin is a real draw for mentally colonized Indians though Susruta and we ourselves are most certainly brown.
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