Nature of neocolonial Indian scholarship.


How is it that people of country x and religions y are commentating on country z and their religion and politics and they are welcomed and given value by the elites of the society but none of these elites or scholars of their society have scholarly criticism of those other religions or politics of those societies whose views they solicit?

Who are the scholars in India studying Christianity and its role in colonialism and why dont they get any mainstream press or attention in west or here?. Who are the Indian scholars or commentators who study west and their internal politics beyond election day? Why is there no scholarly attention paid to trans national evangelism and what roles do they serve in countries spying on others or their use in political subversion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimochana_Samaram

CIA with help the congress ruling government at center conspired with church to create massive agitation to dislodge the first elected communist government in India.”

So, the congress had a history of taking support of a foreign country to try to dislodge internal political adversary making a mockery of the new found Independence.

More importantly. in absence of scholarly criticism of islam or christianity or other religions or scholarly work on rest of the world,both past and present, is it possible for Indian elite to even assert their own Independence of their own thinking process? . Much like actors of people of ethnic origin are stereotyped and casted in limited roles in movies, often only that has to do with topics of their ethnic origin, these journalists, scholars views are solicited with all things Indian but never about west or its history. Razib khan is probably the only person who is breaking ground here by both speaking not just things brown and of recent political issues but also of west and its past. And even there it is the case he is a US citizen. 

 

The fact that none of the Indian scholars have even made an in principle criticism of any of these other religions even in history should make it clear that they do not have a true sense of integrity. By comparison, Indian right precisely because it has taken to this , inspite of its flaws can be considered to be Independent and original and sovereign in its outlook .

 

Consider that while there are popular history works from other countries, there is no such thing by any Indian scholar.   Is it possible to be scholarly without being curious about history of other countries ?. 

16 Replies to “Nature of neocolonial Indian scholarship.”

  1. “In democracies, Muslims are politically allied with liberal progressives, and this alliance has opened liberals up to accusation of double standards in protecting a very illiberal minority identity. Abandoning universalism and embracing identitarianism is hollowing out liberalism from within. Either the principles of liberalism apply for all groups or none at all.”
    ~~Shafiqur Rahman(Dhaka Tribune)

    “Indian right , inspite of its flaws can be considered to be Independent and original and sovereign in its outlook”

    “Indian/Hindu Right” is reactionary&fragmented. There are 2 types of “Indian Right”, one of them is basically Western Liberalism with a Saffron Paint, not really all that original. The other one is more Nativist with its own Religious/Regional/Caste moorings, For Ex:The Lingayats.

    Hindus only see eye to eye on matters regarding Islamic Aggression, otherwise they’re pretty fragmented. Attempts made by the likes of Savakar to ideologically unite Hindus has been pretty unsuccessful.

  2. > most indians, including readers of this weblog, are intellectual narcissistic.

    What is an intellectual narcissist? And how is it relevant to Indians? Are Indians relatively more intellectually narcissist than other nationalities/ethnicities?

  3. What is an intellectual narcissist? And how is it relevant to Indians? Are Indians relatively more intellectually narcissist than other nationalities/ethnicities?

    no interest in stuff unless there is an indian hook. the routine stupid comments about china indicate that.

    as fo rmore narcissistic, i have to say probably unfortunately. americans routinely download podcasts about indian stuff/topics, but indians really don’t download anything about non-india. it was shocking to me.

    but it might be bandwidth constraints? who knows. my comments/interactions with ppl on this weblog tho convince me there’s a lot of incuriosity about everything outside of indian relevance.

    prove me wrong!

    1. Some of us are very curious about other cultures, especially those of us Hindu nationalists of R1b and J2 origin!

    2. “americans routinely download podcasts about indian stuff/topics, but indians really don’t download anything about non-india. it was shocking to me.”

      Not a fair conclusion to draw. You are fulfilling a niche demand in one case and in the other case, you’re just another player in an over-crowded market.

      There are plenty of sources to get good non-Indian content. But BP is unique in the kind of content it provides on India. The quality of discussion in Indian media/Twitter/Reddit has very low intellectual depth in comparison.

      1. @prats, ” in the other case, you’re just another player in an over-crowded market.There are plenty of sources to get good non-Indian content. ”
        Who are these other people?.
        For example.Why is america denying climate change but saudi arabia and russia dont ?. Victory of donald trump means what?.
        To me looking in, the base of evangelical christians are the glue that make absurdities turn to reality. And yet if you heard political commentary of last 4 yrs, very few articles point to this.

        And who are the scholars in India studying west?. who are the historians in India who have written any popular books of history on west or rest of the world, or comment on it?. It is as though people have walled off themselves from speaking about rest of the world and basically let white folks to dominate discourse on that.

        1. India barely has any funding for humanities research so there’s little scholarly work being done even on stuff within India, let alone outside it. How many books have we seen that try to understand Hindutva from different perspectives?

          More practically, we have seen all these edtech apps mushroom recently but there’s no study on their impact on outcome.
          (This is an aside but a pet peeve)

          For comparison with the west – just look at the depth of Wikipedia articles on some minor American celebrities or activists versus major Indian politicians.

          Most Indians who are intellectually inclined go where money is which is to the west. There they study stuff that the westerners want them to study, which is all the colonial or post-colonial shit. Some of them like Pankaj Mishra then write on the west from this colonial pov.

          As for lay Indians on the internet, they lap up content from the west. There’s a reason I get spam from NYT everyday to subscribe to their 15 bucks a week package.

  4. You should clarify if you’re talking mainly about the Indian diaspora community or Indians in India.

    Most diaspora communities are insular compared to the natives, so nothing strange in that.

    Interest in outside world is influenced by couple of things:

    – Size of your country

    Given the same/similar culture and similar wealth, I would expect a Nepalese(compared to an Indian) to be more aware of foreigners and outside culture simply because of higher chances the next person they come across is a foreigner.

    – Levels of wealth

    I would expect a rich country to be able to allow the natives to be able to afford pursuing things other than looking for their next meal or simply earning for their survival.

    – Cosmopolitan Nature

    Related to #2 but higher societal wealth level attracts people from all over the world, making it more cosmopolitan. I’d wager India during the vedic times was more aware(on a “per capita, common man basis”) of outside world than now, considering higher levels of interest from outside world with regards to India.

    Would be interesting to look at insularity levels in other immigrant communities which aren’t as poor as Indians. Perhaps Japanese or some other people?
    I think Indians fare about average as other communities.

    Perhaps what you meant is that Indians should be clever enough to be more curious considering they’re coming from poorer backgrounds and would be smart to be less than usual insular?

  5. I am interested in elites and Indian scholars who do study in west but never study the west ?. I understand rest of the people being insular, they dont go abroad, their lifestyle and economy does not give them much else to think about . But how and why is it that the elite , often left or liberal and scholars dont?.

    This reminds me of the breakthrough of Indian writers in English, the lack of confidence before new generation of people inspired by naipaul and salman rushdie went about writing literature in English.

  6. “ my comments/interactions with ppl on this weblog tho convince me there’s a lot of incuriosity about everything outside of indian relevance. “

    Absolutely correct.

  7. “my comments/interactions with ppl on this weblog tho convince me there’s a lot of incuriosity about everything outside of indian relevance.

    prove me wrong!”

    >>>> I’ll prove you wrong!

  8. Phyecon1, would love to touch base offline if possible.

    Cheers,

    +++++++++++++++++

    PS.

    “This reminds me of the breakthrough of Indian writers in English, the lack of confidence before new generation of people inspired by naipaul and salman rushdie went about writing literature in English.”

    Haven’t prominent Indian writers been righting in English since the late 1800s? What do you consider Vivekananda (close friend of Tesla)? Aurobindo? The Tagore family produced some English masterpieces. For their own reasons the Tagores *CHOSE* to focus on greater Indian languages vs. English to revitalize them.

    A strong case can be made that English quality in India has declined in the last two generations–as Indias have renewed pride in Indian languages.

    +++++++++++++++++

    Razib, the commentators on BP do not reflect the readership and viewership of BP or Indians more generally.

  9. @anan, thank you but I am not interested. And BP attracts people who are more curious than avg Indian.

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