"Moreover, you scorned our people, and compared the Albanese to sheep, and according to your custom think of us with insults. Nor have you shown yourself to have any knowledge of my race. Our elders were Epirotes, where this Pirro came from, whose force could scarcely support the Romans. This Pirro, who Taranto and many other places of Italy held back with armies. I do not have to speak for the Epiroti. They are very much stronger men than your Tarantini, a species of wet men who are born only to fish. If you want to say that Albania is part of Macedonia I would concede that a lot more of our ancestors were nobles who went as far as India under Alexander the Great and defeated all those peoples with incredible difficulty. From those men come these who you called sheep. But the nature of things is not changed. Why do your men run away in the faces of sheep?"
Letter from Skanderbeg to the Prince of Taranto ▬ Skanderbeg, October 31 1460

"Fundamentals of Indology wrong", interv. Prof. Prodosh Aich

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"Fundamentals of Indology wrong", interv. Prof. Prodosh Aich

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Post by Arban Blandi » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:07 pm

"Fundamentals of Indology wrong" , "Max Mueller a Swindler" - Interview with Prof. Prodosh Aich

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Indian Professor Prodosh Aich, calls Indologist Max Mueller a "swindler". He describes yet another Indologist William Jones a "fraud". He throws a serious challenge to Europeans scholars who wrote tomes on ancient India. In his book "Lies with long legs", Prof Aich has unraveled and exposed many such self claimed Indologists who claimed to know ancient Indian texts. Seventy two year old Indian Professor, who studied in India and Germany Sociology, Ethnology and Philosophy, came to these startling revelations accidentally as his curiosity to know about "Aryans", "Indo-Europeans and "Indo-Aryans" chanced him into new facts of the existing studies of ancient India and its people.



Question: Your book ‘Lies with long legs’ has recently been published. What is this about?

Answer: Whatever, we know about discoveries, scholars, scientists, are mostly not true. For example, when you get a book today there are references and these references go back 10, 20 or 30 years. They don’t go back beyond that. On every page, one finds quotations but you will never find that a quotation has been challenged. One never checks whether that quotation is correct or not. It is just accepted. What ever is printed is accepted.

Q: So every word is taken as a gospel?

A: No, not as a gospel. It has been accepted in the academic world. And if you have 20 books on one subject, you can be sure that there would be another 20 books on the same subject but with almost same references. They will never go back to roots. What, I have done. I have tried to question. I put , to start with, a simple question. "Well you are telling me this. How do you know that it is true"? Then I look into the bibliography of these books. I find lot of authors and then I make the same exercise to find out what their references have been. In that way, I find the first author who invented rather coined the words like Aryans, Indo-Germans and Indo-Europeans.

Q: So, you have done a research on India?

A: No, that is not correct. As a matter of fact, I have not done any research. I wanted to know, who are these Aryans, Indo-Europeans and Indo-Germans and then tried to find out answers in the reference books and literature. I found out that none of the answers were satisfactory. I continued my search. It was not a research. Research is what you must publish. You have to publish every year, otherwise you will vanish. That is modern research. I did not do modern research, I wanted to know where they come from. How did they recognise these Aryans? Who did this? Then I was very astonished to see that Indo-Aryans are very young. It came in vogue in the 19th century rather was invented in the second half of the 19th century.

Q: What was the purpose of inventing this word?

A: Now, you are taking things into realm of speculation. To my mind there are two reasons. One is that in 18th and 19th century. Christians were trying to find something else as heredity then Jewish religion. It was something like anti-Semitism And at that time, there was a fancy for the Orient without knowing what Orient meant. Whether Orient was Arabia, India, Persia or China, they had no idea about it in the 18th and 19th century. Through Persian translations, they knew that there was a vast amount of literature in India. They wanted to understand that. Portuguese were the first there and then the British, French, Dutch etc. None of them came to the idea to identify themselves with the people. But the Britishers concocted the story that Europeans and Indians were related to each other because they had the common heredity of the nomadic people coming from the area of Turkmenistan on the Chinese border. They were settled nomadic people. They had migrated to the West and they had migrated to the South-West. They are of the same breed and stock.

Q: Same stock?

Q: Yes, same stock. While the Britishers were robbing India taking away whatever they could, they said we have come to our own home. We have the common heredity. So the name of this came much later. It was done by Max Mueller in 1859. Can you imagine that Max Mueller maintained in 1859 that he read in Rigveda that Vedic people were singing about their land of origin and there they mention themselves as Aryans. And these people also went to the West and we are also Aryans. These were Indo-Aryans and we are European-Aryans.

Q: Max Mueller is a very renowned name in India. We have a Max Mueller Institute here where German language is taught and various other activities are conducted. In my understanding, Max Mueller had a command on Sanskrit language and he translated Vedas and other works of Sanskrit. How did he come to acquire immense knowledge of the ancient language which incidentally was not a spoken language?

A: Max Mueller. It is not his name. His name was Friedrich Maximillan Mueller. He did not publish in German. He did not get a job in Germany. He got a job with the East India Company in England. Most of his writings are in English. He was neither a scholar nor he knew Sanskrit. He was a swindler.

Q: You call him a swindler?

A: I call him a swindler. I can provide proofs in support of my assertion. I can reason it out also. Max Mueller had assumed that he was a scholar. From his own autobiography, from biographies written by his son and wife, from other biographies, from his other writings, and from his letters, we can reconstruct his life from birth to his death. After passing the High School, he never appeared in any examination rather never cleared any examination. So obviously he can not possess any academic degrees. Yet he calls himself a Master of Arts (MA). His wife calls him a Doctor of Philosophy. His wife maintains that he was a Ph. D. from the Leipzig University. There is no record at the Leipzig University or any proof that he appeared in any examination there. So how would you describe him.

Q: OK, but there are people who without going to school or university acquire knowledge of languages. So what about his knowledge of Sanskrit.

A: That is a different issue but one can’t describe oneself as a scholar or ascribe degrees to oneself without clearing any examination. So far Sanskrit, Max Mueller never came to India. In his youth, he wanted to come to India but when he had money as his books were flooding market with the help of East India Company. But when he had plenty of money, he did not feel any need of coming to India. So the question arises that if had not learnt Sanskrit in India then he must have learnt it in Europe. So this is another part of my book ‘Lies with long legs’ as we have tried to find out who was the first person, the pioneer, who taught Sanskrit in Europe.

Q: So who was this person?

A: He was a nobody, He was a simple boy of 18 when he came to India as an ordinary soldier. He completed is term and roamed around in India and then reached France. There he said that he knew Sanskrit. Quality of his knowledge of Sanskrit was that he knew the Devnagri alphabet well but beyond that he could not make a distinction between the language and script.

Q :What was his name?

A: Alexander Hamilton was his name. There is a long story about him in the book because people said that he was a great Sanskrit scholar. So we traced his roots also. The most interesting thing while doing this book was that though all the material is available in the libraries, no one else worked on the available material. If some one claimed that a he was a scholar then nobody questioned that claim. Everyone started saying that the person was a scholar as it is written in printed words. It was presumed that if one taught Sanskrit to others then he knew Sanskrit.

Q: So it seems that follies went on multiplying?

A: No, Hamilton’s students did not teach Sanskrit. Later came some others who said that they knew Sanskrit. They claimed that they have been auto-didactic and had learnt the language themselves. How can you learn Sanskrit without having a dictionary or without a proper grammar book?

Q: Sanskrit was never a spoken language so how can this be learnt without a teacher? The language had to be learnt systematically for 6 to 7 years so that one could translate works like the Vedas?

A: It is not your opinion alone. Even some European thought the same. Unfortunately those who learnt Sanskrit systematically did not teach the language in Europe. Heinrich Roth was one such person who came to India and landed in Goa and from there was transferred to Agra. There he became the principal of a Jesuit college. He belonged to Jesuit order. In Agra, he learnt Sanskrit for six years, mastered the language so well that he "discussed" with the Brahmins in Sanskrit. Having understood the importance of Sanskrit, he compiled a grammar book with Latin explanatory notes added to it. As a matter of fact, he produced a simplified version of Panini’s grammar, which was compiled at least 4000 years ago. The Sanskrit grammar vanished in the Vatican library. It was traced in 1988 and all Indologists agree that quality of this grammar book was far superior to the ones upon which Sanskrit was being taught in Europe. Others did not learn Sanskrit properly but they stoutly maintained that they knew Sanskrit. You know how it happened? Someone talked to some Pundits and he came to know that there was something called Bhagvat Gita These Pundits were not professors or learned scholars of Sanskrit. Very near Calcutta, there was an university at Nadia. Varansi was nearby and one could have got in touch with professors there. They talked to Pundits in Calcutta, a small township built by the British, who claimed to know Sanskrit.

Q: But Brahmins or Pundits would not encourage any foreigner to learn Sanskrit and read religious book?

A: Who told you this? It is wrong. The story was told by William Jones. But is not based on facts. It was never sacred. Learning Sanskrit was a difficult task Brahmins had the privilege of servicing others by reciting Sanskrit texts to them. Whether they understood it or not was a different issue. This was inherited from one generation to other. They knew Sanskrit but how did the British learnt it. Christian mind created stories around fragments of information. Their stories are reflection of their minds. It was not the translation of Bhagvat Gita but what they sold it as Bhagvat Gita. Then Europeans who never came to India but learnt Sanskrit alphabets and saw Bhagvat Gita and recognised its alphabets. They could possibly recognise words but they did not understand it. So they would collect more book and apply their Christian mind and say that this is not logical so it has to be this or that. In this process, they were also trying to compile a dictionary. There was never a Sanskrit dictionary as grammar is the key to Sanskrit language. But they were trying to compile a dictionary word by word. So in this way they have transported a type of Sanskrit to Europe where I have doubts that it is Sanskrit at all. But the tragic part is that this Sanskrit has been imported back to India. This is what we learn in India with the help of the Sanskrit dictionaries. The standard dictionary of Sanskirt here is of Sir Monier Monier who also never came to India before compiling his dictionary in 1854. He collected all materials and prepared a dictionary diligently. But this dictionary was not available to Max Mueller. Max Mueller had only one dictionary written by one Wilson. He also stayed in Calcutta. He was a medical doctor. He served as Director of a mint because he had some knowledge of chemicals. He interacted with Bengali Pundits and he prepared the dictionary with the help of the Pundits of Calcutta in as late as 1819 when the first Sanskrit dictionary came out. At best, Max Mueller could have used this dictionary. Max Mueller was at a place where Wilson taught Sanskrit. Max Mueller observes in his biography that Wilson did not have enough knowledge of Sanskrit.

Q: So you make a dictionary without learning a language?

A: Possibly one could make a dictionary. Definitely not a good one. If you went to China and you met some Chinese and understood what they said and you understood it then make a dictionary.

Q: But with this kind of dictionary, one can’t translate?

A: Definitely not. But did he translate? In order to translate, one has to have a command on both languages. I think he had command on German and English. But whatever you translate from Sanskrit and even if one has command on both languages, it would be reflection of one’s mind. Max Mueller did not understand Sanskrit. He had never read a Sanskrit text. He had read Sanskrit text with the help of translation made by others.

Q: Hinduism came to created. Do you think Hindu way of life was a religion?

A: I don't know Sanskrit.. But what ever I know, sanatan dharma or dharma was not at all a religion, it was much more comprehensive.

Q: Do you think, there was a definite design behind it?

A: Absolutely Otherwise a company which had come to rob a country, to exploit a country, to create conditions for sustained exploitation, why should they spend money on Max Mueller to get market flooded with so called Indian literature? It was for creating an atmosphere. There is a letter written by Max Mueller to his wife that he has performed this role so that the educated Indians would never get back to their 3000 years roots. They will find their roots through our books.

Q: It sounds like Macaulay?

A: No, it is Max Mueller. The books have to be written in such a way that they don’t get back to their roots.

Q: Were Max Mueller and Thomas Macaulay contemporaries?

A: Macaulay was a politician of a ruthless sort. He had formulated the purpose of the introduction of educational system as early as 1835. Thereafter, Macaulay was looking for a person who would translate the Sanskrit literature in a way that no Indian would be able to find way back to their roots. In 1854, he had identified Max Mueller to be that person when he was 31. Our country is the only country where modern sector has no way to go back to its roots without going through these books. Most of the educated persons read the English literature including the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru; He was also a fan of this literature. Whatever he knew about India, he knew through this rubbish literature.

Q: So you want to say that they were able to capture the Indian mind?

A: Absolutely It was their declared policy that we make the educational system in such a way as to be able to create a class of Indians who are Indians by blood but in their minds, sentiments, thinking and values they are Christians. They are like us. We have to confess that we are all children of Macaulay But now then, it did’nt function. And it was a mere accident that I wanted to know who were the Aryans. I had never thought to explore the literature of Indology. But once you put this question, you come to unexpected enlightenment.

Q: So your view would be that there were no Aryans and they never came from outside and they were all here?

A: It is not a mater of view. Findings are that mention of Aryan was first made by a person who was a swindler. He was neither a scholar nor he knew Sanskrit. But he claimed that in Rigveda there is a hymn. He did not mention which one In this mention, he claimed that people were singing and identifying themselves as Aryans. They came from outside. So whatever culture has been created in this area of the world has been created by foreigners. And he also belonged to this class of foreigners.

Q: You devote considerable space in your book to William Jones. What about him?

A: He had not written an auto- biography but lot of biographies have been written about him. He had left behind his letters. Two volumes of his letters have been published. If one goes through his biography from his childhood till he came to India, one finds out that William Jones was an opportunist. He did everything to make a career and ultimately he claimed that he knew 32 languages And it has come to be accepted by the educated community.

Q: What about his knowledge of Sanskrit?

A: In 1885, he has confessed in a letter to Charles Wittkins in Calcutta that he is too old to learn Sanskrit. But, it is absolutely certain that he did not have command over Sansrkit. He had no time to pick up Sanskrit.

Q: But he has translated some Sanskrit works?

A: Only one work he has published. That is Manu’s laws but even this has been done by others, by hired Pundits. He has put his name on it. If one goes through his biographies and other material then one comes to a conclusion that he too was a fraud. But he was a fraud of a greater caliber. He came to Calcutta to earn money. In five years, so much of money that he can go back to England and buy a seat in British Parliament. He had calculated that this much of money could be earned in London in 20 to 25 years. His sole objective was to earn 20 to 25,000 Pounds. While he was coming to India, he had a plan to write a world history according to his own design . And he did not need any other material but his own fantasy. So when he arrived in Calcutta, he started selling himself as a great oriental scholar. In the first year, he had invented one Indian God Kamdeva. And the way, he invented Kamdeva. I have documented in the book.

14 June, 2010

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Re: "Fundamentals of Indology wrong", interv. Prof. Prodosh

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Post by Arban Blandi » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:48 pm

Rezensent: Dr. Satish Misra, Publizist
In: Sunday Tribune, Neu Delhi, Indien
und in: Indian Horizons, official publication of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Neu Delhi, Indien

Aich, P., Lies with long legs

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The book, 'Lies with long legs', is a well-researched and sufficiently documented effort to bring to light a reality about ancient India, which is contrary to prevalent and generally accepted world view of a civilization. In his painstakingly long academic journey through mountains of source material available in Europe, Prof. Aich has succeeded in establishing that entire understanding of India of the western world developed by self claimed scholars is totally erroneous since the initial attempt to comprehend ancient India through Vedas was itself faulty. He has built his thesis on a simple fact that if the basic parameters or fundamentals are wrong, then the conclusions derived from them cannot obviously be correct.

In this backdrop, Prof. Aich has very rightfully questioned the validity of the works of the famous western scholars who went on to translate Vedic literature from Sanskrit language into Italian, English and German. Majority of them did not even set their foot on the Indian soil and those, who came to India, did not learn ancient language in any organized manner but in an auto didactic fashion.

Translation from one language to another, it is universally accepted, needs almost an equal command on both the languages. But majority of the Western Sanskrit scholars did not learn or rather could not learn Sanskrit. Since Sanskrit was not a spoken language, it was all the more difficult for them to develop language skills required for translation.

Based on this fact, the author has undertaken a research that leads to the prevalent and popular viewpoint that colonialist Imperial England had prepared a concerted and well conceived design to establish the superiority of white-blue eyed-blond-christian culture over all other cultures which they opted to define as "primitive" and particularly that of India.

The methodology, employed by Prof. Aich, is indeed unique and novel as he avoids making his own comments on any single issue. Rather he prefers to use the technique of juxtaposition to drive a point home. He prefers to leave to readers to make their own judgement rather than imposing a certain thesis which is the usual practice normally followed by scholars.

In his treatment of the subject, he has followed an interesting approach that of framing a question and then providing answers by using the primary source material.

Nonetheless, the book is a seminal contribution to the world of knowledge as it is bound to start an academic debate in the West also. It would go a long way to establish once for all that much-trumpeted and self-championed discipline of Indology in the West has in fact been based on wrong facts and false premises.

Not only this, reading the book, one cannot but reach a conclusion that it must have been a design that none of the scholars so far bothered to use the existing material, so abundantly available, which could have helped to unravel the truth about the colonial powers and imperial administration and bureaucracy. Scholars after scholars, even after the rolling back of colonial empire, have continued to overlook the material that would have gone a long way to remove well laid myths and negative understanding about Indian society, polity and culture.

Moreover, it would raise questions on popularly accepted theories on India such as Aryans came to this part of the world from the North or they emigrated here and then pushed back the original inhabitants from north to south of India. The book also puts a serious question mark on the anthropological understanding of the ancient Indian society according to which, Indian society is sought to be explained on the basis of skin colour.

In what may be termed as a pioneering attempt at interpreting the efforts of western scholars to decipher and portray ancient India, the author has asked in the book since when words and concepts like white, black, blond, not blond, blue eyed and other racial features have come to be used by social scientists to differ between "us" "them".

Prof. Aich has gone deep into methods adopted by different well-known and world famous Indologists for collecting materials for their renowned works, research papers and other books. Beginning from the process of acquiring their knowledge of Sanskrit, the author has also made rightful inquires to their source material.

In an eye opening revelation, the author has successfully established that a Jesuit father Roberto de Nobili, in his missionary zeal, went to the extent of claiming that he was able to find out the lost Yajurveda which in fact was got written by him to establish that there was indeed a relationship between Christianity and ancient Indian practices that were being preserved and followed by Brahmins. Roberto de Nobili, in order to win the confidence of the local Brahmin community, even calls himself as Brahmin from Rome.

The author has put almost every Indologist under his investigating microscope to find out the veracity of their claims of knowing Sanskrit. In this process, he has succeeded in exposing majority of Indologists who have been regarded and accepted in the academic world as the sole sources of information over India and ancient Indian society, culture and way of life.

Comparing their descriptions and findings with Greek writings of Megasthenes and others, the author throws enough light on the methods and intentions of 18 and 19th century Indologists who, in his opinion, did irreparable damage to people of India.

Many of the English, German or French Indologists, made tall claims about their knowledge of Sanskrit and Prof. Aich has exposed them by tracing back their entire process of acquiring the competence of language.

For example, detailed exposition on Sir William Jones make startling revelations that he could befool not only his superiors but the entire academic community by claiming that he knew 32 languages, including Sanskrit. Sir Williams, who came to India as one of the judges and went on to set up the Asiatic Society of Bengal, which was closed rather barred for Asians, on January 15, 1784, came to be celebrated as the Father of Indology in the United Kingdom.

By following Sir Williams educational career and his different stages of life, the author has made bare the self proclaimed Father of Indology leaving readers in no doubt whatsoever that the Sir William’s fame may have entailed, it was actually based on exaggerated claims, braggadocio and self projections.

The same Sir Williams has produced so much of literature, disseminating so much of false information about India that an entirely wrong image of this ancient society was painted in the popular mind.

Similarly, German Indologist Friedrich Maximilian Mueller, popularly known in India as Max Mueller, has been exposed as a person who despite never visiting India, came to be known as the most authoritative expert of Sanskrit.

The author has scored a major victory by establishing that it was indeed an English conspiracy, which was hatched by none other than Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay who wanted to control Indian minds by ensuring that they should know, comprehend and understand India through books written in English. Indian sources of knowledge about India should never be indigenous but should be through English translations.

Max Mueller became an instrument of Lord Macaulay in his plan to control the Indian mind for all times to come. Macaulay is convinced that the majority of the local population has to be brought to a point where they start believing that the English alien rule is better for them.

Macaulay had written in 1835 in absolutely clear terms: 'We are not content to leave the natives to the influence of their own heredity prejudices. (…) it is possible to make natives of this country thoroughly good English scholars… We must at present do out best to form a class, who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern; a class of persons Indians in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect. To that class, we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render then by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.'

The book has established beyond any doubt that Macaulay and the rest of English colonialists of his time employed every means bad or good, dirty or clean to ensure that Indians were subjugated not only physically but were dominated mentally and spiritually as well.

By undertaking a thorough study of colonisation of India in the backdrop of the emerging racism, the author has also sown seeds of further academic exercises. He has established that till the 16th century social studies including historical studies did not use racial terminology.

Racial terminology was used to create a conscious divide between the ruled and the ruling classes by terming them as "us" and "them". So much so that a new discipline called as "Ethnography" came to be established at the European academic institutions. "Us" and "them", alien and local, Aryans and non-Aryans, Indo-European or Indo-German, were employed by hired scholars or rather court writers to create an impression or an illusion that the Europeans were racially superior to all others. Even physical descriptions like skin colour, types of lips, noses and eyes and other features were consciously used to drive a wedge between peoples. Irrespective of status of culture existing in any particular society, the colonial administration declared that a particular society was primitive.

'Why did British occupants narrate a (hi)story from far off Bengal, which was eagerly taken up by many Europeans to embroider and elaborate that tale in many fanciful facets? It was just a harmless story of a conquest. No. All these stories were designed as the "historical justification" for looting, building strongholds, colonising foreign lands with the purpose of sustained exploitation. And they were presented as an inherent law of evolutionary development of mankind. The conquerors, the deliberate killers, the occupants, the exploiters from Christian Europe were hailed for having brought culture and civilisation into the "colonies". They were just following the same pattern of those nomads on grazing grounds, the "Aryans" from the Central Asiatic steppes, who came in some "pre historic" period and brought civilisation into India. The Christians "ruffians" were just treading on the footprints of the "Aryans". What could have been wrong with that?' the author poses an interesting observation.

The book, by using unflinching and convincing source material, has gone on to prove that a concerted and conscious effort was made to establish the superiority of the white-blond-blue eyed-Christian culture over all other cultures, societies and people.

'It is remarkable too that Marco Polo narrated so much in great details but nothing about human "races". This term, "Razza" in Italian, "raza" in Spanish, "raca" in Portuguese, "race" in English, "Rasse" in German was invented by the Franconians in the 14th century to justify their rule over the Gauls in France. After the expulsions of Jews from Spain towards the end of 15th century, the term was increasingly used in the contemporary meaning of racism.' Observations such as above open new vistas and horizons for further academic pursuit so that many myths about so called primitive societies deliberately perpetrated by the colonial powers could be removed and cleared.

At the same time, it would also sow seeds for conflict management and conflict resolution as a balanced view about traditional and ancient culture and societies is bound to assert itself.

Written in simple yet effective style, the book is guaranteed to make a seminal if not revolutionary contribution to the understanding and comprehension of the human race as one global citizen. The book overall has succeeded in showing mirror to the western academic system and has exposed the western scholars who are never tired of claiming their objectivity and impartiality.
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The author of this article has just studied, with increasing fascination, a remarkable voluminous book by Prodosh Aich, a Bengali Indian who has, however, for decades been a member of the German academic Establishment. He has studied ethnology, philosophy, and sociology at Cologne University and has taught sociology at universities in Cologne, Rajasthan (India), and Oldenburg. His "documentary story", as he calls it is a revealing report about the real origins and the de facto coming into existence of the Thesis of an (at first) "Indo-Germanic" or (later) "Indo-European" so-called "language family" and, by inference, of an Indo-European "race".

The idea of an "Indo-European language family"

It is a rather shocking report indeed. One has to read it, to believe it. Although I have for years been highly sceptical of that Indo-European "story", as it is generally propagated by the that Indo-European "storv", as it is generally propagated by the mainstream, and have regarded it as rather "windy". I was nevertheless shocked by the degree of carelessness, combined ideological bias, which, as Aich demonstrates, has been a distinguishing feature of the work of all these Western "Indologists" and "Sanskrtists".

Aich has meticulously studied the life and background, and the works of all the well-known scholars of the 17th to 19th centuries in this field, like e.g. Filippo Sassetti, Roberto de Nobili, Sir William Jones, Franz Bopp, Leonard de Chézv, Alexander Hamilton and F. Max Müller. Not one of them did possess the necessary linguistic and generally necessary, comprehensive scholarly competence to pronounce at their time about these matters in the way they did.


The invention of the "Aryan race"

It is Aich's thesis that all these scholars of the 17th – 19th centuries were heavily influenced by contemporary European superiority, supremacy and hegemony interests, at first more of a clerical-missionary, later of an imperialist-colonizing nature, and that they were expected to busily inflate that "balloon" of a superior "Aryan" (i.e. European) "race". Therefore incidentally the "Aryans" always had to have their origin in Europe. Because of all these rather suspect circumstances which have accompanied the coming into existence of the "Indo-European" and "Aryan" paradigm. Aich, when he uses the German word "Lügen" (lies) already in his book title; obviously does not simply mean an untrue or incorrect statement, but a deliberately misleading one.

It may well be that this concept of an "Indo-European" (or "Aryan") "race" has a rightful claim to the title of the most fatal, mental "balloon" of the history of the sciences. Because it is well-known that from it evolved, first within Establishment science and then also among non-Establishment "Weltbild" ideologists..

Whereas originally it had only been a belief in the existence of an "Indo-European language family", in the course of only a few centuries it had become belief in the undeniable fact of an "Aryan race": typical product of the strange European-Christian self-concept at least among the "élite", which had become used to regard themselves as a somehow chosen, superior race, with a mission to fulfil, namely to dominate the world. Almost nobody objected that the whole edifice rested on shaky foundations, to wit have linguistic arguments became confused wlth somatic considerations in an obviously “pseudoscientific” manner. As a sidelight we may mention in passing that, against this 17th – 19th century background, the "race" hysteria in Hitler's Germany (1933 – 1945) may well be understood as the culmination of an almost pan-European mental aberration.


The phantasm of an "Aryan invasion" of India

It seems that from the viewpoint of the "science of science" (history, philosophy, and sociology of the sciences, epistemology) all these scenarios of an Indo-European "race", and Indo-European "homeland", an Indo-European "language family", and an Indo-European migration from somewhere in the West (preferably Europe) as far as India, can only be regarded as highly suspect.

Especially in view of the fact that the enormously numerous and manifold Vedic and other Sanskrit works of ancient India never mention any "Aryan invasion" of India. A recent work by Feuerstein Kak & Frawley has two chapters with revealing titles: "The Aryans: Exploding a Scientific Myth", and "Why the Arian Invasion Never Happened: Seventeen Arguments". In accord with these authors I can therefore only recommend that we throw this "package" of untenable interrelated hypotheses overboard. Besides, as Morgan Kelley (3) states: "In attempting to reconstruct a genetic relationship among languages, Linguists amass a common vocabulary which itself can be used to reconstruct much about their material culture. Names for divinities and tribes, as well as for domestic items, animals, crops and trees indicate a common culture from a very early time. Yet even these basics do not lead all researchers in the same directions" (p.208).


Interpretations and "reconstructions" of prehistoric events dependent on assumptions and presuppositions

Exactly this is the problem: although a knowledge of such basics has doubtless a certain worth, it does not and cannot quasi-automatically lead scholars to the correct scenario. There are too many unknowns in the equation. After all we cannot expect more than qualified speculation, because we are dealing with a past which no one of us has personally witnessed. The interpretations of our basics and our "reconstructions" of die factual relevant circumstances and events in a far distant past are unavoidably heavily dependent on our assumptions and presuppositions. These may be correct, or wrong, or a mixture of both.

The thesis of so-called "language families" is such an a priori assumption or presupposition, which has an effect comparable to an instance of rail shunting: from now on all ensuing thinking has to go in only one direction, to the exclusion of all other possibilities.
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Re: "Fundamentals of Indology wrong", interv. Prof. Prodosh

#3

Post by tomaras » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:30 pm

Lügen mit langen Beinen
Dr Horst Friedrich, FMES, Wörthsee, Germany

THE "INDO-EUROPEANS" AND THE CONCEPT OF "LANGUAGE FAMILIES";

In: MIDWESTERN EPIGRAPHIC JOURNAL, Volume 17, Number 2, 2003

The author of this article has just studied, with increasing fascination, a remarkable voluminous book (1) by Prodosh Aich, a Bengali Indian who has, however, for decades been a member of the German academic Establishment. He has studied ethnology, philosophy, and sociology at Cologne University and has taught sociology at universities in Cologne, Rajasthan (India), and Oldenburg. His "documentary story", as he calls it is a revealing report about the real origins and the de facto coming into existence of the Thesis of an (at first) "Indo-Germanic" or (later) "Indo-European" so-called "language family" and, by inference, of an Indo-European "race".

The idea of an "Indo-European language family"

It is a rather shocking report indeed. One has to read it, to believe it. Although I have for years been highly sceptical of that Indo-European "story", as it is generally propagated by the that Indo-European "storv", as it is generally propagated by the mainstream, and have regarded it as rather "windy". I was nevertheless shocked by the degree of carelessness, combinedideological bias, which, as Aich demonstrates, has been a distinguishing feature of the work of all these Western "Indologists" and "Sanskntists".

Aich has meticulously studied the life and background, and the works of all the well-known scholars of the 17th to 19th centuries in this field, like e.g. Filippo Sassetti, Roberto de Nobili, Sir William Jones, Franz Bopp, Leonard de Chézv, Alexander Hamilton and F. Max Müller. Not one of them did possess the necessary linguistic and generally necessary, comprehensive scholarly competence to pronounce at their time about these matters in the way they did.

The invention of the "Aryan race"

It is Aich's thesis that all these scholars of the 17th – 19th centuries were heavily influenced by contemporary European superiority, supremacy and hegemony interests, at first more of a clerical-missionary, later of an imperialist-colonizing nature, and that they were expected to busily inflate that "balloon" of a superior "Aryan" (i.e. European) "race". Therefore incidentally the "Aryans" always had to have their origin in Europe. Because of all these rather suspect circumstances which have accompanied the coming into existence of the "Indo-European" and "Aryan" paradigm. Aich, when he uses the German word "Lügen" (lies) already in his book title; obviously does not simply mean an untrue or incorrect statement, but a deliberately misleading one.
It may well be that this concept of an "Indo-European" (or "Aryan") "race" has a rightful claim to the title of the most fatal, mental "balloon" of the history of the sciences. Because it is well-known that from it evolved, first within Establishment science and then also among non-Establishment "Weltbild" ideologists, the whole modern "race" hysteria: the idea of allegedly existing, distinctly different "races" of mankind, of which certain (especially of course the "Aryan race") were alleged to be of "superior", others of "inferior" quality.

Whereas originally it had only been a belief in the existence of an "Indo-European language family ", in the course of only a few centuries it had become belief in the undeniable fact of an "Aryan race": typical product of the strange European-Christian self-concept at least among the "élite", which had become used to regard themselves as a somehow chosen, superior race, with a mission to fulfil, namely to dominate the world. Almost nobody objected that the whole edifice rested on shaky foundations, to wit have linguistic arguments became confused wlth somatic considerations in an obviously “pseudoscientific” manner. As a sidelight we may mention in passing that, against this 17th – 19th century background, the "race" hysteria in Hitler's Germany (1933 – 1945) may well be understood as the culmination of an almost pan-European mental aberration.

The phantasm of an "Aryan invasion" of India

It seems that from the viewpoint of the "science of science" (history, philosophy, and sociology of the sciences, epistemology) all these scenarios of an Indo-European "race", and Indo-European "homeland", an Indo-European "language family", and an Indo-European migration from somewhere in the West (preferably Europe) as far as India, can only be regarded as highly suspect.

Especially in view of the fact that the enormously numerous and manifold Vedic and other Sanskrit works of ancient India never mention any "Aryan invasion" of India. A recent work by Feuerstein. Kak & Frawley (2) has two chapters with revealing titles: "The Aryans: Exploding a Scientific Myth", and "Why the Arian Invasion Never Happened: Seventeen Arguments". In accord with these authors I can therefore only recommend that we throw this "package" of untenable interrelated hypotheses overboard.

When there is no "Aryan race", there is of course also no "Indo– European Homeland". Besides, as Morgan Kelley (3) states:

"In attempting to reconstruct a genetic relationship among languages, Linguists amass a common vocabulary which itself can be used to reconstruct much about their material culture. Names for divinities and tribes, as well as for domestic items, animals, crops and trees indicate a common culture from a very early time. Yet even these basics do not lead all researchers in the same directions" (p.208).
Interpretations and "reconstructions" of prehistoric events dependent on assumptions and presuppositions

Exactly this is the problem: although a knowledge of such basics has doubtless a certain worth, it does not and cannot quasi-automatically lead scholars to the correct scenario. There are too many unknowns in the equation. After all we cannot expect more than qualified speculation, because we are dealing with a past which no one of us has personally witnessed. The interpretations of our basics and our "reconstructions" of die factual relevant circumstances and events in a far distant past are unavoidably heavily dependent on our assumptions and presuppositions. These may be correct, or wrong, or a mixture of both.

The thesis of so-called "language families" is such an a priori assumption or presupposition, which has an effect comparable to an instance of rail shunting: from now on all ensuing thinking has to go in only one direction, to the exclusion of all other possibilities.

Such "language families" are normally understood as a direct genetic relationship between languages, reminding one of the genealogical "trees" of palaeontology. We can visualize an ethnic entity (people, tribe), which for some reason split into two or more factions, which migrate by land or sea to distant regions, have in the course of time their original language may evolve in different directions.

Doubtless such events will have occurred repeatedly in the long history of the human race. But the present author is of the opinion that such instances will have played only a minor role in the unfolding of the bewilderingly multifarious linguistic "landscape" on our planet.

Superstrata, substrata, and adstrata

By far the most important factor in the development of this "landscape" will quite obviously have been instances of linguistic superstrata, substrata, and adstrata, i. e. instances where the language of a newly arrived ethno-linguistic superstratum has affected the language of the "indigenes" or "natives" of the substratum or, in the case of an adstratal influence, even the language of a neighbouring people.

I am quite convinced that most ethnic entities on our planet have been formed in a manner reminiscent of the layers or strata of geology, by layer upon layer of ethno-linguistic superstrata, with the difference that the strata of geology remain more or less separate and distinct, whereas the ethno-linguistic layers will, in the course of time, tend to result in an ethno-linguistic amalgam.

Probably great majority creolized or amalgam languages

Therefore I propose that we will have to take it as a fact that the great majority of today’s languages cannot belong to the kind of above-described. conventional "language families", but will have to be regarded as creolized or amalgam languages, formed by an amalgamation of quite different languages.
That such things can and do indeed occur, has been repeatedly shown. A creolized language shows features from two or more "unrelated" (i.e. only very distantly related) languages as a result of contact between different language communities. Typically we find such in the Caribbean region. But as I said above, I am today convinced that the great majority of today's spoken languages belong to this group. Most interesting cases abound. I remember having once studied a work by an eminent linguist about a certain region in central India, have three languages belonging to different "language families" (she still believed in that concept), by close contact between the three language communities, were in the process of forming a new creolized language even in our time. Sadly I have mislaid my Xerox copies I made then, and so cannot cite from, or name my source.

Quite naturally, as my readers will probably have sensed by now, I regard the so-called "Indo-European" languages, too, as creolized languages. They, i.e. the great majority of today’s European languages, plus some other languages (e.g. Persian). had been given the name "Indo-European" because in certain elements they seemed somehow related to the Sanskrit language of ancient India.

Vennemann's thesis of a pre-Indo-European, Vasconic and Proto-Semitic Europe

Before I can continue to proceed with the thread of my thesis that the "Indo-European" languages should be regarded a creolized languages, I have to digress a bit and invite my reader to a little detour or excursion.

In a recent issue of the journal MIGRATION & DIFFUSION I have reported about the thesis by Theo Vennemann, who incidentally is a professor for Germanistic linguistics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, about the probable ethno-linguistic realities and movements in late prehistoric Europe (4). In his view, after the so-caIled "End of the Great Age" (in contemporary, i.e. non-catastrophic geological doctrine), a Vasconian, i.e. Basque-related population spreading r from south western France over almost all of Europe. They lived relatively unsophisticated, perhaps comparable to the way of the Berbers of Morocco. This population is designated (A), the accompanying map (Fig. 1),

Later on, from a centre designated (B) around the Strata Gibraltar, where Vennemann sees the original homeland centre of diffusion of all Hamito-Semitic peoples, an advanced sea-faring civilization colonized the Atlantic coastland of Europe. This people might be called Atlanto-Semites. Proto–Semites. Hamito-Semites, or Proto-Phoenicians, and they obviously also been the bearers of the Atlanto-European Megalithic culture.
Only as the last step did the "Indo-Europeans" arrive from the East in Vennemann's scenario. Vennemaan analyses by methodical reasoning in a really masterly and convincing manner Western and Central European languages like Insular Celtic, modern English, or the vocabulary of Germanic to demonstrate the most remarkable ethno-linguistic amalgams between Old Vasconians, Hamito-Semitic and "Indo-European" peoples, with which we will have to reckon in the gradual "nation building" of today's European peoples (5). The present author is of the opinion that Vennemann's reasoning is highly convincing.

The probable solution: A twofold ethno-linguistic influence from India on ancient Europe

He thinks, however, that in spite of this positive judgment Vennemann's scenario could and should be amended. To this end I have therefore tried to produce in the accompanying map (Fig. I) an amalgamation of Vennemann's and my own tentative scenario.
By (C) are designated migrations of less sophisticated, more war-like tribes from the Indian subcontinent, speaking Sanskritrelated languages. These tribes may have been forcibly expelled from India by the advanced civilization there. Perhaps the legendary tradition of Parashu-Rama, "Rama with the Battle-ax", an "avatar" or divine incarnation (not to be confused with the Rama of the Ramayana epic, another "avatar"), refers to such an event. He is said to have expelled war-like races from India.

It may well be that India at these late-prehistoric times may have been the most populated region on our planet. So such migrations by expelled tribes may have been rather substantial movements. And in view of the Tibetan landscape and the innumerable mountain ranges between India and China it would be only natural if these migrations took the routes indicated, to wit towards the West and Europe.

But I feel that we will also have to reckon with another colonizing influence from ancient India on Europe; designated (D) on the map, of quite another character. India has a very ancient seafaring tradition, and a most potent one at that, and the advanced civilizations there would probably very early have found the way around the Cape of Good Hope, to the Americas (which expeditions from India may also have reached via the Pacific) as well as to at least southwestern Europe.

From these considerations I propose that we should look for linguistic traces of colonizers from India, speaking Sanskritrelated languages, especially on the Iberian Peninsula, but also in the other Atlantic coastlands of Europe. Beside their much more advanced culture such seafarers and colonizers from ancient India may have impressed by their charisma the less sophisticated Vasconians in such a way that amalgam or creolized languages were a natural result. In which way, however, (B) and (D), i.e. the Atlanto-Semites or Proto-Phoenicians and the colonizers from India might have interacted, will not be easy to establish, especially in view of the fact that a tradition also exists according to which the Phoenicians themselves had their original homeland somewhere on the coasts of the Indian Ocean.

References:

(1) Prodosh Aich: LÜGEN MIT LANGEN BEINEN. Oldenburg 2003 (ISBN: 3-935418-O1-9).

(2) Georg Feuerstein, Subhash Kak & David Frawley: IN SEARCH OF THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION. Wheaton (IIIinois) 1995 (ISBN: 0-8356-0720-8).

(3) E. Morgan Kelley: THE METAPHORICAL BASIS OF LANGUAGE, Lewiston (N.Y.), 1992 (ISBN: 0-7734-9534-7).

(4) Horst Friedrich: "A Linguistic Breakthrough for the Reconstruction of Europe's Prehistory" in: MIGR.ATION & DIFFUSION, Vol. 5/No.17, 2004 (pp. 6-15).

(5) cf; also by Theo Vennemann: EUROPA VASCONICA - EUROPA SMITICA, Berlin/New York, 2003 (ISBN: 3-M-017054-X).

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