collection of hauma hamiddha's scattered posts

Guenther Sontheimer

Many Germanic indologists have been rightly or wrongly criticized with regards
to their studies. The older ones like Max
Mueller, as I said before on this list are in the grey zone: they did some good
and some bad for India. A wide range of
Indians got acquainted with the contents of the vedic texts through their
translation. On the downside their erroneous
views sometimes stuck on much longer than they needed to and produced a great
deal of confusion in the minds of the
Indians. More recent ones like Witzel, while making some insightful observations
have suffered from a very narrow world
view and failed to really understand the depth of IE culture in India.The more
recent crop including Witzel also appear to
be too philo-Marxist to be objective in their studies. Whatever the case, in the
general (and in my opinion somewhat
flawed) Indian reaction against the external Aryan origins, many of these German
investigators have been getting the
stick. I believe we should be cautious in our reaction towards these foreign
scholars. One example that was quite different
from the main stream was Guenther Sontheimer. His studies are of immense value
whatever maybe ones view towards
AIT. He is one of the few who saw the entire spectral continuity in Indo-Aryan
tradition from the Brahminical core to the
tribal fringe: the whole range of local phenotypes mingling into each other.
Thus he saw India very differently from the
traditional western indologist, who pictured everything in terms of a conflict
between the intrusive Indo-European and the
native tribes. Whatever the merit of his own conclusions, his data reveal that
the Indo-European core of India was rather
diverse, including, but going beyond vedic mainstream and have a profound
conduit for assimilation at the fringe.
Sanskritization driven by the brAhmaNas did not destroy native tribal cultures
but merely formalized it and fortified through
elite imitation*.

For biography see:
http://www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de/abt/IND/index/mitarbe/sta/inmem.htm

Now see how the desi hindu-hating media interprets his work:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?art_id=160982\
60

*This is how Hindu India preserved its diversity. Christianity and Islam have
been pernicious influences because they have
precisely aimed at erasing this diversity through their iconoclastic
monotheistic zeal

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