Re: [tied] Fwd: Aryanism and Journal of Indo-European Studies

From: Richard Wordingham Message: 17610
Date: 2003-01-14

--- In, "vishalsagarwal
<vishalsagarwal@...>" <vishalsagarwal@...> wrote:
> Please see below -
> --- In, Piotr Gasiorowski
> <piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <vishalsagarwal@...>
> > Dear Vishal, I'd say that Kazanas was positively lionised by the
> editors. He was given 60 pages -- twice the length of the next
> longest article in the issue. Both Mallory's promise (no matter if
> real or alleged) and Kazanas's complaint about its breach (no
> if justified or not) sound ludicrous to me. Science is one. It is
> Indian, American, German or Japanese, leftist, centrist or
> Eastern or Western, Hindu, Protestant, Vedic, Quranic or atheist,
> feminist, gay or male-chauvinist. The nationality of the reviewers
> should not matter at all.
> VA: In this case, IT DOES. Because it was expected that
> archaeologists from India, who are much closer to the
> data, would be some of the reviewers. This lacuna in the list of
> reviewers leads to some wrong comments in the reviews. For
> Kuzmina says that oldest specimens of spoked wheel chariots come
> somewhere north of Afghanistan. In reality, terracotta spoked wheel
> representations have been found in atleast two Harappan sites, at
> levels dated to 2300 -2200 BCE, and I have seen photographs.
> Moreover, the chariot argument is flawed because spokes find
> in only late parts of Rigveda. Counting pages here is quite silly.
> Let us count the total number of pages given by Mallory to 'OIT'
> position vis a vis all the other views on PIE homeland. In fact, 60
> pages are too short to discuss the alternate paradigms.
> PG: All that matters is what they have to say. One might remark,
> somewhat cynically, that Kazanas's indignant refusal to address the
> critics is rather convenient from his point of view. I'm not going
> engage in meta-reviewing (all our members may read the article and
> the reviews for themselves), but consider this: obviously unfair
> criticism is easy to rebut. What if the criticism is devastating
> well-deserved? Never fear. A prudent strategos knows when to sound
> retreat and how to make it look like a moral victory.
> VA: The criticism appears devastating only to those who are totally
> ignorant of the tons of literature published in India (reflected so
> clearly in the bibliographies of the reviewers in the JIES Winter
> 2002). Your final remarks, which some other list members find so
> thrilling, merely reflects the prejudices so deeply ingrained in
> people.

RW: For what they're worth, my observations on the reviews are as

1. Observations on Agrawal

I don't understand why he stresses the inheritance from the IVC. Is
he trying to say that the RV does show it?

2. Observations on Bryant's Review

His review seems rather favourable.

3. Observations on Martin Huld's Review

These observations can all be described as nit-picking.

3.1. Language Diversity:

Are we sure that Scots is not a separate language? (It once had an
army and a navy.)

Can we count Dutch, Frisian, Low German, High German and Danish as
_five_ languages?

The London Borough of Ealing (not a large area) finds it necessary to
print leaflets in at least four Indic languages: Urdu, Hindi,
Gujerati and Bengali. Are we sure it isn't the dispersal centre for
Indo-Aryan? (I raise this issue because the Chinese dialects of Los
Angeles were listed as evidence for the language diversity argument.)

3.2 Dispersals:

Anatolia is not a central location, and pace Piotr is not fully
analogous to 'Formosan' via-à-vis Austronesian; as I see the
Anatolian homeland hypothesis, Indo-Hittite splits into Anatolian and
19th Century Indo-European, and the latter then radiates as Piotr
describes in his Danubian homeland theory.

4. Observations on Kuz'mina's Review:

I'm afraid I don't see the _necessity_ of the relationships between
technology and linguistic separations - wheel & IE; chariot & IIr.
The case for technological spread (West to East) looks good, though.

5. Observations on Mallory's Review:

His critique of the continuity argument leads straight to Renfrew's
theory with 'Hypothesis A' (i.e. that first farmers brought IE from
Near East to India)!

Model 3 might be partially rescued by élite dominance spreading IE
across the steps from East to West. However, 2200 BC is still too

6. Observations on Meadow's Review:

A lot hinges on whether the horses in the RV need to be E. Caballus!

7. Observations on Parpola's Review:

I didn't see anything contentious here!

8. Observations on Zimmer's Review:

He clearly has no time for Kazanas. It's a shame his abuse wasn't
edited out, but perhaps it had to be left in so Kazanas could comment
on the comments within the time scale.

The section on 'archaeoastronomy' is best ignored!

I was puzzled as to how developing the retroflex series (perhaps a
fifth articulation place, rather than a reversion to having four
places) ruled out India as the homeland. (Section 6.2). It took me
a long time to realise that this was an application of
the 'preservation principle'!

I hope Kazanas doesn't mean what he writes in his Footnote 15!

I presume the Kazanas's point about settlers moving to Iceland by
ship was that they did not mix with others en route. Given the
number of Irish wives they had, I don't think that that is
particularly relevant! I have seen Icelandic conservatism explained
by a lack of village-to-village contact - contacts were within a
village or in a meeting of many, many villages.

<End of RW's comments on reviews>

> > > The list members must note that none of the more experienced
> balanced South Asian archaeologists were asked to review the
> the reviews are all one sided, and some (like that of German
> Stefan Zimmer) plain abuse.

RW: Do we know who were invited to comment on the paper? Has Mallory
published his side of the story? It doesn't look like a set-up job
from Mallory's communications with Witzel on the topic.

> > One-sided in what way? Do you simply mean that they were all
> critical of Kazanas's ideas and nobody praised them? Ouch, it must
> have been painful!
> VA: There was nothing difficult in my post that you could not
> comprehend. As noted above, Mallory did not include even one
> archaeologist who has dug extensively in India (Meadow largely
> restricts to Pakistan) except DPA whose views are a minority
> within India, Kuzmina digs in earstwhile Soviet Union. The only
> Vedicists included were Parpola and Witzel, whose views are at the
> same and one end of the spectrum, no Vedic scholar with opposite or
> even different views was included. I presume, you do not want a
> of people who Mallory could have included.
> > > D P Agrawal is somewhat of an oddity in the Indian Archaeology
> establishment in his continued support to crypto Invasionist
> scenarios (and is widely known within India for his leftist-
> sublaternist affiliations).
> >
> > Hang me if I know what a "leftist-sublaternist" is or why it
> be bad to be one, or in what way being one discredits one as a
> scientist. I'm a linguist but I scarcely understand a word of this
> manipulative political gibberish. I'm sure, however, that it's
> place is in propaganda leaflets. Why don't you use plain English
> instead? But perhaps saying that somebody admits the possibility of
> migrations into India does not sound as damning as "crypto-
> Invasionism".
> VA: Ask Zimmer or other 'reviewers' who throw words like 'Hindu
> Nationalists' whenever someone questions their own views in India.
> Within Indian political scenarios, unfortunately, the issue has
> become politicized, and the Marxists-Leftists are actually asking
> that the government ban archaeological digs in India for the next
> years!! I presume that since you are ignorant of all this, you
> not understand.
> >
> > > Parpola is a multiple invasionist as is well known,
> >
> > The way you put it, it sounds sinister, but is it against the law
> to be a "multiple invasionist" (especially if we are talking of
> invasions in the distant past)? If so, is the punishment
> to the number of assumed invasions?
> VA: By this phrase, I meant that he subscribes to the theory of
> atleast 2 invasions of IA speakers into India.

Does he believe in the Dravidian invasion?

> > > Bryant is somewhat balanced, although he refrains for
> his benefactor at Harvard for blatantly inappropriate comments.
> >
> > I somehow have difficulty imagining Edwin Bryant as a member of a
> white supremacist kangaroo court. So in order to prove that he's
> fully balanced he ought to castigate ... why do you refer
> to "his benefactor at Harvard" instead of naming the man? Are you
> talking of Lord Voldemort? What's Bryant's failure to castigate him
> got to do with what Bryant has to say about Kazanas's article?
> VA: Yes and No, to your last question. In fact, Bryant is critical
> Kazanas at times (for that matter, I also find it hard to digest
> extremely high chronology that K has argued for). However, on
> Eurocentric Indology lists, he and just 1 or two other people (such
> as Dr. Hock) have come out OPENLY protesting the rudeness and
> unfairness of the 'mainstream' Indology when discussing these
> (why not do a search on Liverpool Indology archives).
> >
> > > Meadow has already shown his prejudices by openly supporting
> Indian marxists such as Thapar and the 'secular RSS' (R S Sharma)
> by calling South Asian writings as tainted with 'flights of fancy',
> >
> > How confusing! It seems the extreme rightists in the West are
> conspiring with the extreme leftists in India against whatever
> Kazanas stands for.

RW: Only if you think politics is on a line. A circle seems a better
1-D model.

> VA: So I gather it is not wrong to accept money also from
> murderers, neo-Nazis and all kinds of criminals to fund journals.
> that Roger Pearson is any of them, but I really marvel at the low
> morals and ethics of the 'scholarly readers' of the JIES.
> Surely, 'Indian Nationalists', and 'Hindu Nationalists' are more
> respectable than them.

RW: Defrauding White Supremacists is disgraceful. The money they
have invested in the journal should be refunded. :)