Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Asko Parpola

Yesterday's The Hindu had an interesting interview with Asko Parpola, who is an eminent Indologist. In this article, he explains why he thinks that ‘I do not believe in a full decipherment’ of the Indus script. Of something that has been of debate very recently after a certain political party came into power, he has this to say - "I have always found it most unfortunate that the past is politicised and used for other than scholarly purposes. As far as the Aryan-Dravidian dichotomy is concerned, it must be remembered that ‘Aryan’ and ‘Dravidian’ are linguistic and not racial terms". This is actually a very interesting line to take. Instead of lambasting the people who used the Aryan Invasion fact/theory for political mileage, he answers - "There is no pure race, and Aryan and Dravidian speakers have been in contact with each other in South Asia from the start of their encounter. Ever since the Aryan speakers came to India from Central Asia, this militarily powerful minority group would have mixed with the local population. Centuries of gradually increasing bilingualism eventually led to a large-scale language shift, making almost the whole population of North India Indo-Aryan speakers. Linguistic and religious fanatics inflame a wrong sort of nationalism, which has led to great ills both in South Asia and elsewhere. Ancient traditions of language must not be used to divide people."

Beautiful explanation. Accept facts for facts. Nothing more.

For the complete article, read here.

1 comment:

  1. Ok Anwin, looks like the comments section does not pop-out anymore.

    ReplyDelete

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