S. N. Balagangadhara

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S. N. Balagangadhara (born 3 January 1952) is a Belgian Indologist.

Quotes[edit]

  • Here, India will be a global player of considerable political and economic impact. As a result, the need to explicate what it means to be an Indian (and what the ‘Indianness’ of the Indian culture consists of) will soon become the task of the entire intelligentsia in India. In this process, they will confront the challenge of responding to what the West has so far thought and written about India. A response is required because the theoretical and textual study of the Indian culture has been undertaken mostly by the West in the last three hundred years. What is more, it will also be a challenge because the study of India has largely occurred within the cultural framework of America and Europe. In fulfilling this task, the Indian intelligentsia of tomorrow willhave to solve a puzzle: what were the earlier generations of Indian thinkers busy with, in the course of the last two to three thousand years? The standard textbook story, which has schooled multiple generations including mine, goes as follows: caste system dominates India, strange and grotesque deities are worshipped in strange andgrotesque ways, women are discriminated against, the practice of widow-burning exists and corruption is rampant. If these properties characterize India of today and yesterday, the puzzle about what the earlier generation of Indian thinkers were doing turns into a very painful realization: while the intellectuals of Europeanculture were busy challenging and changing the world, most thinkersin Indian culture were apparently busy sustaining and defendingundesirable and immoral practices. Of course there is our Buddha andour Gandhi but that is apparently all we have: exactly one Buddha and exactly one Gandhi. If this portrayal is true, the Indians have butone task, to modernize India, and the Indian culture but one goal: to become like the West as quickly as possible.
    • Foreword by S. N. Balagangadhara in "Invading the Sacred" (2007) [1]

External links[edit]

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  1. Balagangadhara, S.N. (2007), "Foreword." In Ramaswamy, de Nicolas & Banerjee (Eds.), Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America . Delhi: Rupa & Co., pp. vii–xi.