Perhaps the laughable incompetence of this so-called “academic discipline” should finally cease to awe me with its sheer stupidity?
Eli fails to explain what this “method” is or why criticizing the method is invalid. In fact, he fails to defend current Indologist methodology at all and relies upon sophistry.
Hamlet’s origins are popularly understood to have originated in 1609. It is not comparable to a civilization estimated conservatively to be as old as 3000 BCE or even far back in time prior to that. This is particularly problematic since Eli himself admits later that there’s very little history on pre-modern India’s BCE era. As such, this comparison is laughable at best and to see a so-called “academic” make it is very revealing on their lack of knowledge.
It’s the same people, same locations, same culture, and the obvious dominance of the German school was a key point of explanation that Eli Franco seems obsessed with dodging as a factual point of contention. In fact, this “argument” by Eli Franco is so embarrassing for any academic scholar because it can be addressed by defining one word: Semantics. He is just using different terms for the same locales, people, methodologies, and culture to ignore genuine criticism. It is merely a distinction without a difference and is no different than word salad since he isn’t focusing on genuine criticisms of his and others works. In fact, he’s doing everything to ignore that.
This is yet again a complete evasion since it doesn’t discuss the actual criticisms of the current methods that the Nay Science authors have criticized. It is no surprise, because when reading the Oxford Handbook on the subject as I did, one finds that the current Indology scholarship has no set criteria beyond making up anything they want.
The arguments he presents here completely repudiate his own analogy to Hamlet since he acknowledges the enormity of the scope and his own Indologist friends in the US also argue that only one person wrote the texts, so the criticism falls on both sides in this specific example that he gives. Overall, the entire Indology enterprise across the world seems like a worthless mess to me because it refuses to acknowledge when their supposed “facts” are disproven by archaeology and scientific data such as claims surrounding the Harrapan civilization.
This is a bad argument. Theology changes all the time. Christianity’s New Testament has no example of the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Islam’s afterlife changed from describing seven different levels of heaven to standing atop stars and gazing upon infinite galaxies in more modern interpretations. Judaism has no say on what an afterlife comprises of. Hinduism having different theological contexts doesn’t mean it is a group of different religions.
This is a personally motivated attack and flurry of insults. This is unbecoming of any person who claims to be an academic. Eli Franco does this because he refuses to engage in the arguments in the Nay Science.
He proceeds to make multiple assertions without evidence. He provides no citations for his arguments regarding the Gita. As a comparison, the Ramayana had two different versions of its own story with different endings.
Eli Franco insists on Gandhi, who never claimed to be a scholar of theology and was primarily a peace activist, and then brings up politics in quite possibly the most unprofessional manner possible. This is probably to hide his own incompetence and his stalwart refusal to engage in the actual criticisms of the Nay Science. Much to my surprise, and perhaps the surprise of real academics, he fails at understanding that fascism was historically an ultra-right wing Catholic ideology. To see such self-stylized “academics” use such terms so foolishly is quite a surprise. I had expected competence from someone claiming to be from the University of Leipzig, but I suppose most Indologists are simply too incompetent to know even that much. Their genuine lack of knowledge in understanding factual information, lack of knowledge for rational empiricism, and lack of knowledge of logical fallacies continues to shock and amaze me.
For those who have paid for an Academic.edu account, you can read his essay review here: https://www.academia.edu/27065959/The_Nay_Science_A_History_of_German_Indology_by_Vishwa_Adluri_and_Joydeep_Bagchee
2 thoughts on “Eli Franco’s “review” of the Nay Science reveals the shocking incompetence of modern-day Indology”
Great rebuttal. Do make this into citable article on academia or elsewhere. It will help fellow dharmics into citing your work for building upon them.
Are you a member of bharatiyavidvatparidhad? (https://groups.google.com/g/bvparishat?pli=1)
I think you should.
I don’t know enough about Sanskrit or its history to make much of a contribution. If I ever add this to an academic.edu article, then it’ll need to be longer and more detailed. I mostly wrote this in blog form because, from my own experience, it seems to be enough to crush any Western Indologist views judging from what I’ve seen from how Andrew Nicholson and his cohorts have behaved. They seemed bold up until criticism of the contents of their writings became more widespread.