Sheldon Pollock

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Sheldon I. Pollock is a scholar of Sanskrit, the intellectual and literary history of India, and comparative intellectual history. He is currently the Arvind Raghunathan Professor of South Asian Studies at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. He was the general editor of the Clay Sanskrit Library and is the founding editor of the Murty Classical Library of India. Pollock has founded a post-orientalist school of indology, which he describes as an "Indology beyond the Raj and Auschwitz" based on "self-consciously responsible scholarship in late twentieth-century America".[1]

As an advocate of a new post-orientalist Indology, Pollock states that "One task of post-orientalist Indology has to be to exhume, isolate, analyze, theorize, and at the very least talk about the different modalities of domination in traditional India."[2]

Scholarship[edit]

Pollock's research focuses on the history and interpretation of Sanskrit texts. He completed his dissertation, "Aspects of Versification in Sanskrit Lyric Poetry," at Harvard University under Daniel H. H. Ingalls. Much of his work, including his 2006 book The Language of the Gods in the World of Men, is devoted to understanding the different roles that Sanskrit has played in intellectual and cultural life throughout its history.

Deep Orientalism? (1993)[edit]

According to Pollock's Deep Orientalism? (1993), European indologists and the British colonialists merely propagated the pre-existing oppressive structures inherent in Sanskrit such as varna. Pollock labels these pre-existing oppressive structures in Sanskrit as "pre-orientalist orientalism", "pre-colonial orientalism" and "a preform of orientalism". [3]

According to Pollock, "Sanskrit was the principal discursive instrument of domination in premodern India."[4] According to Wilhelm Halbfass, Pollock postulates an inherent relationship between the hegemonic role of Sanskrit in traditional India and its students among British colonialists or German National Socialists.[5][note 1]

Pollock believes that the previous "Eurocentrism" and "European epistemological hegemony" prevented scholars "from probing central features of South Asian life."[6][7] According to Pollock, "One task of post-orientalist Indology has to be to exhume, isolate, analyze, theorize, and at the very least talk about the different modalities of domination in traditional India." [7]

Ramayana[edit]

In Ramayana and Political Imagination in India (1993), written against the backdrop of the demolition of the Babri Masjid and attendant sectarian violence in Ayodhya, Pollock seeks to explain how the Ramayana, a text commonly viewed as a "narrative of the divine presence" in the world could serve as a basis for a divisive contemporary political discourse.[8] He asserts that there is a long history of relationship between the Ramayana and political symbology, with the protagonist, Rama depicted as the "chief of the righteous," and Ravana, in opposition, as the one "who fills all the world with terror."[9] Pollock calls the Ramayana fundamentally a text of "othering" as outsiders in the epic are "othered" by being represented as sexual, dietetical, and political deviants. Ravana, is not only "other" due to his polygyny but is presented as a tyrant. Similarly, he states that the rakshasas (demons) of the poem can be viewed from a psychosexual perspective to symbolise all that the traditional Sanskritic Indian might desire and fear. He contrasts the othering in the Ramayana with the Mahabharata which not only has no othering, but in fact has "brothering" due to the shared identity of the antagonists.[10]

A "dramatic and unparalleled" turn came about in the eleventh to fourteenth centuries, a time when the Muslim Turkic rule took hold in India, with Ramayana taking a central place in the public political discourse.[11] He notes the specific meaning-conjuncture in the depiction of the Gurjara-Pratihara founder Nagabhata I as the sage Narayana that "shone with four arms with glittering terrible weapons." [12] To Pollock, Ramayana offers "special imaginative resources," of divinization and demonization.[13] Valmiki's solution to the political paradox of epic India is the "divinized king" who combats evil in the form of a 'demonized others'.[14] Later medieval commentaries of Valmiki's Ramayana include instances where the Muslim outsiders are cast as rakshasas and asuras, and in the case of a Mughal translation of the epic, of Akbar being projected as the divine king, Rama and divs as the rakshasas.[15] Pollock reasons that this recurrent "mythopolitical strategy" of using the Ramayana as a political instrument has also found favour in modern India in the Ayodhya dispute. This is clear not only in the choice of Ayodhya, the traditional birthplace of Rama, but also in the attempts by the BJP and VHP to portray Muslims as demonic.[16]

The Death of Sanskrit (2001)[edit]

Pollock begins his 2001 paper The Death of Sanskrit by associating Sanskrit with "Hindutva propagandists", the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.[17]

Pollock notes that "most observers would agree that, in some crucial way, Sanskrit is dead".[18] and wrote about how Sanskrit has come to this point. Observing the changes in the use of Sanskrit in 12th-century Kashmir, 16th-century Vijayanagara, and 17th-century Varanasi, Pollock argued that Sanskrit came to serve the purposes of "reinscription and restatement," while truly creative energies were directed elsewhere.[19]

The Language of the Gods in the World of Men (2006)[edit]

The Sanskrit Cosmopolis[edit]

In his 2006 book The Language of the Gods in the World of Men, Pollock posits "the scholarly cultivation of language in premodern India" should be seen in terms of "its relationship to political power".[20] Although Sanskrit was a language of Vedic ritual, it was adopted by royal courts, and by the fifth century "power in India now had a Sanskrit voice".[21] According to Pollock, "Sanskrit become the premier vehicle for the expression of royal will, displacing all other codes" and "Sanskrit learning itself became an essential component of power."[22] Pollock believes that grammar was linked to power, stating "the main point should be clear: that power’s concern with grammar, and to a comparable degree grammar’s concern with power, comprised a constitutive feature of the Sanskrit cosmopolitan order."[23] Pollock states that "overlords were keen to ensure the cultivation of the language through patronage awarded to grammarians, lexicographers, metricians, and other custodians of purity, and through endowments to schools for the purpose of grammatical studies."[24] Pollock links the varna of Sanskrit grammar (which means language sounds) to the varna of social order.[25]

The Vernacular Millennium[edit]

Pollock has argued that, in the Sanskrit cosmopolis, vernacular languages were largely excluded from doing the kind of political-cultural "work" that Sanskrit did. Gradually, however, a process of "vernacularization" resulted in certain vernacular languages being cultivated in much the same way as Sanskrit. Pollock has argued that "vernacularization" has generally involved two steps: first, the use of a written form of the vernacular in "everyday" contexts, such as recording names in inscriptions, which Pollock calls "literalization," and second, the use of the written form of the vernacular in more imaginative contexts, such as writing poetry, which Pollock calls "literarization." Literarization has often involved the creative adaptation of models from "superposed cultural formations," and in South Asia this has largely meant using Sanskrit models.[26] Pollock has focused on Kannada as a case-study in vernacularization in South Asia, and has reflected on the vernacularization of Europe as a parallel instance.

Lack of a singular Indian culture[edit]

Pollock believes there never was a singular Indian culture. Pollock states:

Indeed, a stable singularity called "Indian culture", so often conjured up by Southeast Asian indigenists, never existed. What did exist was only a range of cultural and political codes and acts, many recently developed (Sanskrit kāvya, public inscriptions, free-standing temple buildings, quasi-universalist political imagery, land-grants to Brahmanical communities, and so on) and undoubtedly generated out of various local practices.[27]

Pollock believes the idea of "a single Indian ‘peoplehood’ (janata)" present in the name of the Bharatiya Janata Party is a modern invention:

The very names of the groups that make up the institutional complex of Hindutva – including the Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party) and its ideological wing, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) – bespeak what had never been spoken before, postulating in the one case a single Indian "peoplehood" (janata), in the other, Hinduism as an aggressive universalism.[28]

Critical philology to transcend Sanskrit's toxicity[edit]

Pollock has written about the history and current state of philology, both inside India and outside. In Indian Philology and India's Philology (2011) he defines this current state as "the practices of making sense of texts."[29] In Future Philology? (2009) he has called for practising a "critical philology" which is sensitive to different kinds of truths: the facts of a text's production and circulation, and the various ways in which texts have been interpreted throughout history.[30] In Crisis in the Classics (2011) Pollock states that, once the "toxicity", "extraordinary inequality" and "social poisons" of Sanskrit are acknowledged, critical philology can be used to transcend inequality and transform the dominant culture by "outsmarting" the oppressive discourse through study and analysis.[31][note 2]

In the introduction to World Philology (2015) he has also drawn attention to the diversity and longevity of philological traditions in the world and argued for studying them comparatively.[32]

Aesthetics[edit]

Pollock has published on issues related to the history of aesthetics in India, and in particular on the paradigm shift from a "formalist" analysis of emotion (rasa) in literary texts to a more "reader-centered" analysis in the (lost) works of the 9th/10th-century theorist Bhaṭṭa Nāyaka.[33]

The Ambedkar Sanskrit Fellowship Program[edit]

In 2011 the Ambedkar Sanskrit Fellowship Program started at Columbia, offering a fellowship for one person to pursue a master's degree in Sanskrit. Pollock hopes that this eventually will result in a PhD. Pollock believes that "learning Sanskrit will empower the oppressed by helping them understand the sources and building blocks of the ideology of oppression, as well as its arbitrary nature."[34]

Reception[edit]

Hegemonic role of Sanskrit[edit]

According to Jessica Frazier, Pollock points "an accusatory finger at the language, highlighting its function as a purveyor of forms of authority that are culturally and ethnically exclusive, benefiting the few at the expense of the many."[35] According to Frazier, Pollock shows how texts can function to support and spread forms of authority which exclude specific cultural and ethnic subgroups, thereby benefiting small groups within society, at the expense of other groups.[35]

According to Frazier, Pollock has been "contributing to the hermeneutics of suspicion that has become influential in Hindu Studies".[35] "Hermeneutics of suspicion" is a phrase coined by Paul Ricœur, "to capture a common spirit that pervades the writings of Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche."[36] According to Rita Felski, it is "a distinctively modern style of interpretation that circumvents obvious or self-evident meanings in order to draw out less visible and less flattering truths.[36][note 3] Ruthellen Josselson explains that "Ricoeur distinguishes between two forms of hermeneutics: a hermeneutics of faith which aims to restore meaning to a text and a hermeneutics of suspicion which attempts to decode meanings that are disguised."[37]

According to David Peter Lawrence, Pollock characterizes Shastras, including philosophical works, as efforts to eternally enshrine the interests and cultural practices of sections of pre-modern India. [38]

The death of Sanskrit[edit]

Scholars have reacted to Pollock's claim that Sanskrit is dead. Jürgen Hanneder states that Pollock's argumentation is "often arbitrary".[39] Hanneder states "Pollock has overinterpreted the evidence to support his theory, perhaps in his understandable anger over current nationalistic statements about Sanskrit and indeed new attempts at resanskritization – processes that should perhaps be analysed a few decades later from a distance."[39] Hanneder says that Sanskrit is not "dead language in the most common usage of the term," since it is still "spoken, written and read," and has emphasized the continuous production of creative literature in Sanskrit up to the present day.[39][40] Others have emphasized the new creative and intellectual projects that Sanskrit was a part of in early modernity, such as Nīlakaṇṭha Caturdhara's commentary on the Mahābhārata and the development of sophisticated forms of logical analysis (navyanyāya).[41]

National Socialist Indology[edit]

Reinhold Grünendahl takes a critical stance towards Pollock's characterisation of German pre-war Indology as "a state-funded Aryanist think-tank, set up to create an Indo-German "counteridentity to Semite", and simultaneously preparing the ‘scientific’ basis for racial antiSemitism."[42] According to Grunendahl, Pollock's new American school of indology is "post-Orientalist messianism," commenting that Pollock's self-described "Indology beyond the Raj and Auschwitz" leads to "the ‘New Raj’ across the deep blue sea."[43]

Petition to remove Pollock from Murty Classical Library[edit]

A petition initiated by Indian scholars demanded that Pollock be removed from the editorship of the Murty Classical Library of India, an initiative that publishes classical literary works from India.[note 4] The petitioners are believed to belong to the 'network of trust' created by Rajiv Malhotra's book, The Battle for Sanskrit.[44]

In a response, Rohan Murty, the founder of the library,[45] stated that Sheldon Pollock will continue his position, saying that the library will commission the best possible scholar for that particular language.[46][47]

The petition notes from the long academic career of Prof. Pollock that it is well-known that he has "deep antipathy towards many of the ideals and values cherished and practiced in our (Indian) civilization." It said "he echoes the views of Macaulay and Max Weber that the shastras generated in India serve no contemporary purpose except for the study of how Indians express themselves. To back up their claim, the petitioners cites his 1985 paper[48]. The petition also cites that Pollock's political activism unrelated to academia condemning the Government of India in its various actions which potentially undermines it's sovereignty and integrity including 2016 JNU sedition controversy.[49] [50] The petition also cites Rajiv Malhotra's book The Battle for Sanskrit, in which Pollock is a major topic

According to Rohan Murty the petition "distorted" Sheldon Pollock's stance on the relevance of India's "unique knowledge systems," suggesting that Sheldon Pollock has a "deep antipathy" for India.[51][52] Rohan Murty further made clear that Sheldon Pollock will continue his position, saying that the library will commission the "best possible scholar for that particular language. We will not judge on nationality, gender, race, creed or colour." He further questioned the intentions of the petitioners, noting that none of the petitioners had tried to contact him for the past six years.[53][54]


A petition initiated by Indian scholars demanded that Pollock be removed from the editorship of the Murty Classical Library of India.[note 5] Among the reasons cited was what the petitioners perceive as Pollock's political activism condemning the Government of India in its actions against the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.[55] The petitioners further raised concerns that "the sentiments and understanding of the millions of Indians who practice these traditions" should not be violated, and therefore the translators should be "deeply rooted and steeped in the intellectual traditions of India," and "also need to be imbued with a sense of respect and empathy for the greatness of Indian civilization."[56] The petition also cites Rajiv Malhotra's book The Battle for Sanskrit, in which Pollock is a major topic.

According to Rohan Murty the petition "distorted" Sheldon Pollock's stance on the relevance of India's "unique knowledge systems," suggesting that Sheldon Pollock has a "deep antipathy" for India.[51][57][52] The petitioners quoted from Polock's speech What is South Asian Knowledge Good For?,[57][note 6] in which Pollock defended the relevance of these knowledge systems,[58] rhetorically asking if there "any decision makers" who do not deem Asian knowledge systems to have lost their relevance. But his speech argued for the opposite point of view.[57]

In a response, Rohan Murty reportedly forwarded the full text of the 2012 lecture,[52] which makes clear that Sheldon Pollock argues that "the special, unique knowledge systems developed in India, mainly recorded in Sanskrit, are of great value, and that this fact is not recognised by "universities and foundations" who, like Macauley and Weber, think that Indian knowledge systems have been superseded by Western ones."[57] Pollock, on the contrary, thinks that

"...while we desperately need to know about climate change and global epidemics and the rest of the problems that knowledge about South Asia can help us solve, knowledge of South Asia, knowledge that South Asians themselves have produced, has a critical role to play in our lives."[51]

After being questioned by Dheeraj Sanghi from IIT Kanpur, the petitioners replaced the quote.[57][note 7][note 8]

Rohan Murty further made clear that Sheldon Pollock will continue his position, saying that the library will commission the "best possible scholar for that particular language. We will not judge on nationality, gender, race, creed or colour." He further questioned the intentions of the petitioners, noting that none of the petitioners had tried to contact him for the past six years.[60][61]

This petition comes in a backdrop of University of California, Irvine rejecting a $3M donation to establish endowment chairs in Hindu and India studies by the Dharma Civilization Foundation (DCF), an organization seeking to counter anti-Hindu bias in the academy. The rejection was based on concerns about the ‘ideology’ of the donors and the organization.[62]

Among the reasons cited was what the petitioners perceive as Pollock's political activism condemning the Government of India in its actions against the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.[63] The petitioners further raised concerns that "the sentiments and understanding of the millions of Indians who practice these traditions" should not be violated, and therefore the translators should be "deeply rooted and steeped in the intellectual traditions of India," and "also need to be imbued with a sense of respect and empathy for the greatness of Indian civilization."[64]

Criticism[edit]

Pollock's writing on kavya somehow gives perception that he is political and fanatic about demonizing Indian civilization. Further, his writing on ramayana goes grossly against the spiritual and moral values enshrined in the ramayana. By reading his writings it seems that he does not rely on the authentic sources to study sanskrit..[65]

Pollock has come under severe criticism from Indian American scholar and author Rajiv Malhotra. He accuses Pollock of separating the soul of Sanskrit from its body, by separating the sacred aspects of the language from its secular usage – the paramarthika from the vyavaharika. The idea is to embed a degree of self-hate in Hindus, so that they begin to view Sanskrit as the language of oppression, and only some aspects of the language – the kavya and secular literature – as worthy of respect. Malhotra says that Pollock would like sacred Sanskrit as essentially oppressive – and many western-educated Indians have internalised this critique.[note 9]

Pollock has been criticised by Indian American scholar and author Rajiv Malhotra for his "American Orientalism."Malhotra criticises Pollock with separating the soul of Sanskrit from its body, of separating the sacred aspects of the language from its secular usage – the paramarthika from the vyavaharika. Mahotra says the idea is to embed a degree of self-hate in Hindus, so that they begin to view Sanskrit as the language of oppression, and only some aspects of the language – the kavya and secular literature – as worthy of respect. Pollock would like sacred Sanskrit as essentially oppressive – and many western-educated Indians have internalised this critique.

The Sanskrit Cosmopolis[edit]

In Pollock's analysis, Sanskrit was cultivated primarily as a language of Brahmanical ritual until the beginning of the common era, when it started to become the preeminent language of literary and political expression in much of southern Asia. Pollock has given the name of the “Sanskrit cosmopolis” to the cultural-political order in which Sanskrit did the work of “articulating a form of political consciousness and culture, politics as ... celebration of aesthetic power.”[20] In Pollock's thinking, this order is not primarily defined by religious commitments or political ideologies, but a set of cultural practices such as kāvya (the production of imaginative literature in Sanskrit) and śāstra (the production of systematic knowledge in Sanskrit). As a “cosmopolitan” language, Sanskrit was cultivated by people of different religions (such as Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains) throughout many regions of southern Asia (including present-day India, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia).

The Vernacular Millennium[edit]

Pollock has argued that, in the Sanskrit cosmopolis, vernacular languages were largely excluded from doing the kind of political-cultural “work” that Sanskrit did. Gradually, however, a process of “vernacularization” resulted in certain vernacular languages being cultivated in much the same way as Sanskrit. Pollock has argued that “vernacularization” has generally involved two steps: first, the use of a written form of the vernacular in “everday” contexts, such as recording names in inscriptions, which Pollock calls “literization,” and second, the use of the written form of the vernacular in more imaginative contexts, such as writing poetry, which Pollock calls “literarization.” Literarization has often involved the creative adaptation of models from “superposed cultural formations,” and in South Asia this has largely meant using Sanskrit models.[66] Pollock has focused on Kannada as a case-study in vernacularization in South Asia, and has reflected on the vernacularization of Europe as a parallel instance.

The Death of Sanskrit[edit]

Pollock noted that "most observers would agree that, in some crucial way, Sanskrit is dead".[17] and wrote about how Sanskrit has come to this point. Observing the changes in the use of Sanskrit in 12th-century Kashmir, 16th-century Vijayanagara, and 17th-century Varanasi, Pollock argued that Sanskrit came to serve the purposes of “reinscription and restatement,” while truly creative energies were directed elsewhere.[67]

Reception[edit]

Reinhold Grünendahl criticizes Pollock's claim that American scholarship has abandoned the orientalism of European scholarship. Grünendahl states that Pollock's scholarship is merely "the 'New Raj' across the deep blue sea."[68]

Regarding Sanskrit, Jessica Frazier describes Pollock as pointing "an accusatory finger at the language, highlighting its function as a purveyor of forms of authority that are culturally and ethnically exclusive, benefiting the few at the expense of the many."[69] Frazier describes Pollock as "contributing to the hermeneutics of suspicion that has become influential in Hindu Studies".[69][note 10]

Scholars have reacted to Pollock's claim that Sanskrit is dead. Jürgen Hanneder has claimed that Sanskrit is not "dead language in the most common usage of the term," since it is still "spoken, written and read," and has emphasized the continuous production of creative literature in Sanskrit up to the present day.[70][71] Others have emphasized the new creative and intellectual projects that Sanskrit was a part of in early modernity, such as Nīlakaṇṭha Caturdhara's commentary on the Mahābhārata and the development of sophisticated forms of logical analysis (navyanyāya).[72]

Rajiv Malhotra notes that Pollock uses a political philology, which unearths "social abuses in the texts (against dalits, women, Muslims)".[73] According to Pollock, "political philology" is "an active mode of understanding." It does not simply take (religious) texts at face-value without any connection to a social and polotical context, but situates them in this context, and is sensitive to the social and political implications and usages of a (religious) text.[74]

Ramayana[edit]

Pollock believes the Ramayana is "profoundly and fundamentally a text of 'othering'" where the other is represented as "sexually, dietetically, politically deviant."[75] This "othering" is due to a "psychosexual perspective, as representing all that certain traditional Indians-within a Sanskrit cultural formation-might most desire and most fear".[76]

Pollock believes this "demonizing formulation"[77] has been used for communalist purposes for 1,000 years, with effects on present day India:

If the Ramayana has served for 1,000 years as a code in which protocommunalist relations could be activated and theocratic legitimation could be rendered-if it constitutes an imaginary within which the public sphere is not sundered from the religious, and at the same time cannot be conceptualized without a concomitant demonization of some other-it makes sense that it would be through this mytheme par excellence that reactionary politics in India today would find expression in the interests of a theocratization of the state and the creation of an internal enemy as necessary antithesis.[78]

In The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki: An Epic of Ancient India. Ayodhyākāṇḍa (2007), Pollock describes Rama as utterly incapable of making independent ethical and moral choices. He opines that Rama has no control on the choices he makes and has no understanding of why circumstances are playing out as they did. Pollock says, "The status of junior members of the Indian household was, historically, not very dissimilar to that of slaves, both with respect to the father and, again, hierarchically among themselves".[1] Pollock says, about Rama:

In some respects it may be erroneous for us to think of the protagonist of the Ramayana as a hero. Properly understood, heroes are those who do great things in the face of certain defeat, such as Achilles, Siegfried, Roland, Cuchulain. They far transcend us and are not figures we are supposed to emulate. Rama emphatically is; and the various types of behavior that he exemplifies - filial devotion, for example, or obedience - we have already observed.[1]

In Ramáyana Book II: Ayódhya, Pollock goes against the traditional dating of the epic and argues that 'the poem is more easily considered as the first chapter in a new volume of Indian literary history than as the last of an old one'. He does not see the Ramayana reflecting historical events but as a myth potentially inspired by a Buddhist Jataka tale about a man named Rama.[79]


Sanskrit cosmopolis and the death of Sanskrit[edit]

According to Pollock, the use and function of Sanskrit as a language of literature and philosophy underwent several changes.[80]

In the first millennium BCE, Sanskrit was a sacrificial and liturgical language, used by a restricted elite.[81] In the first millennium CE Sanskrit became a medium for a wider range of cultural expressions, used by many communities throughout South and Southeast Asia, the socalled "Sanskrit cosmopolis." It was used as a main medium of expression of a transregional social and political imagination. It was not only the language of Indian religions, but was also interwoven with power structures, legitimating the power of the ruling classes and the domination of lower classes. In the second millennium Sanskrit lost this dominant position, while vernacular literatures developed. Pollock has compared this South Asia development with European developments in the use of Greek and Latin.[82] By 1800, Sanskrit had lost its creative function and was no longer in use as a medium for intelectual exchange.[83] It was only being used by a small minority for works without originality.

Sheldon Pollock argues that "most observers would agree that, in some crucial way, Sanskrit is dead".[84]:393 Pollock has further argued that, while Sanskrit continued to be used in literary cultures in India, it was never adapted to express the changing forms of subjectivity and sociality as embodied and conceptualised in the modern age.[84]:416 Instead, it was reduced to "reinscription and restatements" of ideas already explored, and any creativity was restricted to hymns and verses.[84]:398 A notable exception are the military references of Nīlakaṇṭha Caturdhara's 17th-century commentary on the Mahābhārata.[85]

Hatcher notes that Pollock's characterisation of 'the death of Sanskrit' suggests a rupture, where there may be a more continuous develoment, agreeing with Pollock that modern works continue to be produced in Sanskrit.[86] Hanneder also notes that Sanskrit is not "dead language in the most common usage of the term," since it is still "spoken, written and read."[87] Hanneder also argues that modern works in Sanskrit are either ignored or their "modernity" contested.[88]

Prohibitional use and powerstructures[edit]

Pollock argues that in the first millennium BCE, only the three upper varnas were allowed to learn and use Sanskrit; therefore, it served as an instrument of exclusion, which was codified in the mīmāmsakas.[81]

In his much-cited[83] article The Death of Sanskrit (2001) Pollock notes that Indian nationalists are propagating "distorted images of India's past."[89] Sanskrit plays a central role in this revisionism. It is regarded as central to Hindu identity, and keeping it alive is an important aim in contemporary fundings for Sanskrit studies.[89]

Frazier notes that language is one of the carriers of tradition, carrying with it implicit assumptions which are hidden from critical self-reflection.[90] According to Frazier, Pollock has been

...contributing to the hermeneutics of suspicion[note 11] that has become influential in Hindu Studies, [continuing] to point an accusatory finger at the language, highlighting its function as a purveyor of forms of authority that are culturally and ethnically exclusive, benefiting the few at the expense of the many."[91]

Concerns about Digital India[edit]

Pollock signed the Faculty Statement on Narendra Modi Visit to Silicon Valley, which expresses "concerns about the uncritical fanfare being generated over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley to promote "Digital India" on September 27, 2015."[92] According to the statement, the project lacks

...safeguards about privacy of information, and thus its potential for abuse. As it stands, “Digital India” seems to ignore key questions raised in India by critics concerned about the collection of personal information and the near certainty that such digital systems will be used to enhance surveillance and repress the constitutionally- protected rights of citizens.[92]

The Faculty Statement mentions "well publicized episodes of censorship and harassment of those critical of [Modi's] policies, and fear that "academic freedom is also at risk."[92] Richard A. Falk, professor emeritus of law at Princeton University, who also signed, further explains that

I and others on the list have questions about Narendra Modi’s record on religious tolerance, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression. Some of those who signed the letter have also been subject to a campaign of harassment from Hindu nationalist followers, which raises particular worries about academic freedom.[93]

According to David Palumbo-Li, the letter

...created a tidal wave of incensed reaction from the activists and others associated with the wider Hindu nationalist movement in India and around the world, which points to a number of sensitive issues and ingrained antipathies.[94]

According to the petitioners, the letter was met with "intimidation and harassment,"[95] including "email harassment from the Hindu Vivek Kendra, a Hindu nationalist organization affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a member"[96] and the targeting of several petitioners "by a board member of the Hindu American Foundation, another Hindu nationalist organization."[96] According to the petitioners,

The threats and ugly tone in the comments section of this blog and elsewhere illustrate exactly how academic freedom, and freedom of expression in general, is compromised by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist followers [...] The chilling effect of these attacks makes it difficult to address either the substance of our claims or any legitimate points of contention with our letter.[95]

In a response, the HAF stated that this was an ad hominem attack on the HAF, and that no HAF-members had contacted any of the petitioners.[97] In a counter-response, the petitioners explained that the HAF-board member is Dr. Aseem Shukla, who "seeks to cast aspersions on the scholarship and activities of some letter signatories without actually engaging any of it."[98][note 12]


Interest in exploring Sanskrit[edit]

Speaking to TehelkaTV's correspondent Pragya Tiwari, Sheldon Pollock says he was basically a Classicist, and Sanskrit was an extension of his interest. A kind of critical appropriation of classical past. In his own words:[99][100]

"I wish, it were the case that Saraswati had visited me in my dreams one night and invited me to be her lover!, but that did not happen. I said that in Latin and Greek in Harvard and took Sanskrit as part of my interest in Classical antiquity."[101]

When the interviewer was shocked and asked, wouldn't that be scandalous to consider Goddess Saraswati as your lover?. "Yes, that's very scandalous!. Normally, you people think yourself as Saraswateyahs - the sons of Saraswati," he replied.

It seems, he took interest in Sanskrit as Western Classical antiquity has already been explored to last nugget and partly because he saw intellectual opportunities in India, especially in Indian cultures and scope for work in inventions and discoveries in India.

He argues that Sanskrit is not just about religious rituals, rites and practices;moreover, not a monopolised possession of certain narrow minded communities as it is also adapted by Chinese and Japanese Buddhist's too. He would like to convey that Sanskrit is not a language of religions;instead, a language for the expression of 2000 years past and sophiscated consciouness that the world has ever seen in other languages. He means Sanskrit as a language for 2000 years was about inventions, intellectual discoveries, and new poetry.[102]

He believes India as a repository of millions of Manuscript's and are deliberately not being given access to outside world from 20th century. He and his abroad colleagues would like to explore the indian knowledge before British Raj Colonialism catastrophe. He seems to be interested in knowing indians knowledge in Epistemology, Aesthetics, Astrosciences, Life sciences etc., under a project named Indian knowledge on eve of Colonialism.

He apparently seems to be interested in exploring the missing literature and works of 'Bhatta Nayaka' and 'Dharma Kirti'. He says 'Bhatta Nayaka' from Kashmir wrote 'Hridayadarpana'(Mirror of the Heart) in 9th century AD, one of the greatest works on aesthetics in pre-modern world. He seems to have an obsessive fantasy that he could find the missing book and Bhatta Nayaka would visit him in his dreams. He also says, he was aware of 12 verses and 3 proses of Bhatta Nayaka's works are still available in india, but the works are translated by his enemies. He feels that the works of 'Dharma Kirti' too are missing, and says Dharma Kirti was a buddhist, greatest philosopher, and deepest logician in 7th century AD.[103]

Speaking on his book, 'The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India', he wanted to prove how local languages in India like say, Kannada can maintain its individuality while continuing its friendship with Sanskrit. He even takes the reference of Persian language saying: "When persian language had become a major cosmopolitan language, it had intimate enmity with lot of North Indian languages, but shared a certain kind of intimacy at a certain distance." He apparently, wanted regional languages in India to maintain its beauty, their presence and protect its individuality, while maintaining a kind of relationship with Sanskrit.

He also observes that India is the only place where Vernacular could live with Cosmopolitan that seems impossible in the globalised West. He further criticizes 'McDonalization'(apparently, Globalization) of the world turning everything into a horrible uniformity. He lauds, incredible india's "Unity in Diversity," maintaining a kind of common network of ideas and conversations, while maintaining certain kind of "localism".[102] In his own words:

The study of the past is the study of the possible future. The resources of the past are certainly the resources of the future.[99][100][101]


Criticism on indian mentality towards Sanskrit[edit]

On one hand, he boasts indians, for their intelligence, depth and coherence, and longevity;thereafter, criticizing indians mentality on Sanskrit as a language in expecting something to prove them. He denounces indians as wanting Sanskrit to provide a cure for cancer, to find a recipe for cold fusion, to resurrect the past, and expects Aerodynamics theory in Vedic texts.[99][100][101]

Criticism on indian epics[edit]

He looks, totally against the politics surrounding indian Classical studies in contrast to Classical studies in West. He strongly denounced the North Indian politics of BJP and RSS in mobilising people around epic figures through 'Rathyatra', for consolidation of Hindutva by attacking Babri masjid. He seems to have understood Hindu epics and literature as a sight of political manipulations, over the period.[102]

He is very much concerned about the dangerous sedimentation of Mahabharatha and Ramayana mythic formations. "Mahabharatha is dangerously political story. It is a deep meditation on civil war," he said. He also says, Ramayana epic on the other hand is a political struggle displaced on others. "Ramayana is other sedimentation of the mythic. It is the story of othering," he said.[99][100][101]

Criticism[edit]

Some defenders of traditional Oriental studies, such as Reinhold Grunendahl, have argued that Pollock exaggerates the connection between Nazism and German Indology in his "Deep Orientalism? Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj" (1993). Pollock has also been criticized for his emphasis on secular aspects of Sanskrit literary culture and his lack of interest in the field of religious studies.

Pollock's central argument is that Sanskrit is a dead language[104] and is an instrument of oppression.[105] He seeks to delink the study of Sanskrit from Hinduism and thus make it secular - effectively stripping it of its sacred attributes which are key for Hindus.[105]


Quotes[edit]

  • Wilhelm Halbfass, the late Indologist at the University of Pennsylvania, took such ridiculous statements into strange, speculative areas and wrote: Would it not be equally permissible to identify this underlying structure as 'deep Nazism' or 'deep Mimamsa'? And what will prevent us from calling Kumarila and William Jones 'deep Nazis' and Adolf Hitler a 'deep Mimamsaka'?
    • The Battle for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra
  • He then goes a step further and briefly imposes a Freudian reading on the text, a reading outdated and crude even in the current Western context of cultural criticim. He says the depiction of 'the other' in Ramayana can be understood as a projection of the unfulfilled sexual desires of traditional Indians. .... The motive of applying a totally alien framework, viz., the Freudian one, to a traditional Hindu text is something that is questionable.
    • The Battle for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra
  • The suggestion that the story of the Ramayana could be traced to Buddhist sources was put forward by Weber who saw it as growing, under the influence of the Greek epics, to its present form.....Thes theory as cogently refuted shortly after it was promulgated... There can be no doubt, however, that.... the Dasaratha Jataka is substantially later than the Valmiki Ramayana and that it is both inspired by an derived from it. [106]
    • The Battle for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra
  • It seems obvious that Pollock is committed to the Marxist theory linking literary works and political power. He wants to deploy it as his lens for analysing how the aesthetic use of languages in India became interwoven into the fabric of politics. At a deeper level, beyond the aesthetic and political usage of Sanskrit, he finds that old Marxist demon: theology. For him, as for most Marxist-oriented scholars, all forms of spirituality/transcendence are , in effect, irrational, deformed and mystified ways of thinking....
    • The Battle for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra
  • Although he sees this process as politcally driven, Pollock does acknowledge there were no conquering Sanskrit legions that caused Sanskritization, unlike the coercive Romanization which followed Roman military legions. Nor was there a central church-like religious institution and hence no evangelism that could have Sanskritized through religious conversion. He admits that the notion of the Sanskrit cosmopolis does not fit the Western notion of an empire.
    • The Battle for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra
  • I do not contest that this top-down instrumental use for pure politics was being made to some degree; but to reduce the entire process of cultural evolution to a matter of politics betrays a profound misunderstanding. This view disregards the intrinsic appeal of the Sanskrit tradition, including for non-elites, and the various roles it played in the cultures it touched. In particular, to dismiss the entire symbolic discourse of Sanskrit as 'mystifying' is to apply a reductive Marxism that cannot account for sacredness in the lives of people.
    • The Battle for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra
  • He sidesteps the rise in the funding of Persian and Arabic by the secular Indian government and by foreign sponsors, and the concurrent dramatic decline in Sanskrit funding. He does not expose the downsizing and dismantling of the institutions , both formal and informal, on which Sanskrit and sanskriti have traditionally thrived. Pollock is careful not to implicate the non-Hindu forces that have wreaked havoc against Sanskrit.
    • The Battle for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra
  • One such critic is J. Hanneder, who finds him reaching conclusions by using evidence that is 'often arbitrary'. ... Hanneder cites several examples to demonstrate that Pollock has interpreted the evidence to fit his thesis 'without considering other options' and often with the use of exaggerated, misleading or outright false data. He says, 'Pollock has over interpreted the evidence to support his theory.' ... He dismisses Pollock's assertion as a 'surprising statement produced by the necessities of argumentation, rather than through evidence'.
    • The Battle for Sanskrit by Rajiv Malhotra

Selected publications[edit]

His publications cluster around the Rāmāyaṇa, the philosophical tradition of Mīmāṃsā (scriptural hermeneutics), and recently, the theory of rasa (aesthetic emotion). Pollock directed the Literary Cultures in History project, which culminated in a book of the same title.

Monographs[edit]

Edited volumes[edit]

  • (with Benjamin Elman and Kevin Change) World Philology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2015.
  • Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern Asia: Explorations in the Intellectual History of India and Tibet, 1500–1800. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.
  • Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Translations[edit]

  • Rama's Last Act (Uttararāmacarita) of Bhavabhūti. New York: New York University Press, 2007. (Clay Sanskrit Library.)
  • The Bouquet of Rasa and the River of Rasa (Rasamañjarī and Rasataraṅgiṇī) of Bhānudatta. New York: New York University Press, 2009. (Clay Sanskrit Library)
  • The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki, An Epic of Ancient India, Vol. III: Araṇyakāṇḍa. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.
  • The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki, An Epic of Ancient India, Vol. II: Ayodhyākāṇḍa. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.
  • A Rasa Reader: Classical Indian Aesthetics, Historical Sourcebooks in Classical Indian Thought series, Columbia University Press, 2016 [107]

Articles and book chapters[edit]

  • 'From Rasa Seen to Rasa Heard.' In Caterina Guenzi and Sylvia d’Intino, eds. Aux abords de la clairière. Paris: Brepols, 2012, pp. 189–207.
  • 'Review Article: Indian Philology and India's Philology.' Journal Asiatique volume 299, number 1 (2011), pp. 423–475.
  • 'Comparison without Hegemony.' In Barbro Klein and Hans Joas, eds. The Benefit of Broad Horizons: Intellectual and Institutional Preconditions for a Global Social Science. Festschrift for Bjorn Wittrock on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday. Leiden: Brill, 2010, pp. 185–204.
  • 'What was Bhaṭṭa Nāyaka Saying? The Hermeneutical Transformation of Indian Aesthetics.' In Sheldon Pollock, ed. Epic and Argument in Sanskrit Literary History: Essays in Honor of Robert P. Goldman. Delhi: Manohar, 2010, pp. 143–184.
  • 'Future Philology? The Fate of a Soft Science in a Hard World.' In James Chandler and Arnold Davidson, eds. The Fate of the Disciplines. Special number of Critical Inquiry volume 35, number 4 (Summer 2009): 931–961.
  • —— (27 November 2008). "The Real Classical Languages Debate". The Hindu. 
  • —— (26 July 2008). "Towards a Political Philology: D. D. Kosambi and Sanskrit" (PDF). Economic and Political Weekly. 43 (30): 52–59. 
  • —— (April 2001). "The Death of Sanskrit" (PDF). Comparative Studies in Society and History. Cambridge University Press. 43 (2): 392–426. 
  • —— (1993). "Deep Orientalism? Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj". In Breckenridge, Carol A.; van der Veer, Peter. Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-1436-9. 
  • —— (1993). "Ramayana and Political Imagination in India". The Journal of Asian Studies. 52 (2): 261–297. JSTOR 2059648. doi:10.2307/2059648. 

Awards[edit]

Pollock has received the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award and the Government of India's Padma Sri in 2010.[108]

Students[edit]

Among his former students are many leading Indologists and scholars of Indian intellectual history such as Dan Arnold, Yigal Bronner, Allison Busch, Whitney Cox, Jonathan C. Gold, Lawrence J. McCrea, Andrew J. Nicholson, Parimal G. Patil, Arshia Sattar, Ajay Rao, and Ananya Vajpeyi. In 2011, Yigal Bronner, Whitney Cox, and Lawrence McCrea published a collection of essays by Pollock's students and colleagues, titled South Asian Texts in History: Critical Engagements with Sheldon Pollock.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Wilhelm Halbfass: [Pollock] "postulates an inherent affinity between the hegemonic role of Sanskrit in traditional India (as propagated by the Mīmāṃsakas and others) and the attitudes of its latter-day students among British colonialists or German National Socialists."[5]
  2. Pollock: "We may unhesitatingly grant the premise that classical culture, Sanskrit for example, offers at one and the same time a record of civilization and a record of barbarism, of extraordinary inequality and other social poisons. Once we all agree on the toxicity of this discourse, however, there will be contestation over how to overcome it. In my view, you do not transcend inequality, to the degree it is a conceptual category taking some of its force from traditional discourse, by outlawing the authors and burning the discourses, or indeed by trying to forget them; you transcend inequality by mastering and overmastering those discourses through study and critique. You cannot simply go around a tradition to overcome it, if that is what you wish to do; you must go through it. You only transform a dominant culture by outsmarting it. That, I believe, is precisely what some of India’s most disruptive thinkers, such as Dr. Ambedkar, sought to do, though they were not as successful as they might have been had they had access to all the tools of a critical philology necessary to the task.[31]
  3. Rita Felski: "The “hermeneutics of suspicion” is a phrase coined by Paul Ricoeur to capture a common spirit that pervades the writings of Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. In spite of their obvious differences, he argued, these thinkers jointly constitute a “school of suspicion.” That is to say, they share a commitment to unmasking “the lies and illusions of consciousness;” they are the architects of a distinctively modern style of interpretation that circumvents obvious or self-evident meanings in order to draw out less visible and less flattering truths (Ricoeur 356). Ricoeur’s term has sustained an energetic after-life within religious studies, as well as in philosophy, intellectual history, and related fields[.]" [36]
  4. See `132 Indian academicians call for removal of Sheldon Pollock as general editor of Murthy Classical Library' for the original text of the petition.
  5. See '132 Indian academicians call for removal of Sheldon Pollock as general editor of Murthy Classical Library for the original text of the petition.
  6. See Pollock, Sheldon (2014), What is South Asian Knowledge Good For? (PDF), South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University 
  7. According to the petitioners, Sheldon Pollock has a "deep antipathy" for India, quoting from Polock's speech What is South Asian Knowledge Good For?,"[59] In wich Pollock states:

    "Are there any decision makers, as they refer to themselves, at universities and foundations who would not agree that, in the cognitive sweepstakes of human history, Western knowledge has won and South Asian knowledge has lost? [...] That, accordingly, the South Asian knowledge South Asians themselves have produced can no longer be held to have any significant consequences for the future of the human species?"[57]

    In response, Indologist Dominik Wujastyk noted that

    "In this passage, Prof. Pollock is criticising the administrators of western universities who do not give proper recognition and value to Indian knowledge systems, and only view India as a place to make money or to make practical applications of knowledge systems of the West. Again, this is the पूर्वपक्ष (purvapaksha) Prof. Pollock’s central argument is that the special, unique knowledge systems developed in India, mainly recorded in Sanskrit, are of great value, and that this fact is not recognised by “universities and foundations” who, like Macauley and Weber, think that Indian knowledge systems have been superseded by Western ones. Prof. Pollock’s point of view is that the शास्त्राणि (shastrani), representing South Asian Knowledge, are precious, worth studying, and still have much to offer modern cultural life. On pages six and seven of his lecture, he gives the examples of व्याकरण (vyakaran) and the theory of रस (rasa) as forms of knowledge that were developed to a uniquely high degree in early India, and that still have the power to enrich thought today. On the subsequent pages, he begins to make the even more difficult argument for finding modern value in even more internally-oriented Indian sciences such as मीमांसा (Mimansa), अलङ्कार (Alankara) and नाट्यशास्त्र (Natyashastra)."[57]

    After being questioned by Dheeraj Sanghi from IIT Kanpur, the petitioners replaced the quote.[57]

  8. "Another point of concern of the petitioners is: "What will be the posture adopted towards the “Foreign Aryan Theory” and other such controversial theories including chronologies?"[57]
  9. See [1].
  10. "Hermeneutics of suspicion" is a phrase coined by Paul Ricœur.
    * Rita Felski: "The “hermeneutics of suspicion” is a phrase coined by Paul Ricoeur to capture a common spirit that pervades the writings of Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. In spite of their obvious differences, he argued, these thinkers jointly constitute a “school of suspicion.” That is to say, they share a commitment to unmasking “the lies and illusions of consciousness;” they are the architects of a distinctively modern style of interpretation that circumvents obvious or self-evident meanings in order to draw out less visible and less flattering truths (Ricoeur 356). Ricoeur’s term has sustained an energetic after-life within religious studies, as well as in philosophy, intellectual history, and related fields[.]" Rita Felski, Critique and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion, M/C Journal, Vol. 15, No. 1 (2012) - 'suspicion'
    * Ruthellen Josselson: "Ricoeur distinguishes between two forms of hermeneutics: a hermeneutics of faith which aims to restore meaning to a text and a hermeneutics of suspicion which attempts to decode meanings that are disguised." Ruthellen Josselson, The hermeneutics of faith and the hermeneutics of suspicion
  11. A phrase coined by Paul Ricœur.
    * Rita Felski: "The “hermeneutics of suspicion” is a phrase coined by Paul Ricoeur to capture a common spirit that pervades the writings of Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. In spite of their obvious differences, he argued, these thinkers jointly constitute a “school of suspicion.” That is to say, they share a commitment to unmasking “the lies and illusions of consciousness;” they are the architects of a distinctively modern style of interpretation that circumvents obvious or self-evident meanings in order to draw out less visible and less flattering truths (Ricoeur 356). Ricoeur’s term has sustained an energetic after-life within religious studies, as well as in philosophy, intellectual history, and related fields[.]" Rita Felski, Critique and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion, M/C Journal, Vol. 15, No. 1 (2012) - 'suspicion'
    * Ruthellen Josselson: "Ricoeur distinguishes between two forms of hermeneutics: a hermeneutics of faith which aims to restore meaning to a text and a hermeneutics of suspicion which attempts to decode meanings that are disguised." Ruthellen Josselson, The hermeneutics of faith and the hermeneutics of suspicion
    See also Michel Foucault.
  12. See Aseem Shukla, The Illiberal Indian Left: An Anatomy Of The Petition.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 History in the Making: On Sheldon Pollock's 'NS Indology' and Vishwa Adluri's 'Pride and Prejudice'. Grünendahl, Reinhold // International Journal of Hindu Studies; Aug2012, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p227. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ":0" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Sheldon, Pollock. 'Deep Orientalism?' In: Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament, Carol A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer, eds (Philadelphia, 1993), pgs. 115-6.
  3. Pollock 1993
  4. Pollock, Sheldon (1993). "Deep Orientalism? Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj". In Breckenridge, Carol A.; van der Veer, Peter. Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-8122-1436-9. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Halbfass, Wilhelm. "Research and Reflection: Responses to my Respondents." In: Beyond Orientalism: The Work of Wilhelm Halbfass and its Impact on Indian and Cross-Cultural Studies, edited by Franco, Eli. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2007. pp. 18.
  6. History in the Making: On Sheldon Pollock's 'NS Indology' and Vishwa Adluri's 'Pride and Prejudice'. Grünendahl, Reinhold // International Journal of Hindu Studies; Aug2012, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p227.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Pollock, Sheldon (1993). "Deep Orientalism? Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj". In Breckenridge, Carol A.; van der Veer, Peter. Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 115–6. ISBN 978-0-8122-1436-9. 
  8. Pollock 1993, pp. 261-262.
  9. Pollock 1993, p. 263.
  10. Pollock 1993, pp. 282–283.
  11. Pollock 1993, p. 264.
  12. Pollock 1993, p. 270.
  13. Pollock 1993, p. 281.
  14. Pollock 1993, p. 282.
  15. Pollock 1993, p. 287.
  16. Pollock 1993, p. 289.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Pollock, Sheldon (April 2001). "The Death of Sanskrit" (PDF). Comparative Studies in Society and History. 43 (2): 392–426.  Page 392. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Pollock2001" defined multiple times with different content
  18. Pollock 2001, p. 393.
  19. Pollock 2001, p. 398.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Pollock, Sheldon (2006). Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India. Berkeley: University of California Press.  Page 165. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Pollock2006" defined multiple times with different content
  21. Pollock 2006, p. 39, 122.
  22. Pollock 2006, p. 166.
  23. Pollock 2006, p. 176.
  24. Pollock 2006, p. 15.
  25. Pollock 2006, p. 183.
  26. Pollock 2006, p. 298.
  27. Pollock 2006, p. 535.
  28. Pollock 2006, p. 575.
  29. Pollock, Sheldon (2011). "Review Article: Indian Philology and India's Philology". Journal asiatique. 299 (1): 423–475. , page 441.
  30. 'Future Philology? The Fate of a Soft Science in a Hard World.' In James Chandler and Arnold Davidson, eds. The Fate of the Disciplines. Special number of Critical Inquiry volume 35, number 4 (Summer 2009), pp. 931-61.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Pollock, Sheldon. 2011. Crisis in the Classics. Social Research: An International Quarterly 78(1): 21–48.
  32. 'Introduction' in Sheldon Pollock, Benjamin Elman and Kevin Change, eds., World Philology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2015,pp. 1–24.
  33. 'What was Bhaṭṭa Nāyaka Saying? The Hermeneutical Transformation of Indian Aesthetics.' In Sheldon Pollock, ed. Epic and Argument in Sanskrit Literary History: Essays in Honor of Robert P. Goldman. Delhi: Manohar, 2010, pp. 143–184.
  34. "Columbia Professor Broadens Access to Sanskrit, Ancient Language of the Elite". 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2016-09-08. 
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Frazier, Jessica (2011). The Continuum companion to Hindu studies. London: Continuum. p. 325. ISBN 978-0-8264-9966-0. 
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Rita Felski, Critique and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion, M/C Journal, Vol. 15, No. 1 (2012) - 'suspicion'
  37. Ruthellen Josselson, The hermeneutics of faith and the hermeneutics of suspicion
  38. Lawrence, David Peter (2011). The Continuum companion to Hindu studies. London: Continuum. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-8264-9966-0. 
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Hanneder, J. (2002). "On "The Death of Sanskrit"". Indo-Iranian Journal. Brill Academic Publishers. 45 (4): 293–310. doi:10.1023/a:1021366131934. 
  40. Hanneder, J. (2009), "Modernes Sanskrit: eine vergessene Literatur", in Straube, Martin; Steiner, Roland; Soni, Jayandra; Hahn, Michael; Demoto, Mitsuyo, Pāsādikadānaṃ : Festschrift für Bhikkhu Pāsādika, Indica et Tibetica Verlag, pp. 205–228 
  41. Minkowski, Christopher (2004). "Nilakantha's instruments of war:Modern, vernacular, barbarous". The Indian Economic and Social History Review. SAGE. 41 (4): 365–385. doi:10.1177/001946460404100402. Retrieved 2014-10-29. , Ganeri, Jonardon (2011). The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India, 1450–1700. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  42. Grünendahl 2012, p. 190.
  43. History in the Making: On Sheldon Pollock's 'NS Indology' and Vishwa Adluri's 'Pride and Prejudice'. Grünendahl, Reinhold // International Journal of Hindu Studies; Aug2012, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p227.
  44. Nikita Puri, Murty Classical Library: Project interrupted, Business Standard, 12 March 2016.
  45. Murty Classical Library of India http://www.murtylibrary.com/people.php. Retrieved 17 March 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  46. Divya Shekhar & Indulekha Aravind, Rohan Murty says American Indologist Sheldon Pollock to stay, The Economic Times, 3 March 2016.
  47. Sudha Pillai, It is always nice to disagree, but don't be disagreeable, Bangalore Mirror, 3 March 2016.
  48. Pollock, Sheldon (1985-01-01). "The Theory of Practice and the Practice of Theory in Indian Intellectual History". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 105 (3): 499–519. doi:10.2307/601525. 
  49. Pro-JNU Statement Spawns Petition For Ouster Of Sheldon Pollock As Editor Of Murty Classical Library, Huffington Post, 1 March 2016.
  50. Mridula Chari, Make in India and remove Sheldon Pollock from Murty Classical Library, demand 132 intellectuals, Scroll.in
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Basant Kumar Mohanty and K.M. Rakesh, Scholarly reply to Swadeshi - Citing JNU, academics target leader of landmark project, The Telegraph, India
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 Newscrunch, Petitioners angry after Sheldon Pollock gets Rohan Murty support – may stay on as Murty Classic Library editor
  53. Divya Shekhar & Indulekha Aravind, Rohan Murty says American Indologist Sheldon Pollock to stay, The Economic Times, 3 March 2016.
  54. Sudha Pillai, It is always nice to disagree, but don't be disagreeable, Bangalore Mirror, 3 March 2016.
  55. Pro-JNU Statement Spawns Petition For Ouster Of Sheldon Pollock As Editor Of Murty Classical Library, Huffington Post, 1 March 2016.
  56. Mridula Chari, Make in India and remove Sheldon Pollock from Murty Classical Library, demand 132 intellectuals, Scroll.in
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 57.4 57.5 57.6 57.7 57.8 Nandini Majumdar, What the Petition against the Sanskritist Sheldon Pollock Is Really About, The Wire, 2 March 2016.
  58. Indrani Basu, Rohan Murty Has A Brilliant Response To Those Seeking Sheldon Pollock's Removal, The Huffington Post, 3 March 2016
  59. Pollock, Sheldon (2014), What is South Asian Knowledge Good For? (PDF), South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University 
  60. Divya Shekhar & Indulekha Aravind, Rohan Murty says American Indologist Sheldon Pollock to stay, The Economic Times, 3 March 2016.
  61. Sudha Pillai, It is always nice to disagree, but don't be disagreeable, Bangalore Mirror, 3 March 2016.
  62. "UC Irvine moves to reject endowed chair gifts from donor with strong opinions about the study of Hinduism". www.insidehighered.com. Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  63. Pro-JNU Statement Spawns Petition For Ouster Of Sheldon Pollock As Editor Of Murty Classical Library, Huffington Post, 1 March 2016.
  64. Mridula Chari, Make in India and remove Sheldon Pollock from Murty Classical Library, demand 132 intellectuals, Scroll.in
  65. http://indiafacts.co.in/twenty-statements-sheldon-pollock-india-hinduism-sanskrit
  66. Pollock 2006, p. 298.
  67. Pollock 2001, p. 398.
  68. History in the Making: On Sheldon Pollock's 'NS Indology' and Vishwa Adluri's 'Pride and Prejudice'. Grünendahl, Reinhold // International Journal of Hindu Studies; Aug2012, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p189.
  69. 69.0 69.1 Frazier, edited by Jessica (2011). The Continuum companion to Hindu studies. London: Continuum. p. 325. ISBN 978-0-8264-9966-0. 
  70. Hanneder, J. (2002). "On "The Death of Sanskrit"". Indo-Iranian Journal. Brill Academic Publishers. 45 (4): 293–310. doi:10.1023/a:1021366131934. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 
  71. Hanneder, J. (2009), "Modernes Sanskrit: eine vergessene Literatur", in Straube, Martin; Steiner, Roland; Soni, Jayandra; Hahn, Michael; Demoto, Mitsuyo, Pāsādikadānaṃ : Festschrift für Bhikkhu Pāsādika, Indica et Tibetica Verlag, pp. 205–228 
  72. Minkowski, Christopher (2004). "Nilakantha's instruments of war:Modern, vernacular, barbarous". The Indian Economic and Social History Review. SAGE. 41 (4): 365–385. doi:10.1177/001946460404100402. Retrieved 2014-10-29. , Ganeri, Jonardon (2011). The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India, 1450–1700. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  73. thebattleforsanskrit.com, Rajiv Malhotra’s responses to questions from a Journalist
  74. Pollock 2008.
  75. Pollock, Sheldon. “Ramayana and Political Imagination in India”. The Journal of Asian Studies 52.2 (1993): 261–297. pg. 282-3.
  76. Pollock, Sheldon. “Ramayana and Political Imagination in India”. The Journal of Asian Studies 52.2 (1993): 261–297. pg. 283.
  77. Pollock, Sheldon. “Ramayana and Political Imagination in India”. The Journal of Asian Studies 52.2 (1993): 261–297. pg. 264,284.
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  93. OUTLOOK INDIA Interview on ‘Digital India’ & PM Narendra Modi
  94. David Palumbo-Li, Hindu Nationalism and Hi-Tech in Silicon Valley
  95. 95.0 95.1 Faculty Statement on Narendra Modi’s Upcoming Visit to Silicon Valley: A Preliminary Response to Some of Our Critics
  96. 96.0 96.1 Faculty Response to Harassment by Hindu Nationalist Organizations
  97. Hindu American Foundation Statement
  98. South Asia Faculty Response to HAF Statement
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Sources
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