This month June 2009, perhaps, the elite and educated of Chennai/ Madras has witnessed an unpublicized protest against Prof Michael Witzel coming from Harvard University, USA. Nothing was known about his “conferences” – no title or topic announced, fulltext of the paper given for reading and discussion
26 jun 2009, archived in conferences
Dr. Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University (USA), will deliver a set of three conferences in India. A very proper event in the year of the commemoration of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the famous scientist who was opposed by the Christian church for so long time.
Prof. Witzel is a well-known scientist whose thesis on the script of the Indus Valley Civilization raised a lively debate among radical Hindus. This is the calendar of his lectures:
- 8 July 2009, The Madras Sanskrit College, Chennai (organized by Indus Research Centre, Roja Muthiah Research Library, Chennai) (Jubilee lectures)
- 9 July 2009, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, or Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study, New Delhi
- 10 July 2009, India International Centre, New Delhi
PROFESSOR MICHAEL WITZEL (Wales Professor of Sanskrit, The Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA)
Origin and development of language in South Asia: phylogeny vs epigenetics? – 9 July 2009, 5.00 pm; Auditorium, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
The languages and cultures revealed by the Rig Veda: immigration, localization and convergence – 10 July 2009, 6.30 pm; Conference Room I, India International Centre, New Delhi
As for as the Chennai “conferences”, there was no publicity for such a great professor of Sanskrit, that too organized by the Sanskrit college and Sanskrit department of Madras University. Ironically, the attended audience, though included VIP-scholars and pundits, but they had been in 10s and 20s in both conferences.
As an independent researcher and freelancer, I attended both “conferences” and prepared the proceedings and thus want to post here to start dialogue, discussion, and debate.