Indian Prof Prodosh Aich calls famous Indologist Max Mueller a “swindler”. He describes another Indologist, William Jones, a “fraud”. He throws a serious challenge to Europeans scholars who wrote tomes on ancient India. In his book Lies with Long Legs, Prof Aich has unraveled and exposed many such self-serving Indologists who claimed to know ancient Indian texts. Prof. Aich has studied Sociology, Ethnology and Philosophy in India and Germany. He came to his conclusions accidentally as his curiosity to know about “Aryans”, “Indo-Europeans” and “Indo-Aryans” led him to new facts about the existing studies of ancient India and its people. – Editor
Question: Your book Lies with Long Legs has recently been published. What is this about?
Answer: Whatever, we know about discoveries, scholars, scientists, are mostly not true. For example, when you get a book today there are references and these references go back 10, 20 or 30 years. They don’t go back beyond that. On every page, one finds quotations but you will never find that a quotation has been challenged. One never checks whether that quotation is correct or not. It is just accepted. What ever is printed is accepted.
Q: So every word is taken as a gospel?
A: No, not as a gospel. It has been accepted in the academic world. And if you have 20 books on one subject, you can be sure that there would be another 20 books on the same subject but with almost same references. They will never go back to roots. What, I have done. I have tried to question. I put , to start with, a simple question. “Well you are telling me this. How do you know that it is true”? Then I look into the bibliography of these books. I find a lot of authors and then I make the same exercise to find out what their references have been. In that way, I find the first author who invented rather coined the words like Aryans, Indo-Germans and Indo-Europeans.
Q: So, you have done research on India?
A: No, that is not correct. As a matter of fact, I have not done any research. I wanted to know, who are these Aryans, Indo-Europeans and Indo-Germans and then tried to find out answers in the reference books and literature. I found out that none of the answers were satisfactory. I continued my search. It was not a research. Research is what you must publish. You have to publish every year, otherwise you will vanish. That is modern research. I did not do modern research, I wanted to know where they come from. How did they recognise these Aryans? Who did this? Then I was very astonished to see that Indo-Aryans are very young. It came in vogue in the 19th century rather was invented in the second half of the 19th century.
Q: What was the purpose of inventing this word?
A: Now, you are taking things into realm of speculation. To my mind there are two reasons. One is that in 18th and 19th century. Christians were trying to find something else as heredity than Jewish religion. It was something like anti-Semitism And at that time, there was a fancy for the Orient without knowing what Orient meant. Whether Orient was Arabia, India, Persia or China, they had no idea about it in the 18th and 19th century. Through Persian translations, they knew that there was a vast amount of literature in India. They wanted to understand that. Portuguese were the first there and then the British, French, Dutch etc. None of them came to the idea to identify themselves with the people. But the Britishers concocted the story that Europeans and Indians were related to each other because they had the common heredity of the nomadic people coming from the area of Turkmenistan on the Chinese border. They were settled nomadic people. They had migrated to the West and they had migrated to the South-West. They are of the same breed and stock.
Q: Same stock?
A: Yes, same stock. While the Britishers were robbing India taking away whatever they could, they said we have come to our own home. We have the common heredity. So the name of this came much later. It was done by Max Mueller in 1859. Can you imagine that Max Mueller maintained in 1859 that he read in Rigveda that Vedic people were singing about their land of origin and there they mention themselves as Aryans. And these people also went to the West and we are also Aryans. These were Indo-Aryans and we are European-Aryans.
Q: Max Mueller is a very renowned name in India. We have a Max Mueller Institute here where German language is taught and various other activities are conducted. In my understanding, Max Mueller had a command on Sanskrit language and he translated Vedas and other works of Sanskrit. How did he come to acquire immense knowledge of the ancient language which incidentally was not a spoken language?
A: Max Mueller. It is not his name. His name was Friedrich Maximilian Mueller. He did not publish in German. He did not get a job in Germany. He got a job with the East India Company in England. Most of his writings are in English. He was neither a scholar nor he knew Sanskrit. He was a swindler.
Q: You call him a swindler?
A: I call him a swindler. I can provide proofs in support of my assertion. I can reason it out also. Max Mueller had assumed that he was a scholar. From his own autobiography, from biographies written by his son and wife, from other biographies, from his other writings, and from his letters, we can reconstruct his life from birth to his death. After passing the High School, he never appeared in any examination rather never cleared any examination. So obviously he can not possess any academic degrees. Yet he calls himself a Master of Arts (MA). His wife calls him a Doctor of Philosophy. His wife maintains that he was a Ph. D. from the Leipzig University. There is no record at the Leipzig University or any proof that he appeared in any examination there. So how would you describe him:
Q: OK, but there are people who without going to school or university acquire knowledge of languages. So what about his knowledge of Sanskrit.
A: That is a different issue but one can’t describe oneself as a scholar or ascribe degrees to oneself without clearing any examination. So far Sanskrit, Max Mueller never came to India. In his youth, he wanted to come to India but when he had money as his books were flooding market with the help of East India Company. But when he had plenty of money, he did not feel any need of coming to India. So the question arises that if had not learnt Sanskrit in India then he must have learnt it in Europe. So this is another part of my book ‘Lies with long legs’ as we have tried to find out who was the first person, the pioneer, who taught Sanskrit in Europe.
Q: So who was this person?
A: He was a nobody, He was a simple boy of 18 when he came to India as an ordinary soldier. He completed is term and roamed around in India and then reached France. There he said that he knew Sanskrit. Quality of his knowledge of Sanskrit was that he knew the Devnagri alphabet well but beyond that he could not make a distinction between the language and script.
Q:What was his name?
A: Alexander Hamilton was his name. There is a long story about him in the book because people said that he was a great Sanskrit scholar. So we traced his roots also. The most interesting thing while doing this book was that though all the material is available in the libraries, no one else worked on the available material. If some one claimed that a he was a scholar then nobody questioned that claim. Everyone started saying that the person was a scholar as it is written in printed words. It was presumed that if one taught Sanskrit to others then he knew Sanskrit.
Q: So it seems that follies went on multiplying?
A: No, Hamilton’s students did not teach Sanskrit. Later came some others who said that they knew Sanskrit. They claimed that they have been auto-didactic and had learnt the language themselves. How can you learn Sanskrit without having a dictionary or without a proper grammar book?
Q: Sanskrit was never a spoken language so how can this be learnt without a teacher? The language had to be learnt systematically for 6 to 7 years so that one could translate works like the Vedas?
A: It is not your opinion alone Even some European thought the same. Unfortunately those who learnt Sanskrit systematically did not teach the language in Europe. Heinrich Roth was one such person who came to India and landed in Goa and from there was transferred to Agra. There he became the principal of a Jesuit college. He belonged to Jesuit order. In Agra, he learnt Sanskrit for six years, mastered the language so well that he “discussed” with the Brahmins in Sanskrit. Having understood the importance of Sanskrit, he compiled a grammar book with Latin explanatory notes added to it. As a matter of fact, he produced a simplified version of Panini’s grammar, which was compiled at least 4000 years ago.
The Sanskrit grammar vanished in the Vatican library. It was traced in 1988 and all Indologists agree that quality of this grammar book was far superior to the ones upon which Sanskrit was being taught in Europe. Others did not learn Sanskrit properly but they stoutly maintained that they knew Sanskrit.
You know how it happened? Someone talked to some Pundits and he came to know that there was something called Bhagvat Gita These Pundits were not professors or learned scholars of Sanskrit. Very near Calcutta, there was a university at Nadia. Varansi was nearby and one could have got in touch with professors there. They talked to Pundits in Calcutta, a small township built by the British, who claimed to know Sanskrit.
Q: But Brahmins or Pundits would not encourage any foreigner to learn Sanskrit and read religious book?
A: Who told you this? It is wrong. The story was told by William Jones. But is not based on facts. It was never sacred. Learning Sanskrit was a difficult task Brahmins had the privilege of servicing others by reciting Sanskrit texts to them. Whether they understood it or not was a different issue. This was inherited from one generation to other. They knew Sanskrit but how did the British learnt it. Christian mind created stories around fragments of information. Their stories are reflection of their minds. It was not the translation of Bhagavat Gita but what they sold it as Bhagavat Gita. Then Europeans who never came to India but learnt Sanskrit alphabets and saw Bhagavat Gita and recognised its alphabets. They could possibly recognise words but they did not understand it. So they would collect more book and apply their Christian mind and say that this is not logical so it has to be this or that. In this process, they were also trying to compile a dictionary. There was never a Sanskrit dictionary as grammar is the key to Sanskrit language. But they were trying to compile a dictionary word by word. So in this way they have transported a type of Sanskrit to Europe where I have doubts that it is Sanskrit at all. But the tragic part is that this Sanskrit has been imported back to India. This is what we learn in India with the help of the Sanskrit dictionaries. The standard dictionary of Sanskrit here is of Sir Monier Monier-Williams who also never came to India before compiling his dictionary in 1854. He collected all materials and prepared a dictionary diligently. But this dictionary was not available to Max Mueller. Max Mueller had only one dictionary written by one Wilson. He also stayed in Calcutta. He was a medical doctor. He served as Director of a mint because he had some knowledge of chemicals. He interacted with Bengali Pundits and he prepared the dictionary with the help of the Pundits of Calcutta in as late as 1819 when the first Sanskrit dictionary came out. At best, Max Mueller could have used this dictionary. Max Mueller was at a place where Wilson taught Sanskrit. Max Mueller observes in his biography that Wilson did not have enough knowledge of Sanskrit.
Q: So you make a dictionary without learning a language?
A: Possibly one could make a dictionary. Definitely not a good one. If you went to China and you met some Chinese and understood what they said and you understood it then make a dictionary.
Q: But with this kind of dictionary, one can’t translate?
A: Definitely not. But did he translate? In order to translate, one has to have a command on both languages. I think he had command on German and English. But whatever you translate from Sanskrit and even if one has command on both languages, it would be reflection of one’s mind. Max Mueller did not understand Sanskrit. He had never read a Sanskrit text. He had read Sanskrit text with the help of translation made by others.
Q: Hinduism came to be created. Do you think Hindu way of life was a religion?
A: I don’t know Sanskrit. But what ever I know Sanatan Dharma or dharma was not at all a religion, it was much more comprehensive.
Q: Do you think, there was a definite design behind it?
A: Absolutely Otherwise a company which had come to rob a country, to exploit a country, to create conditions for sustained exploitation, why should they spend money on Max Mueller to get market flooded with so-called Indian literature? It was for creating an atmosphere. There is a letter written by Max Mueller to his wife that he has performed this role so that the educated Indians would never get back to their 3000 years roots. They will find their roots through our books.
Q: It sounds like Macaulay?
A: No, it is Max Mueller. The books have to be written in such a way that they don’t get back to their roots.
Q: Were Max Mueller and Thomas Macaulay contemporaries?
A. Macaulay was a politician of a ruthless sort. He had formulated the purpose of the introduction of educational system as early as 1835. Thereafter, Macaulay was looking for a person who would translate the Sanskrit literature in a way that no Indian would be able to find way back to their roots. In 1854, he had identified Max Mueller to be that person when he was 31. Our country is the only country where modern sector has no way to go back to its roots without going through these books. Most of the educated persons read the English literature including the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru; He was also a fan of this literature . Whatever he knew about India, he knew through this rubbish literature.
Q: So you want to say that they were able to capture the Indian mind?
A Absolutely It was their declared policy that we make the educational system in such a way as to be able to create a class of Indians who are Indians by blood but in their minds, sentiments, thinking and values they are Christians. They are like us. We have to confess that we are all children of Macaulay But now then, it didn’t function. And it was a mere accident that I wanted to know who were the Aryans. I had never thought to explore the literature of Indology. But once you put this question, you come to unexpected enlightenment.
Q: So your view would be that there were no Aryans and they never came from outside and they were all here?
A: It is not a matter of view. Findings are that mention of Aryan was first made by a person who was a swindler. He was neither a scholar nor he knew Sanskrit. But he claimed that in Rigveda there is a hymn. He did not mention which one In this mention, he claimed that people were singing and identifying themselves as Aryans. They came from outside. So whatever culture has been created in this area of the world has been created by foreigners. And he also belonged to this class of foreigners.
Q: You devote considerable space in your book to William Jones. What about him?
A: He had not written an auto-biography but lot of biographies have been written about him. He had left behind his letters. Two volumes of his letters have been published. If one goes through his biography from his childhood till he came to India, one finds out that William Jones was an opportunist. He did everything to make a career and ultimately he claimed that he knew 32 languages And it has come to be accepted by the educated community.
Q; What about his knowledge of Sanskrit?
A: In 1885, he has confessed in a letter to Charles Wittkins in Calcutta that he is too old to learn Sanskrit. But, it is absolutely certain that he did not have command over Sanskrit. He had no time to pick up Sanskrit.
Q: But he has translated some Sanskrit works?
A: Only one work he has published. That is Manu’s laws but even this has been done by others, by hired Pundits. He has put his name on it. If one goes through his biographies and other material then one comes to a conclusion that he too was a fraud. But he was a fraud of a greater caliber. He came to Calcutta to earn money. In five years, so much of money that he can go back to England and buy a seat in British Parliament. He had calculated that this much of money could be earned in London in 20 to 25 years. His sole objective was to earn 20 to 25,000 Pounds. While he was coming to India, he had a plan to write a world history according to his own design . And he did not need any other material but his own fantasy. So when he arrived in Calcutta, he started selling himself as a great oriental scholar. In the first year, he had invented one Indian God Kamdeva. And the way, he invented Kamdeva. I have documented in the book. – Haindava Keralam, 14 June 2010
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