Does South Asian Studies Undermine India?


Are NRI donors being hoodwinked?

Now that many Indian-Americans are joining the bandwagon to establish chairs of South Asian Studies in the USA, one wonders whether they have thought through and contractually ensured that their funding would not be usurped by Pakistani interest groups (including Indians with this agenda). Pakistanis demand equal power in South Asian organizations. Even though they are numerically smaller and contribute much less funding, they usually end up getting an equal say in such organizations.

Therefore, it is critical that we do not blindly assume that Indian scholars are always honest trustees of the Indian-American donors’ sentiments. Many Indian scholars are weak in the pro-India leadership and assertiveness traits that come only from strongly identifying with an Indian Grand Narrative.

They regard the power of Grand Narrative (other than their own) as a cause of human rights problems internally, failing to see it as an asset in global competition externally. Hence, there is the huge difference between the ideology of many Indian professors and the ideology espoused by most successful Indian-American corporate leaders.

These Indian professors have a track record that shows a strong ideological stance against a unified India, often formulated using the latest literary theories that are grounded in Marxism, the very anti-thesis of the meritocracy that most successful Indian-American corporate leaders stand for. It is ironical that donors are naively funding such South Asian chairs.



[i] By JIM RENDON. November 23, 2003:


[ii] For example, Dalit activists sponsored by Western Institutions caused a great deal of embarrassment to India in a recent conference in South Africa, as they tried to get India officially labeled as a racist society. India started its affirmative action program long before America and yet India bashers do not point out the progress that has been made in India, and nor the colonial and economic origins of many of these problems not only in India but in many parts of the world.

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