ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Monks Go Red

A Lawyer’s Account of the ‘Death of Sanskrit’ Thesis

The battle around the “Death of Sanskrit” thesis has found cultural anthropologists and technologues in opposite camps. So long as the battle is political, it calls for a plurality of opinion from all disciplines and political affiliations. This comment presents a lawyer’s account and evaluation of the death of Sanskrit.

Vernacular Nations

Postcolonial Asia offers at least seven types of states and nations. In their somewhat uncritical pursuit of total nationalism, territorial Asian states compete with their archipelagic cousins. The sea gypsy nations--spread across the South China Sea and other East Asian states--reject the monopoly of land as the only inhabitable space, discounting territory as an essential constituent of a nation. Ironically, while history kept them outside the fold of the territorial states, the present attempts to co-opt them. Only by challenging, as the Asian sea gypsies do, land's claim to being the sole inhabitable territory within law, and rethinking the sea as a place of danger can we truly vernacularise our statist imaginations.
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