For 5000 years Rig Veda has come down intact with not a word out of place. While Shakespeare's plays composed in early 16th century, in spite of Caxton Press have yielded to major scholarship, modern scholarship, and textual scholarship. Is this line by Shakespeare? Is this by Marlowe? But for 5000 years massive literature, all by oral tradition, memory, mnemonic methods come down intact.
Dr. Kapil Kapoor is an Indian scholar of linguistics and literature and an authority on Indian intellectual traditions. He is former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and served as professor at Centre for Linguistics and English, and Concurrent Professor at Centre for Sanskrit Studies there before retiring in 2005. He is Editor-in-Chief of the 11-Volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism published by Rupa & Co. in 2012. Dr. Kapil Kapoor has been teaching for fifty-two years; 41 scholars worked for Ph.D. and 36 for M.Phil. with him. He was Dean of the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, JNU, from 1996-1999 and Rector (Pro-Vice-Chancellor) of the University from 1999-2002. His teaching and research areas include literary and linguistic theories, both Indian and Western, philosophy of language, nineteenth century British life, literature and thought and Indian intellectual traditions. He has written and lectured extensively on these themes. He retired from JNU in 2005. His work shows how big a mistake it is to marginalize Sanskrit and traditional learning. He claims that the inherited learning not only endures in the traditional institutes but also vibrates in the popular modes of performances and in the mechanisms of transmitting the tradition, such as katha, pravachan and other popular cultural and social practices. He proposes that had India built upon its knowledge edifice of inherited learning it would now be on a level ground with the West, arguing with our own solutions and own perceptions. The crusade against Sanskrit is despite the fact that all national languages of India heavily derive their vocabulary and roots from Sanskrit. He makes a very potent case for Sanskrit and literary criticism and the role of inherited learning.
You can contact Kapil Kapoor at firstname.lastname@example.org
More about the Speaker
Obsessions of Indian Intellectuals - Part I
Obsessions of Indian Intellectuals - Part II
Myths about Sanskrit