Achala, thanks for the post. It is very significant debate which should have 
taken place long ago.

i aggree with what narayana is saying. societies and cultures have to become 
global by retaining their indigenous identities and generic elements what make 
them what they are. the gung ho globalisation of knowledge should not and 
should not be allowed to bulldoze indegenous ways of understanding the world 
(it is much different from just knowledge). retaining indigenous viewpoints is 
fundamental to preserving indigenous knowledge.

this is invariably against the PoV policy of wikipedia. most wikipedians fail 
to understand even the element of neutrality is concieved from a particular 
point of view which is predominantly western. this kind of bulldozing of 
viewpoints especially on an online knowledge base best serves stategic and 
commercial interests of `big brothers' who refuse to get off our shoulders. 
more than that it poisons indigenous ways of compprehending the world.

every country has a constitution which is formulated with a disticnt point of 
view. a country like India has thousands of sub cultures and these cultures are 
not just about different clothing and cousine. They are about seeing the world 
from a distinct PoV. Indian history, politics and economy is about conflict 
between preveleged and underpreveleged - not just in terms of class but also in 
terms of caste, linguistic hegemony and political power. In that context, the 
principle of neutrality in globalisation of knowledge is very useful for the 
preveleged few in India. Combined with that anonymity that is provided by 
Wikipedia, you have a potent intellectaul weapon at the hands of the preveleged 

now to some of the concerns raised by sugata in the article;

>Finally, let me end by posing a few nagging questions about this indigenous 
>enterprise of knowledge: In the world that we live is it really possible to 
>segregate 'our' knowledge and 'their' knowledge? 

It should be possible to seggregate and it can be done. It more necessary `in 
the world that we live'.

>What kind of an exercise would this be and what kind of mindset would this 
>require? Is it not embedded with an element of violence like in all 
>reclamations, revivals and revisitations? Is there a more reconciliatory path 
>that we should explore? 

This would be a very sensitive excercise and yes there could be elements of 
violence but can be minimised with partnerships with all indigenous groups. As 
we go along more reconciliatory paths may emerge but we need to start walking 
the talk first.

>How does one erase the power relationship that exists between the language 
>that gives and the one that receives? How does one handle the economics and 
>politics of it? Isn't it a better strategy to reverse the process, at least as 
>a first step to achieve parity, where you flood the power language, in this 
>case English, with elements and idioms that are local? 

The very premise that there is a language that gives and one that receives is 
wrong. All languages/ cultures/ viewpoints are equal and that is the mindset we 
need for this excercise.

> Does this  whole exercise of marking territory not shrink our world and 
> vistas, is it pragmatic at all when the human mind is now such an enormous 
> interface of innumerable influences? It is easy to unleash this project, but 
> how does one control its dynamics? Haven't we seen the havoc caused by 
> chauvinistic groups? Wouldn't they derive legitimacy from this kind of a 
> knowledge project? How does one infuse a good deal of magnanimity into this 
> whole process? 

`Our' knowledge cannot shrink `their' knowledge and vice versa. in an attempt 
to expand the vistas, i cannot overlook my beutiful orchards. Futher, expanse 
of our world has nothing to do with indigenous viewpoints. If there are a 
million sub cultures in India, it means there are a million ways of seeing and 
undrestanding the same world. At this point we cannot have much idea about how 
to control it. There are many chauvinistic groups and we will have to deal with 
them whil recognising what they stand for. i am optimistic about magnanimity.

thanks and regards

Basavaraj N Itnal

--- On Sun, 2/27/11, Achal Prabhala <> wrote:

> From: Achal Prabhala <>
> Subject: [Wikimedia-in-blr] interesting article on knowledge production and 
> kannada
> To: "Mailing list for Wikimedians / Wikipedians in Bangalore, India" 
> <>
> Date: Sunday, February 27, 2011, 3:57 PM
> Posting this article to the list as I think it has various
> interesting 
> tangents for the idea of knowledge in India - though Sugata
> writes 
> specifically about Kannada, I think he is talking about any
> Indian 
> language at all.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-in-blr mailing list


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