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Deep rivers

Kannan M.
Jennifer Clare

Occasional Papers

Golden Jubilee: the future of Indology in Pondicherry

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1This Conference on Commentary is far more than a unique, international scientific demonstration of what the IFP is able to assemble in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary. It is, together with a gratifying participation from other countries, the ultimate gathering of an Indian scientific world which quite a number of us have approached without knowing it very well: a world containing within itself an entire tradition with which we must, at all costs, maintain contact.

2The first thing gleaned from this symposium is reassuring. Despite the canonical age of some of those participating, discussions have been fresh and lively and the young Indian and foreign listeners have followed their elders, their minds dazzled and overflowing. Between the poles of tradition and modernity the current came through uninterrupted and the density of exchanges has shown that the theme of the conference remains central and specific to Indian culture.

3And very topical too: last month, the historian Romila Thapar, defining a methodology for Indological studies, in Frontline, wrote what amounts to an apologia for our process:

“It would involve examining the early texts –for instance the Veda, Mahabharata, Ramayana and suchlike– as well as the commentaries on these texts that were written during the centuries between their composition and now”.

“If we are to study these texts as part of a system of knowledge we have to consider the scholarship and the historical context of this discourse from early times and understand how scholars commenting on these texts analysed them. This requires a degree of expertise not easily available to all....”

“…in the current discussion of these early texts we marginalize the commentaries and variant versions and refer largely only to 19th century writers. This is an impoverishment of our intellectual tradition… Why do we wish to freeze the past instead of exploring it? If we are to familiarise ourselves with our intellectual tradition as a prelude to advancing knowledge, we have to bring into the discourse the debates and controversies among scholars of the period prior to colonialism who wrote in Sanskrit, Persian and a range of regional languages, commenting on a variety of earlier texts… This is not to suggest that we adopt the 14th century reading of the text, but that we try and understand why the reading was different from what it is today, and the degree to which knowledge in this field has changed and advanced…”

  • 1 La barbarie intérieure, Essai sur l’immonde moderne, 1999, (1ère édition « Quadrige » PUF, 2004).

4We may therefore ignore the elementary alternative that would match the tradition with the so-called modernity which is in line to take over from it. We had better not venture to speak of modernity, given the extent to which the whole 20th c. lulled us with this empty debate, even when the rhetoric of postmodernism had stripped it of its last shred of meaning. But we cannot ignore the way in which Jean-François Mattéi1 effectively denounces the kinds of sterility that threaten an action or an institution if it stops making sense and begins to subsist on its earlier works and its historical patrimony. After Nietzsche, Mattéi cautions us that some modes of knowledge in modern civilization are burdened by this ‘barbaric parasitism’ towards the past: “We no longer accumulate, we dissipate our ancestral capital in the very manner in which we know.” This symposium certainly invites us to find out what we really do know, and how we know, in the line of the transmission of Indian culture, and to consider means of conserving and passing on the heritage whose value we are estimating here.

5From the beginning French indological studies in Pondicherry already had a long and prestigious past resting upon three great names, well known to specialists by whom they are never entirely forgotten, and periodically rediscovered by those on the fringes of that indology, with touches of the naïve proselytising of the self taught or self proclaimed historian.

  • 2 Voyage dans les mers de l’Inde… ed. ‘En Suisse’, 1780, Tome I, p. 136.

6The first of these was the erudite Tamil scholar Maridas Pillai, author of a wide range of manuscripts, one of which was handed over to La Flotte who revised and published it; this was the first French version of the Bhagavatam, in 1788. Another version was unearthed and published by the Jesuit historian Hostein in the Journal de la Société d’histoire de l’Inde française in 1921, and a new, still more reworked, version by J-B Moré in 2003. Maridas Pillai is also known for having been the first informant to the astronomical mission of Le Gentil, who spent twenty three months in Pondicherry in 1768-69. Although Le Gentil devoted only two volumes out of the five of his Voyage dans les mers de l’Inde (Travels across the Indian seas) to his notes on India, he grasped the essentials in his entirely pragmatic encounter with his learned interlocutor for he insisted upon the necessity, for anyone seeking to have real knowledge of the country, “to spend many years and enormous sums...”. He went on to say: “It would be necessary for scholarly travellers to be dispersed in different provinces that they would deal with in concert and keep in correspondence; they would certainly have to have a basic knowledge of the scholarly language so as to be able to read Indian books: otherwise only a very few facts could ever be collected and a great deal of uncertainty would remain”.2 This advice is still timely and still rarely taken; the only proven recipe is: the texts, patience and concentration.

7Before this, Anquetil Duperron had arrived in India in 1754, with two shirts, two handkerchiefs, a pair of stockings, and a few books. Returning home in 1762 with manuscripts and with knowledge but still without having made his fortune, he is better known to oriental scholars for his revealing of the Upaniṣads and the Zend Avesta, and for his rivalry with William Jones than for his pioneering projects on the teaching of Indian languages and the aggressive deployment of young interpreters, graduates of the school of which he dreamed which would establish a French presence in Asia capable of holding British political and commercial imperialism at bay.

  • 3 Republished in a smaller format as an independent work, by P. S. Filliozat and his family, with no (...)
  • 4 Letter of 28 May 1804.

8Outlined in the preface3 to Zend Avesta (1771), and taken up again in that of Recherches historiques et géographiques sur l’Inde (1786), the project took on, in L’Inde dans ses rapports avec l’Europe, a prophetic scope: a corpus of literary missionaries, genuine peripatetic academies, dedicated to the study of the languages and civilisations in the territory itself. Schools of oriental languages were on the verge of being founded in Paris as in London, but France had to wait for the inauguration of the EFEO in 1901, not at Chandenagor or Pondicherry, but at Hanoi, for Anquetil’s vowed intent to make a satisfactory debut. Homage continues to be rendered him but his standards are rarely upheld today. Sensitive and proud, Anquetil refused to take the oath of fidelity that Napoleon, after having reorganised the Academy, required of its members. He preferred to resign, for “According to my principles, the oath of fidelity is due only to God, by creature to creator. From man to man, it has in my eyes a quality of servility to which my Indian philosophy cannot accommodate itself.4” Naturally independent and bad tempered, he grew more vindictive towards the end of his life.

9It is however his last work, published in 1808, three years after his death, and never referred to today, that I want to cite here, since it specifically concerns a commentary. It constitutes the third volume of the French translation of Voyage aux Indes Orientales by Father Paulin de St. Barthélemy, and consists of a dissertation on “individual land-owning in India and in Egypt”, followed by 508 pages of erudite notes, edited, completed, and sometimes expurgated also, by Silvestre de Sacy.

10It is thus a commentary in the real sense, which he presents with his brutal frankness from the opening sentence: “I offer to the public a Work whose faults are those of the author, those of the translator and my own”. The missionary was in fact far less rigorous than he was and Anquetil mercilessly censures the author and his anonymous translator. The violence of his remarks prefigures, or if you like guarantees, quarrels between orientalists, which those who see from outside without understanding them scorn and laugh at. Despite their sarcasm, Anquetil has the last word, a final reflection, fierce but humorous, which hits the bull’s eye, and still retains all its relevance. It is in the last paragraph of his last work, and it is his last message: “It is pleasant to see two old men almost crippled, achieving extenuation for the progress of Indian literature, whilst a thousand young men, fresh, well nourished, after having vegetated in their beds, are off to India to amass nothing but rupees.”

  • 5 Published in 1868 in his Variétés Orientales (pp. 177-224). These treasures are opened to all in P (...)

11Lastly, Edouard Ariel, was another who was passionate about research and who was torn from his endeavours prematurely by death. He sacrificed to them his youth, his health and his life, assembling at Pondicherry an immense amount of material: manuscripts (these are in the Bibliothèque nationale), and books and objects of art bequeathed by him to his master Eugène Burnouf, and now kept at the Société asiatique in Paris. They had been brought to the attention of the scholarly world by an extremely detailed, fifty page exposition by Léon de Rosny5 given to the Société Asiatique de Paris on 14th Decembre 1855. But as secretary–archivist of the Conseil de Pondichéry, he scandalised the local French population by adopting “malabares” customs and having teeth blackened by betel chewing.

12The next step was taken by Julien Vinson who showed the same intellectual curiosity as Ariel and the same familiarity with the Indian world, that of Karaikkal, where he grew up as the son of a French magistrate posted to that comptoir. His memory has not been honoured as it deserves, perhaps because of the rather unconventional accidents of his scientific and political career. Well enough versed in Tamil to compose original poetry in that language, well enough known to the scholars of the Tamil world to have carried on a correspondence with the most celebrated of them, U. Ve. Swaminatha Iyer, there were few areas he did not touch upon, from classical grammar and literature to the sociology of castes or epigraphy, from temple sacred jewels to the adornment of women, from Buddhism and Jainism to popular Hindu imagery on mica, in albums he tracked down in second-hand book stalls along the Seine.

13He was, as well, the indefatigable driving force behind reviews of comparative linguistics and he lost himself in the parallels between Basque and the Dravidian, his discovery of Basque being at once a family heritage and an accident of his career as forestry engineer posted at Bayonne. He also, notably, traced the history of the beginnings of Tamil lexicography, containing with difficulty his militant anticlericalism, so as to render homage to the pioneering work of Jesuits.

14After these sketches of strong personalities, who can be confined only with difficulty within the conventions of our Alma Mater, it is with an academic trio, artificially grouped Jules Bloch, Pierre Meile and Jean Filliozat, that we enter into academic indology, properly speaking. All the same, each of these men also left the memory of an uncommon personality. In passing, let us give ourselves over to Jules Bloch’s humour, responsible for his administrative ranking of Pondicherry “that under-sub-collectorate…”.

15It is fitting, in fact, to contrast this with the more properly positive vision of another original, Gabriel Jouveau-Dubreuil, who saw in this town “dedicated to spiritual work” (Pondichéry is Vedapuri to him, the city of study and meditation) a pied-à-terre to be sure, from which the whole of India might be conquered. “A centre of research must be created here, attached to the EFEO”, he wrote in 1935. Hardly off the boat and he was visiting South India and the Deccan; in ten years or so he had completed the fresco which went from l’Archéologie du Sud de l’Inde to l’Histoire ancienne du Deccan and constituted the best of his work at the same time as assuring his fame. The list of his first Indian correspondents is impressive: T. A. Gopinatha Rao, S. Krishnaswami Aiyengar, T. G. Aravamuthan, and K. A. Nilakanta Sastri who wrote to him in July 1940 “You have always represented France to me and all that is best in that great land.”

16Those portraits of some of the eminent figures of French Indology in Pondicherry, are reminders to us that a certain dedication and commitment is necessary in our work, and, I would venture to say, a certain amount of elitism. Teaching has its merits and our students their rights, but this is the moment for us to remind ourselves that today, as may be observed everywhere, the first claim of the world of scholarship is the safeguarding of fundamental research. We are here not to commercialise research but to deepen it.

17In 1955, with the opening of the French Institute, with the discreet but essential dedication of Suzanne Siauve, Jean Filliozat took up the torch from the luminaries just referred to, bringing in Jouveau-Dubreuil’s informant, P. Z. Pattabiramane, to establish with him the IFP photograph collection. Every time he came back from a mission ‘Pattabi’, as we used to call him, would announce to his director a very important discovery he had made. We smile, but in fact he really had, most of the time. When the American Institute at Varanasi developed its own collection of archaeological documents, M. A. Dhaky, in charge of the project, knew how to find his way to the IFP’s photographic archives and to the experience of P. Z. Pattabiramane who remains the pioneering explorer. That empathy with the archaeological terrain was the lesson Françoise L’Hernault learned from him. In the flow of new discoveries she remained, for this reason, the privileged interlocutor of all the archaeological researchers and art historians, Indian, French, and others working in the south of the peninsula. Numbered photographs and catalogues on the web will not soon replace that quest for unedited information nor that type of personal exchange between experts.

18At the same time, N. R. Bhatt was founding the department of Indology, surrounding himself with a team of pandits and setting up the IFP library and its collection of manuscripts. He embodied the essential role of the keepers of traditional knowledge, the pandits, in the mission entrusted to him by Jean Filliozat of facilitating contact between European researchers and Indian scholars. Under his influence was constituted the collection of work tools which made the IFP widely known as the keeper of sources of a South Indian approach to Saiva Cittāntā, as much as for the elaboration of the basic works of a systematic exploration of Pāṇiṉian grammar and areas of Indian philosophy.

19Unchallenged chief of all indological activity, he commanded the greatest respect for himself and for his Indian colleagues whom he managed with a firm hand. Due to him, it is understood that a pandit is not an informant employed within a colonial framework but a colleague entering into a dialogue with his European fellows.

  • 6 See the translation of Naṟṟiṇai by Kandasamy Pillai, IFP, Pondicherry, 2008.

20Around this exceptional nucleus, the first pandits and copyists of Sanskrit and, in Tamil, a handful of Indians who were themselves outside institutions, must be evoked. Rather than mention them all we shall name three: Karavelane, a nationalist and lawyer from Kāraikkāl and an only too rare translator; Dessigane Pillai, a retired interpreter to the Pondicherry court, unsparing of his knowledge; and Kandaswamy Pillai,6 a lawyer, but certainly an extraordinary figure of a rich zamindar, curious and cultivated, who was ruined by his fascination with the cinema and finally able to recuperate as a scholar through Tamil classical literature and Siddha medicine.

21It was only after them, but still in the furrow they had ploughed, that the IFP sensibly moved on in Tamil, after Sanskrit, from gathering to organised agriculture. Established vidvans, (Tamil pandits), and, among them two pioneer winners of literary prizes: V. M. Subrahmanya Iyer, then T. V. Gopal Iyer (both these having received the famous prize of 1000 rupees that Tiruppaṉantāḷ maṭam founded in 1929 to crown the best vidvan) were officially integrated into the research structure.

22The conservation and diffusion of their works, thanks to cybernetic resources and the web seem to be the priority of the new generation of occidental Tamil scholars at Pondicherry while they wait for the latest scientific advances. We may now ask ourselves whether the glamour of new technologies is really dusting off the hive of hard work which has gathered together, in all complicity, the variegated protagonists in the adventure of humanist interaction and exchange that has been pursued here since the 18th century.

23An absurd dichotomy has finally managed to differentiate between Indology and the social sciences when it remains, in fact, obvious that cooperation between the two disciplines is a primary condition for any serious research, and that we stand against both an illiterate anthropology and a philology severed from its roots in society and history.

24Let us remember two points. The first is anecdotal but full of symbolic meaning: the social sciences library was originally put together from the Indology one, which was obviously diversified enough for that. The second point is more fundamental. There has been over the years a continuity of exchange of ideas between traditional Indology and all those metropolitan guests, individual researchers and temporary associates who benefit from interaction with a permanent personnel. They are so very numerous: there are philosophers amongst them, specialists in poetry, in Buddhism and Jainism, epistomologists, demographers and anthropologists. They include specialists in classical antiquity and epigraphy, historians, geographers and political experts, lawyers, art historians, economists, urbanists…

25This rich mixture looks like vanishing with the elimination of individual researchers, suspected of being mainly concerned with their theses: it was always unclassified, whereas nowadays, under the yoke of formulations by programmes, there is an attempt to define the links and the transversalized exchanges. Is this the unavoidable transition to modernity, or is the Institute going to remain a public institution for the benefit of all?

26Were we to make a summary of the work covered by IFP publications, we should discover both the rigorous poles of basic science and a series of extremely diverse studies. Paradoxically, diversity is essential to a culture of projects and it would be dangerous to dispense with it, since it alone can express the vitality and variety of Indian studies. Who, when confronted with the range and scope of that diversity, would dream of excluding it, and in the name of what?

27As for those poles of excellence, Saiva agamas, Sanskrit grammar or philosophy, Tamil literature, language and linguistics, and translation of essential texts, often unpublished outside India: they are pillars of Indian culture. Two complementary concerns have presided over these orientations.

28First is the concern with basic research and the exploration of new fields. Filliozat used to say that he couldn’t spend very long in one room without going to see what was happening in the next one. After an enormous investment in agamic Saivite literature he was ready to explore new avenues.

29In the same way he opened up the field of Tamil, not so as to hide himself in its archaic corpus but rather to reveal and exploit its diversity, as for example, its complementarity with Sanskrit Saivism. Hence his interest in the Tirumantiram and in Siddha medicine, so difficult of access for one not familiar with Tamil poetics and its symbols.

30In the same fashion, he initiated the dialogue between images, temple rituals and the normative texts and then extended this multifaceted approach to South-East Asia, opening new paths for research towards a more global vision of cultural, commercial and other links, between South Asia and the Far East.

31And thus too, he decided, in 1976, to mark the 75th anniversary of the EFEO by a symposium on historical ecology at its inception in Asia, a symposium organized, along with Pierre Legris, then director of the scientific section of the IFP.

32Innovation is the key word here; and we should not forget Jean Filliozat’s favourite saying: “Me, I don’t search, I find.”

33The second concern is also crucial. We must rediscover the part played in French Indian studies, and even in Indian studies overall, by Louis Renou, who freely gave of his time to the creation of working and learning tools. Jean Filliozat eventually came round to that attitude when he recommended as a text-book Le Compendium des Topiques, a treatise on logic translated by Alfred Foucher, or when he planned with Kandasamy Pillai a concordance of classical Tamil which remains the first and which can still be consulted in Paris.

34The exactitude and the rare efficiency of our references for Saiva Siddhanta is largely owed to the endless patience of those who compiled the index of the halfverses of the agamic Saivite texts, by hand.

35Grammar, rhetoric, logic, prosody, dramaturgy are basic disciplines that must be mastered if we are to go further and not sink to mere gibbering. In every branch the student still needs reliable tools of reference, introductions to the reading of commentaries and translations of basic Indian reference manuals. The teaching of Sanskrit also requires the catalogues, indices and glossaries we publish, which provide research scholars with the wide reference base common to classical languages.

36At IFP and EFEO the recent harvest eloquently affirms the richness and fertility of such works. But these publications are, however, nothing but the final phase, the most gratifying, and the most facile too, in turning Indology’s hardworking past to gain. So an institutional priority must also be made of preparing new ones; otherwise those publications will be remembered and qualified only as the fruitful liquidation of an era. For world Indology today, we need scholars who will reinvest power in the imagination.

37In a text which is the 1956 founding charter of the IFP and introduces its first Indological publication, the translation of Chants dévotionnels tamouls de Karaikkalammaiyar, Filliozat wrote: “The immediate object of an institute for research in the humanities in India is, necessarily, India herself as she is today. A current civilization, however, is not composed only of its ongoing activities, immediate plans and ideal future. If a civilization is alive, its past is alive too and is part of its present, as memory in the mind. The newborn is but the latest contribution to the pre-existent, which remains contemporaneous.” He concludes that in order to know the observable reality, not only by listing its features but also by distinguishing between fossils and the living, we must, in a word, measure all the currents of the past that are flowing in the present.

38Thus, tradition and modernity are not opposed and it is important to avoid being fooled by illusions and concepts and, certainly, to avoid giving them false value. This means, for example, accepting innovation and transversality, or the dialogue between philology and the social sciences. We must know more about how to trace, beneath changes in technical vocabulary and in the evolution of types, the manifestations of an intellectual history that is in constant evolution; this is one lesson hinted at by one international programme launched by Sheldon Pollock, which exists on the contributions of numerous colleagues who, as a team, deploy the learning necessary to his aims.

39We must learn to cast upon the minute but purely mechanical cataloguing of manuscripts, the regard of the historians dealing with mental processes and concrete intellectual realities such as a Roger Chartier or a Robert Darnton.

40This also means that, within the hierarchy of research, history has to be given its full value and learning returned to its true role, not as the perpetrator of self-enclosed erudition but as the servant of a larger humanistic vision, which remains, after all, our foremost vindication.

41To return to history is also to learn that it is inscribed in the soil or on a landscape. This defines, for example, the object of an ambitious IFP programme, realized with the support of the Ford Foundation, of an Historical Atlas of South India.

42After Roger Billard produced, many years ago, a fundamental work on the history of Indian astronomy, still little recognized due to the singularity of his method, it is currently “the history of mathematical sciences in pre-colonial Tamil Nadu” which is inscribed on the agenda. The project is fitted into a European problematic and into a pan-Indian vision of the pre-modern period, during which, in a politically divided India, scientific development became differentiated under local patronages and must therefore, first and foremost, be the object of monographs by region.

43It is also important to understand that the EFEO is no École des Chartes and that the role of a library is not limited to the conservation and description of manuscripts nor to the maintenance of classic collections.

44When we collect at the IFP, journals, “chap books,” contemporary literature whether elitist or popular, which are eminently representative of India in its complexity but often neglected up till now by public libraries, we are contributing to what is a real, concrete, safeguard of the Indian patrimony. This initiative will certainly be acknowledged as such in less than a generation, as the collection of Ariel at the Bibliothèque nationale, or the unique 19th c. work of Garcin de Tassy on Hindustani literature of the 19th c. published in India, now are.

45The privileged localization of the IFP imposes on it a work of international proportions as a centre of documentation, which it has been in the past and must continue to be if it is to remain a public institution on the world map.

46We must also take care that the study of ancient Tamil does not end up repeating, as regards the Caṅkam corpus, what German philology did with the Veda in the 19th century. We must accept that archaeology is not merely embroidery on narrative motives or iconographical themes, but that it also signifies history and geography and must be implemented with the help of historical ecology in terms of environmental studies around each site.

  • 7 De la maison à la ville en pays tamoul ou La diagonale interdite. Formes urbaines, pratiques et si (...)

47And, apropos, if the EFEO today is doing this in Angkor with Jacques Gaucher, it has already been in operation in Pondicherry in a number of research series on Uttaramērūr, on the sites between Alampūr and Sricailam, in the interdisciplinary programme on Tiruvannamalai, and, one more Kāviri programme still with the printer, the release of which is impatiently awaited.7

48Finally the hair-splitting approach, crystallized by the German verb ‘problematizieren’ should not drain away our energy from urgent tasks, such as, new tools for young researchers, medieval history and literature, dialogue between Sanskrit and regional forms of the cultural heritage, and more emphasis on contemporary problems through their specific Indian expression in formulating them in today’s art, literature and research.

49All these challenges are waiting for us while we in the meantime are up against the same contingencies in the face of globalisation, changes in research priorities, and a general tendency of disinvestment on the part of the public sector. In this context, is there still a future for Indology?

50Now, I should like to draw your attention to a curious parallel between this occasion and the ceremony to which we are bidden tomorrow. The last pandits have virtually vacated the place and now, in the garden of the IFP, the statue of Sarasvatī will be illuminated for all to see, to symbolize the will to make an honourable place for the IFP in the field of knowledge in its entirety. We shall be celebrating this noble ambition tomorrow, but Sarasvatī is represented, above all, by all of you here tonight, for what may be the last time.

51If I linger on this petrified image, it is actually because she seems to me to be waiting, like quite a different figure, that of Akalya, cursed by her husband, the sage Gautama, to remain turned to stone until touched by the foot of Lord Rama. At the IFP, as in our universities and research centres where Indology is in retreat, Sarasvatī, symbolically speaking, is waiting for the touch that will bring her back to life.

52So, we are all faced today with the question: who is going to break the spell?

53Will it be the Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, at last aware of the budgetary necessity of redressing a situation that should never have been allowed to deteriorate?

54Will it be the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, concerned with safeguarding effectively an avant-garde position for French Indology as a unique instrument for fundamental research, and concerned, too, with showing that if there is need in the present world for an IRD, research institute for development, whether sustainable or not, another crying need would be fulfilled if there were as well an IDR, Institute for the development of research?

55Will it be, dear colleagues, some French Indologist capable of bringing researchers together and of taking in hand the future of this discipline and of an international institution which Paris often sees as too distant but over which it would like to have control?

56Will it be India herself, whose collaboration is given, because she has always recognized and known how to welcome those who believe she has a soul, and who work to transmit her cultural message to the world?

57Wherever it comes from, in Pondicherry and in other centres all over the world, Sarasvatī waits, like Akalya, to be awakened, so she may preside over tomorrow’s Indology.

58Only then will I be able to quote for you what Jean Baudrillard said in New York after September 11th: “So, I set out to produce a Requiem but it was also, in a way, a Te Deum.”

59This paper was read in English at the Closing Session of the International Conference held at Pondicherry, 22-25 February 2005 on Forms and Uses of Commentary in the Indian world, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the French Institute of Pondicherry.


1 La barbarie intérieure, Essai sur l’immonde moderne, 1999, (1ère édition « Quadrige » PUF, 2004).

2 Voyage dans les mers de l’Inde… ed. ‘En Suisse’, 1780, Tome I, p. 136.

3 Republished in a smaller format as an independent work, by P. S. Filliozat and his family, with notes and details of Anquetil’s itinerary by Jean Deloche, EFEO, 1997.

4 Letter of 28 May 1804.

5 Published in 1868 in his Variétés Orientales (pp. 177-224). These treasures are opened to all in Paris. M. Gopalakichenane made use of some of them (see Le Trait-d’Union June 1998, April 2002) for Tamil publications like a diary of Vīra nāyakar (1992), two parts of Anandarangappillai diary (1751-1753) so far, and a document on The Origin of the Nāṭṭukkōṭṭaiyārs and their Communal Practices (Chennai, 2008).

6 See the translation of Naṟṟiṇai by Kandasamy Pillai, IFP, Pondicherry, 2008.

7 De la maison à la ville en pays tamoul ou La diagonale interdite. Formes urbaines, pratiques et significations en Inde du Sud, thèse de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 1993, under the direction of Denys Lombard; vol. I Text; Vol. II 165 drawings, 22 photographic plates. As a matter of fact it stands as the unique corpus on that area. Finally published by EFEO in 2007 (Mémoires archéologiques 23).

© Institut Français de Pondichéry, 2009

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