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borderless confusion - 4 02 2003 - 12:22 - katatonik

Knowledge<sup>TM</sup> usurpation

The German software company Veda obtained exclusive rights to the trademark “Veda” for its computer products.

One does not approve of this in India. Sanskrit “veda” means “knowledge”; the Veda stands for ancient, traditional knowledge transmitted in scriptures of the same (generic) name.

Following up on this story, Express India further discovered that over 40 ancient Indian concepts had been trademarked in Germany.

After a first flash of sympathy with the exploited Third World, yours truly begins to wonder what the fuzz is all about. So there is a trademark “Veda” in Germany. So what? Would it be preferable if an Indian software company owned “Veda”? Or if the term were registered as trademark of Hinduism itself? In the eyes of Express India, perhaps. But are these the eyes one would like to borrow?

What is left conveniently unmentioned in the above-linked articles is that many of these ancient Indian concepts have only rather recently been appropriated by Hinduism, as one part of a more comprehensive political effort to define all that’s ancient India as intrinsically Hinduist, and to Hindu-ize Indian traditional culture.

There was no Hinduism around when the Vedic literature and its distinctive ideas emerged. Many scholars argue that the religious beliefs articulated in Vedic literature are not the same, and cannot even be called “forerunners”, of beliefs commonly identified as Hindu. Perhaps, outrage by traditional Hindus that their ancient concepts are being usurpied by evil German economy devils is a sentiment one would not so readily like to share.

(Mind you, this is only about naming trademarks. It’s not about patents to Indian trees).

Ausgezeichneter Beitrag! Leicht OT, aber lustig: http://kembrew.com/ (Wahrscheinlich ein Hoax).

gHack (Feb 4, 01:56 pm) #

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