kiskiKAHANI (the Ramayana Project)

300 Ramayanas and Counting . . .
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Protecting Plurality

Posted on by Imran

Ram Puniyani reviews Teen Sau Ramayan (Hindi) by A.K.Ramanujan: Translation by Dhaval Jaiswal, Vani Prakahan. How does one react to the omission of a learned essay from the curriculum and its publication by the publisher feeling intimidated by the protests of intolerant-fundamentalist elements? Here is one small answer. Put it on the web site, translate it in to other languages and quench the curiosity of concerned readers. In case of celebrated essay Three Hundred Ramayans, this is what has been attempted. While some put it on web, translating it into Hindi has been done by Jaiswal and its publication by Vani Prakashan. Both deserve appreciation in the light of the fact that when Oxford University Press(OUP) decided to pull off this essay, from future publications, the bringing this out in Hindi is a laudable attempt. This essay was part of the syllabus of graduate course of History Department of Delhi University. In 2008, the RSS affiliates, Shiksha Bachao Andolan (Movement to Save Education) and the student wing of RSS created ruckus against this essay by saying that it hurts Hindu sentiments. The matter went to high Court, which ruled that since the issue relates to Academia, Delhi University (DU) should take the final call. DU formed a four member team, which opined that the essay is an exemplary piece of scholarship worth being read by students. However one of the team members added a rider, asking students and teachers can handle its depth of this … Continue reading

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