A Tagore brother that time forgot Culture. Obviously, those who speak in the name of upholding Indian read Hindu culture lack the legacy of that which they are claiming to uphold—respect for diversity, dialogue and interpretation. On the other hand, Smritis and Puranas are dynamic and change with time and culture. The purpose of higher education is to inculcate critical faculties in the student. Dinesh Singh comes from a very educated and progressive family.

Even Valmiki’s Ramayana has different readings in the country. Delhi University is home to a literary battle that has turned political. However, Singh still has some defenders amongst his erstwhile colleagues. The controversy engendered by the celebrated scholar A. Recently the Vice Chancellor and the Academic Council over ruled the opinion of the history department, as well as the expert committee and removed the essay from the list of recommended readings. He said they would make sure the essay that replaces Ramanujan’s does not contain anything offensive to Hindus, indication that this brand of academic vigilanteism will only intensify.

A.K. Ramanujan: ’Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation’

Then, if they so choose, they become teachers themselves and pass that knowledge on to others. Many of these tellings vary from, or even contrast with, the Valmiki Ramayana most Indians are familiar with.

Delhi University is home to a literary battle that has turned political.

Ramanujan, the Padma Shree winning scholar, prefers to call them “tellings”, as the word ‘version’ seems to suggest that there is an original master narrative and all other forms of the story have deviated from it. This page was last edited on 17 Aprilat Ramanuman great poets like Bhasa took the liberty of resolving the entire problem of Mahabharata without a war.

300 ramayanas essay by ramanujan

Ramanujan’s essay also discusses Jain tellings of the Ramayana. Intolerance shown towards a scholarly study of these versions should be condemned by the entire academic fraternity. I think he is being pressurised because this is very unlike him. On October 9,the Academic Council of the University decided to remove the essay from the BA curriculum for its next academic cycle.


300 ramayanas essay by ramanujan

Most academicians at Delhi University are feeling betrayed by their own fraternity, the reason — the Academic Council’s recent decision to drop from the history syllabus a celebrated essay by the late scholar and linguist A. I could take issues with his complacent reading of the Tamil Kamban, his hermeneutical rendering of Jaina and other tellings, his disengagement with the politics of caste in subversive texts, his translations, etc.

Ramanujan, while referring to the diversity and apparently contradictory element of unity in the Indian traditions, refers to an Irish joke about whether to classify trousers as singular or plural: Meanwhile, academics are incensed with the manner in which the essay was scrapped.

These are obvious counter narratives—the main story and characters remain the same.

Three hundred Ramayanas – Delhi University and the purging of Ramanujan

It seeks ra,anujan demonstrate factually how the story of Rama has undergone numerous variations while being transmitted across different languages, societies, geographical regions, religions, and historical periods. Kannada writer Chandrashekhar Kambar, the winner of this year’s Jnanpith award, said: Archives on Singh is a well-respected academic from the Maths Department, who took on the unenviable task of stepping in ramznujan his predecessor, Deepak Pental, had steamrolled in the semester system, ignoring widespread protests across University.

300 ramayanas essay by ramanujan

This had many people at the press conference perplexed, wondering whether Dr Awasthy was arguing that the version of events presented in the Valmiki Ramayana could be scientifically verified. The story of Mandodari begetting Sita is present even earlier in Jaina mythology. Why would they conclude that?

At the press conference, Chahal argued that the world erupted essaay protest when cartoons of Prophet Muhammad were published by a Danish newspaper. Ramanujan’s word is not gospel and a student or teacher is free to agree or disagree with his essay.

I teach history at Jamia Millia Islamia. This relates further to an argument that many scholars have enunciated, best represented in the work of Madeline Biardieu about the structure of the Indic literary tradition— particularly the epics and Puranas, which was rooted in orality and interpretation vy than on the sacro-sanctness of the written text.


Concerned citizens statement condemning the ra,ayanas on classical musical expression in south India Acts of Intimidation: The Council, which deals primarily with administrative affairs, saw fit to intervene in this case and dismiss the essay, despite recommendation to the contrary by the expert committee.

But the controversy over the Ramanujan essay is merely a chapter in a larger political battle. Ramanujan’s essay Ramayanas from the Delhi University B. Their press release also asks ramanujn the same historians will recommend a narrative by Salman Rushdie as a compulsory text for the study of the Quran or Islam? That it is a matter of concern that popular beliefs and prevailing traditions of Hindu Culture are projected in distorted manner.

I have only looked at the course outline just now, which rammayanas six themes relating to diverse topics such as material cultures, classical Sanskrit, folk and popular literary traditions and on icons and artisans, a course eminently teachable and reflexive.

Ramayana: An ‘epic’ controversy – BBC News

Especially when doing so would suggest, whether the academic council intended this or not, that the university had caved in to violent intimidation. Critical analysis of texts is an integral part of humanities and social sciences education.

One of Ramanujan’s main observations in the essay is that there is no such original Ramayana and that Valmiki’s Ramayana telling is only one among many Ramayana tellings.