Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five examples and Three Thoughts on Translation

Sushubh

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The Delhi University Academic Council on Sunday decided to do away with a “controversial” essay by scholar A K Ramanujan taught to History students, even as teachers, including the head of History department at the University protested over the issue.
The essay: Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five examples and Three Thoughts on Translation, which forms part of the syllabus for BA (Hons) History students, had become part of a court litigation with the allegation that portions of it hurt sentiments of Hindus and were blasphemous.

The Supreme Court had in July 2010 asked the University to constitute an expert committee to look into the matter and submit its report before the Academic Council for a decision.

The expert committee of four members comprised historians of repute whose names have not been made public. While three of them had unanimously upheld the academic merit of the essay, one raised an objection on the ground that it was unsuitable for under-graduate students, said Dr R C Thakran, Head of the Department of History.

DU removes ?controversial? essay from history syllabus - Readability
 

sachins

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The ramayana is a brilliant piece of work and you do not need creative interpretations to understand rama's dilemma and the resulting tragedy. Rama is the same guy who rescues sita from ravana and accuses her of infidelity. He is the husband who treats sita like sh!t while ravana(her kidnapper) treats her like a queen; refuses to take her by force instead asks her to come to him willingly. Rama is the guy who expels his pregnant wife into the jungles by choosing his kingdom over sita. Sita is not an obedient wife rather a dutiful file. When rama asks her prove herself at the end on the epic, she does not refuse. Her accepting of rama's demand turns out to be her decisive rejection of an ungrateful husband(rama) who is directly responsible for sita's withdrawal(suicide?) from earth. Sita's predicament which arose from rama's dilemma is the crux of ramayana. Even Ramanand sagar's ramayana which aired on doordarshan TV had tried to sugar coat this tragic story by portraying rama as "all good". Many silly hindus do not understand that without this tragedy, the ramayana falls flat dead. Hindu epic characters are special because they are not all good and not all bad at the same time. The ramayana appears simple on the top, but it is totally ambiguous at the bottomIn the mahabharata, all the ambiguity is on the top. Though it has too many characters, too many parallel stories and stories within stories. Yudhistira, the degenerate gambler who gambles away his wife, family and possession turns out to be the most dharmic person in the end. Crazy stuff.
 

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