With the recent furor over Penguin’s decision to pulp copies of Wendy Doniger‘s The Hindus after some intense pressure, I was reminded of Delhi University’s decision to ban a much less “controversial” essay by A.K. Ramanujan entitled Three Hundred Ramayanas. It’s a wonderful piece of writing and well worth a read. What it points to is the vast plurality of traditions and interpretations.
Mimosa reposted a couple of responses to the recent events that are also worth reading.
One thought on “From 300 Ramayanas to The Hindus”
To be frank, I think Wendy’s best friends are the lunatics trying to “protest” her book. They are propping up work playing fast and loose with nuance or logic :). Even more amusing is that what the brigade finds offensive is just the juxtaposition of sex with religion—and not the general lack of logical thought in “Hinduism” studies in academia, India or abroad. But I guess any mention of sex gets more of reaction than anything else.
But AKR’s work is fantastic. What is more ironic about the DU “ban” is that Yakshagana or Kathakali routinely do some variations on Ramayana.
Most of all, these stories actually make me jealous. How do we get our work banned somewhere? Anywhere? How cool that would be!
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