Whose Ramayana do you know?

Chai Kadai

by Samyuktha PC

Recently Delhi University’s Academic Council turned to a team of experts, four faceless and nameless historians, to assess if A K Ramanujan’s essay ‘Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and three thoughts on translation’ (read the essay online) should be removed from the syllabus of the course ‘Culture in India: A Historical Perspective’ for BA (Honours) students, even though three of the experts voted against the removal. This team was formed as per the directions of the Supreme Court following a writ petition by some Right wing groups that the essay hurt their religious sentiments. (read the article in The Hindu for expert opinions).

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While I was in the hospital, eleven years old, recovering from a bout of malaria, my mother told me the Ramayana, the story of Sita. My grandmother used to narrate the many folk stories spun around the Ramayana to put me…

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