While listening to PM Modi at Ayodhya, over TV the other day, dilating confidently
On the theme of “unity in diversity” ( including a BIG LIE) with regard to the existence of many Ramayanas, I was thinking where has this non-scholar ( mildly put ) plagiarised his material from?
Later, I was reminded of the great scholar, poet, folklorist, essayist and translator ( late, died in 1993) A. K. Ramanujan of “300 and more Ramayanas” fame. After browsing I found the citation.:
“Three Hundred Rāmāyaṇas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation” is an essay written by Indian writer A. K. Ramanujan for a Conference on Comparison of Civilizations at the University of Pittsburgh, February 1987. (Wikipedia).
I have found two sources of this essay by Ramanujan: 1) Collected Essays of AK Ramanujan, edited by Vinay Dharwadkar and 2) Oxford India Paperback titled “Many Ramayana: The Diversity of a Narrative” edited by Paula Richman.
This essay was deleted from the DU syllabus by the RSS/ABVP forces. At that time they took a unitary or view of indivisibility..
There is one Ramayana by Valmiki in Sanskrit. And its authentic translation into Hindi or Devanagri is by Tulsidas. Now what Modi presented at Ayodhya, without acknowledging his source, was basically Ramanujan’s version and view of divisibility or that of unity in diversity. ( Including the BIG LIE that Guru Govind Singh wrote the Govind Ramayana.)
In this context, you may like to refer to Newsclick’s YouTube video -cum-article dated 4 July, 2017 : “Did Ramaujan’s Essay 300 Ramayans Really Hurt the Sentiments of Hindus? “
I feel this is an opportune time for all secular, democratic forces to raise their voice and campaign for restoration of Ramanujan’s iconic article in the DU syllabus.
By Aurobindo Ghose,
Advocate and Human Rights Activist