Let’s not pretend that the soul-crushing shrillery of the academic mullahs of Delhi—led mainly by the mini-mullahs of the history department—has anything to do with academic freedom or “curbing our freedom of thought” or “censorship of education” and such other arrant nonsense. It’s anything but that. It’s simply the latest instance of their decades-long ritual of opportunist sniffing to find out just how much damage their rabble-rousing can inflict. It’s the most recent manifestation of their insane loathing for everything Hindu, which prompted some of their elites to pervert Indian history on such a scale that the brains of at least three generations of Indian people have successfully been filled with poison. Equally, it’s also the most current attempt to somehow resuscitate their once-flourishing but now-crumbling empire built on the fetid foundation of historical distortion and supported by the pillars of lies and fraud.
Neither does their heart genuinely bleed for the late AK Ramanujan, whose ill-advised essay entitled 300 Ramayanas (that link has the full text of his essay. Recommended only for bravehearts. Keep an Anacin handy.) was erased from the Delhi University’s textbook list—which is what made these academic mullahs unleash the despicable display of collective insanity in the ongoing public orgy.
If I want to gloat, I’ll say that exactly 14 days ago, I had foreseen that the usual suspects would most definitely manufacture a controversy around this non-issue.
That 300 Ramayanas was prescribed in the first place as required reading for a higher graduate course is an illustrative indicator of why our universities are full of X-rated professors who can’t write a coherent sentence let alone teach. Here’s an example of a certain pre-historic eminence who says that “Even if the essay was an unexceptional piece, we would still be here…as this decision is clearly rooted in paying respect to the politics of hurt religious sentiments.” In other words, he’s ok if a poem like “Roses are red violets are blue/higher the skirt better the view” is included in a higher education syllabus but if it’s dropped for obvious reasons, it would be tantamount to “paying respect to the politics of hurt sentiments.”
This “school” of thought basically says that a text should be included only because it “supports the cause of academic freedom” and not because it stands on the force of merit. The other “school” of thought—really, the other side of the same worthless coin—actually, seriously argues that “this essay by Ramanujan is an exceptional piece of reasoning, but our mathematical professor, the V-C decided to scrap this text.” Notice the sneering, the pathetic attempt at sarcasm in “our mathematical professor” directed at the DU Vice Chancellor. A classic, but outdated technique of whatever’s left of the Left. This exceptional eminence in all seriousness calls 300 Ramayanas an “exceptional piece of reasoning.” That’s like saying the Church was right and Galileo was wrong.
What none of these academic mullahs talk about is AK Ramanujan’s credentials to even author such a piece. It’s true that you mustn’t talk ill of the dead but look at the amount of filth that just one essay by this dead man has spawned. AK Ramanujan was not a historian or mythologist. His scholarship was primarily in English literature with a smattering of Kannada and Tamil folklore. He didn’t have the kind of knowledge of Sanskrit that an essay, which dismisses the authorship of Ramayana demands. And yet, like most “scholars” of his time, he wrote this monumental pile of academic shit, which I dissected three years ago. Neither did he have any knowledge of reading manuscripts, another key discipline required to produce any body of work on a topic of this nature. And yet he wrote this with supreme confidence in…in what? Well, with the same supreme confidence that U R Ananthamurthy wrote Samskara, a novel that seeks to shatter the evil edifice of Dharma written without a shred of understanding of the subject. Incidentally, AK Ramanujan translated Samskara into English. That then is part of AK Ramanujan’s credentials. Of course, this is precisely the kind of information the media and academia won’t tell you.
If I was a conspiracy theorist, I’d attribute casteism as a strong motivator behind Ramanujan’s essay: here’s a Brahmin who has attempted to take away the credit from Valmiki, the original and only author of the Holy Ramayana because Valmiki belonged to a lower caste. I mean, how dare a low-caste hunter write a timeless epic in Sanskrit, reserved for elite Brahmins like AK Ramanujan? And what better way to get back than claiming that Valmiki’s Ramayana was merely “one of the tellings (sic)?” How about whispering this conspiracy theory into the ears of the folks who belong to the beda, or the hunting caste? You know, tell them that some nasty college lecturers in Delhi are taking out demented processions in support of an essay that claims that Valmiki—whom they regard as God—is not the author of Ramayana. But that’ll mean practicing the Congress Brand of politics, so I’ll stick to decency.
The fact is that over 5000/6000 years, every single tradition, author, poet, or folktale takes Valmiki’s name with the utmost reverence as the original author of Ramayana. Not one other person is mentioned as the author. Yet, AK Ramanujan’s opium-filled pen includes Valmiki’s original as “one of the tellings” on the basis of…absolutely no evidence. He simply assumes. And this product of drug-addicted scholarship has been prescribed as a textbook for god knows how many years.
The claim that this puerile essay provides “alternative viewpoints” is absurd. Alternative viewpoints must be based on the original epic, on the original story and not on fantasy. You can’t alter the original dramatically—like making Ravana Sita’s father—and then claim that it’s an “alternative viewpoint.” That’s distortion, not an alternative viewpoint. And 300 Errors Ramayanas does precisely that—it legitimizes such distortions.
Let’s forget 300 Ramayanas forever for a moment. Does any history and/or comparative religious studies courses in Delhi University (or any university in India for that matter) include one, more or all of the following books?
- Why I am not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq
- Infidel by Ayaan Hrsi Ali
- While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer
- Londonistan by Melanie Philips
- Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide by Bat Ye’or
As far as I know, they aren’t and they aren’t because, well, secularism and all that good stuff. I’ve read all these books and while they all talk about Islam, there’s plenty of “alternative viewpoints” in them. Why doesn’t even one of these academic-freedom-loving and anti-censorship-advocates get on the streets and have these books included in the curriculum? They won’t because they’ve set the rules for what constitutes censorship. Only this time, the VC of the Delhi University has himself broken that rule.
The behaviour and character of academic mullahs is once again consistent with their sorry record of misdeeds. The way—the civilized way to go about protesting an issue like this is to call for an academic debate. Call experts on both sides, have a debate and then come to a conclusion. But then that’s how academics do it. Academic mullahs get right down to business—descend on the streets and follow the template set by the Grand Mufti’s hooligans and shout stuff like Inquilab Zindabad! and V-C Dinesh Singh hosh meh aao! The choice of Inquilab is pretty self-explanatory, and all the more because it’s being raised by History professors and their ilk. Wonder what toxins they subject their students to in class.
Although the Delhi University has done the right thing by chucking out AK Ramanujan’s spurious piece of scholarship, it has done so on the grounds of hurt sentiments. However, the academically correct and the morally decent way would have been to not include it in the first place because it has no academic merit and is a work full of holes. In reality, Ramanujan’s essay is one among thousands of such essays that was “deemed fit” to prescribe and the “undesirable” ones like those by Jadunath Sarkar for example, got thrown out when the Marxists’ star was on the rise.
The Delhi University’s final decision of removing the essay was reached after it complied with the Supreme Court’s directive to examine if 300 Ramayanas caused hurt sentiments. A committee was formed, the essay was studied and a vote was taken. The vote unfortunately was for chucking out 300 Ramayanas. But for the court’s directive, the errant essay would’ve continued to stay and none would’ve been the wiser. Honestly, how many of us actually knew that:
- Such an essay even existed?
- It was a textbook in Delhi University’s B.A. (Hons)?
And so we see to the same phenomenon again. The toxic worms in the academia—densely populated in the history and humanities departments—silently work their way in and over the years distort facts, poison children’s minds, mooch off taxpayer money, and establish little islands of hegemony. The moment these odious little empires are challenged, all hell breaks loose. Think back to when the country was slapped awake and realized the importance of the history department only when Arun Shourie exposed the ilk of these selfsame charlatans. We had to wait for more than 40 years for Arun Shourie’s book. In other words, we were asleep for 40 years, unaware that damage was being inflicted slowly, systematically. And now, 300 Ramayanas has been scrapped and the worms are wriggling in fear holding placards and shouting slogans.