Indian Judiciary’s savage attack on Ramayana
Tue, 27 May, 2008 , 03:33 PM (Newstoday)
The Delhi High Court gave a deliberate death blow to the religious feelings, sentiments and susceptibilities of nearly one billion Hindus of India in absolute majority and several millions of Hindus abroad last week (19th of May 2008) when it dismissed a Writ Petition filed by Ms.Monica Arora on behalf of Shri Dina Nath Mishra, Dr.Ravindra Nath Pal, Sri Vidya Sagar Verma, Sri Achraya Sohan Lal Ram Rang, Dr. Payal Mago, Shri Mahesh Chandra Sharma, Shri Ramgopal Agarwal and Shri Atul Rawat under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuing of writ or direction or order in the nature of Mandamus or any other Writ or Direction or order directing the respondents (University of Delhi represented by its Vice Chancellor, Members of its Academic Council, Dr.Upinder Singh, Reader in History, University of Delhi and others) to withdraw the derogatory, defamatory and offensive Article written by Mr. A.K.Ramanujam, compiled by Dr. Upinder Singh being taught in B.A.(Hons) II Year History course in Delhi University under the title – Culture in India: Ancient. The petitioners included eminent educationists, former Ambassador, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of University, Principal, Lecturer, Teacher, Journalist, Deputy Mayor of MCD and renowned socio-religious leaders. I AM QUOTING THE RELEVANT EXTRACTS FROM THEIR WRIT PETITION: The petitioners are deeply aggrieved by the course curriculum of B.A. (Hons.) II year History Course being taught in Delhi University. The aforesaid course consists of three articles in which the article under controversy is written by Shri A.K. Ramanujan titled, ‘300 Ramayanas: five examples and three thoughts on translation.’ ………….
That in the aforesaid article the revered figures of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) namely Lord Ram, Lakshman, Sita and Hanuman have been depicted in bad light. It uses derogatory, defamatory and offensive language, regarding Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
i. That the Article terms Lord Hanuman as henchman of Lord Ram and then again as a ‘Tiny monkey’.
ii. The Article states that Ravana became Pregnant, his month wise pregnancy has been described and that he gives birth to Sita through his sneeze.
iii. It is further stated that both Ravana and Laxman used to seduce Sita.
iv. Sita has been described as unfaithful to Ram.
v. That the King of Gods Indra has been described as a base and a perverse man.
vi. Revered Hindu Saintly mother Ahalya has been described as unfaithful to her husband –The Great Rishi Gautama.
vii. That the Great Rishi Gautama curses King Indra in such a manner that his Testicles fall down. Then on the request of the gods animal’s testicles are implanted on his body.
viii. That the body of God Indra gets covered with vaginas of thousands of women
4. The language of the article is so abusive, perverse and below the accepted standards that it will cause irreparable damage to the impressionable minds of the students studying in B.A. (Hons) II year History Course in Delhi University.
5. That there is growing concern and alarm among the public at large regarding the teaching of such a sacrilegious and perverse material being taught in Delhi University. That the said Article is not only derogatory, defamatory and hurtful to the Hindus but also is an offence under various provisions of Indian Penal Code.
6. That there has been considerable opposition to this syllabus and demand for removal of this Article by students, teachers, lecturers, academicians, historians, religious & political leaders and social activists. They have sent many representations, legal notices and Memorandums to the President of India, Minister of Human Resource & Development and Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University. There have also been signature campaigns and Demonstrations for the removal of the aforesaid Article. That many Newspapers have also carried out Articles against the aforesaid Article being taught in Delhi University and called for its removal.
7. That the aforesaid article is violative of Articles 14, 15, 19, 21, 25 and Article 15A of the Constitution of India. That it is an offence under Section 153,153(A), 295(A), 298,505(2), 292,293 and other provisions of Indian Penal Code. That it is also violative of the judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court in Aruna Roy v. Union of India, W.P.(C) No.98/2002, 2002AIR (SC) 3176.
HENCE THE PRESENT WRIT PETITION.In their Writ Petition, the Petitioners had alleged that the respondent No.3 is Dr. Upinder Singh, Reader Department of History, University of Delhi. That she has compiled the course material for B.A. (Hons) II year History course being taught in Delhi University. All the educated Hindus of India have taken due note of the fact that Dr.Upinder Singh is the daughter of our de jure Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh (a surrogate non-entity!), who is nominally heading an Islam-embracing, Christianity-coveting, Hindu-hating, Hindu-baiting and Hinduism destroying UPA Government under the strangle hold of a de facto woman Prime Minister – a dictatorial imposter from Italy owing her allegiance to the Pope in Rome and not to the letter and spirit to the Indian Constitution. The Hindus of India are therefore not shocked that Sonia Gandhi and her anti-Hindu men operated through the surrogate Prime Minister to influence Delhi University to get A.K.Ramanujan’s anti-Rama and anti-Ramayana essay included in the syllabus of Delhi University in an effortless manner.
The Delhi High Court rejected the contention by the Petitioners that the Hindu Gods and Goddesses were referred to by A.K.Ramanujan in a ‘defamatory’ and ‘derogatory’ language by saying that these are folklore and interpreted in various ways. The High Court said that the Ramayan subject was part of a well-researched article done by noted scholar A.K.Ramanujan.
I reliably understand that the following conversation took place between Ms.Monica Arora, the Advocate for the Petitioners and the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, during the course of the judicial proceedings in open court.
Chief Justice: Have you read Periyar’s Keemaayana?Advocate: No, my Lord.Chief Justice: Do you know that Periyar’s Keemaayana is very popular in Tamilnadu? Are you aware of the fact that in Kamba Raamayana there are extensive references to Ahalya and her intimate overtures?Advocate: The language of A.K. Ramanujun is so abusive, perverse and below the accepted standards that it is causing irreparable damage to the impressionable minds of the students studying in B.A.(Hons) II year History Course in the University of Delhi.
Ms.Monica Arora invited the attention of the Chief Justice in open Court to the brutal fact as to how the University of Ranchi, on 1st of May 2008, had hurriedly cancelled its post-graduation history paper after thousands of Muslims took to the streets protesting against a reference to Prophet Mohammed in a history question paper which they said was derogatory. Ranchi University Vice Chancellor A.H. Khan, shortly after his meeting with Chief Minister Madhu Koda, announced: ‘a five-member committee has been constituted (to probe) the question paper. The examination has been cancelled’. Muslim organisations organised a march and ransacked the university office to protest against the offending question in the history paper. The police used force to control the mob. Finally Chief Minister Koda said: ‘We have asked the vice chancellor to probe the matter and take suitable action against the person who prepared the question. We appeal to people to maintain calm’.
Against this factual background, not belonging to superstitious ancient Hindu History but to Ranchi city of 1st of May 2008, Ms.Monica Arora posed these questions to the Chief Justice: ‘How can there be two different kinds of responses from Government, Courts of Law and other Public Organizations? One kind of paternal response towards the beloved Muslims and another kind of malignant response towards the hated and hunted Hindus? If Muslims go on a rampage, they would be heard with fear, kindness and reverence, whether they are right or wrong? If Hindus make a reasonable representation to the public authorities, their requests and entreaties would be treated with indifference, and insensitivity (particularly towards their long-cherished and sacred religious feelings and beliefs), in a manner bordering on supreme contempt?’
Ms.Monica Arora also invited the attention of the Chief Justice to the ruling given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Manzer Sayed Khan v. State of Maharashtra, Criminal Appeal No. 491 and 491/ 2007 (05/04/2007) in 2007 AIR (SC) 2074 that ‘intention has to be judged primarily by the language of the book and the circumstances in which the book was written and published’. Applying this judicial yardstick, she told the Chief Justice that A.K. Ramanujan has picked up anything negative found in different versions of Ramayan spread all over the world with malicious intention of defaming and denigrating the characters of Lord Ram, Hanuman, Laxman and Sita. The Article aims at projecting the entire epic of Ramayana and its characters as fallacious, capricious, imaginary and fake. She asserted as a practicing Hindu that this article is greatly humiliating and grossly offending to the religious belief and faith of the Hindu. Finally she said that A.K.Ramanujan is neither a historian nor an authority on such historical or religious texts. The Petition of Ms.Monica Arora, constitutes by itself, a great piece of legal literature.
Chief Justice Hidayatullah once observed that the Prime Minister of India couldn’t function like a great Mughal. The common Hindus of India would like to declare to all the anti-Hindu Judges of India that they too cannot function in a capricious manner like great Mughals. I would like to invite the kind attention of the Delhi High Court to the following irreplaceable words of American Justice Benamin Cardozo spoken in 1921: ‘My analysis of the Judicial process comes then to this, and little more: logic, and history, and custom and utility, and the accepted standards of right conduct, or the forces which singly or in combination shape the progress of the law’. 127 years earlier, another great British Justice Thomas Erskine, Lord Chancellor of England had declared in a similar manner in 1794: ‘The rules of evidence are founded in the charities of religion – in the philosophy of nature — in the truths of history, and in the experience of common life’. In short they are not based on the banalities and prejudices of political pseudo-secularism, career-oriented servile political opportunism, blatant philosophy of undeclared and unstated Hindu discrimination and in the private lives, prejudices and passions of transitory individual Judges, holding their briefs for the moment, in our Courts of Law. Individual and mortal Judges may come and go but eternal Hinduism will go on forever. No Court of Law in India can shake this deathless faith of the Hindus of India.
Wed, 28 May, 2008 , 04:28 PM
Even a cursory reading of the book `MANY RAMAYANAS', The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia, edited by Paula Richman, in which the controversial article of A.K. Ramanujan was included as the second lead article (Oxford University Press Publication of 1992) will show how prejudiced Paula Richman and her team of chosen anti-Hindu `intellectual' gangsters (A.K.Ramanujan included!) were even before they set out on this combined `criminal' intellectual assault on Lord Rama, Ramayana and Hinduism. The point I am making will be clear from Paragraph one (1) of Chapter One (1) of Paula Richman's article titled `Introduction: The Diversity of the Ramayana Tradition':
'In January 1987 viewers in India began to tune in, each Sunday morning for a Hindi television serial based on the Ramayana story. Observers estimate that over eighty million people watched the weekly broadcasts. In a land where most people do not own televisions and electricity remains in short supply, many gathered at the homes of relatives or at local tea shops to view the epic, while engineers worked overtime to supply adequate current. In some places entire villages joined together to rent a television set. It was not just that people watched the show: they became so involved in it that they were loath to see it end. Despite the fact that Doordarshan, the government-run network, had only contracted with the producer for a year's worth of episodes, the audience demanded more. In fact, sanitation workers in Jalandhar went on strike because the serial was due to end without depicting the events of the seventh, and final, book of the Ramayana. The strike spread among sanitation workers in many major cities in North India, compelling the government to sponsor the desired episodes in order to prevent a major health hazard. Quite apart from such militant enthusiasm, the manner in which viewers watched the serial was also striking. Many people responded to the image of Rama on the television screen as if it were an icon in a temple. They bathed before watching, garlanded the set like a shrine, and considered the viewing of Rama to be a religious experience'.
In the light of the above pompously supercilious and uncalled for observations of Paula Richman, any self respecting Hindu or Indian for that matter would be forced to ask the following simple questions in this context:
a. What are the credentials of Paula Richman to question the intellectual, cultural, social and religious rights of the Hindus in India to tune in each Sunday morning for a Hindi television serial based on the Ramayana Story?
b. Is she not talking like a typical Western Christian Missionary Racist of the 19th century? What does she mean by `militant enthusiasm' of the Hindus of India?
c. How does the `manner' in which the viewers watched the Ramayana serial affect her? What did she find `striking' in that `manner'?
d. Is Paula Richman a global turnkey contractor for the spiritual and social conscience of the heathenish and paganish Hindus of India or Asia? How does it matter to her as a Christian (We in India are not concerned with the Christian denomination to which she belongs nor are we interested in whether she is a Christian at all?) as to how many people in India and South East Asia responded to the image of Rama on the television screen as if it were an icon in a temple?
e. Would Paula Richman be interested in raising such questions relating to Christian viewers of a TV Serial on Jesus Christ in different parts of Europe, USA or Africa or Australia?
Paula Richman's anti-Hindu, anti-Rama and anti-Ramayana prejudice comes out into the open when she says `They (Hindus) bathed before watching, garlanded the TV set like a shrine, and considered the viewing of Rama to be a religious experience'. She is guilty of both calculated sanctimonious humbug on the one hand and unabashed anti-Hindu racism on the other.
Cover Photo of the book, Many Ramayanas: Delhi University’s Valmiki Ramayana!! (Duly Approved by Delhi HighCourt)
And then Paula Richman goes on to talk about the views of another kindred anti-Hindu spirit like Philip Lutgendorf regarding the size, response, and nature of the television Ramayana's audience. Let us hear Philip Lutgendorf `s learned views on this exciting and from their point of view, sexually titillating theme:
`The Ramayan serial had become the most popular programme ever shown on Indian television — and something more; an event, a phenomenon of such proportions that intellectuals and policy makers struggled to come to terms with its significance and long-range import. Never before had such a large percentage of South Asia's population been united in a single activity; never before had a single message instantaneously reached so enormous a regional audience'. Paula Richman and Philip Lutgendorf would have gone into flights of divine ecstasy if only the single message of Jesus Christ had reached these millions in India and Asia.
The Ramayana TV serial of 1987 created a new cultural revolution in India. It united all the Hindus of India and South East Asia for the first time and made them feel that they were all part of one large and extended family. The anti-Hindu Congress Party under Rajiv Gandhi, and the Communist Party of India joined together and contacted the Missionary and Christian agencies in Europe and America and thought of an intellectual plot to counter the expanding new cultural impact of the Ramayana TV serial on India and South East Asia. I have no doubt that the book edited by Paula Richman titled `Many Ramayanas' was a direct outcome of such political initiatives of anti-Hindu groups and political parties in India.
My suspicion in this regard has been confirmed by the bumptious reference made by Paula Richman to the Ramayana of Periyar in her preface. To quote her own words, `This book began owing to my puzzlement. For years I had heard people refer to E.V.Ramasami's interpretation of the Ramayana in a mocking and dismissive way. When I actually analyzed his reading of the story of Rama, however, I found much of it strikingly compelling and coherent if viewed in light of his anti-North Indian ideology. While I was talking one day with A.K.Ramanujan about my attempts to make sense of this particular reading of the Rama story, he gave me a copy of a paper he had presented entitled `Three Hundred Ramayanas'. I read this piece again and again because it challenges us to look at the Ramayana tradition in a new way. Each contributor to the volume also read Ramanujan's essay, which now comprises Chapter 2 of this volume. Every other chapter can be seen, in some way, as a response to some of the questions that Ramanujan raises'. Paula Richman is the ringleader of this conspiracy against Lord Rama, Ramayana and Hinduism.
In order to gain the political acceptance of pseudo-secular anti-Hindu intellectuals in India, she has roped in A.K.Ramanujan and included his article in her book of anti-Hindu propaganda. By declaring that all the other articles in her volume by writers like Frank E.Reynolds, Kathleen M. Erndl, David Shulman, Velcheru Narayana Rao, Clinton Seely, Stuart H. Blackburn, Patricia Y.Mumme, Philip Lugendorf and Ramdass Lamb etc. etc. can be seen, in some way, as a response to some of the questions that A.K.Ramanujan raises, Paula Richman has made it very clear that her whole book has been designed, planned, organized and launched as a new Bible of this anti-Rama and anti-Ramayana Brigade.
It ought to be a matter of great concern that the Delhi High Court has failed to take note of the simple fact that Paula Richman's book is nothing but a cheap and crude book with complete focus only on anti-Rama and anti-Ramayana (and of course anti-Hindu) propaganda. Our Courts of Law have no business to function as Marketing Managers of such dirty tricksters and anti-Hindu intellectual gangsters and paid mercenaries. To quote the brilliant words of Dr. Kalyanaraman, an international authority on Saraswathi Civilization and Culture: `Whether it is A.K. Ramanujam's perverted view of some anecdotes in the journey of Rama ignoring the fact that Rama was the embodiment of dharma (vigrahavaan dharma), or Paul Courtright's perception of Ganesha's trunk as a limp phallus or Wendy Doniger's critique of Bhagavad Gita as a dishonest book — all these pseudo-scholarship accounts belong to the same genre _ that of Gutter Inspectors' Sexist Reports. Sex in Sanskrit texts seem to hold a special fascination for some of these, possibly sex-starved, academics, ignoring the sublime aadhyaatmika message sought to be conveyed by many Hindu religious traditions governed by twin precepts of dharma _ nihs'reyas (bliss) and abhyudayam (welfare). The texts, which are held sacred by millions of Hindus, are sought to be smudged. The messages of global, eternal ethic of Dharma, which constitute the essence of the texts, are sought to be distorted. This gutter inspection continues to be indulged in, in the name of `academic freedom'. The phrase, `gutter inspectors' report' was made popular by Gandhi's description of Katherine Mayo's book, `Mother India' in 1927'.
What is most shocking and repulsive to the Hindus of India is the fact that many of our Supreme Court and High Court Judges today seem to be consciously joining this anti-Rama, anti-Ramayana and anti-Hindu intellectual brigade with tremendous judicial and secular enthusiasm in so unconscionable a manner.
Thu, 29 May, 2008 , 04:11 PM
Cicero in his classic work De Republica, De Legibus wrote for all time that, ‘it can truly be said that the Magistrate is a speaking law, and the law a silent agistrate’.
Most of our politically-tuned and legally-dead High Court and Supreme Court Judges seem to be subscribing to this day-to-day working philosophy: ‘It can truly be said that any Judge is a speaking politician and the law a silent politician’. These thoughts came to my mind when it was brought to my notice that the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court in a recent case relating to a textbook controversy
relating to Delhi University put this question to the advocate for the petitioners:
‘Have you read the Ramayana of Periyar?’This question raised by the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court has hurt the religious feelings and sentiments of millions and millions of Hindus in India and abroad. The accepted axiom is that the ignorance of law on the part of any citizen cannot be an excuse for violation of the law. If that be so, blatant ignorance of known facts about Periyar cannot also be conceded as an inherent and vested legal right on the part of Judges at any level dealing with public cases.
Periyar was well known for his anti-Hindu, anti-Aryan, anti-Rama, anti-Ramayana and anti-Brahmin writings and political propaganda for nearly five decades from 1920 to 1970.
In 1958 (AIR 1958 SC 1032), the Supreme Court of India, in a case relating to Veerabathra Chettiar Vs. E.V.Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar), ruled that Periyar had grossly violated the provisions of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code when he broke a Vinayaka Vigraha (idol). The Supreme Court also ruled that it did not matter whether the statue broken was from a temple or whether puja was being done to the Vigraha (idol). Periyar was punished by the Supreme Court of India under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). When Periyar was punished, he was 79 years old and not a young man of uncontrolled or uncontrollable impulses. In other words, he was indulging in a deliberate criminal act to wound the religious feelings of the Hindus of India and he was duly punished by the Supreme Court. What does Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) state or say? Indian Penal Code states:
IPC Section 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs’Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of 2 [citizens of India], 3 [by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise], insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 4 [three years], or with fine, or with both.’ In the light of this analysis, it should be clear that Periyar’s Ramayana (known as Keemayana) will attract Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and to the best of my lowly knowledge as a private citizen, neither the High Court of Delhi nor for that matter any other High Court in India, has been vested with the Constitutional right to overlook or ignore the provisions of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code.
The controversial anti-Rama and anti-Ramayana article of A.K.Ramanujan has been prescribed as a textbook by Delhi University in violation of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code. And yet the Delhi High Court has chosen to uphold the stand of Delhi University. This Article formed a part of a book titled Many Ramayanas (The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia) edited by Paula Richman. I had written about her anti-Hindu and anti-Rama propaganda in these columns yesterday. In the same book there is an article titled
E.V.Ramasami’s (Periyar) ‘Reading of the Ramayana’ by Paula Richman.
How Periyar led his followers in burning pictures of Lord Rama on 1st of August 1956 on the Marina Beach has been described by Paula Richman in this Article: ‘On the 1st day of August in 1956, E.V.Ramasami (Periyar) set out for the Madras Marina to lead his followers in burning pictures of Lord Rama, Hero of the Ramayana. This symbolic action would represent a reversal of the culmination of North Indian performances of the Ramayana, in which the images of the epic’s villain, Ravana, are put to the flames as spectators watch in delight. Rejecting Rama as hypocritical and weak, worthy only of scorn, E.V.Ramasami (Periyar) saw Ravana as the true Hero of the tale. E.V.Ramasami’s (EVR) iconoclastic reading comprised more than just another exegesis of a religious text, however. It was the centerpiece of his campaign against Brahmincal Hinduism, conducted in the context of his assertion of Dravidian, that is, South Indian, identity…. EVR’s Rama-burning campaign was neither an isolated incident nor a stunt of some prankster. From the late 1920s through to the end of his life, he developed as a serious and thorough critic of the characters of the Ramayana, of which the 1956 agitation was simply one manifestation. EVR (Periyar) reads the Ramayana as a text of political domination’. Thus we can see that Paula Richman, A.K.Ramanujan and other so-called scholars who have contributed articles to the book Many Ramayanas already referred to above, are all intellectual gangsters belonging to an anti-Hindu, anti-Rama and anti-Ramayana brigade with a clear political and evangelical agenda. The University of Delhi is also part of this brigade. They are guilty of violation of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code. This simple fact has been ignored by the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. The Delhi High Court showed greater consideration towards Periyar’s political Ramayana than towards Valmiki’s sacred Ramayana and this has caused grievous hurt to the religious feelings of all the Hindus of India.
Periyar was very proud of his Himalayan ignorance about the Ramayana (which he called Keemayana), an ignorance that was rooted in his unabashed arrogance. The simplest example to prove how he embraced ignorance with his characteristic Dravidian fervour and ferocity is this: He thought that Lord Rama was a Brahmin and Ravana was a Sudra. The real truth of the matter is Lord Rama was a Kshatriya and Ravana was an orthodox Brahmin. This fact known for ages cannot be ignored by any Court of Law in India today (excepting perhaps the Delhi High Court!) Justice Holmes said, ‘To a clear judicial eye, the smallest fact is a window through which the Infinite may be seen’. The Delhi High Court should have been able to see through the political games of Paula Richman, A.K.Ramanujan and Periyar.
Moreover no publicly responsible Court of Law in India can fail to take note of the following barbarous sayings of Periyar. Here are a few flashes of wisdom and knowledge from the armory of Periyaraana:
‘Tamil is a barbarous language and Tamilians are barbarians’
‘15th August 1947 is a day of national mourning and sorrow and not freedom’ (Periyar and his party observed the day of our Independence on 15th August 1947 as a day of mourning)
‘King Dasaratha married his own sister Kausalya, mother of Lord Rama’.
‘There is no harm whatsoever in any father marrying his own daughter’.
‘There is no harm whatsoever in any man marrying his own younger or elder sister’.
‘Married women indulging in extra marital relations, is the starting point of Women’s freedom and emancipation’.
‘Anybody who worships any God is a fool’.
‘I don’t say that you should not worship any God or Gods. All that I am saying is that you should do it as a Christian or as a Muslim and not as a superstitious Hindu’. (This brings out that Periyar was a true anti-Hindu communal racist)
The Delhi High Court ought to have been aware of the savage anti-Hindu and anti-national ravings and rantings of Periyar cited above. The Chief Justice put this question to the advocate for one of the petitioners in the case under review: Have you read Periyar’s Ramayana? Perhaps the Delhi High Court was under the impression that Periyar is one of the greatest intellectual giants like Bertrand Russell or Karl Marx in the history of mankind. When I mentioned this episode to a former retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, he told me that the question raised by Delhi High Court can be likened only to a question that was put by a Judge to a woman who had come up before his Court with a petition for divorce against her husband for his extra-marital faithlessness. The Judge even before hearing the woman’s complaint asked with great solemnity ‘Have you read Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra or Havelock Ellis’s treatise on Sex?’ All the helpless Hindus of India are feeling like this divorced woman today.
It has been reported that when the case relating to the Lord Rama and Ramayana textbook controversy in Delhi University came up before the Delhi High Court, the Chief Justice put this question to Monica Arora, the counsel for the Petitioners who had moved the High Court for a writ of mandamus to be issued to the University of Delhi:
‘Have you read Periyar’s Ramayana?’ How sublime was Periyar’s attitude towards Lord Rama and Ramayana can be seen from the cartoon presented above. Perhaps Periyar treated Shoes and Chappals offered to Lord Rama as his sacred flowers!
Perhaps Delhi High Court is unaware of the fact that Periyar and his followers took out a procession in 1970 in Salem city in Tamilnadu, carrying the pictures and idols of Lord Rama, decorated with garlands of Shoes and Chappals and their main objective was to cause a deliberate hurt to the religious feelings and sentiments of the Hindus of India. In my view all of them were guilty of grave offences under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code.
About two years ago I had written an article in News Today under the Title ‘Decoding the Dravidian Drival’ in which I wrote: ‘By his highly original writings and platform speeches Periyar tried to educate the Tamilians that he was being rational when in fact he was being racist. The quintessence of rational-racial Dravidianism is that all spiritual knowledge is superstitious and all secular ignorance is rational; character is superstitious and debauchery is rational; chastity is superstitious and prostitution of mind, body, heart and soul is rational; any form of discipline is superstitious and all forms of indiscipline are rational; universally accepted truth is superstitious and blatant ‘Dravidian’ untruth is rational, refinement is superstitious and brutality is rational; justice is superstitious and rapacity is rational, counsels of the wise and the good (especially if they are Hindus) are generally superstitious and the flattery of knaves particularly rational. And finally to crown it all having a legally wedded wife is superstitious and irrational and having innumerable concubines is logically rational’.
Against this background, it should be clear that the essays of Paula Richman on Periyar and A.K.Ramanujan on 300 Ramayanas in the controversial book Many Ramayanas edited by Paula Richman are tarred with the same brush of anti-Rama and anti-Hindu barbarous political propaganda. How could the textbook committee of the University of Delhi have overlooked this patently obvious background of Periyar and his admirers like Paula Richman, A.K.Ramanujan, David Shallman, Frank E.Reynolds, Philip Lutgendorf and others?
Montaigne, the great French writer of the 16th century observed, ‘No man is exempt from talking nonsense. The misfortune is to do it solemnly’. This observation of Montaigne came to my mind when I read in the Newspapers that the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court observed in the Delhi University textbook controversy case: ‘The essay of A.K.Ramanujan prescribed as a textbook for B.A.(Hons) II year History students is a well researched one’.
How well researched A.K.Ramanujan’s article is has been thoroughly exposed by Ms.Monica Arora, counsel for the Petitioners, in her brilliantly drawn up petition. I am presenting below the relevant extracts from this petition:
A.K.Ramanujan, ‘300 Ramayanas: five examples and three thoughts on translation’. In Paula Richman ed., Many Ramayanas: the diversity of a narrative tradition in South Asia (New Delhi, 1992). PP 22-49.
(Page no: 131 of ANNEXURE-2)
18. To quote from the Article:
The King of Spirits said, ‘There have been as many Ramas as there are rings on this platter. When you return to earth, you will not find Rama. This incarnation of Rama is now over. Whenever an incarnation of Rama is about to be over, his ring falls down. I collect them and keep them. Now you can go’. So Hanuman Left.
This story is usually told to suggest that for every Rama there is a Ramayana.
(Page no: 133 of ANNEXURE-2)
19. That further the author narrate the story of Ahalya.
The Ahalya Episode: Valmiki:
Men pursuing their desire do not wait for the proper season, ‘O you who have a perfect body. Making love with you: that’s what I want. That waist of yours is lovely’, She knew it was Indra of the Thousand Eyes in the guise of the sage. Yet she, wrongheaded woman, made up her mind, excited, curious about the king of the gods. And then, her inner being satisfied, she said to the god, ‘I’m satisfied, king of the gods, Go quickly from here. O giver of honour, lover, protect yourself and me’. And Indra smiled and said to Ahalya, ‘Woman of lovely hips, I am very content. I’ll go the way I came.’Thus after making love, he came out of the hut made of leaves. The sage, facing Thousand Eyes now dressed as the sage, the one rich in virtue and the other with none, spoke to him in anger: You took my form; you fool, and did this that should never be done. Therefore, you will lose your testicles.’ At once, they fell to the ground, they fell even as the great sage spoke.
(Page no: 135, 136 of ANNEXURE-2)
‘I’ve only done this work on behalf of the gods, putting great Gautama in a rage, blocking his tapas’. ‘Great gods, sages, and celestial singers, help me, helper of the gods, to regain my testicles,’ And the gods led by Agni, listened and went with the Marut hosts to the divine ancestors, and said, ‘Some time ago, Indra, infatuated, ravished the sage’s wife and was then emasculated by the sage’s curse. Indra, king of gods, destroyer of cities, is now angry with the gods. This Ram has testicles but great Indra has lost his., So take the Ram’s testicles’.Eyes dropping fire, Gautama saw what was done, and his words flew like the burning arrows at your hand: ‘May you be covered by the vaginas of a thousand women!’ In the twinkle of an eye they came and covered him.
(Page no: 140 of ANNEXURE-2) 22. That the author further states that in Jaina Tellings:
‘Ravana is not a demon, he is not cannibal and a flesh eater. Wrong–thinking poetasters and fools tell these lies’. ‘Ravana is one of the sixty-three leaders or Salakapurushas of the Jaina tradition. He is noble, learned, earns all his magical powers and weapons through austerities (tapas), and is devotee of Jaina masters’.
(Page no: 144 of ANNEXURE-2)
‘It is such a Ravana who falls in love with Sita’s beauty, abducts her, tries to win her favors in vain, watches himself fall, and finally dies on the battlefield. In these tellings, he is a great man undone by a passion’.
(Page no: 145 of ANNEXURE-2) (Page no: 146, 147 of ANNEXURE-2)
24. That the author states that the ‘abnormal birth of Sita as the daughter born directly to the male, Ravana brings to story of new range of suggestions: The male envy of womb and child birth’.
(Page no: 148 of ANNEXURE-2)
25. That he says that in ‘several folk traditions of Kannada and Telugu as ell as in several Southeast Asian Ramayanas, the motif of Sita as Ravana’s daughter is not unknown’.
‘In some traditions, Ravana in his lusty youth molests a young woman, who vows vengeance and is reborn as his daughter to destroy him. Thus the oral traditions seem to partake of yet another set of themes unknown in Valmiki’.
(Page no: 149 of ANNEXURE-2)
27. That further the author states that ‘a crow steals some of the rice and takes it to Ravana’s wife, who eats it and gives birth to Sita. A prophecy that his daughter will cause his death makes Ravana throw Sita into the sea, where the sea goddess protects her and takes her to Janaka’.
28.That in the next paragraph the author states that ‘neither celibate nor devout, as in the Hindu Ramayanas, here Hanuman is quite a ladies’ man, who does not at all mind looking into the bedrooms of Lanka and does not consider seeing another man’s sleeping wife anything immoral, as Valmiki’s or kampan’s Hanuman does’.
Any self-respecting scholar can see that A.K.Ramanujan has violated the advice of the great scientist Thomas Huxley: ‘My business is to teach my aspirations to conform themselves to fact, not to try to make facts harmonize with my aspirations’. A.K.Ramanujan has only attempted to twist and present pre-chosen dirty and vulgar facts to suit his prejudiced anti-Rama, anti-Ramayana and anti-Hindu notions.
Nobody questions the intellectual freedom and liberty of A.K.Ramanujan to write any amount of pornographic literature loaded with all forms of imagined vulgarity. The main point is whether such vulgar writings should be considered as fit enough for being prescribed as a textbook for the second year B.A. (Hons) History students in Delhi University, and that too under the title ‘Ancient India – Culture’. Are they the best specimens of ‘Ancient Indian Culture’? Is A.K.Ramanujan the best representative of ancient Indian culture? This is the moot question. Will the Delhi University dare to include some of the pornographic portions from the Old Testament, New Testament and the Quran as prescribed texts for the study of ‘Ancient Christian Culture’ or ‘Ancient Islamic Culture’? What would be the ruling of the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on such initiatives? The besieged Hindus of India are waiting with bated breath for an answer from the Delhi High Court rooted in equity and natural justice.
I derive my inspiration for all this from Justice Lord Atkin who said justice is not a cloistered virtue; she must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and respectful, even though outspoken, comments of ordinary men. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes has said that the law is the witness and external deposit of our moral life. Its history is the history of the moral development of our race. Finally I would conclude in the words of Justice Benjamin Cardozo: ‘The judge is under a duty, within the limits of his power of innovation, to maintain a relation between law and morals, between the precepts of jurisprudence and those of reason and good conscience’.
(The writer is a retired IAS officer)e-mail the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org
(The writer is a retired IAS officer)
e-mail the writer at