The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has jumped into the ongoing debate on the removal of an essay — 300 Ramayanas by AK Ramanujan — from the syllabus of history honours course in Delhi University.
Justifying the move, leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that the essay has hurt the sentiments of crores of people.
The essay relates the different versions of the Ramanaya that are prevalent across the country. Right-wing activists had opposed its introduction in the syllabus after which the Supreme Court had ordered the university to set up a committee to decide whether the essay should stay or go.
The Academic Council of the University had earlier this week decided to remove the essay, with strong opposition from various professors.
“The idea of dropping the Ramanujam article is actually preposterous. Contrary to the prevalent misconceptions, the article talks about the way the Ram Katha is the cultural subtext of the entire subcontinent and underlines its many, varied retellings as evidence of the way widely differing communities and cultures appropriate and make it their own. Rather than deriding the Ramayana, the article emphasises its cultural significance for the subcontinent, indeed for South Asia,” said Saumya Gupta, professor of history at Janaki Devi Memorial College.