Murthy Classical Library: an appeal to Narayan Murthy

By: Ashok Tewary

Dear Mr Murthy, I can feel your urgency when you say that ‘there is far too much to be done and far too little time’ and thus you want the Indian Sanskrit treasure translated into English as soon as possible.

These were however composed with great care and because of that they have withstood the test of time and have survived over the centuries. A lot of it has survived not only ad-verbatim, but also with the correct intonations, even in the absence of it being bound in script.

This will give you an idea of the care and detail.

Similar care is of course needed in its translation, which should not be done in haste.

The issue that I have with the overall editor (Sheldon Pollock) that you have chosen is that his views about Sanskrit are not very complimentary and his views of the content of these works in Sanskrit, which he is tasked with translating, is even worse, such that no one who has grown up imbibing the meanings of these works will agree with his interpretations.

For example he feels that Sanskrit’s purpose is to be exclusive and thus aid the ruler in his oppression of the masses, to legitimise divisions and support invasions and war.

His views in general about the knowledge systems and the knowledge generated from India too is quite derogatory.

It is unreasonable, in fact foolhardy, to expect that such views will not spill over in the translations.

Such a translation is likely to not only remove the soul of these works, but worse leave the translations with a completely different twist to the original.

You have elsewhere lamented about the lack of Indian scholars who are capable of taking up such a task.

This is not true Mr Murthy. I humbly suggest that you have not looked.

Please let this important task be done by those who are sympathetic to Sanskrit and to our Sanskriti.

By:  Ashok Kumar

It is Rohan’s Murthy’s prerogative to do what he chooses. Unfortunately the author (of the article in Outlook) choses to brush aside the pejorative by Rohan all Indians are not qualified, fit for peanut gallery.

He is yet to apologize. I care less if he employs media to address is cosmetically, but he is blatantly and patently wrong. (This is in reference to an article in Outlook. Read it here:

http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/persecutors-wont-read-the-classics/296754 ).

This only shows arrogance on the part of Rohan. Pollock is no God, nor saint. His track record is very clear.

Take a simple Tehelka video or his series of Ramayana articles and see the way he twists and contorts facts, he is concocting theories that Ramayana was a “social oppression tool” and Mahabharat is “‘too dangerous'”.

By: Satchitananda

The same style of arguments were given when Wendy Doninger was exposed earlier.

(All references here about the authors are to the authors of an article ‘ Prosecutors won’t read the Classics’, which you can read at the above quoted link).

Why should Hinduism be at the cross hairs of some scholar, no matter how many accolades he or she has.

If the author claims political angle for lack of respect for a PadmaShri, can the very fact PadmaShri was given itself be not on political grounds?

So branding people who question Pollocks uncharitable attitude, towards Indian spirituality and sanatana dharma, as hindutva is outlandish.

Can I safely conclude the author is careless about the destruction of Hindu culture by such mischevious theories, on the same lines? If that would be unfair, the same is not true for all who raise opposition. Pollock is no God, nor saint.

His track record is very clear. Take a simple Tehelka video or his series of Ramayana articles and see the way he twists and contorts facts, what is worse he is concoting theories that Ramayana was a social oppression tool.

Rajiv has highlighted these theories have gone unchallenged for too long. I know thanks to his book The Battle for Sanskrit, more rebuttals will come soon, making academic arguments.

But the author cannot be labelling all who question Pollock. If he chooses to, then he must be ready to get labelled by his own actions.

It is Rohan’s prerogative to do what he chooses. Unfortunately the author choses to brush aside the pejorative by Rohan all Indians are not qualified, fit for peanut gallery. He is yet to apologize.

I care less if he employs media to address is cosmetically, but he is blatantly and patently wrong. This only shows arrogance on the part of Rohan and now a plethora of authors, who are all self certified experts in Spirituality, Indian culture etc will arise to his paid defense.

So the authors are shameless at this name calling as they choose to think they are part of the elite. This is such a hypocrisy.

I will respond to the only valid question both Rohan and the author have raised.

Where have you all been when he was given PadmaShri and made editor at MCIL? I will even help you with the question, where have you all been when Pollock’s  theories were being published?

Let me respond – a) Till Rajiv’s book – The Battle For Sanskrit came, hardly anyone could see past the veneer the paid media has painted. Even when awards as the last living pandit were conferred, we Indians hardly have examined what was happening. Thanks to Rajiv’s peering at what is the truth behind the screen, we can  today safely start reading more about his other side.

So argument one – IGNORANCE or lack or PURVA PAKSHA as Rajiv puts it. Second Point – I have been reading Pollock’s original works. Wonder how many of his so called defenders even do that. It takes such a long time to digest what is being even written, not that I am that dumb, but the language used is definitely convoluted and also covers up the meanings, lands a nice punch under the name of praise. This kind of scholarship is new to traditionalists.

Again, thanks to Rajiv, we now know how the charvaks 2.0 look like. Thanks to book and the opposition and the paid media, we know now clearly the motives and colonies of sepoys. Just like Indology was studied under a prism, I can tell all charvaks and sepoys are under the lens. Take cover or become more just.

Stop calling people names, be it Rohan or the author or the other media cohorts. If Hindus support dharmic ideas, they are branded hindutva.. what is wrong.. it is not communal to resist wrongful labels that are thrust on us.  I am thankful that this article exposes the likes of the author who simply worship personalities like Rohan, Pollock and do not take their time to even analyze. Where this their prized argument – Freedom to analyze. Ohh.. Forgot Pollock is above analysis. Pollock is free to distort hinduism, hindu values, but if we say thats not the only argument, please hear us out, it means we are on the wrong side.. hindutva. communal.. etc etc.

Learn to get uncomfortable, as more folks are getting to hear the dharmic arguments. There is increasing awareness of what has been done right under our noses.

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