On the same day that the Delhi Universitys Executive Council ratified the Academic Councils decision to remove A K Ramanujans essay on the Ramayana from the University syllabus,the authors friend and playwright Girish Karnad delivered the First A K Ramanujan Lecture at Ramjas College.
Calling the Universitys decision to remove the essay for being objectionable ridiculous,Karnad spoke to a packed hall of students and teachers on Wednesday about Ramanujans contributions as a poet,thinker and linguist.
Ramanujan is one of the most original minds I have known. He did so much more than write a single essay called Three Hundred Ramayanas… It is ridiculous the controversy about Three Hundred Ramayanas has come up in a state where more people quote the Ramcharitmanas than the Valmiki Ramayana. So to stick to the Sanskrit text as the original is ridiculous. This is not a conclusion I wanted to draw here,but thats how it is, Karnad said.
The lecture was part of a day-long programme Speaking with Ramanujan organised by the Ramjas College History Society,and was attended by academics including historian Romila Thapar.