[INDOLOGY] Mr. Batra, NCERT and Penguin

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Thu Feb 20 05:59:57 EST 2014


Dear Prof. Bhattacharya,

I am not aware of any controversy in this INDOLOGY forum about Doniger's
book *The Hindus: An Alternative History*.  As far as I am aware, all
commentators have been unanimous in their condemnation of the attack on
free speech and the withdrawal of the book from circulation in India.

You say that you are not taking sides, that you hold no brief.  If that is
true, you are alone here.  I think members of the list would be interested
if you could offer a reasoned justification for not overtly supporting the
freedom of expression in the academic study of religion.  If you cannot, or
do not wish to, offer a plausible case for censorship, then you have indeed
taken a side.

This is a time for scholars to speak out.

Dominik Wujastyk
University of Vienna



On 20 February 2014 11:37, Dipak Durgamohan Bhattacharya <
dipak.d2004 at gmail.com> wrote:

>  I had no desire to enter into the controversy. I am now in the dialogue
> because the NCERT has been brought in. The question may be answered without
> holding any brief for any of the parties involved in the first dispute.
>
> The NCERT has no axe to grind. On history or allied matter its object is
> India or its components. A community may be the object of description but
> without a motive.   Its objective dispassionate approach acts like a
> shield.
>
> Doniger’s approach is different. Hindus but no Hinduism, and the cart of
> ‘alternative history’ has been put before the horse of ‘induction’. Why not
> Hinduism if it is an academic approach? It is exceptional to find
> community-centric motivated approach in an NCERT book. In case of any such
> occurrence they are rectified.
>
> I just pointed to the vulnerability of book without taking side.
>
> Best
>
> DB
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:26 AM, Stella Sandahl <ssandahl at sympatico.ca>wrote:
>
>> I have learnt from a reliable source that Mr. Batra initiated no less
>> than ten lawsuits against NCERT's (NCERT stands for National Council for
>> Educational Research and Training) textbooks during the years 2004-2010. He
>> lost all of them. Isn't it strange that Penguin so easily gives in, when
>> NCERT fought back and won. One would assume that a great company like
>> Penguin can manage the legal fees involved.
>> Best to all
>> Stella Sandahl
>>
>>
>>
>> Professor Stella Sandahl 9retired)
>> Department of East Asian Studies
>>
>> 130 St. George St. room 14087
>> Toronto, ON M5S 3H1
>> ssandahl at sympatico.ca
>> stella.sandahl at utoronto.ca
>> Tel. (416) 978-4295
>> Fax. (416) 978-5711
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>>
>
>
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