Richard Philip Hayes CXEV at CA.MCGILL.MUSICA
Wed Nov 27 00:30:25 UTC 1991

Ronald E. Emmerick's suggestion that transcribing a text into Devanagari
could be interpreted by some as a political act was, I must confess,
an aspect of the issue that I had never given any thought. Having the
matter drawn to my attention makes me rather sad. One of the great
attractions of studying classical civilizations for me is the respite
they provide from the world in which we live---a world in which nearly
every aspect of life, from the pronouns one uses to the script in which
one writes Sanskrit, is emotionally charged and politicized. I am
tempted to say that if it is not my intention to take a political
stand by using a particular script, then it is not a political act.
If others take my innocent actions as political, then it cannot be
helped, I guess. Having it pointed out to me that using Devanagari is
offensive to some is not likely to make me stop using Devanagari. At
best, having such things pointed out to me only serves to make me more
weary of the dreadful stupidity of human beings. Let's just get on with
the business of being scholars and stop worrying about what the fools
in the streets will think of what we do.
Richard Hayes

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