Prof. Tokunaga's message

L.S. Cousins mhcrxlc at
Fri Oct 18 12:11:44 UTC 1996

On Wed, 16 Oct 1996 yanom at wrote:

> Prof. Muneo Tokunaga, my repsected friend, asked me to post the following
> message since he is not on our mailing list.  Michio YANO
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dear Fellow-Indologists,
> Two days ago I knew that Dr. John Smith of Cambridge is circulating
> my file of the Mahaabhaarata as his file with his modifications through
> Internet.

If this is a claim that John Smith has not acknowledged the provenance of
these files, then the statement is clearly actionable. It would be
inadvisable for anyone to repeat it or for it to be carried on any server.
It would be difficult to imagine a more serious libel against any scholar.

It is also completely untrue. Any longstanding reader of the Indology list
will have been well aware of the provenance of these files and of John
Smith's corrected version. He has posted announcements of what he is doing.

>He didn't let me know. I opened his homepage and read his harsh
> criticism on my files. I don't mind criticism; it is rather welcome.

The criticism _is_ rather harsh in the circumstances but hardly justifies
such an extreme response.

> But I cannot but feel very sad that he is using my files, which he
> considers to be even `disasterous' in some respect, without giving
> me any notice or request to use them.

We all understood that these files had been made public domain. If that is
not the case, then why put them on the Net ? If John Smith is mistaken
here, he is certainly not the only one.

It is to be hoped that after Professor Tokunaga is more fully informed as
to this matter, he will reconsider his response. His generosity in making
these files available to scholars has been widely and rightly praised; it
is to be hoped that he will not now wish to go back on this.

Lance Cousins

natthi loke anindito

Email: mhcrxlc at

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