Almost six months after Delhi University's Academic Council took the infamous decision of purging A.K Ramanujan's essay from its history syllabus, ostensibly because it hurt religious sentiments; it will be meeting again on Tuesday to confirm that decision -- making the ban on the essay final.
Academics who felt betrayed by what they said was a surrender of academic integrity to fundamentalist forces have followed up that decision by organising protests and talks on the essay by fellow academics which have now become a regular feature in the university, thereby achieving exactly what the Academic Council hoped to avoid -- more people than ever before now know about the essay and its contents.
The History Society of Ramjas College has gone one step further by instituting an A.K Ramanujan Lecture series with eminent playwright and filmmaker Girish Karnad all set to deliver the first lecture, ‘Speaking with Ramanujan', here on Wednesday.
“This seminar is being organised in appreciation of the vast range and depth of A.K Ramanujan's intellectual contributions and will underline the significance of Ramanujan's work for the humanities and the social sciences and its importance for the understanding of India's histories and cultures,” said History professor Mukul Mangalik, adding that the department's efforts were being supported by Zakir Husain College, Indraprastha College and the history department of Jamia Millia Islamia among others.
‘Kanaka Purandara', a documentary by the film-maker which draws heavily from A.K Ramanujan's preface, will also be screened in addition to a discussion led by Professors Kumkum Roy and Udaya Kumar. India's mystic poets will figure in songs which will be sung by Bindhumalini from Bangalore and Vedanth from Chennai.