The controversy over dropping A.K. Ramanujan's essay on Ramayana from the Delhi University history syllabus is another example of the continuous efforts made by a section to convert Hinduism into a rigid cult. Rama's story symbolises the true character of Hinduism — assimilation, liberality and accommodation of dissent.

Father Camille Bulcke has traced the evolution of Rama's story in his great work The Rama story: Origin and Development. The Ramayana originated in India and developed in various forms. It travelled throughout South Asia and took new forms in localised conditions. No doubt, Valmiki's Ramayana made Rama's story an epic but it was Tulsidas' Ramcharit Manas that made the story of Rama popular in the Hindi belt. It is in the existence of various versions of the story, which includes unwritten and folk forms, that the real strength of Hinduism lies.

Manu Manoj,

Raipur

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