November 29, 2011

Oxford University Press bows to pressure from religionists...

... who were offended by an essay that said something wrong about Rama.
The press was sued in India over distribution of the essay and -- according to court documents cited in the letter sent to the press Monday and to Indian press reports -- apologized for having distributed the essay. Oxford press officials were quoted as telling the court hearing the suit: "Our client further wish to assure your client that as publishers of long standing and repute, it has been their conscious endeavour to respect the plurality of Indian culture in all publishing activities which they undertake and very much regret that the essay in question has inadvertently caused your client distress and concern."

26 comments:

Roger Sweeny said...

And true liberalism continues to die.

ndspinelli said...

Is the essay available on Amazon?

Scott M said...

Why is Islam the only religion the academics seem to think it's okay to bow to?

Bob Ellison said...

Scott, it's also OK to bow to atheism.

ndspinelli said...

It's also ok to bow to the secular religion, Global Warming. Al Gore is the pope.

Scott M said...

It's also ok to bow to the secular religion, Global Warming. Al Gore is the pope.

When he was selected, the cardinals sent forth hickory-fired BBQ smoke.

Henry said...

Scott, Rama is Hindu.

Scott M said...

Scott, Rama is Hindu.

Yes. And...?

Henry said...

Essay is online here:

Three Hundred Ramayanas by the late A.K. Ramanujan.

(http://www.sacw.net/IMG/pdf/AKRamanujan_ThreeHundredRamayanas.pdf)

Henry said...

Yes. And...?

Not Islam.

But I think I misread you. I thought you were critiquing the academics at OUP, rather than the academics who blasted them.

ndspinelli said...

ScottM, You should consider stand up..you're a witty dude.

Scott M said...

Does morning show host on a rock station count? (hint: The correct answer is yes)

traditionalguy said...

The god situation in India is how to keep peace among 1000+ claimants to worship.

The solution has been extreme tolerance for the other guy's god(s).

We should be so advanced here.

But those pesky Hebrew Prophets said many terrible things about gods that need humans to protect them, carry them and make images of them.

The Christian Way preserves those Hebrew Prophets and finally says a new man named Jesus is to receive the worship. That makes Christians pesky too.

In India there has been a legally enforceable truce in the war over worship objects. Fighting for your god is not acceptable...unless someone else starts the war with open criticism of god #734 or some other number.

ndspinelli said...

ScottM..you're a DJ? Well, that's how many standups started. That's also how Bob Crane started. He was the morning DJ on WBIS in Bristol, Ct. He would tell us when school was cancelled. Hopefully you're not as kinky as him.

Scott M said...

Hopefully you're not as kinky as him.

I got out of radio in 2003 as the music industry imploded. As far as Crane goes, I was definitely worse, but I don't plan on ending up like he did.

rhhardin said...

The noodle cults are very touchy.

edutcher said...

Only the Moslems throw a scare into the Lefties, so the Hindus getting a retraction like this is something of a miracle.

Next thing you know, the Gray Lady will be apologizing to the Catholic Church.

Chris said...

Wait, there's a lot of weaseling going on here that invited offendedness on all sides, but preserves some plausible deniability. "I'm sorry we caused offense" is somewhere between "I'm sorry you were offended" and "I'm sorry we did X". This isn't quite the trite and predictable hypocrisy story the post wants it to be.

John Burgess said...

@Traditional Guy: The Hindutva movement--fundamentalist Hindus--have been stretching their reach for better than 10 years now. They've sought to corrupt the history of India and show extreme intolerance toward other religions, Christianity and Islam included. They're not too fond of the Sikhs, either.

Members of the movement have been found guilty in Indian courts of mass murder as well as individual murders.

For a while there in the early 2000s, they also ran the government through the BJP.

It's a nasty group that has a way of intimidating, killing, or simply suing those who do not join the chorus.

The Crack Emcee said...

Oxford University Press bows to pressure from religionists who were offended by an essay that said something wrong about Rama.

That Rama is just a bunch of nonsense?

A mere oversight.

E.M. Davis said...

In related news, the Hindutva are also suing The Edsels.

Methadras said...

Are you kidding? Indian culture is a fucking mess. Outside of the standard Hindi that's spoken, no two neighboring regions even have the same language. That entire country is a human toilet and they are worried about a small factual error about one of their 400 million gods or so and Oxford says, "Oh sorry. Our bad." Idiots.

JAL said...

My despair is growing.

Someone huge (a university press)apologized for something written because someone else did not like it?

The darkness is returning on silent tiger paws.

Michael said...

JAL: Consider the fact that Yale University Press published a book on the topic of the Mohammed Cartoons, the publication of which resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives worldwide when the adherents of the religion of peace went wild. The book, published by Yale University Press, did not have any of the offending cartoons within the book. None. Nice, huh?

Peter said...

What the heck are "religionists" anyhow? That's an odd term!

Alan said...

Religionist simply means "someone who adheres to a particular religion."

I'm puzzled at the term "right-wing." Not having read the essay, I don't know if the author was simply challenging longstanding tradition (one institution commonly associated with "the right"), or if he went Jacques Derrida on the text, employing his William O. Douglas Penumbra-and-Emanation-Detecting Glasses to discover contexts that normal reading doesn't reveal (deconstruction is not a rightist concept).