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The Infosys czar trains his focus and funds to an Indian classics project at Harvard


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Digression
1
May 24, 2010
Heritage Keepers

I’ve always held Narayana Murthy in very high esteem (Digital Memory, May 10). Through sheer determination and drive, he was able to put his company, Infosys, among the top IT and software solution providers in the world. Now, he is spearheading a project to discover the other India—away from computers, smartphones and highrises—her culture and ancient heritage.

The Contrarian, London

In a sense, it was the British who invented Hinduism as we know it today. Without them, India’s Hindu heritage would have been lost.

Iqram Jahaz, Jaipur

The Murthies have done well to establish the mcli at Harvard because Indians respect something only when it comes from the West.

S.S. Nagaraj, Bangalore

Mr Murthy could consider a classic in his own language Kannada—the Pampa Bharatha—for translation.

Sriganga B.K., Bangalore

I suppose this is how transfer of wealth takes place. Wealth is created in India and goes out as generous grants abroad. How people crave for attention from the West!

Gajanan Netravali, Mumbai

This step of Narayana Murthy’s will be the next revolution in our knowledge base.

Mahesh R.G., Gulbarga

2
Jun 07, 2010
Anti-Sutra Saga

Narayana Murthy’s effort is flattering but flawed (Digital Memory, May 10). The 18th-century European scholars laboured on two coordinated fronts to kill India’s roots in its classical past. First, they learnt Sanskrit and mistranslated most texts in that language to agree with their Greco-Roman worldview. Second, by ‘developing’ vernacular languages, they engendered a disconnect with Sanskrit, leading to its weakening. Now that colonisation is replaced by US-led globalisation, it’s fitting that Mr Murthy, in his infinite wisdom, follows in the footsteps of the old, myopic scholars.

Lakshmithanaya, Kasargod
Order by HAVE YOUR SAY
1/D-79
May 01, 2010
02:17 PM
I have always held Narayana Murthy in very high esteem ... he is the one who thru just his sheer determination amd drive has put his company INFOSYS among the top IT and computer software solutions provider in the world like Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. Yet, he is the first one to come out of the ivory towers to discover that there is another India away from computers, smart phones and high rises that needs urgent attention ... that's her culture and ancient heritage ...
The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
2/D-127
May 01, 2010
08:38 PM
I wonder if he intentionally did not include literary works of his own state, Karnataka, for the first phase. People of that State always complain their native language relegated to third or fourth class status.
Joe Brodway
New York, USA
3/D-139
May 01, 2010
10:03 PM
A great project to revitalise the local ethnic cultures. What this project will do for the glorious pluralistic cultures of India, needs to be done for the all the great pluralistic ethnic cultures and heritages of all of the world, across continents. Humanity owes these rich cultures and heritages of the world, to its future generations to come.

Many grateful thanks to Mr. Narayana Murthy for his generous philanthropy and for taking a great first step, in the right direction.
G. Venkatesh
Dukhan, Qatar
4/D-17
May 02, 2010
01:31 AM
"Colonialism nearly killed India’s capacity to know its past;globalisation threatens to destroy its will."

and now we have christian fanatic sonia and her christian backers in the media who wants to destroy hinduism, which is soul of india.
namo4
London, United Kingdom
5/D-83
May 02, 2010
03:47 PM
It is worth to consider kannada classic "pampa bharatha" for translation. I thank sri Narayana Murthy for initiating such good work at international level. If his own language(kannada) book "Pampa Bharatha" is translated it will be a great contribution to world literature.
SRIGANGA B.K.
BANGALORE, India
6/D-112
May 02, 2010
09:22 PM
Narayana Murthy is one of the finest examples of today's enterpreneurs who did not walk the corridors of powers to build this fine company. World's best. Even Microsoft was charged with unfair business practices - never Infosys. And he built it brick by brick.

My only ask is why Harvard? May be he is right in choosing the best abode of learnig in the world, could'nt trust some place here at home to accomplish the job.
MANISH BANERJEE
KOLKATA, India
7/D-8
May 03, 2010
01:40 AM
Narayana Murthy's this step will be next revolution in Knowledge base. We need the people with ideas, the ideas will evolve through Books.This is the right time for us to educate our next generation with ideas.
MAHESHRG
GULBARGA, India
8/D-22
May 03, 2010
02:52 AM
I am surprised that Sheldon Pollock subscribes to the idea that colonialism "almost killed" India's cultural heritage.

This is the very OPPOSITE of the truth, if he means the British.

But for the British and other Western scholars, the incredbly rich heritage of Sanskrit would never have come to the world's attention. After centuries of Muslim colonialism that systematically destroyed any visible cultural achievement of the Hindus, Sanskrit was reduced to a few Brahminic circles, its texts hidden away and rotting (as many still are).

Even the Buddha had been forgotten.

It took immense labour by Western scholars to uncover the Hindu cultural achievement and put some dates to Hindu history. The British rediscovered and preserved Ajanta and Ellora.

How could Pollock, supposedly a scholar, forget all this?

And the sum given by Murthy, though welcome, is very small. He could afford much more.
Iqram Jahaz
Jaipur, India
9/D-23
May 03, 2010
02:56 AM
In a very real sense, the British ninvented Hinduism as we know it today. Without them, India's Hindu heritage would have been lost.
Iqram Jahaz
Jaipur, India
10/D-32
May 03, 2010
07:22 AM
Narayana Murhys have done the right thing in establishing MCLI at Harvard,because Indians respect only when something emanates from the West.
S.S.Nagaraj
Bangalore, India
11/D-78
May 03, 2010
06:34 PM
It is delusive and rather presumptuous to believe that had it not been British, Sanskrit would have never come to the world’s attention. True, a Welsh Philologist William Jones, the founder of Asiatic Society in Kolkata, who having discovered that Sanskrit bore strong resemblance to classic Greek and Latin as well as Gothic, Celtic languages and Persian, declared in 1786, that:

“The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists”.

But this and later on the discovery of Harappa and Mohenjodaro combined with Max Muller’s Aryan Invasion Theory that he later denied was all that was needed by almost every British historian to propound a “Indus valley” civilisation that flourished in the Indus valley before the tall marauding Aryans with blue eyes came down the Khyber pass in their horse driven chariots plundered it and drove down the dark “Dravidians” to the South. This was a clever plot first to tell Indians that we belong to the same race that gave you Vedas and second that we are the ones destined to rule you and tell you who you are and about your past.
Then, came Thomas Babington Macaulay hired by East India Company who started an education system that lasts till this day to produce “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect” and writing about Hinduism, he pronounced that to offer it any type of assistance, such as funding Hindu schools, would be a crime against humanity, "high treason against humanity and civilization.”

Sheldon Pollock is absolutely correct. Ram Mohan Roy, Vivekanand, Dayanand Saraswati forgotten ... this was the contribution that the British colonial masters of India made to its heritage ... and of course thanks to British archaeological or philological curiosity that discovered Ajanta and Ellora, or hired agents to acquire as many texts in Sanskrit and other languages from poor starving Brahmans at a nominal cost and shipped them to libraries in England.

But that happened all over the world ... in Egypt, Greece, Babylon, Persia, Africa, to Mayans and Incas, let alone India. Only a single day visit to British Museum in London would show that loot of other’s heritage ... ok, it was preserved safely which was not possible in its homelands but now is the time to ask for its return back to where it belongs ... to its rightful owners ... why not start with the Kohinoor first ... the brightest jewel in the British crown …
The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
12/D-83
May 03, 2010
07:23 PM
contrarian

the british for all their faults did india a great service.
they abolished the horrible, backward muslim rulers, and
brought in scientific knowledge.

they had their opinions about india. they were right about some things and wrong about others.they were forthright and
tried to bring a elite western education for which we are
all indebted to them.

your demoniseing of those who brought knowledge to india,
and praising the effete muslim culture reflects on you.

even syed ahmed the founder of amu praised the british and wanted them to stay for ever.
gayatri devi
delhi, India
13/D-84
May 03, 2010
07:25 PM
CONTRARIAN:

Your response is so illiterate and incoherent that it is hardly worth replying to.

The British worked out, with immense labour, some coherent idea of what Hindu history has been. Otherwise it would have been lost forever under the two mountains of Hindu indifference and Muslim cultural vandalism.

It is amazing how far you will go to cover up or diminish the crimes of Islam against Hinduism, its destruction of the greater paret of the Hindu heritage, while acknowledging the irreplaceable British help in saving Hinduism only in the most grudging way.

Such adulation of a snarling enemy is unheard of elesewhere in the world.
Iqram Jahaz
Jaipur, India
14/D-90
May 03, 2010
07:49 PM
Gayatri

You got it wrong again ... I am not demonising English, or for that reason the admirable work that they did in India, like English education, rule of law, courts, railways, post office, a brilliant and proud army under a central command etc. This is all fine, but most of it was done to strenghthen their hold in India and facilitate their empire beyond. And, they deliberately caused the rift between Hindus and Muslims and partition of India to meet their strategic interests vis-a-vis Russia when they realised that their days in India were numbered (a lot of evidence is available to substantiate this).

Certainly, it helped India enormously to emerge as a modern one nation, which the British, however, could never believe would happen ... all newspapers and editorials here (I was a student then at the Uni) prophesied and declared that India would soon break up after Nehru ... British policies in Asia have always and still are tilted towards Pakistan and Muslims wrt to their interests in ME along with Americans. As people, they have more respect and admiration for Chinese and Arabs and their civilisation than India's ...
The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
15/D-91
May 03, 2010
07:58 PM
Mr Jahaz

I can also use a strong language as you do ... don't forget that ok ... but I am just being civil ... as opposed to cultural vandalism British carried out the mental vandalism and created slaves to serve them of whom you seem to be a shining example ... they took away India's wealth away to England, Muslim rulers made India their home and enriched its culture and civilisation ...
The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
16/D-99
May 03, 2010
09:42 PM
contrarian

i have formed my opinions after reading a number of books about india eg discovery of india by nehru,rediscovering
india by lord meghnad desai, and a number of others.one was
"jinnah" written by rafiq zakaria.


gandhi did his very best to win muslims to his side and failed misearably. he helped the ali brothers in their
campaigns to preserve the caliphate. he gave the muslims a clean chit after the massacre of hindus by moplahs. he did
the same after the killings post 1947.

he aroused a lot of hatred from hindus-the types who are
simple minded and dont read urdu poetry.

there have allways been weak links amongst hindu,s who want
to win the hearts and minds of muslims. i am not amongst these. i call a spade a spade. i reject all your pious
hopes of winning pakistans friendship. people like you
look at a tree and call it a lamp post. you are wellcome to
do so. however you are in a minority. you have chosen to
befriend india,s chief enemy which is pakistan,which has blood on its hands and hypocritical smirk on its face. it does you no credit what so ever.

your view that the britts were pro muslim is pure hog wash. the labour party had good relations with gandhi and the congress party. mountbatten disliked jinnah.

your blameing the britts instead of the muslims shows a perverted mindset. you reveal a mind full of bias, and lack
of knowledge.

pakistani,s today have no interest in hindu india. they
want to get closer to the arabs. their schools teach hatred
towards hindus.

i remember a couple of sentences from the book " stranger to
history " written by aatish taseer, tavleen singhs son.

" i am so glad you are not a little black hindu " said the young sister of aatish taseer.

Salman Taseer considered hindus to be miserly and cowardly
banias. In their military acadamy officer cadets were told
that one muslim soldier was equal to 10 hindu soldiers.

many in my family have fought and died in fighting pakistan.
the same goes for members of our family killed in cold blood
by their neighbours dureing partition.

you are dangerously close to being considered a member of the fifth column.
gayatri devi
delhi, India
17/D-100
May 03, 2010
10:01 PM
Before arrival of the British, research in history & heiritage- let alone conservation- was unknown to the Indians except for scattered instances. Greatest contributin of Great Britain to civilisation is introduction of modern & structured state apparatus & instutionalised education system in India. That alone compensates for subjective sense of dependence of British rule here. In any case , India was not that free a country before arrival of the Britsh. They brought modernity to a boorish mediaval soceity. Long live the Queen!
MANISH BANERJEE
KOLKATA, India
18/D-7
May 04, 2010
12:25 AM
CONTRARIAN:

The British did not settle down in India because the Indians kicked up such a row against them and they had enough democratic decency to go. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Brits' leaving India was the Indians' idea, not the Brits'.

There is no great virtue in a robber and rapist coming into one's house, making free with one's wife and property and the originl owner saying: well, at least he has settled into the house !

I marvel at the abject servility of minds which think like that.

I never claimed the British particularly liked Hindus. But for the first time in many centuries they set up a government which in much of North India allowed Hindus an equal voice and dignity along with Muslims. They reduscovered Hindu historical greatness after the Muslims had done everything to wipe out its monuments and records. No greater service can ever be rendered to any people.

It is a stupid cliche to say the British caused the quarrel between Hindus and Muslims. That feud long predated them. Lik all rulers they made some use of it to consolidate their power, but they also tried very hard to leave behind a united India. But they were sensible enough to realise if Hindus wanted national unity with the Muslims they would be forced to give the Muslims EVERYTHING they asked for - because otherwise the Muslims would reduce India to a shambles. This the Hindu leaders were not prepared to accept, rightly. Hence Partition.

The British are a side issue.

What is amazing is the lenths you will go to to cover up the destruction of the Hindu heritage by Muslims. People like you, with their illusions, enable Muslims to work havoc in India.

You keep raising the question of the Muslim minority in India. Now THEy seem to you to be the ones who can hold India hostage, to whom EVERYTHING must be given...

What cowardice and blindness!
Iqram Jahaz
Jaipur, India
19/D-9
May 04, 2010
12:40 AM
CONTRARIAN:

So the Muslim invaders, unlike the British, "enriched Indian culture" ?.....

By smashing every Hindu temple they could lay hands on, killing offf the Hindu scholars? The British may often have dislike Hindus, but they protected Hindu temples.

And you seriously think the British did not enrich Indian culture?
Iqram Jahaz
Jaipur, India
20/D-16
May 04, 2010
01:07 AM
I suppose this is how transfer of wealth takes place. Wealth is created in India and goes out as generous grants abroad. How some people crave for recognition from the West!
gajanan netravali
mumbai, india
21/D-17
May 04, 2010
01:17 AM
CONTRARIAN:

You sneer that I am a sycophant of the British.

Just to clear away that impression, see my recent posts under the article in Outlook, "Hyderbad Diary":

" Here is some information about Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, India's sixth President, a decent and brave patriot whom this RAZZAK ridicules:

" Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, the sixth President of India, was a veteran statesman and administrator. He held many eminent positions in public life both before and after independence. Born in a peasant family at Illuri village in the Anantapur District (Andhra Pradesh) on May 19, 1913, Shri Sanjiva Reddy had his early education at the Theosophical High School at Adyar in Madras and later joined the Arts College at Anantapur. In 1931, the young Sanjiva Reddy gave up his studies to take part in the freedom movement. His student days were marked by Youth League and other nationalist activities. In fact, he first came into limelight when he participated in a student satyagraha. At the age of 25, Shri Reddy was elected Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Provincial Congress Committee and remained in that office for 10 years. He was in prison for a greater part of the period 1940-1945.
In March 1942, he was released for a while but in August, the same year he was re-arrested and kept in Amraoti jail in Madhya Pradesh along with Shri Prakasam, Shri Satyamurti, Shri Kamaraj, Shri Giri and others till 1945"

Where were the nawabis at this time? Bootlicking the Brits. No wonder they had such great use for spittoons, and thought spittle so valuable.
Iqram Jahaz
Jaipur, India
May 03, 2010 01:13 AM
7 RAZZAK

The Nizam of Hyderabad, who presided over the Hyderabad you seem so proud of, was a cruel joke in his time as an unmitigated toady of the British who extracted the utmost paisa from his starving peasants.

This appalling character was reputed the richest man in the world and its worst, most astounding miser....entertaining his luckless guests in dust-filled rooms, a dwarfish exposed-teeth figure in a ragged achkan and faded pajamas, offering a plate of stale biscuits and lukewarm tea.

The great historian K M Pannikkar visited the Nizam and left a baffled description of his cretinous misanthropic habits.

As for Sanjeeva Reddy, he was a brave patriot who fought both the British and Indira Gandhi when she thresatened to impose a dictatorship in India. He was a decent, humble man and I am not surprised that he and his wife did not realise the nawabi wastrels used silver spittoons. He thought spittle was not so valuable.
Iqram Jahaz
Jaipur, India "
Iqram Jahaz
Jaipur, India
22/D-49
May 04, 2010
10:02 AM
The disciple is entrusted with providing each citizen with a UID; and the Guru has taken the onus of creating a UKB (Unique Knowledge Base) of Indian Classics in English; the difference being that the former is rooted in India; while the latter relies on "outsourcing"! Maybe a pool or panel of Indian "experts" needs to be roped in?
Harsh Rai Puri
Bhopal, India
23/D-66
May 04, 2010
02:22 PM
I give up guys ... go and kill every Muslim on the street ... rape their women and demolish mosques ... and by the way dont forget to ask Sonia Gandhi to nuke Lahore etc. The fallouts will be all over India but who cares ... bye
The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
24/D-76
May 04, 2010
04:41 PM
contrarian

your last post confirms that you are mad.

do you write similar comments to the british ,who are quite
fed of the muslims in their country.

i read yasmin ali-bhai brown and she is frustrated and angry
with the british-the reason is that they express their absolute disgust with many of their muslim residents.

i understand that indians liveing in britain want to be called indians or hindus and not south asians. they dont want to be bracketed with the pakistani,s.

no body wants to rape muslim women or bomb lahore. however
we do not want terror from pakistan. is this an unreasoneable demand.

no one wants to stop you from reading urdu poetry, or
swooning about the elite muslim culture. you are welcome to convert to islam, and join the billion plus bigoted , fanatical crowd.
gayatri devi
delhi, India
25/D-78
May 04, 2010
05:02 PM
Gayatri Devi

Madness is contagious ... you wont stop terror from Pakistan by hating Muslims ... period
The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
26/D-85
May 04, 2010
05:55 PM
contrarian

neither by klissing their ass.

what is required is effective attacks on terrorist bases which usa is doing. they have killed hundreds of terrorist leaders.

israel has done the same.

not love or hate.

just severe punishment for the terrorists and their handlers.that is why nations have armies and spend money
on armaments. in india the army is for show and arms purchases are used by the congress party to get kick back

by the way eastern states in india are a mill stone round indias neck. the reasons are too many muslims and backward
hindus-rich and poor. they have failed to modernise,and
acquire english education which is sin quo non for progress.

instead mulayam singh and mayawati stand for vernacular education, building parks with dalit momentoes, and giveing
free bees to muslims to get their votes.

not to forget their love for urdu poetry. indespensable for getting jobs in engineering,science and aerospace.
gayatri devi
delhi, India
27/D-87
May 04, 2010
06:20 PM
iqram

peter brooks made a 8 hour play recounting mahabharata.

erik griffiths translated the veda,s into english. max muellar made a great contribution by translateing sanscrit literature.

mohammed khilji burnt down the university of nalanda and
killed thousands of monks.

there was another muslim invader who demolished som nath temple. i note that besides many muslim monuments is the
ruin of a hindu temple. the temple was destroyed and the bricks and stones used to build the mosque or tomb.

people say that many of the muslims in india had hindu ancestors. this is strange when one sees their hate for
their ancestors and love for their killers.

gandhi and nehru did their utmost to win over muslims to their side. it did not work. pakistani,s are the worst
enemies india can get. the loyalties of muslims in india are suspect. they seem to bear loyalty-maulvi is an example-to pakistan and palestine-allways at india,s expense.

this is the situation all over the world. usa despite obamas
overtures to muslims is at the recieving end,every other day.

to expect friendship, decency from pakistani,s is the height
of folly . i remember mr cowasjee of dawn writeing to me that western countries should close their embassies in pakistan.they faced danger and had no usefullness to their
countries. the same is true for india.

what will happen if india reduces its diplomatic relations
with pakistan. what will happen if india bombs terror camps
in pakistan, and hire people to kill dawood ibrahim, hafez
sayed. israel would have done this. they used drones to
kill their enemies in many arab countries. it is this which
has protected israel.

the pity ofcource is that india is ruled by a dynasty, and
a pm who is over the top. no one sees him. he never gives
an interview to indian journalists. gets elected to the
rajya sabha. he is the darling of the secularist goofs.

enough for today.
gayatri devi
delhi, India
28/D-89
May 04, 2010
07:00 PM
Gayatri

You are the one who is in the habit of kissing asses ... white that is of British and white Europeans and boast abt it ... enough for today ... back to work ...
The Contrarian
London, United Kingdom
29/D-104
May 19, 2010
08:15 PM
18th century European "scholars" labored on two co-ordinated fronts to kill India's roots: One, studying Samskrit and most of the texts in that language (including the Vedas) and (mis-)translating them to fit within their Greeko-Roman world-view; two, "developing" the vernaculars, hoping that that would lead to their disconnection from Samskrit and thereby weaken Samskrit. Now that the old colonization is replaced by globalization (i.e., Americanization) led by the USA, it is fitting that Mr. Murthy in his infinite wisdom is continuing on the footsteps of the 18th century primitive "scholars" to "preserve" the Indian classics in the libraries of Harvard and help kill its practice at home. Mr. Murthy is the finest of the MacAulay sons in India. God bless America!
Lakshmithanaya
Kasaragodu, India
30/D-32
May 22, 2010
06:00 AM
This project is great. All of us should participate in our humble ways.
S. Soundararajan
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
31/D-33
May 22, 2010
06:00 AM
This project is great. All of us should participate in our humble ways.
S. Soundararajan
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
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