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Pollock's 'Irresponsible' Vs Valmiki's 'Plausible' Ramayana – Animesh Aaryan

Pollock claims Rāmāyaṇa to be socially irresponsible and his interpretation of the text revolves around the chronology of the text, the divinization-demonization construct, Indian kingship, the freewill of characters, the Brahmin supremacy and the usage of Rāmāyaṇa as a political device for social oppression and demonization of Muslims. Pollock has diligently sidelined the views of several traditional scholars who would disagree with his reductive interpretation and therefore, a representation to challenge his views is necessary to escape self-annihilation.

While several traditional scholars have challenged Pollock’s claims recently, this paper is an attempt to challenge a few of his claims in the light of scientific, historical and literary facts. This paper aims to address the following issues –

  1. Freewill from a Physics-philosophical and Vedic perspective
  2. Indian kingship and divinization-demonization construct
  3. Rāmāyaṇa as socially oppressive vs. Literary records

In this paper, Pollock’s controversial claims are examined and  evidence is cited to contest his claims.

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