These series of articles are an attempt by me to bring into picture, how diversified Ramayana is! Please note that I’m not trying to address or survey all the possible tellings of Ramayana. That’s beyond my scope! My readers are mainly youth and this is an attempt by me to not let these cultures die. I’ve tried to be as suggestive as possible, rather than being judgemental.
I’d like to thank my teacher for helping me with my research. Clearly I’ve borrowed heavily from A. K Ramanujam. He argues that the Ramayana has become “a second language of a whole culture area,” and I completely agree with him. The Ramayana provides Kampan with the language to express the complex relationship between god and devotee. It lends Dutt the ability to articulate the colonial dilemma of cultural ambivalence. It provides Thai kings with the vocabulary of political legitimacy. Sita’s trials give Telugu brahmin woman a way to talk about a husband’s neglect, while Ravana’s situation enables E. V. Ramasami to polemicize about Tamil separatism.
Ramayana extends beyond India to Persia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, to the west. Hard coding it is not the right thing to do.