We should give due place to our past culture irrespective and should not look at it from the angle of religion. Some of my Indonesian friends (who happened to be Muslims) were able to explain about Maha Bharatha and Lord Vishnu. They seemed to have studied in their school text books. Perhaps we need to larn a lesson or two from Thailand (where Ramayan -Ramakiyan- is very popular) and Indonesia.
-- Dr Somayajulu
Well, didn't I earlier confess to have studied the Hindu sacred texts? Indeed, some of them are also part of our school syllabus. And, whoever said we do not appreciate the Indian Heritage? One of the best (perhaps THE best) doctoral dessertations to date on Ram Katha was authored in HINDI by a Ranchi-based Belgian missionary, Dr. Father Camil Bulcke.
Having lived for a few years in the Asian countries, I know Ramayana and other Hindu epics are an integral part of the folk art in Indonasia, Thailand and Malaysia. The stories are narrated in Muslim and Buddhist homes and delighfully acted out at festivals. Even staunch "Kathmullas" do not cry foul. But look at what's happening here. A handful of self-styled custodians of Indian culture burn the holy books of other religions, brutally kill the followers, ransack and destroy their places of worship. This is the phenomenon that threatens to ruin our otherwise great cultural fabric.
The Samudra Manthan's depiction at a Thai airport is breath-takingly fabulous. Thai motifs have also been tastefully incorporated in it. I have seen it for real, of course. But the one who shared them in this forum, seems pitiably biased. When others appreciate what he may erroneously consider as his monopoly, he feels overjoyed. But he would be the last person to appreciate other traditions. Unfortunately this is the mind set that's deplorable.
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