Sensitivity plea

December 5, 2003

Hindu responses to Paul Courtright's book are more complex than your pithy introduction suggests ("Silenced for hinting at an Indian Oedipus", THES , November 28). There are indeed Hindus incensed by his discussion of a deity's sexuality who sent death threats. But many publicly supported his right to his views. There are also countless Hindus who simply did not think it a serious matter - no demonstrations, no book-burnings. It is irritating that western academics should be angry that their freedom to say what they please about another culture should be questioned. Courtright is not alone in finding "hope amid the anger"; Hindus are equally hopeful of more sensitive dialogue between scholars and community.

Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad
Senior lecturer in Indian religions and director of graduate research
Department of religious studies
Lancaster University

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