Sheldon Pollock Stays, Says Rohan Murty On Protests Against Sanskrit Scholar

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Hundreds from various institutions across the country have signed an online petition addressed to Infosys-founder NR Narayana Murthy and his son Rohan Murthy

Bengaluru:  Sanskrit Scholar Sheldon Pollock will stay on as mentor and chief editor of the Murty Classical Library, Rohan Murty, founder of the multi-million dollar project of translating historic Indian works to English, has said, even as an online campaign for his removal intensified on Thursday.

More than a hundred noted people from various institutions across the country, mostly Professors, have signed an online petition addressed to Infosys-founder NR Narayana Murty and his son Rohan Murty seeking his exit.

But speaking to NDTV, Rohan Murty said, "I cannot agree with what I do not believe in. These are a set of people who wish to express their opinion which they have done. It just so happens that I know another equally large or perhaps even larger set of people who do not agree."

Listing out their arguments against Mr Pollock, the petitioners said he is a prominent signatory to two recent statements released by US academicians condemning the actions of the JNU authorities and the central government against separatist groups which are calling for the independence of Kashmir and for India's breakup.
 

Sheldon Pollock is a scholar of Sanskrit and teaches at the Columbia University. (File Photo)

The online petition has received support from over 14,000 people so far.

The Murty Classical Library of India aims to make available the great literary works of the country from the past two millennia.

Set up by Harvard University Press with the help of a personal endowment in 2010 by Rohan Murty, the library aims to publish 500 books over the course of the century.

Appreciating the Murty Classical Library, the petition says "...such a historical project would have to be guided and carried out by a team of scholars who not only have proven mastery in the relevant Indian languages but are also deeply rooted and steeped in the intellectual traditions of India."

Stating that Mr Pollock has been a well-known scholar of philology, the petition said it is also well-known that he has "deep antipathy towards many of the ideals and values cherished and practiced in our civilization."

The petitioners have recommended reconstituting the editorial group of the project with certain suggestions.

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