On Academic Freedoms

In 2015, Harvard University Press began to publish the Murty Classical Library of India, a series of editions and translations of texts in a wide range of Indian languages, under the direction of Sheldon Pollock, professor of South Asian studies at Columbia University. In February, 2016, 132 academics in India petitioned to have Pollock removed as general editor. They were raising their voices not as subject experts — many were scientists or doctors lacking competence to judge humanistic scholarship — but as Hindus. Why did Hindus in India care what a publisher in Massachusetts was doing? Because Hindus in America cared, and they had sent word to India to raise the alarm there, too. This attempt by faith-based groups to control what scholars say is symptomatic of a broader clash between pious and academic ways of talking about religion, which has also troubled scholars who write and teach about religions other than Hinduism, and threatens freedom of speech in America, India, and elsewhere.

Wendy Doniger, "The Repression of Religious Studies" - http://chronicle.com/article/The-Repression-of-Religious/236166

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