A. K. Ramanujan

Attipate Krishnaswami Ramanujan (16 March 1929 – 13 July 1993) was an Indian poet and scholar of Indian literature who wrote in both English and Kannada. Ramanujan was a poet, scholar, professor, philologist, folklorist, translator, and playwright. His academic research ranged across five languages: English, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit. He published works on both classical and modern variants of this literature and argued strongly for giving local, non-standard dialects their due. Though he wrote widely and in a number of genres, Ramanujan's poems are remembered as enigmatic works of startling originality, sophistication and moving artistry. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award posthumously in 1999 for The Collected Poems.

QuotesEdit

  • Cultures may be said to have overall tendencies to idealize, and think in terms of, either the context-free or the context-sensitive kind of rules. Actual behavior may be more complex, though the rules they think with are a crucial factor in guiding the behavior. In cultures like India's, the context-sensitive kind of rule is the preferred formulation.
    • Ramanujan 1990: 44-47). in Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.
  • Various taxonomies of season, landscape, times, gunas or qualities (and their material bases), tastes, characters, emotions, essences (rasas), etc., are basic to the thought-work of Hindu medicine and poetry, cooking and religion, erotics and magic. Each jati or class defines a context, a structure of relevance, a rule of permissible combinations, a frame of reference, a meta-communication of what is and can be done … Even the Kama-Sutra is literally a grammar of love, which declines and conjugates men and women as one would nouns and verbs in different genders, voices, moods and aspects. Genders are genres. Different body-types and character-types obey different rules, respond to different scents and beckonings.
    • quoted from Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.
  • Whatever his context — birth, class, gender, age, place, rank, etc. — a man is a man for all that. Technology, with its modules and interchangeable parts, and the post-Renaissance sciences, with their quest for universal laws (and 'facts') across contexts, intensify the bias towards the context-free.'
    • quoted from Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.
  • One has only to read Manu after a bit of Kant to be struck by the former's extraordinary lack of universality. He seems to have no clear notion of a universal human nature from which one can deduce ethical decrees like 'Man shall not kill', or 'Man shall not tell an untruth'. One is aware of no notion of a 'state', no unitary law of all men … The main tradition of Judeo-Christian ethics is based on such a premise of universalisation. Manu will not understand such a premise. To be moral, for Manu, is to particularise – to ask who did what, to whom and when … Each class (jati) of man has his own laws, his own proper ethic, not to be universalised.
    • quoted from Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.

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