That's a wrap. Thanks to all for participating. I'll keep doing these regularly so long as there is interest.

Alright folks -- Do you have questions about how historians think and make claims about the past? Ask away.

The faculty union at Rutgers fights, among many other things, for affordable tuition for our undergraduate students. For graduates students (i.e., JNU equivalent), we often pay them to attend.

So far as protests, we have a long history of that at Rutgers-Newark in particular. We're proud of that history. For instance, we mark the 1969 liberation of Conklin Hall every year.

Thanks for asking.

"In point of military talent, [Sher Shah] and Humayun differed profoundly. Whereas the former was strategically gifted & bold, the latter was inept & excessively cautious. Whereas the Afghan chieftain was self-disciplined, Humayun indulged in protracted bouts with wine or drugs."

-Richard Eaton, pulling no punches in India in the Persianate Age.

"The earliest firm evidence for religion in Kashmir is Buddhist."

-Hamsa Stainton, Poetry of Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir (OUP, 2019).

There's a world of difference between what @audreytruschke has to deal with on and the engagement she has over here and I cannot even

I had a lovely conversation with a couple of our amazing Rutgers students the other week, talking about what its like working on Indian history and receiving aggressive political pushback. The interview airs TODAY, Nov. 11, at 12 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST on Rutgers Student Radio WRSU-FM. Tune in:

That's 5 questions. Thanks to all for engaging.

See below for comments on the composition order of Mahabharata and Ramayana, why Ravana didn't rape Sita, how to talk about the Ramayana with believers, the relationship between the Ramayana and the Iliad, and Rama as God.

Let's do another round on questions. One never exhausts this subject, truly.

Last time, I commented on modern retellings, Rama's birthplace, English translations of Valmiki's text, Shambuka's story, and the number of versions of the story.

If you have follow-up questions or others, have at it. I'll do my best to answer the first five questions.

Orijit Sen says it all.
जिसकी लाठी उसकी भैंस
Might is right.

The decides nothing about ancient history (that being the realm of historians). But it communicates quite clearly modern India's values and the permissibility of using mob violence against religious minorities.

This is a historic day for the Hindu Rashtra, a narrow political vision built on hate, false history, and the use of violence to force adherence to majoritarian norms.

“Bullhe Shah, let us go to the place where everyone is blind. No one recognizes our caste, nor does anyone revere us.” (Trans. Shackle)

I know it's late, but it's Friday and with the coming down tomorrow, let's do a quick round of questions.

Anything you want to know about the Ramayana -- Ask away. I'll answer the first 5 questions that come in.

Update in response to questions/concerns --

Framing matters, and it is subject to criticism. In fact, professors often teach our students that a crucial aspect of academic work is posing a good, productive question that doesn't inappropriately pigeon-hole the possible answers.

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