Google, Mysore University, manuscripts, and BORI

There were news reports this week, that Google has entered into an agree­ment with Mysore Uni­ver­si­ty, for index­ing and dig­i­tiz­ing 800,000 man­u­scripts and books from their rich San­skrit and Kan­na­da library. This move by Google is in line with their “orga­nize the world’s infor­ma­tion” vision, and I don’t have any prob­lems even if Google suc­ceeds in gain­ing com­mer­cial­ly from this ven­ture.

The best part is that the Mysore Uni­ver­si­ty intends to patent exclu­sive con­tent before shar­ing it with the pub­lic domain.

This led me to won­der, why doesn’t the Bhan­dark­ar Ori­en­tal Research Insti­tute (BORI) do the same? Wouldn’t it make sense to per­ma­nent­ly safe­guard their invalu­able col­lec­tion of his­tor­i­cal man­u­scripts?

With our I&B Min­istry increas­ing­ly focused on moral polic­ing of tele­vi­sion chan­nels, they’re turn­ing more and more of a blind
eye to where real polic­ing is required: mobs attack­ing artists, and polit­i­cal hooli­gans destroy­ing cen­turies old trea­sures.

Let us pre­serve BORI’s man­u­scripts for­ev­er, before anoth­er Bajrang Brigade comes knock­ing on their doors! In fact, quite a
few peo­ple no longer trust BORI to safe­guard the thou­sands of man­u­scripts, after it itself backed a ban (yes, a research
insti­tute ban­ning a book!) on the book that had caused the attack on it.

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  • kenna4uindia

    india has a rich cul­tur­al her­itage that it should try to pre­serve. pol­i­tics should not come into the way of con­ser­va­tion of a country’s trea­sure. i have lived in india for five years now and if there was one thing i could have wished to take with me to africa is a col­lec­tion of his­tor­i­cal man­u­scripts about indi­an cul­ture. i think BORI owes a duty to the cit­i­zens and it should per­form it.

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