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.