Disseminating Text through Cultural Technology: An Analysis With Reference To Indian Epics
Deepanjali Mishraa and Mangal Sainb
aDepartment School of humanities KIT University Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India
b Division of Information and Computer Engineering, Dongseo University, 47 Jurye-ro, Sasang-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea
A email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
The epics are a form of folklore where the narrations are passed on through oral interaction. Now epics are looked upon from management perspectives. They can be a platform of imparting very useful lessons for all the employees’ right from the board of directors to the ground staffs. It can prove as a very useful guide for all leaders and the managers contributing to organizational excellences, who are basically involved with traits, style, responsible for signing carious contracts, handling, responsible for the behavior of the employees and also their role as facilitator between the employees and the management. For instance in case of Rama's coronation in The Ramayana, the flaw which led to the exile of Shri Ram was failure in planning strategy for the coronation as one could see problems arose in the last moment. However, with the advancement of technology, assimilation of texts has become much easier. The original texts were written long ago and it becomes very difficult to retrieve them in original form. Digitalisation is the only process through which they can be retrieved. The technique of Digitalisation not only helps to retrieve the epics, but also functions in a much multidimensional way. Therefore the paper would emphasizes on the following points: Popularising epics through social network, Marketing the texts through Digitalisation, Retrieving the lost archived texts, Incorporating the epics in research and Presenting them in soaps, animated forms
Keywords: Digitalization, Epics, archive, texts, manuscripts
Interpersonal communication originated more than 35,000 years back among human beings after which different forms of oral, visual and aural modes of communication developed which resulted in emergence of chirographic forms of language. Technological inventions took place in the second half of 19th century which gave rise to telegraphic, telephonic, gramophonic and photographic technological means of communication. 20th century witnessed the surge of radio and film media. It was during the middle of the last century, cybernetics and electronics development took place, and computer was invented. After which there was no looking back. The satellite technology, cell phones followed soon after, which brought revolution in the global exchange system. The highest point was reached when Tim Berners-Lee gave the idea of World Wide Web (www) in the 90's which connected millions of users over the world. There are various techniques that are quite prevalent like Archaeological GIS, digital historical mapping, literary text mining, etc which shape our understanding of our classical texts. Digital communications have succeeded in overcoming all types of barriers and permit scholars of literature in exploring the epigraphical inscriptions. It is beneficial to Archaeologists. They can locate their inferences on digital historical maps. Philosophers can explore their technique and now they can argue with improved methods of their search. India is abound with very rich oral traditions comprising of folktales, regional myths, and legendary narratives of warriors, places, history. The oral traditions have proved to be enriching sources that provide moral education and they entertain the mass especially young children in the form of bed time stories. In this way they uphold the rich, versatile, unique culture as well as customs and traditions. Digitalisation has in fact brought about a revolution in culture amalgamation. Rest of the paper is divided in following section. Section 2, discuss about popularizing epics through social network, Section 3 explain Marketing the texts through Digitalisation. Section 4 explains the technique to retrieving the lost archived texts. In Section 5, we will discuss how these Epics can be incorporate with research. Section 6, discuss how it can be present in the form of SOAP or Animated form.
2. Popularizing epics through social network
Epics find an important place in the world history. They were written long back and social media is a very powerful media to popularise them . There are Traditional media like theatres which are more credible and have impact on the audience because they are considered to be media for diverting the minds of audience which are quite conventional and make them modernize. They work with an objective of informing, educating and entertaining the audience. Folk media is a term that conveys the concept of new communication methodology thereby preparing the audience in accepting the digital mode of media in a very positive way. In the present era, an increasing number of academicians are inclined towards religion and online research provides them with ample opportunities. At times transformations of content do take place when the subject is accessed online. Even though this transformation looses the original content, yet the readers can get information through various websites . There are numerous online websites devoted to religious studies and epics which are very interactive. They form a common platform for the users where they could post their inquisitiveness or any query . It forms a sharing platform too where users could share their own divine experiences and get enlightened about the epics. Social media provides space for debates among the believers and non believers who raise the authenticity of the epics like Ramayana and Ram or Mahabharata or Krishna. In the process of step by step learning, the users could easily enhance their learning process and feel enriched. In India, Hinduism and Buddhism is a household name but it is quite an unknown term for people of other countries who do not seem to know about it.
It is obviously due to the media who made them a household term. Similarly Lord Rama and Krishna came to be known by people all over the world. Sometimes it was due to media that Tibet made headlines when there was any scandal or maybe the ISCON Temple portraying Indian gurus. Therefore it cannot be overlooked that digital media has played a major role in popularizing the Indian epics due to which it is made available to increasingly number of people in Europe America and other continents. Hinduism is followed by people of Asia like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and Buddhism is followed in Asian countries like China, Japan, Thailand, Korea etc and now people in America and Europe have joined the Asians in propagating the essence of Gita through various preaching which are available in digital media. A large number of Tibetans migrated to various corners of the world which led to popularization of texts of Buddha known as Jataka tales. As a result people took interest in them and their culture and their religion was accepted. There are as many as 200 Centers of Buddhist learning in Taiwan where as in France, people prefer calling themselves as followers of Buddhism than a Jew or a Protestant. The theory of Karma which means one's actions and the consequences of those actions have become so popular that people especially Europeans and Americans use it as any vowel or consonant. The term Dharma, meaning duty, Ahimsa meaning Non violence. Buddhism has maintained its stand of giving the universal philosophy to the world through its teachings. These are conceptualized by the Buddhists as valid and also it could be used by common people irrespective of their economic, social or historical backgrounds. The concept of ‘ahimsa’ is more related to nonviolence and it is seen much from the environment and ecological point of view. It also talks about connectivity with living beings, loving them and taking care of them without hurting them. This practice is propagated through digitalisation and makes people access them and practice them in their daily life.
3. Marketing the texts through Digitalisation
Ample amount of revenue opportunities can be created through Digitalization. It has not only helped in reducing the cost of the epics which are otherwise high priced, it has also created revenue opportunities for millions of unemployed youths. The epics consisting of creative work on the basis of investing zero marginal cost on publicizing through media. All one needs to do is just to open an account online and get started. Therefore Digitalisation has enabled the users of marketing the texts in a much effective way. For example Amazon and Flipkart are the best online marketing sources of epics and texts. It helps the viewers to look for the texts they would like to get and make an order online . The text gets delivered to them as per the address that they have given. This system is very easy, quick and reliable. Secondly, with zero investment on publicity and very less investment on distribution it would successfully create revenue opportunities to the seller. Apart from this facility, it helps in protecting the piracy of the texts. Plagiarism can be stopped to a certain extent. The publishing company or the commercial sellers can consider it safe by selling the texts through digital mode and they get the direct profits which unlikely happen when they sell their texts through various franchises in different places . As a result the sellers would be more interested to bring out their new texts and epics to the market which would definitely benefit the sellers as well as the buyers. The customers get these texts without going anywhere thus saving the cost of transportation. Therefore on record, digitization has helped the online market to increase the growth of various texts and epics which are written and help the customers by making them available .
4. Retrieving the lost archived texts
As it is known that the Epics are written long ago. Ramayana was written by Saint Tulasidas and Mahabharata was written by Ved Vyas in different Yugas, Traiteya and Dwapar respectively in palm leaves. So it is very natural that the original texts have Well the Vedas were transmitted orally for thousands of years before being written down and Mahabharata etc. all these were written on palm leaf manuscripts. Every 10 years it needed renovation which they did by copying the valuable texts onto new palm leaves and discarding the old scriptures into sacred rivers. After sometime, people used to throw away the manuscripts into rivers or burn them on Sankranti which resulted in loss of the original manuscripts. However some rulers would get the scriptures inscribed on copper plates which are present till date in temples. After that when paper came, the manuscripts were copied to papers. During British rule, Hindu scriptures were copied and published in Newspapers. Due to this numerous copies of scriptures could be retrieved. With advancement of modern technology, preservation, restoration and promotion of epics and texts has been possible which has efficiently preserved our cultural heritage. Digitalisation involves encompassing and representation of every types of materials whether it is textual or it is audio visual forms into its holistic mode. The http or World Wide Web (www) has successfully reached the common people and a wide range of activities could be conducted with its access. Digitalization of ancient texts, manuscripts and scriptures offers accessibility to various libraries which is made available to a wide reader group and it also aids in conserving the old documents. Museums too can exhibit these texts and scriptures. The online users could easily access the digitalized document easily or search them online by enriching them by various search engines that are easily available on internet. This has benefitted the libraries which have been motivated to develop digitized manuscript’s management system.
5. Incorporating the epics in research
Manu, the lawmaker has stated that the king appoints an ambassador, the army depends on its Commander and the subjects are dependent on the army in the same way as the Government of the kingdom relies on the King and finally the war and peace completely depends on an Ambassador . How correct the statement is for the religion that originated and followed in India i.e. Hinduism and Buddhism went to Nepal, China, Korea and Japan. A cultural high power delegation from South Korea visited Ayodhya to revive two millennia-old ties with the temple town in Uttar Pradesh.. The South Koreans had an interesting discovery which suggested that a Princess of Ayodhya had a matrimonial alimony with a Korean King named Suro, who was the king of Kimhay kingdom or the present Korea during the first century CE. India's tradition of diplomacy of implementing extroversive interests has been continuing which dates back to ancient times which lead us to the concept of Strategic Culture. The well-known Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata can be greatest exemplar of the institution of diplomacy. In Mahabharata also, Lord Krishna had gone to Hastinapur as an envoy on a diplomatic mission to have a talk with Duryadhon and played the role of a mediator to avoid war between the Pandavas and the Kaurvas. The war itself was termed as Dharmayuddha meaning War of Righteousness which was fought with well- defined norms with highly efficient diplomatic contact between the two warring sides. The concepts of immunity and amnesty were well established and were respected. A diplomat needs to be treated with dignity and respect. In today's world, an ambassador is a diplomat who pursues the interest of his own country with other countries by implementing the policies of the state and adopts different techniques of strengthening the public relations and he / she participates in high level social gatherings and attends public functions. It's true that role of international relations has undergone remarkable change in the context of changing power environment, nuclear policies, technological revolution and the world faces many more challenges regarding international security, disarmament, terrorism global warming and many more. The role played by Lord Krishna visualizes his wisdom and vision and terrific technique of diplomatic practice which is also suggested by Manu, Kautilya, Shukracharya, etc. They certainly provide a meaningful input for the refinement of modern trends of diplomacy. The Mahabharata is considered to be the notable work of the diversity of Indian and Hindu thought in existence. Lord Krishna, at the same time recommends a different approach of using treachery and deceitful strategies in order to retrieve back the moral cause.
Rama, who is the protagonist of this epic, displays extraordinary qualities of a leader. For instance, when Devi Sita was kidnapped, his condition was un consolable, yet he maintains his dignity and composure. He handled the situation in a very mature way with his head high never lost patience for even a moment. It was never an easy task for someone who is fulfilling the promise of his father to go exile for fourteen long years with his wife and brother. His love and commitment for Devi Sita was incredible. Everyone knows that he took revenge but it was not of that kind which could have been done by an ordinary person. He gave Ravana numerous chances to return his wife to him. The beautiful Ramsetu was built under his leadership and he crosses the sea to reach Sri Lanka in order to rescue her. Tulsidas's Ramacharitmanas explains the reason why Ravana needs to be given the death penalty which was quite logical. Even though he had various noble qualities, yet the bad qualities superseded those virtuous qualities. Rama shows his leadership skills by saying that a person need not be condemned and shunned if he possesses bad qualities. Rather one should condemn those qualities which made brought a human to that level, not the person. This quality can be implemented by a corporate leader who believes in spiritual leadership.
This epic Ramayana, is not just a story only to be told as a grandma's lullaby or heard for entertainment, rather it provides immense opportunities to explore and analyzed from different perceptive. New research can be carried out on Leadership and management from this most popular epic.
6. Presenting them in soaps, animated forms
Digitalisation of epics took a new dimension when it was given the form of soap. The great Indian epic, The Ramayana was first aired on Indian National television Doordarshan from 25 January 1987 . It became so popular that nearly eighty to one hundred million Indians irrespective of age group, ethnicity waited every Mornings on Sunday to watch each episode that was being aired . It continued till 31 July 1988. It was a 78 episode series which proved that epics still hold place in mind of Indians. After that another Indian epic followed suit which was Mahabharata which was directed by B.R. Chopra and was more lucrative and lustrous. It also succeeded in making everlasting impact with Indian audience . After this there have been so many remakes of these epics. The soaps of Devon Ke Dev Mahadev were immensely popular among the Indian audience. Interestingly to cater the children's viewing animated versions of the epics were aired on television like Shri Ganesha and Hanumaan. It was hugely popular among the children.
Therefore Indian epics have proved to be source of guidance and inspiration other than providing scope of ample research opportunities and Digitalisation has proved to be boon in disguise . It has aided in popularizing them and making the readers aware about our rich epics, marketing the epics successfully that is very quick and easily available, retrieving the archived texts for the readers and bringing out visual depiction of the epics in the form of soaps and animations.
 Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210 -230 (2007).
 Cano Coca,L., Vázquez Aldecoa,J. A. and Celaya J. “Museums and New Technologies", in AC/E Digital Culture Annual Report (2015: 211-320) (2015)
 Hussain, K.H et al. Importance of search and retrieval in CDROM full text publishing: Experiments using PDF documents and Nitya archival system. Information Studies, Volume 8, Number 1. 1986
 Raitt, David. EdLibraries for the New Millennium: Implications for managers, London, Library Association, (1997) 288p
 Sulochana Devi, L. Application of Digital Technology for Conservation and Utilization of Ancient Manuscripts and Archival Materials. In the Proceedings of the South Indian History Congress, Tvpm, 2001.
 Vijayan, K. Organizing Manuscript Collections for the People. In Public Library Development. New Delhi, Ess.1993.
 D’Antonio, M. Mortal sins: Sex, crime and the era of Catholic scandals. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 2013.
 Dawson, L. L. & Cowan D. E (Ed.). Religion online: Finding faith on the Internet. New York: Routledge. 2004.
 De Vreese, C.H., Peter, J., & Semetko, H.A. Framing politics at the launch of the euro: A cross-national comparative study of frames in the news. Political Communication,18(2), 107-122. 2001.
 Dolan, F. E. Why are nuns funny? Huntington Library Quarterly. 70(4), 509-535. 2001.
 Mitchell, Jolyon. “Christianity and Television.” Studies in World Christianity 11,1, 2005: 1-8.
 Patton, Laurie L. Bringing the Gods to Mind: Mantra and Ritual in Early Indian Sacrifice . Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2005.
 Possamai, Adam. Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyperreal Testament. Brussels: Peter Lang, Possamai, Adam. “Secrecy and Consumer Culture: An Exploration of Esotericism in Contemporary Western Society Using the Work of Simmel and Baudrillard. Australian Religion Studies Review 15,1, 2002: 44-56. 2005
 Rajagopal, Arvind. Politics After Television: Religious Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Indian Public . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.