Posted by: cochinblogger | July 23, 2009

On Depicting Mythology

A leading publishing house with a national presence issues a monthly series of theme-based books for schoolchildren entitled “Tell Me Why.” Themes covered in the past include Inventors, Money, The Moon, etc. The content is excellent, and well illustrated. At just Rs. 20 per issue, the books are a bargain.

The latest issue is on the theme of mythology, and features mythologies from all parts of the world. Hindu and Buddhist mythologies are covered. I have just one complaint. Conspicuous by their absence are the mythologies of the Abrahamic faiths, namely, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

As the editor notes in the introduction, one person’s mythology is another’s religious truth. So, to avoid stepping on toes, the publisher should have either featured the mythologies of all religions, or skipped the mythologies of current religions. In other words, either step on no toe or step on all of them.

By selectively featuring the mythologies of some religions and omitting those of others, the publisher has opened itself to the charge of bias. Especially because the publishing house in question is run by Christians.

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