The Ramayana is one of the germinal sources linking the different cultures of the Indian subcontinent and also the various nations of Asia. The story of Rama has pervaded deep into almost all regions, faiths and languages of Asia, influencing not only the literature but also the social customs and cultural development of many nationalities of Asia. Sahitya Akademi therefore considered it befitting to organize an international Ramayana Seminar in 1975 at New Delhi, which proved to be culturally and intellectually rewarding exercise with the participation of over forty scholars from 11 countries, each an authority on the Ramayana lore in his language and region. The late Dr. V. Raghavan, who was the moving spirit behind this Seminar ever since it was envisaged as a joint venture of the Government of India and Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters), also helped in putting these Seminar papers together for publication. Sahitya Akademi is happy to offer this unique publication for the benefit of both the laymen and the scholars interested in Asian culture in general and the Ramayana Tradition in particular. Sahitya Akademi is the National Academy of Letters set up by the Government of India in 1954.It is an autonomous body whose policies are laid down by a General Council which consists of representatives of the various Indian Languages, States and Universities. The Akademi's programme is directed to fostering and coordinating literary activities in the Indian languages and to making good literature written in any Indian Language available in translation to readers in all other languages of the country. Akademi publications are mainly in Indian languages. Its publication programme in the English language is generally limited to supplying basic information about Indian writers and their works.
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