This question is prompted by the following question:

What is IIT Kanpur's proposed service on "Hindu Sacred Texts", all about?

So, this is the question about IIT Kanpur and its initiative about why it is providing Hindu sacred texts. This question looks like a question solely about an institution which provides some literature of Hinduism. Not asking resources it provides or nothing. I voted to close the question saying the following.

It should go to IIT Kanpur" means you should ask this question to IIT rather than here. It is a way of saying. Not redirecting. This is not about Ramayana, Mahabharata etc., it is about a content of a website or a service provided by an institute. There are hundreds of websites which provide Hindu literature. That doesn't mean we can ask questions about the website's content. How will we answer their intent? It gives speculations in the answers. If it is about a source used in the answers, Hinduism Meta is the right one tagging sources-and-citations.

Then it was closed by a moderator. Then after sometime, it was reopened again without any major edits.

The justification provided by the OP was

We don't redirect Qn-s or interpretations on Ramayana & Mahabharata to Valmiki & Vyasa! This Qn is for general availability. The news link I posted just gives an overall info, mainly for general audience. I want to know, how will it help "Hinduism" as such. What is the intent behind such service. Most of the people here use same IIT's sacred-texts for various translations, so this Qn is quite well rooted for this site.

So, following that way and the question is now reopened, can we ask about websites or institutions?

Why is this question reopened? Are questions about the plans and initiative of websites which provide resources of Hinduism? There are hundreds of websites which provide resources of Hinduism e.g., Archive.org, indianscriptures.com etc., (Some of them are here. Use them for later use in the answers :-)).

Can I post a question like following?

  • Why did indianscriptures.com change their design? Why was it down for a few days?

  • Why did an institute chose to provide some sources? What is the intention behind this move?

On a side note, they also give chance for speculations in the answer which makes primarily opinion based too.

Some other points to consider:

  1. It may also give chance to speculations in the answer. Such questions are closed as primarily opinion based.

  2. In the second edit to the question, the OP said how the initiative could be helpful for the site. The questions which are helpful to the site should be asked on meta and not on main site. So, it is off-topic in this way too.

  3. The question gives a link to an article which provides link to the website of the institution and also gives the list of scriptures provided by the institution and also some words of the institute officials. So, the question is already answered in the question itself.

Should such questions be on-topic? Shouldn't they be off-topic because they are not directly about Hinduism? Why is this question reopened?

1 Answer 1


The post is merely expressing an opinion about "Why this Qn should be closed.". In the list of several Qn-s, picking up on this one in a meta, is an overkill. :-)
Since I had asked that Qn, I will take the opportunity to answer.

The Qn even without any edits, was asking about 'What' is the project being undertaken by IIT-Kanpur. The important part is "What". It's not asking about "How/Why" to give any way to speculations.
Also it's not asking about any "web designs" of their site or "opinions" about why certain scriptures are chosen. This avoids it making off-topic or opinion based Qn.

Note that, this project is officially financed by India's "Union ministry of IT" since 2001, which makes it quite substantial compared to some other independent works posted as scriptures & blogs etc. in several websites.

"Why is this question reopened?"

Most of the people in this community, use Gita & other translations from the same IITK's website "gitasupersite". IMO this organisation's work is quite relevant for propagation of Hinduism in the mainstream. It's not off-topic.

Some people may feel it otherwise and vote for closure, which is perfectly fine. But a Mod hammering a vote within less than 10 views of the Qn is not right. Especially when it's Not a "clearcut off-topic" Qn.
The other Mod had asked for more details, as he was not sure if it's straight forward close/reopen. I provided my intent in chat room, as well as modified the Qn to explicitly clarify. After that I voted & flagged for reopen.

If the community of 4-5 members had closed this Qn, then the new Mod would not have intervened so explicitly. The intent of the new Mod is to give time & scope to the Qn to be reviewed by the community.

  • 2
    @Rickross, not sure of books. May be not, they may release audios as well. In fact, Consolidation of all these info is the whole point of the Qn.
    – iammilind
    Jan 11, 2018 at 15:08
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    My policy always is to "incorporate more and to reject less." So, i have no problems keeping this Q.It is definitely related to Hinduism more than one of ur other Qs (about some Sikh godman?) that i voted to close But some people may have different opinions. BTW are they going to publish books which we can buy?
    – Rickross
    Jan 11, 2018 at 15:08
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    Well, whether a question should be closed or left open is definitely a question which should be asked on meta and there's nothing wrong in the question. "Mod closing a question without 10 views in not right? " Where did you get that idea? Mods can close when they see a question. They have that power. Re-read your question. The question is about "What is it about?" about is the important part. it definitely gives opinion based answers. Whether it is financed by any organisation, it is not our concern. We don't talk about external websites here. Jan 11, 2018 at 16:50
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    Can I post a question about Archive.org just like yours? "Archive.org collection of funds. what is this all about?" It is also quoted by many uses here and there are many rare books about Hinduism. Our discussion should be about those books and not about the website. Jan 11, 2018 at 16:54
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    "Some people may feel it otherwise and vote for closure, which is perfectly fine." If your justification for reopening the question is the fast closure of the question by the mod and not the community, then that would be the silliest reason for reopening a question. A moderator is a moderator. Don't see the difference in the mod team. A question should be reopened if it strictly on-topic question. The reason should not be the "community didn't see it". Closing , reopening and then closing.. this is a waste of mod time and users time which can be put for some other cause. Jan 11, 2018 at 17:02
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    @Sarva, why do you see that this Qn is about a external website? It's about an organisation which is generating useful resources for Hinduism. If Mod has closed it then another Mod reopened it giving it a benefit of doubt. i can't see it as off-topic, when other Qns on the likes of ISCKON or Acharya's works about Hinduism -- are on-topic. But the other members have decided to close it & I respect that too. There are few Qns of mine & others which were closed in past, which were proper, but I didn't argue in those. This one is may be an exception, where I am unable to see how is this unrelated?
    – iammilind
    Jan 12, 2018 at 0:22
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    "i can't see it as off-topic, when other Qns on the likes of ISCKON or Acharya's works about Hinduism -- are on-topic" ISKCON is a Hindu (gaudiya Vaishnava) organisation with disciplic succession. Even about that, we allow their philosophical views on Hinduism topic like philosophy not others. What is IITK? An engineering college run by Government of India and what else? So, it is an external institution to me not even a Hindu organisation to consider on-topic. So, my thoughts .are clear on this. Hope you understand. Jan 13, 2018 at 9:29

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