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This Indian Express article quotes Devdutt Pattanaik as saying:

On tradition vs modernity

Modern people invent tradition. Because modern people want to feel “liberal” and “modern”, they will construct a past that is conservative. And you see that in writings all the time. So Sita has to be this creature who has no voice of her own. But when you actually read the Valmiki Ramayana, you'll be like, 'this lady seems to have a voice'. In fact, there's a dialogue where Ram says, "Whenever I ask her to do anything, she says no."

Which verse of Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa is Pattanaik referring to?

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    Lol what is opinion based here? – Rickross Nov 13 '18 at 10:19
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    How is this question opinion based? – The Destroyer Nov 13 '18 at 13:43
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    @TheDestroyer If that is not opinion based, you can just reopen the question. – Sarvabhouma Nov 13 '18 at 17:56
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    @Rickross, @ TheDestroyer - lol if you think this is not opinion based. tomorrow i can make a claim 'Lakshmana is Rama's elder brother', put it in an article, then cite it and ask a question 'Which verse of Valmiki Ramayana states that Lakshmana is older to Rama'. Devdutt Patnaik has been known to not read scriptures yet make random claims about it. sv acts as if he is unbiased and objective. If he was really objective, he should just ask 'Does Valmiki Ramayana have this verse', instead of asking 'Which verse is he referring to'. Just tagging it as identification-request does not remove bias. – ram Nov 13 '18 at 21:25
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    instead of asking 'Which verse is he referring to' -- It is the same thing because we can answer by refuting also. If no such verse is found in the text then that is the answer (although I understand it is difficult to prove that something is not there somewhere). And if verses like that are actually present then that makes answering easier. But from whr did this relying on opinions come into the picture? This a factual/objective question. No scope of speculation here. @ram – Rickross Nov 14 '18 at 6:33
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But when you actually read the Valmiki Ramayana, you'll be like, 'this lady seems to have a voice'.

This might be referring to 5 Sargas of Valmiki Ramayana: Ayodhya Kanda where Rama asks her to stay in Ayodhya but she insists going with Rama in forest:


In fact, there's a dialogue where Ram says, "Whenever I ask her to do anything, she says no."

This might be some opinion based interpretation of the below partial verse:

कारणैः बहुभिस् तथ्यैः वार्यमाणौ न च इच्चतः || 2.34.23

[Lord Rama to his father:] I tried to dissuade them (Lakshmana and Sita) with a number of reasons but they did not agree.

When we read this verse stand alone, this comes out like mentioned in the question but when we read it with context (after reading previous Sargas), we understand that it's not like Lakshmana and Seetha didn't agree to what Rama says but out of devotion and love they insisted to going in forest with Rama putting their comfort aside.

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    "Whenever I ask her to do anything, she says no." and what actual quote says.. What a difference!! Even if you read it stand alone, it doesn't look like Sita is disuadding with Rama. See the word anything in the question. That looks like very bad interpretation to show something else which is not intended by Valmiki. – Sarvabhouma Nov 15 '18 at 3:52

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