Tamil Nadu university deletes Arundhati Roy’s book on Maoists from syllabus after ABVP’s protest – education
After complaints from several people, including Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, against Arundhati Roy’s ‘Walking with the Comrades’ as part of his master’s program in English, a state university in Tamil Nadu removed it from the curriculum.
The ABVP and others alleged that the book glorified the ultras and had anti-national content.
Opposition parties, the DMK and the CPI (M), have opposed the decision to withdraw the syllabus book that chronicles the author’s trip to the Maoists’ hideouts in Chhattisgarh and how they operated outside of the jungles.
The book has been part of the 2017-18 syllabus for the third semester of the Master of English Literature at the universities affiliated with Manonmaniam Sundaranar University of Tirunelveli.
“Last week we received a written complaint from the ABVP.
Later, there were many other representations. We also receive complaints from members of our union, ”MSU Deputy Chancellor K Pitchumani told PTI.
Such complaints underscored the book’s “controversial” contents and wanted it removed from the students’ curriculum, he said.
Therefore, a committee made up of high-level academics was created to investigate the matter. The former chairman of the board of studies that framed the curriculum and the incumbent chief were also part of it, he said.
“The committee met on Wednesday and decided to withdraw the book from the curriculum due to its sensitive nature and instead included a book by the naturalist and Padma winner, ‘My Native Land, Essays on Nature’ by M. Krishnan.” , said. said.
“This has been implemented immediately,” he said.
Krishnan (1912-96) was a renowned naturalist, pioneer in photography, and writer of Indian wildlife and was awarded the Padma Shri in 1969.
The decision would be approved at a meeting of the university’s Standing Committee on Academic Affairs, he said, adding that they were not for “controversy” as only academics were important.
When asked if the ‘sensitive’ nature of the book was not taken into account when it was included in the syllabus, the senior university official said it “probably went unnoticed.” However, as soon as statements against the book were received, immediate follow-up action was taken, he said.
In its complaint, the ABVP unit in southern Tamil Nadu alleged that Roy’s book openly supported the Maoists and spread anti-national views.
“It is regrettable that this book has been part of the syllabus for the past three years. With this, the Naxal and Maoist ideology has been imposed on the students ”, said the ABVP demanding the withdrawal of the book.
Roy’s interaction with the Maoists and his visits to the forests where he met them first appeared in an English magazine in 2010 and was later published as a book.
The DMK youth wing secretary and MP Kanimozhi said in a tweet that power and politics deciding “what is art, what is literature and what students should read” would destroy the pluralistic characteristic of society.
S Venkatesan, a member of CPI (M) Lok Sabha, said on his Twitter account that the removal of the book was reprehensible and he wanted the measure rescinded.
The Secretary General of the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association, Aadhavan Dheetchanya, announced a virtual protest meeting on Thursday evening to oppose the removal of the book from the syllabus.