“There are 300 versions of the Ramayana, but A.K. Ramanujan chooses to quote five examples that are bound to hurt our sentiments. [Do] They want students to learn about those five,” asked Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad State secretary Rohit Chahal on Monday, referring to the protest march taken out by teachers and students against the Delhi University Academic Council's decision to scrap the essay from the history syllabus.
“We have not read the essays that are going to replace this one, but we are very clear that we will not tolerate such subject matters becoming part of the Delhi University syllabus,” added Rohit at a press conference, adding that some parts of the essay contained pornographic content that was not fit to be taught in the university.
ABVP members had barged into and vandalised the History Department in 2008 demanding that the essay be withdrawn. However, after the AC decided to scrap the essay, the ABVP has been celebrating its triumph, sticking posters around the campus, thanking the Vice-Chancellor for his “right” decision.
The ABVP was also joined by the teachers' association, the National Democratic Teachers' Front. “The essay says things like Sita was born out of Ravana's cheek and that Hanuman was a womaniser,” said Agnivesh Avasti, who teaches Hindi at DAV College.
His opinion was seconded by other professors who were part of the Academic Council that took the decision. “If the text is not easily available in the market and the subject matter is controversial, then our decision to scrap the essay is not at all problematic ,” said Prof. Inder Kapahy.