Eminent citizens exhort DU to reinstate English syllabus texts

Texts were dropped by statutory bodies of DU following recommendations by an oversight committee.  

Over 1,100 writers, civil society members and academicians have written to the Delhi University urging it to reinstate texts written by Mahasweta Devi, Bama and Sukirtharini in the English (Honours) syllabus.

The texts were dropped from the syllabus by statutory bodies of DU following recommendations by an Oversight Committee.

Along with academicians and students from various universities across the country, the petition was endorsed by several writers, including Arundhati Roy, Vikram Chandra, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, historians Romila Thapar and Ramachandra Guha and actors Shabana Azmi, Sharmila Tagore and Nandita Das.

Draupadi by Ms. Devi, Sangati by Bama and two poems by Sukirtharini were among the texts, which have been deleted from the English honours syllabus.

Dalit oppression

“The deleted texts are seminally important as they help realise the systemic oppression of the Dalit and Adivasi communities that was prevalent, especially in gendered terms, and provide a better appreciation of our contemporary ethos and polity. Is this not something that the young men and women of independent India need to know and engage with? How else will a better and equal world be shaped? Or are we to relegate the protesting woman and the Adivasi to the peripheries of the syllabus of Delhi University 2021? What are we afraid of?” the petition read.

Urging the university to revisit its decision, the petition further added, “Decades after 1947, Indian literature in translation and in English were allowed entry into the colonised precinct of English syllabus of Delhi University. Is the process to be halted in terms of caste, class and gender contours of authors and the worlds that they bring alive?”

Earlier, English professors from several colleges across DU had objected to the statement issued by the varsity on the revised syllabus.

In the statement issued, professors said that the English honours syllabus had been passed through a democratic process “until the entire process was flagrantly violated and bypassed by the Oversight Committee.”

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 1:56:42 PM |

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