DMK, CPI (M) condemn withdrawal of Arundhati Roy’s book by MS University

Manonmaniam Sundaranar University on Wednesday, removed the book, ‘Walking with the Comrades’, from its syllabus, in the wake of objections raised by the ABVP

Updated - November 13, 2020 02:41 am IST

Published - November 12, 2020 01:09 pm IST - CHENNAI

A. Raja. File

A. Raja. File

The DMK and the CPI (M) on Thursday condemned the decision of the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University to remove writer Arundhati Roy’s book from the syllabus prescribed for M.A. English literature students following objections from the Akhil Bharthiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and others.

“It is an attempt to saffronise education and a mindset against alternate views,” DMK deputy general secretary and former Minister, A. Raja said.

The University, on Wednesday, removed the book, ‘Walking with the Comrades’, in the wake of objections raised by the ABVP. The book was based on Ms. Roy’s visit to Maoist hideouts and camps in forest areas.

“Is Mr Pitchumani, the Vice-Chancellor, following the footsteps of Anna University Vice-Chancellor Surappa, who imposed the Bhagavad Gita in place of Tirukkural in the syllabus,” Mr Raja asked in a statement.

He also wondered how Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami would justify the decision of succumbing to pressure from “the student wing of the BJP”, since the Higher Education Department was in the hands of the State government. Mr .Raja said though it was left to the Vice-Chancellor and educationists to decide the curriculum, it should be noted that the book was part of the syllabus since 2017 and was only withdrawn following pressure from the ABVP.

“The ABVP that forced Delhi University to withdraw A.K. Ramanujan’s book on Ramayana has extended its tentacles till Tirunelveli. By removing the book, the postgraduate students have been denied the opportunity to learn literature and history from different backgrounds,” he charged. He said it was an extension of the communal forces’ design to brand their rivals as urban Naxals and anti-Indians.

“Actually, the communal forces are against the pluralistic nature of the country. Students have to learn and unlearn about Hitler and Idi Ameen, and such efforts would improve their intelligence,” he said.

DMK women’s wing leader and MP Kanimozhi said, “If politics is going to decide what is art, literature, culture and curriculum, it is very dangerous for the pluralistic society.”

CPI (M) MP Su. Venkatesan demanded the withdrawal of the decision to remove the book, saying a curriculum should be decided only by the syllabus committee, standing committee and the senate of the university.

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