ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Opposing Excisions from DU Syllabus

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In a shocking display of prejudice against literary representations of gendered Dalit and Adivasi oppression and resistance in decolonised India, the works of three women authors, namely Mahasweta Devi, Bama, and Sukirtharani, have been removed from the BA (Hons) English syllabus of University of Delhi on the recommendation of the Oversight Committee on 24 August 2021.

Bama and Sukirtharani articulate the lived experience of being Dalit women in contemporary India. They illumine how caste oppression colludes with modes of patriarchy to produce gendered oppression and exploitation. The two writers would have constituted a significant component of a core/compulsory paper of the final-year BA (Hons) English syllabus, titled Womens Writings, which aims to explore past and contemporary female lives in India (and the world)the promises kept (or not) and the work in progress. Is this not something that the young men and women of independent India need to know and engage with? Both Bama and Sukirtharani are Tamil Dalit authors. Is it not important to teach and know, in a central university located in Delhi, the regional diversity of contemporary India? How else will an inclusive, better, and equal world be shaped? Reacting to the excision of these Dalit women writers, Bengali poetwriter and the president of the Bangla Dalit Sahitya Sanstha, Manohar Mouli Biswas, expressed deep sadness and apprehension at the marginalisation of those who should be foregrounded.

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Published On : 17th Jan, 2024

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