In another blow on academic freedom, the Oversight Committee of the Delhi University removed two dalit authors — Bama and Sukirtharani — from the English syllabus. The Committee also decided to remove author Mahashweta Devi’s story Draupadi from the syllabus.
Bama is a Tamil dalit feminist writer and Sukirtharani, a dalit Tamil poet. Draupadi is the story of a dalit woman.
The Indian Cultural Forum condemns this evident exclusion of women writers and marginalised voices from curriculum.
In 2016, soon after the death of Mahashweta Devi a stage adaptation of her story Draupadi at the Central University of Haryana was met with hooliganism followed by administrative clampdown.
A stage adaptation of Mahasweta Devi’s short story “Draupadi” by the Department of English and Foreign languages at the Central University of Haryana (CUH) was performed on September 21, to be met with hooliganism, media trials and, finally, an administrative clampdown. The event was organised in memory of the renowned writer and activist, who died on July 28 this year.
The masks came off soon after condoling writer Mahasweta Devi’s death. Unmasked, the right-wing pseudo-nationalists were on the prowl for their daily target. They found it in a play staged in the University of Haryana; the play was based on Mahasweta’s story, “Draupadi”. Is this hypocrisy? Ignorance? Habitual hate-mongering? Or all this and something more, a choice between culture that includes people and culture that excludes people?