‘Syllabus inclusive, has diversity of content’: DU after dropping Mahasweta Devi, Dalit authors

After facing flak over removing author Mahasweta Devi’s short story and works of two Dalit authors from the fifth-semester syllabus of the BA (Hons) English course, the University of Delhi (DU) has said “the syllabus of the course has been passed through a democratic process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders and necessary deliberations at appropriate forums”.

According to the DU statement, “A careful perusal of the present syllabus clearly brings out the inclusive nature of the syllabus under the reference in terms of its diversity of content and the inclusion of pioneering works of scholars.”

The statement added that the varsity “subscribes to the idea that the literary content forming part of the text in a language course of study should contain materials that do not hurt the sentiments of any individual and is inclusive to portray the true picture of our society, both past and present,”

In the Academic Council (AC) meeting held Wednesday, 15 AC members submitted a dissent note against the OC and its functioning. They alleged there had been “maximum vandalism” in LOCF (Learning Outcome-based Curriculum Framework) English syllabus for Semester V.

They said the OC first decided to remove two Dalit authors — Bama and Sukhartharini — and replaced them with “upper-caste writer Ramabai”.

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