Delhi University deletes prominent Dalit Writers from their BA Hons English Syllabus

The University of Delhi academic council has dropped celebrated Dalit authors Bama and Sukartharini “arbitrarily” and has also dropped short stories by Mahasweta Devi from BA(Hons) Syllabus . The Council aslo approved the implementation of the National Education Policy from 2022-2023 and Four Year Undergraduate Programme , even after receiving a strong dissent from its members, in its 12 hour long meeting held on Tuesday.

The committee asked the English Department to delete the celebrated short story of Mahasweta Devi, “Draupadi” – a story about a tribal woman without giving any academic logic. The Academic Council member who dissented pointed out that Draupadi has been taught in DU since 1999 owing to its seminal academic value.

Moreover, the Committee refused to accept any short story by Mahasweta Devi despite her renowned status globally as a writer. In a note, they said that the Oversight Committee first took the decision to remove two Dalit authors Bama and Sukartharini and replaced them with the Upper Caste writer Ramabai.

Moreover, the committee has made changes in the DSE ( Discipline Specific Elective ) paper titled ‘Interrogating Queerness’ the Oversight Committee arbitrarily deleted sections from the units at the expense of the academic rigor of the paper. Changes are also made in the DSE paper titled “Pre Colonial Indian Literature ” the Oversight Committee instructed the department to replace “Chandrabati Ramayana” with Tulsidas.

A total of 15 members of the Delhi University Academic Council gave a dissent note stating that there had been ‘maximum vandalism’ in LOCF (Learning Outcome-based Curriculum Framework) English Syllabus for the Fifth Semester.

Several elected members of the Academic Council gave their dissent to Item no. 9.14 pertaining to the functioning of the Oversight Committee. “We urge the university to follow due process and to abide by the recommendations of the committees of Courses of the concerned departments, which are the only competent bodies to frame syllabus of the various courses offered by them.”

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