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MS University's decision to remove Arundhati Roy's book condemned


Chennai: Decision of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University to withdraw Arundhati Roy's book 'Walking With The Comrades' from its syllabus, is inviting wrath of political parties and the public alike.

The DMK on Thursday condemned the decision of the Tirunelveli based Manonmaniam Sundaranar University to withdraw Arundhati Roy's book 'Walking With The Comrades' from its syllabus.

The University withdrew the book on a complaint by the BJP's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) that the book supports violence and Maoists.

In a statement issued here, DMK's Deputy General Secretary A.Raja said it is for the Vice Chancellor, professors and education experts to decide as to what should be included as the syllabus.

He said the book was there for three years and has been removed after a complaint by the ABVP.

He said, "In post graduate courses, students are given a chance to read history and literature, and the students will take what is needed and leave out what is not needed".

Raja said in order to make education saffron coloured, the University has removed the book which is condemnable.

The book 'Walking With The Comrades' is based on Roy's visit to the Maoist camps.

Thol. Thirumavalavan, Viduthalai Siruthaigal Katchi leader and Member of Parliament protested the decision to withdraw the book and asked if the AIADMK government is an RSS government.

Responding to the controversy, the booker-winner writer said that it was her duty to write the book but not fight for its place in a university's curriculum. The author added that she had no idea that her book was a part of the curriculum, but was happy that it had been taught for several years. She also said that she was neither surprised nor shocked by the decision.

"It was my duty as a writer to write it. It is not my duty to fight for its place on a university curriculum. That is for others to do or not do. Either way it has been widely read and as we know bans and purges do not prevent writers from being read. This narrow, shallow, insecure attitude towards literature displayed by our current regime is not just detrimental to its critics. It is detrimental to millions of its own supporters. It will limit and stunt our collective intellectual capacity as a society and a country that is striving for a place of respect and dignity in the world," Arundhati Roy said.

The Manonmaniam Sundaranar University has replaced Roy's book with 'My Native Land: Essays on Nature' by M.Krishnan.

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