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Delhi university must reinstate the removed texts and Apologize-Dalit intellectual collective

 

Dalit Intellectual Collective

With the select removal of texts by three towering writers in Bengali and Tamil: Mahashweta Devi, Bama and Sukirtharani, from Delhi University English Honours syllabus, the exertion of Brahmanical, patriarchal, communal prejudice and domination in higher education once again becomes painfully visible. These authors' writings accentuate the life-narratives of Adivasis, Dalits, marginalized women and minorities. They have been translated into many languages and have been read, taught and discussed across the world for many years now, including in many international universities.      

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It is hence bewildering that the short story "Draupadi," selections from the novel Sangati (Events), and two poems:"Kaimaru" (Debt) and "En Udal" (My Body) were abruptly removed by the Academic Council on the recommendations of its Oversight Committee despite opposition from at least sixteen of its council members. These literary texts speak of the resistance of Adivasi women against state oppression, the discriminatory travails of Dalit women in caste-infected Indian villages, and the searing injustice of manual scavenging. The council, however, claimed that these texts "hurt the sentiments" and "(are not) inclusive in nature to depict the true picture of the society" and provided these as reasons for their removal from the syllabus.

This outrightly casteist and circumscribed mentality of the DU academic council must be rejected and condemned. Whose sentiments were hurt by these texts? Surely not the sentiments of those whose oppression was portrayed here! Must the sentiments of the privileged always shape academic programs? Literary study in India has, over the years, enlarged its dimensions and possibilities, particularly through writings that drew upon social movements, such as the Women's, Dalit and Adivasi resistance to oppression.

It is also important to note that Women's Studies and Dalit Studies in the academic corpus have definitely changed the literary scene in the country since the past few decades, while enriching the Social Science disciplines. Maheswata Devi, Bama and Sukirtharani belong to this rich tradition of protest literature that has found an eager readership, since it imagines an inclusive and better society for everyone. In such a scenario, it would have been appropriate and wise to include such voices from many more regions and languages across the country. Instead, the council chose to summarily remove three texts by established, award-winning, and wellknown women writers. This is entirely unacceptable. Delhi University must not only reinstate these texts in the syllabus but also express its apologies to writers Bama and Sukirtharani; even as many across the world, including state governments in India, express their protest against their removal.

Signatories in Support: No, Name Designation Institution/Place


1 C Lakshmanan Convenor, Dalit Intellectual Collective Chennai
2 K. Satyanarayana Professor EFLU Hyderabad
3 Beena Pallical General Secretary National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, Delhi
4 Twin Cities South Asia Solidarity Collective Collective Admin Twin Cities South Asia Solidarity Collective, Minnesota
5 Cornel West Professor Union Theological Seminary, New York
6 Gogu Shyamala Writer Telangana
7 Kalyani Thakur Writer BDS/Kolkata
8 Roja Singh Professor St. John Fisher College, New York
9 R. Ravi Kumar Executive Secretary National Dalit Forum
10 Nedunkilli Rajaraman Acquisition & Cataloging Officer US Library of Congress
11 Simona Sawhney Associate Professor IIT Delhi
12 M Madhava Prasad Independent Scholar and Retired Professor (EFLU) Hyderabad
13 Sumeet Mhaskar Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Student Affairs) O.P. Jindal Global University
14 Divya Dwivedi Associate Professor (Philosophy & Literature) Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
15 Githa Hariharan Writer New Delhi
16 Gajendran Ayyathurai Research Scholar Goettingen, Germany 3
17 Samuel Asir Raj Professor Sociology, MS University,Tirunelveli
18 Jerome Samraj Assistant Professor,Economics Pondicherry University
19 Dickens Leonard Assistant Professor CSSSC, Kolkata
20 Jayaseelan Raj Assistant Professor Centre for Development Studies
21 Rupal Oza Professor Hunter College, CUNY
22 Ratik Asokan Writer New York
23 Judith Misrahi-Barak Associate Professor University Paul Valery Montpellier,France
24 K. Laxminarayana Professor Hyderabad Central University
25 Shampa Roy Associate professor Miranda House, DU
26 Vinita Chandra Associate Professor Ramjas College
27 Gabriele Dietrich Professor Emerita TTS Madurai
28 Karen Gabriel Associate professor St. Stephen's College
29 Papori Bora Assistant Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
30 Preeti Dewan Associate professor Deshbandhu College
31 Ashok Kumar Associate Professor Ramjas College, Delhi
32 Rajendra Parihar Associate Professor Delhi University
33 G. Arunima Professor and Director Kerala Council for Historical Research
34 Ayesha Kidwai Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
35 Bindhulakshmi Associate Professor TISS Mumbai
36 Vikas Rawal Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
37 Dhruv Raina Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
38 M. Aravendan Professor NIFT Chennai
39 Bishnupriya Dutt Professor JNU
40 Umanath Faculty MIDS
41 Roopa Dhawan Associate Professor Ramjas College
42 Richa Nagar Professor University of Minnesota, USA
43 Parthasarathy Muthukkaruppan Faculty EFL University
44 Sharmila Associate Professor Dept. of HSS, IITB
45 V Sujatha Professor JNU 4
46 Nivedita Menon Professor JNU Delhi
47 Sujata Patel Kirsten Hesselgren Visiting Professor Umea University
48 Udaya Kumar Faculty Member JNU, New Delhi
49 Richa Tewari Writer N/A
50 Mridula Mukherjee Professor (Retd.) JNU
51 Nicole Ranganath Asst Adj Professor University of California, Davis
52 Ajay Skaria Professor University of Minnesota
53 Debjani Sengupta Associate Professor IP College, University of Delhi
54 Tanvir Aeijaz Associate Professor University of Delhi
55 Sadhna Arya Associate Professor, Satyawati College (E), DU
56 S. Lalitha Assistant Professor RGNIYD, Sriperumbudur
57 Riya Singh PhD Research Scholar Ambedkar University, Delhi
58 Nirupama V Student University of Hyderabad
59 T. Sowjanya Assistant Professor TISS, Hyderabad
60 Lata Singh Associate Professor JNU
61 Gurpreet Kaur Researcher Delhi
62 Solanki Chakraborty Research Scholar University of hyderabad
63 Rita Manchanda Consultant Independent
64 Prem Ram M R Researcher Independent Researcher
65 Ekabali Ghosh MPhil Student Jadavpur University
66 Maria Preethi Srinivasan Associate Professor & HoD, English Queen Mary's College
67 Pyoli Swatija Lawyer Supreme Court of India
68 Aparna Jith Research scholar University of Hyderabad
69 Apoorva Tripathi Student IIT Delhi
70 B. Arthi PhD scholar Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu
71 Swetha T Student Payyanur College, Payyanur
72 Karuna DW Assistant Professor Azim Premji University
73 Manju Edachira Independent Scholar Kolkata
74 Anbalagan Software Engineer Bangalore
75 Rakhi Sehgal Researcher Independent
76 Sheba Chhachhi Artist/Photographer Independent5
77 Antony Arul Valan PhD candidate and Graduate Assistant (English) Ashoka University, Sonipat
78 Shabitha S P Research Scholar Queen Mary's College, Chennai
79 Ira Raja Faculty Delhi University
80 Zeba Tamkanat Moazzam PhD research scholar University of Hyderabad
81 Aparajay Research Associate MSSRF Chennai
82 Malini. C Research Scholar QMC, Chennai
83 Siddhu T.V English Teacher Chennai, Tamil Nadu
84 Surbhi Khurana Counselor Shreetara
85 Siddhu T.V English Teacher Chennai, Tamil Nadu
86 Aadhavan PhD Research Scholar University of Madras
87 S. Ilavarasi Research Consultant Freelancer
88 Samuel Jacob Kuruvilla Assistant Professor University of Kerala
89 Nandan S Rosario Student IIT Delhi
90 Anuradha Other Hyderabad
91 Bijulal Assistant professor MG University
92 Gowtham Raja Sathish Assistant Professor Voorhees College, Vellore.
93 Rensa Vats Student Delhi University
94 Alivia Ghosh Language Editor K12 Techno Services
95 V. Ramayyan Politician, Former Professor Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu
96 Akalya Graphic Designer Young People for Politics & KaaniNilam
97 Azra Saman PhD Scholar Jamia Millia Islamia
98 Huma Shaz PhD Scholar Presidency University
99 S Gopinath Guest Faculty in English Periyar Govt Arts College,Cuddalore
100 Sumit Kumar Dey Playwright Kolkata
101 Akash Independent Thoothukudi
102 Ilangovan Rajasekaran Journalist Frontline The Hindu.
103 Arun Karthik B PhD student IIT kanpur
104 K Deepanjan Assistant Professor Tetso College, Dimapur, Nagaland
105 Saravanan V PhD Student Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
106 Meera Sidhardhan Independent Researcher New Delhi
107 Nikhil Contractual editor OUP India
108 K. Kishore Assistant Professor Voorhees College, Vellore
109 Janani PhD Scholar IIT, Madras
110 Gautami Kandhare Student Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
111 Aatika Student JNU
112 Abha Jeurkar Researcher Tata Institute of Social Sciences
113 Pranav Jeevan P Student IIT Bombay
114 Preeti Mehra Journalist Independent
115 Nove Research Scholar Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
116 Florence Laldinpuii Research Scholar Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
117 Ravi Prakash Student JNU
118 I. Hubert Joe Associate Professor University of Kerala
119 P. Kumar Assistant Professor Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur
120 Packiaraj Retired Professor Chennai
121 S Mohana Subramanian Trade Unionist AIBOC (Indian Bank)
122 Mahima Nayar Researcher NA
123 Chandra sekhar Lecturer SAS Govt Degree College
124 Karthik Gunasekar Volunteer Chennai Climate Action Group
125 Mohan Rao Former Professor (JNU) Bangalore
126 Minaxi Brahma Assistant Professor Ramjas College
127 Shambhavi Prakash Assistant Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
128 Chirashree Das Gupta Associate Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
129 D.Chandrasekar Senior Research Fellow MIDS
130 Shraddha PhD candidate University of Hyderabad
131 RK Srividya Features Writer and Copy Editor The Times of India
132 Matta Srinivas Research scholar University of Hyderabad
133 Sasikanth Senthil Coordination, Tamilnadu Congress Committee Chennai
134 Ameet Parameswaran Assistant Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
135 Dhivya PhD Student, Pol.Science University of Delhi
136 Srinivasan Ramanuajm Author Chennai 7
137 Aruna Burte Individual Pune
138 Antony Sebastian PhD. Scholar Madras Christian College
139 Vanita Mukherjee Independent Researcher Free Lance
140 Nakka Suresh Research Scholar Andhra University
141 Monika Sirohi Student University of Hyderabad
142 Swathi Metla Guest faculty University of Hyderabad
143 Vikas Bajpai Assistant Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
144 Bivitha PhD student University of Hyderabad
145 Senthil Kumar Assistant Professor Loyola College, Chennai
146 Bruno Richardson Social worker Labour rights
147 Sannaki Munna Student University of Hyderabad
148 Santhi N.S Independent Researcher New Delhi
149 Dontha Prashanth Research Scholar University of Hyderabad
150 Rohini Hensman Writer and Independent Scholar Bombay
151 Dyuti A Doctoral Researcher University of Sussex
152 P.Jiva Degree Lecturer GDC Shanthinagar, Gadwal
153 Rajavel N Assistant Professor Tiruchirappalli
154 Rahul Reghu Research Scholar MIDS
155 Chitra Harshvardhan Professor JNU
156 Nandita Narain Associate Professor St. Stephen's College, Delhi University
157 Mallikarjun Sajjan Secretary General Gulbarga
158 Sujata Gothoskar Member Forum Against Oppression of Women
159 Amanpreet singh Lecturer Govt. Sec. School, Namol, Punjab
160 Sharda Dixit Principal (Retd) AISEC, Delhi Chapter (Joint Sec.)
161 Amiya Kumar Mohanty Retired Professor of History Bhubaneswar
162 Chinmayee Student St Stephen's College, Delhi University
163 Ashwini Shanker Associate Professor Deshbandhu College
164 Amita Joseph Advocate Delhi
165 Pradip Kumar Datta Retd. Head, Physics, (Presidency University) Kolkata
166 Ramesh Patnaik Convenor A. P Save Education Committee 8
167 Abha Dev Habib Associate Professor Miranda House, University of Delhi
168 Antara Dev Sen Journalist Delhi
169 Savithri Singh Retired Delhi University
170 Anuradha Bagadthey NA Kolkata
171 Vibha Maurya Professor (Retd) University of Delhi
172 Barun Lala Self Employed Kolkata
173 Manpreet Kaur Associate Professor Shyama Prasad Mukherji College (W), DU
174 Krishna Roy Principal Bethune College
175 Swapna Bandyopadhyay Teaching Professional Sodepur
176 Amitabha Ray Self Employed Delhi
177 D. Ghosh Student University of Hyderabad
178 M. Gunasekaran Senior Scientist (Retd) ICAR, New Delhi
179 Srijani Kar Ex- student Delhi University
180 Puja Rani Associate Professor University of Delhi
181 Vandana Mahajan Feminist Independent
182 A K Ramakrishnan Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
183 Janaki Abraham Teacher New Delhi
184 Anjali Das Writer SOI, Kolkata
185 Amit Upadhyay Assistant Professor TISS, Hyderabad
186 Venkateswara Rao Kolluru State councillor APTF Nellore
187 Sharmistha Ghosh Teacher, Writer MPDBV, West Bengal
188 Amrita BhallaAssociate Professor in English Jesus and Mary College
189 Pradip Datta Professor (Retired) JNU
190 Anupama Srivastava Singer Freelancer
191 Jobin Thomas Assistant Professor Jesus and Mary College
192 D Jagannathan Former Principal, Dyal Singh College Pensioner
193 Svati Joshi Academic Delhi university
194 Saswati Sengupta Associate Professor Miranda House, Delhi University
195 Ophel Hansda Student University of Hyderabad
196 Avinash Kumar Asst. Prof. JNU
197 Shubham Solanki PhD scholar IIT Delhi
198 Sankar Oomaidurai Assistant Professor VNR VJIET, Bachupally, Hyderabad
199 Sreehari MA Student IIT Madras
200 Shibani Pande NA NA
201 Deepika Tandon Associate Professor Miranda House
202 Neeraj Malik Associate professor Retired Delhi University
203 Bhupinder Chaudhry Associate Professor Delhi University
204 Amber Habib Professor Shiv Nadar University
205 Chander Prabha Reader (Retired) Delhi University,Delhi
206 Sharmila Purkayastha Associate Professor Miranda House
207 K. Padma Advocate Advocate, Visakhapatnam
208 Ravinder Goel Former Teacher (DU) Delhi
209 Anandini Dar Assistant Professor Ambedkar University Delhi
210 Swathi M P Doctoral Candidate Central European University,Vienna
211 Sudeshna Chatterjee Associate professor Sarojini Naidu College for Women
212 Yogitha S. Assistant Professor GFGC, Saragur
213 Indu Chandrasekhar Publisher Delhi
214 Roma Dey Research Officer and Assistant Professor,Ambedkar Chair NISWASS
215 Sadique Asst Professor Center for Development Education and Communication NISWASS Bhubaneswar
216 B. Venkat Rao Assistant Professor EFL University, Hyderabad
217 Keval Arora Associate Professor Kirori Mal College, Delhi University
218 Shalini Baxi Assistant professor Kirori Mal college
219 Dileep R Assistant Professor Government Brennen College,Kerala
220 Aadya Pandey Film maker Mumbai
221 Ashwini Kumar Assistant Professor MVCOE
222 Sangeeta Student DU
223 Renu bals Associate Professor DU
224 Anil Kumar Associate Professor Motilal Nehru College
225 A Sunil Dharan Associate Professor Motilal Nehru College, DelhiUniversity
226 Gorvika Rao Assistant Professor Miranda House, University of Delhi
227 Sarah Hilaly Professor Rajiv Gandhi University
228 Vidya Das Arora Associate Professor Gargi College, Delhi University10(Retd)
229 Ajay Bhardwaj PhD Candidate UBC Vancouver
230 Kishor Accountant Delhi
231 Julie Vig Assistant Professor University of Toronto
232 Sudipto Basu PhD Researcher JNU
233 MMP Singh Former DUTA President and Editor, Naya PathMagazine Janwadi Lekhak Sangh , Delhi
234 Arun Kumar General Secretary AIFUCTO Patna
235 Ramavatar Sharma Social Activist Sagar (MP)
236 Sonam Student Freelancer
237 Ian Woolford Lecturer La Trobe University, Melbourne,Australia
238 Yamini Student University of Delhi
239 Ria De Journalist Dalit Camera
240 Dolores Chew Coordinating Committee Member CERAS (Centre sur l'Asie du Sud),Montreal
241 Mritiunjoy Mohanty Professor Indian Institute of Management,Calcutta
242 Malini Bhattacharya Former professor, Jadavpur University Kolkata
243 Suddhadeep Mukherjee Student Jadavpur University
244 Janet Lumb Asian Canadian Montreal
245 Ramnarayan Nature Educator Uttarakhand
246 Qudsia Rahman Student Ashoka University
247 Ananya Pandey Student Ambedkar University
248 Alisha Vijay Student Gurgaon
249 Shubham Magar Student Nashik
250 Sohini Banerjee Student Jadavpur University
251 Ajmal Freelance journalist Bangalore
252 Nisha Biswas Writer Kolkata
253 Hazeena Researcher HCU
254 Vishwanath To reinstate and apologize Delhi
255 Sayantani Nath Former Student Rishi Bankim Chandra College
256 Sumit Chowdhury Filmmaker Independent
257 Alisha Student Jharkhand
258 Soumilee Dasgupta Student Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University
259 Madhvi Zutshi Asst. Prof. Univ. of Delhi
260 Sylvia Karpagam Public Health doctor Karnataka
261 Jooneed KhanWriter, Journalist, Human Rights Activist Canada
262 Raj Kalyan Retired Royal Mail England
263 Vinay Gidwani Professor University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (USA)
264 Priyadarshini Research Manager TISS Mumbai
265 Gaurav Bharadwaj Manager Banking
266 Oishi Banerjee Undergraduate student Bidhannagar College, Kolkata (under West Bengal State University)
267 Sukriti Research Scholar Panjab University Chandigarh
268 Sadhu Binning Writer Vancouver, Canada
269 H. Vageeshan Assistant professor NALSAR University of Law
270 Divya Karan Non-academic PIO No affiliation
271 Himabindu C Research Scholar University of Hyderabad
272 Kirity Roy Secretary Masum, Kolkata
273 Purba Basak M A student Jadavpur University
274 Ayesha Vemuri PhD Candidate McGill University, Montreal, Canada
275 Rukma Prince PhD Scholar University of Hyderabad
276 Dipak Roychowdhury Headmaster, Govt. Sponsored High School Behala Sikshayatan, Kolkata
277 Sarmistha Retired Govt Officer NA
278 Kriti Budhiraja PhD student University of Minnesota
279 Rajasi Kundu Student Jadavpur University
280 Samik Dasgupta Assistant ProfessorAnanda Chandra College, North Bengal University
281 Rushdia Mehreen Teacher and PhD Student Université du Québec à Montréal, & Vanier College, Montreal, Canada
282 Marie Boti Vice-Chairperson International Women's Alliance
283 Wan Manan Professor Alma Ata University, Indonesia
284 Rizowana Hussaini PhD Student Tezpur University
285 Vijay Ram S MA Development and Labour Studies
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 12
286 Pravalika DA Pradan
287 Aparna Sundar Independent researcher Toronto, Canada
288 N. A. Jacob Associate Professor Ramjas College, University of Delhi
289 Cheriyan Alexander Associate Professor (retired) St. Joseph's College, Bengaluru
290 Anuradha Sajjanhar Post-doctoral Fellow Australian National University
291 Tapan Kumar Sarkar Physician Krishnagar, West Bengal
292 Ardranandana S Postgraduate student JNU, Delhi.
293 Joy Chakraborty Student Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University
294 Ananta Sabar Lecturer Rayagada Autonomous College,Odisha
295 Praveen Business Analyst Bangalore
296 Mousumi Mandal Assistant Professor Presidency University
297 Eisha Marjara Filmmaker Montreal
298 Paramita Research scholar Jadavpur University
299 Vishal Jamkar Student Minnesota
300 Sharmistha Das Self employed West Bengal
301 Rashmee Shree Padhi Student Bhubaneswar
302 Sneha Ph.D Scholar Bengaluru
303 Bihan Student NA
304 Ranbir Johal Professor Kwantlen Polytechnic University
305 Banani Das Govt Officer & Principal C C M Sriniketan Dt Birbhum
306 Mohit singh Student Delhi
307 Shefalee Artist Delhi
308 Arul Anthony Service Representative Nexgen - Australia
309 Niharika Grover Student Ambedkar University
310 K.A. Manikumar-Formerly Professor, History, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University Tirunelveli
311 Snigdha Kumar PhD candidate University of Minnesota/USA
312 V Rukmini Rao Executive Director Gramya Resource Centre for Women, Secunderabad
313 Shritama Bose Reporter Thane
314 Mark Lancy Sebastian News Editor WIR
315 Purushottama Bilimale Professor (Retired) Vasanth Kunj, New Delhi 13
316 Priyanjali Student Ambedkar University
317 Dhruba Mukherjee Retired Professor (Geology) Universíty of Calcutta
318 Adhinarayanan R -Water and Agriculture expert MSSRF, Chennai
319 Swarnim Khare PhD Candidate University of Michigan
320 Lalitha M Research Scholar IIT Madras
321 Deeptangshu Das Assistant Professor Dibrugarh University
322 Vallari Sanzgiri Journalist Thane
323 Debleena Tripathi Theatre Artist/Scholar University of Toronto
324 Jayasree Subramanian Associate Professor SRM University AP
325 David Faust Librarian University of Minnesota
326 Ambikai Community worker South Asian Women's Community Center
327 Tarun Kanti Naskar Professor Jadavpur University, Kolkata
328 Harinder Graduate student TISS Hyderabad
329 Deepak Kapur-Distinguished Professor of Computer Science University of New Mexico,Albuquerque, USA
330 Santhosh D Masters Student (English) Pondicherry Central University
331 Sangeeta Kamat Professor University of Massachusetts
332 Pasha M. Khan Associate Professor McGill University
333 RudrashishChakraborty Associate Professor Kirori Mal College, DU
334 Vinod Mubayi Co-Editor Insaf Bulletin
335 Joydip Film Editor, Filmmaker Kolkata, West Bengal
336 Pradip Saha Doctor Kolkata
337 Anjali Choksi Professor Dawson College
338 Wing-Kwong Wong PhD candidate Indian institute of technology
339 Anshu Malhotra Professor University of California, Santa Barbara
340 Paroma Sanyal Associate Professor IIT Delhi
341 Archana Kaul Secretary Secretary Srijanatmak Manushi Sanstha
342 Sumeet Agarwal Associate Professor IIT Delhi
343 Vasudha Dalmia Professor Emerita University of California, Berkeley
344 Nazia Amin Research Scholar IIT-Delhi
345 Julietta Singh- Associate Professor of Literature and Gender University of Richmond, USA 14 Studies
346 Aniruddha Dutta Associate Professor University of Iowa
347 Shishir Jha Professor IIT BOMBAY
348 Ratheesh R Faculty Dept. of HSS, IIT Bombay

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