MU takes out poem from syl­labus

The de­ci­sion comes af­ter stu­dents ob­ject to poet’s com­par­i­son of wa­ter to breasts of Adi­vasi girl

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - TE ST -

In the face of ob­jec­tions by stu­dent ac­tivist groups at the Mum­bai Univer­sity, the Univer­sity’s Board of Stud­ies, Marathi, has de­cided to with­draw a po­etry, ‘Pani Kasa Asta’ (The Na­ture of Wa­ter) from third-year bach­e­lor of arts Marathi syl­labus.

The Marathi poem, writ­ten by Dinkar Man­war, com­pares the colour of the wa­ter to that of breasts of tribal girls. The poem is part of ‘Drushya Naslelya Drushyat’ (A scene that is not ap­par­ent), Man­war’s de­but col­lec­tion of poems and was in­cluded in the syl­labus for the 2018-19 aca­demic year.

A line in the third para­graph reads: “Kiva adi­vasi porichya sthanansarkha jamb­hale” which trans­lates to “or vi­o­let like the breasts of an Adi­vasi girl”. Ob­ject­ing to the ex­plicit com­par­i­son, stu­dents from the com­mu­nity study­ing in the var­sity de­cided to hold a protest march on Oc­to­ber 1 to lodge their dis­sent. While stu­dents wings like Yuva Sena and Cha­trab­harti Vid­yarthi Sena (CVS) re­quested the vicechan­cel­lor to re­move the poem from the syl­labus, Akhil Bharatiya Adi­vasi Vikas Par­ishad threat­ened to stage a protest in the cam­pus.

Dr Nilkant Shere, mem­ber of Board of Stud­ies, Marathi, said, “On Satur­day, a meet­ing was held over the is­sue. Af­ter some re­flec­tion, we de­cided to with­draw the po­etry in order to avoid com­mu­nity is­sues. Rest other po­et­ries will be taught to stu­dents and come in their exam too.”

The meet­ing was called by the dean of Fac­ulty of Arts, Dr Murlid­har Kurhade and was at­tended by seven mem­bers from the Board of Stud­ies.

Even though the po­etry has been re­moved from the syl­labus of, stu­dents of Akhil Bharatiya Adi­vasi Vikas Par­ishad con­firmed that they will protest on Oc­to­ber 1.

Lucky Jadhav, pres­i­dent of Akhil Bharatiya Adi­vasi Vikas Par­ishad (North Ma­ha­rash­tra) said, “Even though the poem has been re­moved from the syl­labus, we will stage the protest and meet the vice-chan­cel­lor on Mon­day. He has called the mem­bers of our or­gan­i­sa­tion for a meet­ing. We want clar­i­fi­ca­tion from the Univer­sity au­thor­i­ties on the mat­ter.”

The poem forms a part of the syl­labus of the third year BA course (in­set) Man­war’s book Drushya Naslelya Drushyat

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