The inclusion of writer Arundathi Roy’s essay “Come September” by the Calicut University (CU) in their BA English third semester’s core paper has kicked up a row with BJP taking it up with Governor and Chancellor Arif Muhammad Khan demanding its removal, terming it as “anti-national speech”.
BJP state president K Surendran said the essay questions the unity and sovereignty of the country.”The said essay is taken from a speech given by Ms Roy in the United States in 2002, challenging the government’s policies and India’s constitution. Discontent is brewing amongst academics and the general public against the inclusion of this speech which is anti-national and portrays our country in a bad light,” he said in the letter.
“Ms Roy was introduced by the textbook’s editors Murugan Babu and Abida Farooqi as the sane voice who spoke out against the hanging of Afzal Guru. The hanging was termed as a dark chapter in the history of our republic,” he added.
He alleged that Roy claims in the essay that the Indian state has unleashed terror on the non-violent struggle for Kashmir’s independence.
“The textbook claims to introduce the students to different styles of prose. But this rabble-rousing speech is nothing but cheap rhetoric. And the reasons for including this incendiary speech is questionable. The students have been forced to learn a speech given to an anti-India audience against the Kargil war. This is akin to insulting those brave soldiers who gave up their lives to protect our territorial integrity,” K Surendran said.
Further, Surendran said, ” I do not doubt in my mind that the sponsors of this speech are supporters of terrorist organizations and Islamic fundamentalism. The said speech also sings paeans to dreaded terrorist organizations like Hamas and Al – Qaeda. The speech alleges that India’s Hindus are fascists and I believe this is a deliberate attempt to divide people into religious lines.”
BJP state president demanded to withdraw of the textbook from the syllabus and also action against those responsible for its inclusion in the syllabus.
“I want to bring to your notice the plight of our students. They are forced to study writings against our nuclear test and building of our dams. I humbly request you to remove the said text from the syllabus and take action against those who forced the students to learn this anti-national speech,” the letter added.