TN: University withdraws Arundhati Roy’s book after ABVP complaint

Photo by Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

Acting on a complaint from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli city decided to withdraw a book authored by Arundhati Roy.

‘Walking With The Comrades’, a book based on Roy’s visit to Maoist camps, was part of the university’s English postgraduate syllabus since 2017. A committee of academic deans and board of studies members decided that it was inappropriate to teach a controversial book.

“We have replaced it with M Krishnan’s My Native Land: Essays on Nature,” Vice-Chancellor K Pitchumani told The Indian Express.

ABVP filed a complaint with the university authorities accusing the book of “openly supporting the killing fields and riots by the anti-national Maoists”, according to The Hindu. The right-wing student group also threaten to launch protests if the book wasn’t dropped from the syllabus.

BJP Tamil Nadu spokesperson said it was a ‘big win’. But Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi criticised the university’s move. DMK Deputy General Secretary A. Raja also condemned the move by Manonmaniyam Sundaranar University.

“Governance and politics deciding what art and what literature students should study will destroy the diversity of a society,” she tweeted.