The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has opposed inclusion of Arundhati Roy’s book ‘God of Small Things’ in the curriculum of undergraduate under Sambalpur University because of her stand on Kashmir and Maoists. The book has been included in English (Honours) course in Plus-Three. The ABVP has strongly condemned its inclusion.
Roy has remained a votary of freedom and has campaigned for referendum on Kashmir. Also, the writer keeps expressing her empathy for tribals and Maoists’ cause. Terming Roy as “traitor and controversial”, the ABVP said the inclusion of her book is unfortunate and has exposed the immaturity of the varsity authorities when she has been censured from all corners for her stand and observations. Questioning the Booker Prize awardee on her support for Kashmiri separatists, they have asked Roy to explain how can she ignore the plight of Kashmiri Pandits who are living as refugees in their own land.
The ABVP has said how could the university include a book of a writer when she herself has been questioning the integrity and unity of the country. It has also dwelled on her remark on Maoists. Roy has criticised the Government’s actions against the Maoists calling it “war on the poorest people in the country”. According to her, the Government has abdicated its responsibility towards the people and launched the offensive against Naxals to aid the corporations. The ABVP said when the Maoists are resorting to mindless killing of innocent people, Roy, by extending her support, is undermining and disrespecting the Constitution of India.
Demanding that initiation of her book in the curriculum would send out wrong signals to young students, they have demanded that the Vice-Chancellor immediately withdraw the book from the curriculum. State Secretary of ABVP, Hitesh Kumar Sahu, said if the varsity does not act, the ABVP would take to the streets and launch widespread stir.
Contacted, Public Relations Officer and spokesperson of Sambalpur University, Dr Rajat Kujur, said the book “God of Small Things” has won a Booker Prize in 1997 and has been prescribed in numerous universities across the country. Sambalpur University does not support or negate the statements of Arundhati Roy. The book has been approved by the Board of Studies and Sambalpur University recognised Roy for her literary credentials. ‘’We have nothing to do with her personal views and opinion,’’ he said.