Tamil Nadu university withdraws Arundhati Roy’s book after ABVP complaint

Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tirunelveli has withdrawn Arundhati Roy’s book, Walking with the Comrades, following objections from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated student group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), according to the ABVP’s local unit.

The book, which is an account of the face-off between Maoists and the Indian government, has been removed from the postgraduate English syllabus and replaced with essays from M Krishnan’s My Native Land.

The ABVP opposed the teaching of the book, and said it was based on an “anti-national subject”.

“About 10 days ago, the university’s postgraduate literature students brought this issue to us and we found controversial topics in the book,” said Gopi Gangadaran from the ABVP’s Tirunelveli unit.

“We met the vice-chancellor K Pichumani a week ago and submitted a memorandum, following which a committee met and decided to withdraw the book because the issues we raised are valid. The book highlights Naxalism and is anti-Indian and anti-humane.”

Roy’s book, published in 2011, had been part of the varsity’s syllabus since 2017.

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