In light of the recent arrests of activists who have been working around tribal rights, Delhi University banned two books, which were prescribed as History readings, for ‘glorifying Naxals’ and ‘legitimising conversion of tribals to Christians’.
Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar, by Nalini Sundar and Against Ecological Romanticism: Verrier Elwin and the Making of an Anti-modern Tribal Identity, by Archana Prasad are the books which are being removed from the course based on the logic that they are ‘not fit’ for DU students.
Against Ecological Romanticism: Verrier Elwin and the Making of an Anti-modern Tribal Identity is a set of essays which aim to challenge the preconceived notions about tribal life, economy and identity while stating the reality if their lives. Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar talks about the political changes taking places in Bastar which in turn affected the socio-economic status. It traces these developments from colonial India to postcolonial India.
This is a superb book, the best scholarly study of adivasis ever published. DU’s “ban” shows this once admired public university in very poor light. Indian democrats, read this book. https://t.co/FJvgC0b5Hi
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) August 30, 2018
Both the authors have been highly appreciated for their work in their respective books and have won prestigious awards like Ester Boserup Prize for Research on Development from Copenhagen in 2016 and the Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies in 2017. Sundar points out how it was a couple of BJP leaders’ objection which led to this unjustified decision. She was backed by historian Ramachandra Guha who emphasised on the scholarly importance of the book for academic purposes.
Sundar’s book is an exceptional expose of the scandal of rural governance, a chronicle of State excesses, an anthropologist’s view about how conflicts perpetuate themselves and an account of how India’s democracy is degraded when few are watching.
— Sushil Aaron (@SushilAaron) August 30, 2018
Feature Image Credits: Culture Trip
With inputs from Times of India