ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Realities of Caste Ignored

Your editorial “Ambedkar Cartoon Controversy” (EPW, 26 May 2012) has ignored a central question and that is: Who are politicians to question the decision of academic bodies consisting of competent scholars? Cartoons are useful pedagogical tools and are likely to generate interest in young readers much more than bland texts can achieve.

In the recent past the removal by Delhi University from its curriculum (<>BA course) of the essay “300 Ramayanas” written by A K Ramanujan provoked a debate though hardly comparable to the magnitude and intensity of the present one. That was a decision taken by academicians and not politicians. It was also a situation where the readership was meant to be adult. But it was a matter of faith and the university succumbed to it. What we have in the present case of the cartoon is an objection raised on the basis of real experiences, not faith. The pain of exclusion and humiliation is not an imaginary faith-based experience and no one knows it better than the experts who were behind the textbook.

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