The selection of syllabi is the discretion of varsity authorities, no doubt. But, if they select them sans keeping an iota of national interests in mind, it becomes disastrous to the country and the people. But, a silver line in the otherwise dark atmosphere is the stiff opposition such actions invites. Recently Calicut University, in Kerala went through such a phase, thanks to the syllabi selection committee’s decision to include the poem, “Ode To The Sea” in the text book of BA course. Even though the poem looked secular and innocent, the author is infamous throughout the world by virtue of his position as the ‘Mufti’ (Chief Justice) of Al-Qaeda. ABVP and Vidyabhyasa Samrakshana Samiti (VSS – Save Education Forum), protested against it. As soon as the matter came up the ABVP came out in different colleges in the State with campaigns and protests.
When the protests mounted Vice Chancellor Dr. Abdul Salam went to quick action. He told VSS and ABVP leaders that he would take strict action if the allegation is true. And, he did justice to what he said – the poem was removed from the syllabus. Vice Chancellor Dr. M. Abdul Salam’s order was issued after receiving the report of Dr. MM Basheer, Dean of Faculty of Language and Literature and head of the enquiry committee appointed by VC, which reads: “it is a good poem from the literary point of view. However, given the controversial background of the author including the poem in the degree syllabus goes against ethical values. Hence it is better to remove the poem from the textbook.”
Suddenly pseudo secularists got together cutting across their colour difference; CPM and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) were up in arms and came out as natural bedfellows. All pro Muslim organisations joined the chorus. Naturally they ‘could see’ dark hands of the so-called Hindu Fascists behind the demand for removal of the controversial poem. They said that it is poem that matters, not its author. Moreover to oppose a creative work is the negation of the right to express. But, Sangh parivar leaders spoke in unequivocal terms that when the students study a lesson, naturally the author also is subject to study. They told who the author is: Ibrahim Al-Rubaish alias Ibrahim Sulayman Mohammed Arabaysh is an Al-Qaeda terrorist, still active in Arabian Peninsula.
The authorities have either ignored or