A students’ body at the University of Mumbai (MU) has objected to a stanza in a poem by renowned poet Dinkar Manwar, which is part of the syllabus of the third year Bachelor of Arts course. In the poem, Manwar compares the colour of water to that of breasts of tribal girls.
The students, who are part of the organisation Chhatra Bharti, met the MU vice-chancellor and registrar on Friday and questioned the inclusion of Manwar’s work in the syllabus.
The poem, ‘Paani Kasa Asta’ is part of ‘Drushya Naslelya Drushyat’, Manwar’s debut collection of poems published by Popular Prakashan in 2014. The book was included in the syllabus for the 2018-19 academic year by the University’s Board of Studies (BoS) earlier this year.
Sachin Bansode, president of the Mumbai chapter of Chhatra Bharti, said: “The sentence could have two meanings.
The university should clarify which meaning we should study and what was the reasoning behind including this chapter in the syllabus.”
The vice-chancellor is learned to have assured the students that their concerns would be addressed. A university spokesperson said that the V-C has also directed the dean to call an urgent meeting of the Board of Studies and take a decision regarding the poem.
Manwar is an award-winning poet and editor whose works has been published in several literary magazines. He has written two collections of poetry and artwork so far. Despite repeated attempts, he could not be contacted.