Thursday, July 25, 2013

University Pulls Out Poem From Syllabus. Poet Has Alleged Terror Links

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Calicut University in Kerala has pulled out from its syllabus a poem penned by Arabic poet and an ex-Guantanamo detainee Ibrahim al-Rubaish following media reports of his alleged links with terror outfit al-Qaida.

…The Dean's report, without commenting on the literary quality of the poem, said it would be against moral values to prescribe a poem penned by a person who is said to have terrorist links, the sources said.

Link

I haven't read the poem, yet.

Let us just assume that the allegation has its merits and the poet does have links to the terrorist organisation. Now my questions:

  • Where does it say that a terrorist CAN'T compose a good poem?
  • How does the quality of his literary work get diminished because of his association to a terrorist organisation?

"Obstacles do not exist to be surrendered to, but only to be broken". Inspiring, isn't it? Guess who said that. It was Adolf Hitler [Mein Kampf - Chapter 2].

Another quote that Hitler allegedly used (as per some sources): "Do not compare yourself to others. If you do so, you're insulting yourself"? [Source 1, Source 2]

Ask any intellectual or guru and he will say those are inspiring quotes (or something along those lines).

Romeo and Juliette isn't a classic because Shakespeare penned it. Bhanusimha Thakurer Padabali, Valmiki-Pratibha, Nastanirh – These works aren't great because they were penned by Rabindranath Tagore. In fact, it is the other way around. We know them only because of their classic compositions some of which are named above. Shakespeare and Rabindranath Tagore are considered great literary figures BECAUSE of these works! Their personal life / associations are of little or no significance to these works.

To the dean of Calicut University - Your syllabus includes teaching the poem. Look at the merits of the poem and not of the poet. If you find the poem lacking in merit or content - remove it from the syllabus. But removing it just because you do not approve of the poet is ridiculous.

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