The Challenges of Curriculum Decolonisation within the Postcolonial Indian Context: A Case Study

Even in the postcolonial contexts of the Global South, Universities as sites of knowledge production and dissemination, have reinforced only colonial knowledge systems which involved a systemic exclusion of alternative epistemologies of categories like indigenous people, gender, race, and sexuality. This is probably because decolonization has not been an easy process. This paper highlights the challenges of curriculum decolonization within the postcolonial Indian context with the English literature curriculum as a case. Citing the recent controversial removal of renowned Bengali author and activist, Mahasweta Devi and two Dalit authors’ texts from the undergraduate English syllabus at Delhi University, this paper discusses how the internal ethnic, caste, class, religious, and gender-based divisions determine the voices that get incorporated within the “decolonized” curriculum versus the voices, that get excluded within the postcolonial Indian society. Thereby, this paper problematizes the act of curriculum decolonization within the internally diverse and hierarchical postcolonial context of India.