The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shakespeare or Vajpayee'

If you can look into the seeds of time/And say which grain will grow and which will not,/Speak then to me.

Banquo to the witches in Macbeth

Atal Bihari Vajpayee could not be reached for comment, but he might not be too unhappy to learn he has failed to displace William Shakespeare from the textbook of an Indian university.

Choudhury Charan Singh University of Meerut was planning to pull Macbeth and Twelfth Night off the English syllabus for undergraduate students and replace them with Vajpayee’s books of poems, No War Again and We Shall Never Bend.

But for an Independence Day-eve meeting of the university’s council of wise men who rejected this suggestion, the change in the English syllabus would have gone through. The university’s working committee had made the modification on August 2.

If Shakespeare can be replaced by Vajpayee, why not George Bernard Shaw by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam' That was also the university’s intention. Arms and the Man had been thrown into the dustbin of history in favour of the President’s Patriotism Beyond Politics and Religion.

Neither will now presumably happen if vice-chancellor R.P. Singh is to be believed. “Such recommendations which defy logic will not be allowed to become a reality,” he said.

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