Kerala has managed to become the epitome of progress in India. Right from promoting transgender rights to their stance on the recent beef curry fiasco, the state has always stood up for the causes it champions. The latest on the progress front is the inclusion of Bob Dylan’s poetry in the Kerala Class 10 State Syllabus English textbook.
The Nobel Prize winner’s work featuring in the Kerala’s curriculum is a feat not achieved by any American High School. Now cynics may go on to call it a publicity stunt. But far more than mere publicity, the aim of the education board is to include the words that deeply impacted generations across the globe. His work is said to have propelled the American Civil Rights Movement and his songs have become anthems.
However, this isn’t a first where Dylan’s work has been featured in any curriculum. His poetry is a section in the syllabus of Ivy League universities. Moreover, the Cambridge University Press published The Cambridge Companion to Bob Dylan, placing the musician in the company of Baudelaire, Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, and other literary giants, as reported by The Washington Post.
Literature studies are not the only academic stream where Dylan’s work has worked its way into. His poems are present in various cultural classes and even legal studies! The Washington and Lee Law Review puts forward that Bob Dylan is “the most-cited songwriter in both judicial opinions and law-journal articles.” And it just doesn’t stop here. The study material to be taught in schools in Kerala is the same as that taught in the Dartmouth University!
Instructor Kevin Barents, who teaches a course titled 'Bob Dylan: Music and Words' at Boston University, explained to The Washington Post that “the accretion of detail and breadth of subject and emotion in his work as a whole is as staggering as that of Homer or Shakespeare.”
“He’s been an important link between some of the great poets behind him, like Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, and in turn he’s been an inspiration and subject for poets like Paul Muldoon and [Allen] Ginsberg.”
“Gonna change my way of thinking, make myself a different set of rules.
Gonna put my good foot forward and stop being influenced by fools.”
- is definitely something the Kerala Education Board must have pondered upon!
Information source: homegrown
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