He is regarded as one of Englandâ€™s greatest writers, whose poems were praised as the nationâ€™s favourites and whose books were lauded as classics of children’s literature.
But it appears that Rudyard Kipling has fallen out of favour with todayâ€™s generation of students, after it emerged that his â€œIfâ€ poem has been scrubbed off a building by university students who claim he was a â€œracistâ€.
Student leaders at Manchester University declared that Kipling â€œstands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rightsâ€.
The poem, which had been painted on the wall of the studentsâ€™ union building by an artist, was removed by students on Tuesday, in a bid to â€œreclaimâ€ history on behalf of those who have been â€œoppressedâ€ by â€œthe likes of Kiplingâ€.
In lieu of Kiplingâ€™s If, students used a black marker pen to write out the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou on the same stretch of wall.
today, as a team, we removed an imperialistâ€™s work from the walls of our union and replaced them with words of the maya angelou – god knows black and brown voices have been written out of history enough, and itâ€™s time we try to reverse that, at the very least in our union ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/VT5N3zlfyN
â€” Fatima Abid (@fatimabidSU) July 16, 2018
Sara Khan, the liberation and access officer at Manchesterâ€™s studentsâ€™ union (SU), blamed a â€œfailure to consult studentsâ€ during the renovation of the SU building for the Kipling poem being painted on the wall in the first place.
â€œWe, as an exec team, believe that Kipling stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights – the things that we, as an SU, stand for,â€ Miss Khan said.
19 Jul 2018