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The politics of poetry

A poem was removed from Pakistani textbooks after it was found to contain what appears to be a blatant endorsement of the Bush Administration, reports Alex Kumi of The Guardian. The poem was published in a collection of writing intended for school-aged youths called A Textbook for English, following the Pakistani government’s decision to deregulate the publication of textbooks. Written by an anonymous author and entitled “The Leader,” it is both a 20-line enumeration of qualities that make a great leader and an acrostic that spells, with the first letters of each line, “President George W Bush.”

Reports Kumi, “The revelation is likely to embarrass Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf, who has been criticised at home for taking what has been perceived to be a pro-American stance in supporting the Bush administration’s so-called war on terror…. An investigation has been launched to find out how the work was not spotted by the committees which censor the content of textbooks.”

Related links:
Click here for the full story and excerpts of the poem, as published in The Guardian
Click here for the full poem, complete with study notes