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Deepika’s Lies & Farah’s Motivations – The Handmaid’s Tale at Ladies’ College Colombo

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Deepika’s Lies & Farah’s Motivations – The Handmaid’s Tale at Ladies’ College Colombo

December 14, 2021: According to the website of Ladies’ College Colombo, “the young Irish CMS missionary, Lilian Nixon with Elizabeth Whitney founded the College for ladies in 1900 on the highest ideals of Christian ethos”. It states that Lilian Nixon, Principal 1900-14, and predecessor of Eesha Speldewinde and Deepika Dassenaike, believed that “Ladies’ College should be a place of sound learning”, “and a place for spiritual growth within the life of the Church” and that “that belief has been fulfilled in the passing years”. The Ladies’ College school hymn which begins with “Our Father by whose servants our house was built of old” is however perhaps inadvertently prophetic in referring to its members as “comrades”.

The teacher of English Literature Farah Macan Markar wants to use Margaret Atwood’s obnoxious and repugnant novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” and thereby expose obscenity, degradation and graphic pornography on her unsuspecting students: When a girl objected to the text and requested the selection of more edifying literature, Farah Macan Markar told the girl that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is excellent and suggested that the girl ceases her education in English Literature if she is uncomfortable with reading about the sights, sounds, rhythms, odours and climax of deviant sexual behaviour that it describes.

Since Farah Macan Markar could be right about the excellence of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, the girl’s father consulted a wise and experienced lady who has taught young people English Literature for over a generation, possesses an MA(Oxon) in English Literature and who is also a school principal. She is reputed in Sri Lanka as a foremost literata and she has organised internationally acclaimed festivals of literature in the island. This expert of Canadian birth assured the father that “there is much that is objectionable in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’” and that it is certainly not suitable for young girls and could be of interest to “very, very mature” readers. Since Farah Macan Markar remained hell-bent on exposing the students to the novel of her choosing, the girl’s father communicated the expert’s opinion to the principal of Ladies College Colombo Eesha Speldewinde and the Vice Principal Deepika Dassenaike:

Eesha Speldewinde responded in writing to the father’s appeal to provide the option of an alternative novel for her daughter to study, stating that Farah Macan Markar is of “impeccable” character even though she wants to teach the students a novel that describes beds with stains of dried seminal fluid, women praying to be filled with semen and doctors inserting their fingers in vaginas and offering insemination. Eesha Speldewinde further stated that the expert that the father had consulted agrees with the position taken by Ladies’ College, and she placed her signature beneath that blatant lie. It was perhaps intended as a death blow to the father, and Eesha and her sidekick Deepika would not have anticipated that the father would cross-check.

The father did speak to the expert again who re-iterated her original wise opinion and expressed surprise and disappointment that Deepika who had spoken to her on the topic would misrepresent her opinion. This is the same Deepika Dassenaike, principal-in-waiting at Ladies’ College Colombo, who loudly and adamantly asserted, speaking she said as an English teacher herself, that “Othello” was lewder than “The Handmaid’s Tale”. When the slander of the expert was communicated to the school authorities, they did not bother to acknowledge the communication, admit to their false statement, apologise nor rectify.

There is precedent for approaching perpetrators to seek rectification of their wrongs, initially personally and thereafter with peers, as described here: When the perpetrators persist in their error, it is justifiable to resort to external means, whether higher authorities in educational governance, education ministries, legal counsels, families, human rights and child protection organisations, the police, or any other concerned party.

It is remarkable that the subject teacher Farah Macan Markar applied a double whammy on the students by coupling the salacious nauseous disgusting and degrading Handmaid’s Tale with the drama “Indian Ink” which, while not quite in the same abysmal class as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” has as its main theme eroticism and the endorsement of yielding to erotic desires. The heroine in “Indian Ink” is a loose-living English poetess who denudes herself regularly, including with an Indian widower with whom she has a promiscuous sexual encounter - and then she reflects on the heat, and contemplates a tongue tip sliding down a naked body.

When the syllabus offers many options of much more wholesome and edifying literature, the question arises as to why this teacher unrelentingly desires to expose the students to the two most objectionable options, going as far as to say that selection of texts is her prerogative, when clearly that is contrary to the intentions of the syllabus. Ms Markar apparently prefers that students drop the subject rather than showing sensitivity to and addressing legitimate needs of her students, and she repeatedly inquired of the young girl if she is going to drop the subject. It might be inferred that this teacher prefers her students not to engage in literature at all if they do not align with the ideas she wishes to inculcate them with. While a psychoanalytic psychiatric or psychological assessment of Ms Markar and a Freudian investigation of any frustrations or repressions that may dominate her behaviour need not necessarily be recommended, it may be a matter of concern that Farah Macan Markar has openly and publicly supported the institutionalisation of sodomy and deviant sexual practices in Sri Lanka and publicly identified herself as a member of the “LGBTQI+ community”, that she probably alienated herself against her Islamic parents and Islamic upbringing by means of her rebellious marriage outside her childhood religion, that she teaches even Shakespeare from a radical feminist perspective - particularly in light of and possible association with her unilateral selection of perverse and depreciative teaching material for laying on the minds of her students.

Where there is risk, there needs to be informed consent. It might be useful when material that is potentially harmful is to be given to students, there should be factual information shared with students and parents so that the decisions taken would be in the best interests of the students. Even in nations that may be traditionally categorised as liberal when compared to Sri Lanka, there have been many endeavours by concerned persons to restrict the controversial “The Handmaid’s Tale” where students in their susceptible and formative years are concerned. It is questionable as to whether a Christian missionary school (at least in origin) in Colombo should be recklessly determined on it. The school authorities have ignored the request to inform, let alone seek consent, but called the girl who prefers to preserve her purity into their office and crooned to her that “The Handmaid’s Tale” will be good for her. Eesha Speldewinde and Deepika Dassenaike told the girl that she has no choice but to sit in on classes doing “The Handmaid’s Tale” even if she will not this novel for it her exam - unaware that the dystopia that they, two Commanders, have created at Ladies’ College, mirrors the Gilead of Atwood.

Mothers and fathers - remember that your children are not only your own. They are gifts you have received, and you are their stewards, to care for them, nurture them and then to offer them back to the Giver, so that built and equipped by you, they may serve Him. Do all you can to protect them from scandal and be wary that the source of scandal is often those in whose custody you entrust their education to.

By: "A Caring Parent" and In-the-field Contributor to Extremely American


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