Et tu? English Literature classes in Indore jail


“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Forty-six burly men listen intently as their ‘teacher’ reads out Mark Antony’s funeral oration. This is not an English Literature class at some upscale college, but a barricaded hall of Indore Central Jail, with armed guards watching over dozens of rough-looking men.

The prisoners are being taught Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar by a fellow inmate — a former bank official, who expects to taste freedom in about a year. Brijesh Kumar Pal, 64, is the son of an English teacher and is in jail for forging documents. He has been holding literature classes for the inmates for the last one year. “I never imagined that I would be teaching in jail. But the enthusiasm of the inmates keeps me going,” Pal, who has an MA in Economics plus a BSc and BEd under his belt, told TOI.

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