ABVP Protests against Distortions: Delhi University to revise controversial syllabi of English, Political Science, History and Sociology
ABVP workers and DUSU leaders during the Satyagraha in North Campus of University of Delhi
A thirty-hour long Satyagrah by ABVP workers and DUSU forces the Delhi University administration to revise the controversial syllabi of English, Political Science, History and Sociology, which portray the nationalist leaders and Hindu Gods in poor light
New Delhi: Following strong protest from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), the Executive Committee of University of Delhi finally returned the controversial syllabus of English, Political Science, History and Sociology to the respective departments for revision. The concerned departments have been asked to modify the syllabi based on the recommendations of the DU’s undergraduate curricular review committee (UGCRC). The University’s Academic Council (AC) has already taken the same decision after a section of the teachers opposed the inclusion of certain topics in the syllabus.
The major objections include showing the nationalist leaders in ‘poor light’ in a fictional story on Gujarat riots, the inclusion of Muzaffarnagar riots and lynchings, teaching Marxism and Maoism and showing Hindu gods as members of LGBT community.
According to reports, in the Core Courses, the term Vedic Age (Rig Vedic and Later Vedic) has been omitted, while the period has been considered in loosely formed terms. Also, the histories of heroes like Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Maharana Pratap have been given less significance and even their names have not been mentioned.
Equally, in the History syllabus of Discipline-Specific Courses, a chapter titled ‘From Revolution to Great Leap Forward’ in DSE-IX has been eliminated. This part deals with the rift between the brand of communism followed by USSR and China respectively. It also deals with the massive purge of intellectuals and common citizens that was carried out by the Chinese government in order to bring socialism to its logical conclusion in China. In DSE-X (Art and Architecture: Histories of monuments and sculptures), Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, which basically deal with the growth of art and architecture with inspiration from Hinduism and other Indian ways of worships, has been removed. Also, ‘Southeast Asia in a Global Context: Connected Histories; Cultural Interactions, War and Conflict, which deals with the interaction of South East Asia with the Indian subcontinent and how a connected form of history has shaped in both the regions has been removed.
"The undercurrent of the entire English syllabus is against the Bharatiya Sanskriti. More than three dozen papers have been prepared by a group of about a dozen people who seem to be the jack of all trades. The organisations like Bajrang Dal and RSS have been shown in bad light in the background story of the Gujarat riots. The Hindu deities have been depicted as queers, and for this references have been given from Bhagvat Puran, Shankar Puran and Shiv Puran. All such objectionable portions must be deleted forthwith"
— Rasal Singh, Academic Council Member, DU
In DSE-XI the complete syllabus has been changed to show industrialisation and development as a threat to the environment. In DSE-XII, the entire portion on the history of Korea, which is dotted by imperial policies of China and Japan, has been eliminated. In DSE-XIII, cultural change and continuity under colonialism, which includes popular culture and religious traditions (Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and animism), Race and colonialism, and Colonialism and its forms of knowledge, have been removed. Also, the World War-II and the struggle against American imperialism have been removed.
In DSE-XIV, ‘Railway Strike and Emergency’ has been removed and ‘Regional Political Aspirations: Shiv Sena’ and ‘North-East: Assam/Nagaland’, and ‘Right-Wing Nationalist Politics: The Jan Sangh and the rise of the BJP’ have been included. In this section, a deliberate attempt has been made to sanitise the rule of Congress and Left parties. The word ‘Emergency’ has been deleted. Only the JP Movement has been retained.
It is not for the first time. Communists have distorted our history to present an entirely different India to the students. It is simply their agenda to establish the left ideology in the young minds. The ABVP demands revisiting the syllabus of DU in order to ensure that the real heroes of Bharat get desired place in the curriculum and the Bharatiya youth study the real history of the nation”— Monika Chaudhary, National Media Convenor, ABVP
The General Elective Courses, the whole syllabus of GE-II has been reformulated to include modern topics. Topics related to ancient Indian advancements in astronomy, mathematics, medical science have been purposefully omitted. While the study of the decimal system and zero has been included by putting it under the heading of contested histories to undermine the Indian advancement in the mathematics of the erstwhile period. The course of GE-IV has been totally revised and aspects such as folk traditions and cultures of orality, religious processes, food and attire, sports, etc. have been removed. The syllabus of GE-V has been revised in a way that it only emphasises class struggle with respect to natural resources. There is no change in the GE-VI syllabus. However, it does not include the history of Jana Sangh, BJP, etc. and only covers the history of Congress, Naxalism and left parties.
In Paper II (1.2) CGDI-Unit 4, the inclusion of national security laws seems to criticise the government and mainly nationalist government and nationalist ideology. An attempt has been made to raise human rights violations by national security laws. There are four readings for this topic—by left leaders including Ujjwal Singh, G. Haragopal, AG Noorani and SAHRDC. The ABVP and DUSU leaders want total removal of this section.
In paper XII-IPTI (5.2), there are seven thinkers. Among them three are Hindu thinkers, one Buddhist and two Muslims. Muslim thinkers from the medieval period have been included, why there is not a single Hindu thinker from the medieval period? In Indian tradition, the person is less important and the idea is more important. So, we find the development of many ideas without a person. Why not include the ideas of Vedic polity—Sabha, Samiti, etc.?
Prior to the EC meeting, ABVP workers and DUSU office-bearers organised a Satyagraha for 30 hours demanding the withdrawal of the controversial passages from the syllabus. They ended the Sataygraha when the University Administration agreed to all their demands. The Satyagraha, started at North Campus on July 19 evening, ended on July 21. Students’ demand to set up a Committee for Review the syllabus was accepted.
Addressing the protesting students, ABVP national joint organising secretary Sriniwas said the sole motive of the ABVP and DUSU-led Satyagraha is to oppose the left conspiracy of introducing new biased content in the syllabus. ABVP state Secretary Siddharth Yadav said: “We are e-generation students and you can’t fool us.” DUSU president Shakti Singh and Joint-Secretary Jyoti Chaudhary said they would not let the DU become a place of spreading propaganda by a particular ideology. They hoped the new curriculum will help the students compete globally. n