No “controversial” or “provocative” content will be part of the Delhi University’s (DU) curriculum, officials said on Wednesday, a day after the varsity’s academic council referred back the syllabi of four courses following protests by some panel members over them being “anti-RSS”. The updated syllabi of the four departments, Sociology, Political Science, History and English, was referred back to them after protests from Professor Rasal Singh, a member of the academic council and the RSS-backed National Democratic Teachers Front (NDTF).
“No controversial material, which may hurt the sentiments of any organisation and community, will be included in the syllabi,” an official said. On Wednesday, the four departments were busy revising their respective syllabi according to the council’s suggestions. While the Political Science department removed the writings of Professor Nandini Sundar that had references to the agrarian crisis and Naxalism, the English department removed stories that apparently showed right-wing groups, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bajrang Dal, in a bad light.
Officials said it was alleged that the updated course material of the Sociology department did not have proper references to environmental ecology, writings on the joint family system, which were being added. The History department was also busy making changes following objections that it had included the history of the Left and had done away with that of Amir Khusro and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. An official said a meeting will be held on Thursday wherein departments will submit the revised syllabi. The syllabi will then be referred to the academic council and subsequently to the varsity’s executive council, which might meet next week.
Meanwhile, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Left students’ outfits protested against the “saffronisation” of the Delhi University’s curriculum. “The promotion of communal and casteist literature must not be tolerated. These attempts by the RSS are the death knell for what we call institutions of higher learning,” said Sumit Kataria, SFI Delhi state vice president. The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad condemned the alleged attempt by Left-wing professors and student organisations to brainwash students through new syllabi and their wider conspiracy to suppress democratic voices. The Left-wing organisations are spreading propaganda in the Delhi University, which is an attempt to hide the reality and arbitrarily try to influence the curriculum, the student body said.