PRESIDENCY UNIVERSITY has introduced a paper on mass violence and killings for postgraduate history students to help them understand why such incidents take place and how to prevent them. University vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia said that the university was the first academic institution in the country to introduce the paper titled: “A History of Mass Violence: Twentieth Century to the Present”.
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“This is one of the most relevant topics today. It is a problem faced by every nation and the students must know the reasons that lead to genocides. It is a serious study, and to the best of my knowledge, no other university in the country has introduced this subject for academic study,” Lohia said while speaking to The Indian Express.
As per the curriculum, third semester students of history MA will be qualified to read the paper. The paper is the brainchild of history professor at the varsity Navras Jaat Aafreedi, who is also the course coordinator. The paper, however, does not include any mass killing incident that has taken place in the country.
“The paper aims to identify the behaviour of perpetrators as well as other factors, which are interlinked with mass violence. It is an issue that is very frequent in every nation,” professor Aafreedi said.
“The reason behind introducing this subject is its complete absence in academics. It is very important to know why such incidents occurred across the world. It is relevant today as some of the countries across the world are witnessing such massacres,” he added.
Responding to queries on why mass killing incidents that had taken place in India did not feature in the paper, the history professor said: “I wanted to retain the objectivity. The students must not get influenced by what happened in the country. They first need to reach a certain level of maturity before they could decipher incidents of mass violence in the country. The paper has examples of such violence in South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other conflict areas, which demand a great deal of study.”