After objections were raised by a section of teachers over the undergraduate syllabus of English, History, Science, Political Science and Sociology, Delhi University’s Academic Council (AC) Tuesday referred the syllabus of English and History back to the respective departments for reconsideration, thereby refusing to pass it as it is, AC members said.
On the syllabi for Political Science and Sociology, some AC members said they too had been sent back for modification, while others claimed they were passed with “minor modifications”.
Student outfit ABVP also protested against the proposed syllabus. The National Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF) claimed the story ‘Maniben alias Bibijan’ introduced in the English syllabus, based on the Gujarat riots, has shown characters from the Bajrang Dal and RSS in a “bad light” and as “murderers”.
NDTF member Rasal Singh, also an AC member, objected to inclusion of Muzaffarnagar riots and lynchings in the syllabus. He claimed the new syllabus portrayed some Indian gods as being part of the LGBT community.
Singh said that instead of papers like ‘Indian Writing in English’, “objectionable” papers like ‘Literature and Caste’ and ‘Interrogating Queerness’ were being introduced.
With respect to the History syllabus, the NDTF said Naxalism and Communism was sought to be taught in papers such as ‘Democracy on work’.
In Political Science, their objection was to the teaching of Maoism in the ‘Social Movements’ course, and in Sociology, it was the absence of the Vedic period and joint family.
Singh told The Indian Express that “all four courses had been referred back”. However, Saikat Ghosh, another AC member, claimed, “There was pandemonium because of sloganeering by ABVP outside and NDTF inside. In this commotion, English and History were told their syllabus would require major modifications and were referred back, whereas Political Science and Sociology were passed with minor modifications.”
Some AC members claimed that later in the day, ABVP members tried to barge into the Vice-Chancellor’s office. They allegedly surrounded the V-C lodge and demanded that the heads of departments of History and English along with AC member Ghosh be handed over to them. However, ABVP denied the charge and said they only protested peacefully outside. DU’s Academic Council comprises 166 members, with the Registrar as the Chair.
The body consists of heads of departments as well as elected teacher representatives. While AC has sent the syllabus back for reconsideration, the department committee will be the final authority on the matter.