Published: 20th May 2018
JNU's new National Security Centre to have course on 'Islamic terrorism', students not happy
The students have given their criticisms against the course in writing and are hoping that a committee will review the syllabus of the course
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union have requested for a committee to be constituted in order to review the administration's suggestion to include a subject called 'Islamic Terrorism' under the newly approved 'Centre for National Security Studies'.
The suggestion has sent shockwaves across the university with many professors as well as students condemning the move, calling it Islamaphobic and claiming that it will only encourage it. The course was suggested at the academic council meeting on Friday. "I first heard about it at the meeting, there was no discussion about it prior to that like so many other decisions lately," said Simone Khan, a member of the JNUSU. Over the last few semesters, the students have been complaining that none of their recommendations or criticisms have been given any space and despite dissent, the administration goes ahead with its decision.
The students are hoping things will be different this time with a proper committee in place to review the syllabus."There are so many things that are problematic about the course, it will result in communalisation. This is not the way that terrorism is to be taught. This is an attempt to saffronise our campus," she added.
"It is just an excuse to discuss non-existent concepts like Love Jihad and spread fear among people. We cannot let this happen on campus. We have given our dissent in writing and we're waiting for the committee's decision, if it doesn't go our way then we'll have to discuss with other students and figure out our next steps," the student union member added.
While currently everyone is focussed on the 'Islamic Studies' part, another student Apeksha Priyadarshini points out that no one seems to be asking why there is even a centre for national security, A while ago, a minister had suggested that we have a tank on campus so as to instill patriotism in us, this is an extension of that same idea. It is the RSS's propaganda to spread hypernationalism among the students," she explained.
"We've had army generals come as special guests for programmes organized by the administration. We've had the brazen display of jingoism in the garb of "Kargil Diwas". So who comes to teach courses in this discipline? Army veterans? What will students be taught? What perspective of "national integrity" will be propagated through this discipline? What will be the case studies the professors will use to make a point? The use of human shields by the Army in Kashmir? The brutalization of children and their lifelong maiming through pellet guns? Or the use of rape as a weapon against Adivasi women in Chhattisgarh or Manipur?" she questioned.
"What the Vice Chancellor is doing, by opening a research centre around a course like this, is far more dangerous than is being captured in our imagination," she added.