Published: 15th July 2019
Story on Godhra Riots to be scrapped from syllabus? DU's Academic Council meeting to take a 'historic' call
The English Department said that the texts have been a part of the syllabus since 2010 and it was surprising that the members had a problem after nine years
Members of the Standing Committee of the Delhi University has suggested that texts on Gujarat riots, caste system and queerness be dropped from the undergraduate syllabus at a meeting on Thursday. Members of the panel felt that the texts showed the Sangh, Bajrang Dal and the RSS are shown in a bad light and suggested that some Hindu gods believed in same-sex marriages. The English Department, though, has decided to contest the appeal at an Academic Council meeting that is in progress now.
The text in question, Maniben alias Bibijaan, is set in the backdrop of the Godhra riots of 2002. The story, written by Shilpa Paralkar, is about an old Hindu widow — mother of a member of Gujarat Yuvak Bajrang Dal — and a Muslim man, the same age as her, who was burnt alive along with his granddaughter. National Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF) member, Rasal Singh told the media that it shows the Hindu groups in a bad light and that it can create a wrong perception about them. The department said that the texts have been a part of the syllabus since 2010 and they did not understand why the members had a problem after almost a decade.
“The paper on queerness has very controversial content. It claims that some deities also believed in same-sex marriages. The department has, on the other hand, removed a paper on Indian writings in English. It’s against the University Grants Commission’s (UGC’s) Learning Outcome-based Framework (LOCF) guidelines, which clearly states that the syllabus should give relevance to Indian ethos,” a member told Hindustan Times.
But the paper on Indian writings in English has not been removed, claim the Department, but has merely been shifted from the core group to elective. Under the present Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS), students get to study core or compulsory and elective or optional subjects.