Published: 19th July 2019
DU curriculum row: ABVP, DUSU on Satyagraha to press DU's EC to remove offensive portions
The Satyagraha will go on till the EC meeting ends on Saturday. The teachers have written to the PM against the ABVP gatecrashing AC meeting
With the fate of the controversial texts in the Delhi University syllabus yet to be decided, till the Executive Counsel meet on July 20, the members of the DU Students' Union and ABVP have started a Satyagraha from 5 pm on July 19. The protesting students who want the chapters on Godhra riots of 2002, gender fluidity, political issues and mob lynching have also released a memorandum with three more demands.
The protesters demand the inclusion of a student representative in the university's Academic Council, setting up of an external review committee to analyse the syllabi and forming of a system that includes all stakeholders in academic matters. "The students are taking the trouble and spending the entire night here. We hope that the administration sees this and brings the right changes. We are on a Satyagraha, just the way Gandhiji did," says Siddharth Yadav, ABVP's Delhi State Secretary. He says that the protesters will greet the EC members with a rose and the memorandum, on Saturday.
The ABVP and the DUSU don't have any demands on who should form the review committee. "The committee can consist of anyone. Our universities have a lot of eminent professors. We only want a committee that can look at all the objections and rejections towards the syllabus. The current syllabus is very one-sided," says Siddharth. In case the review committee approves the syllabus, the ABVP plans to write to the Vice President and the UGC.
Siddharth adds that the ABVP isn't against the anti-RSS content. "If you want to mention the Godhra riots, do mention it. But apart from that, add chapters on other big riots that the country has seen. Also, the Hindi curriculum does not have any works by the Dalit writers. Also, Ambedkar's ideas were removed from the chapters on Dalits. This is unacceptable," he says.
A few days ago, a few ABVP activists had gatecrashed the university's Academic Council meeting, raising the same demands. 18 Rajya Sabha MPs and two DU teachers have now written a letter to the Prime Minister condemning the incident. "The tense situation that ensued affected the serious deliberations of the Academic Council and the work of syllabus revision was curtailed due to this intrusion. It has also been reported that the professors and other members who participated in the academic deliberations were openly threatened. Such behavior obviously raises concerns about the physical safety of the teachers concerned," it reads.