Ground Report | New Delhi: Savarkar in Kerala Govt University; A controversy has erupted over the inclusion of the work of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and MS Golwalkar in the curriculum of a postgraduate course at Kannur University in Kerala.
Savarkar in Kerala Govt University
The books that have been approved for study at Kannur University include books by MS Golwalkar, Veer Savarkar, and Deendayal Upadhyay. He is accompanied by books by Rabindranath Tagore, Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and other such personalities. These books have been included in the syllabus of the third semester of the Post Graduate Public Administration course. This course is currently offered only at Government Brennan College, Thalassery, Kannur.
But what comes as a surprise to many is the way Kannur University president, MK Hasan, belonging to the Students Federation of India (the student wing of the CPI-M), responded to questions on this development, as did the entire is in the country. SFI stands against the alleged saffronisation of education.
“It has been covered in the comparative literature section and if it is studied in detail then only one will know what damage these people have done. We have already discussed this a few rounds and now we are going to find a way to find it. The public is going to debate the reaction out,” Hassan said.
Kannur University vice-chancellor Gopinath Raveendran, however, denied the allegations. He said he could not understand the trigger for the protest. He said, ‘Syllabus readers will not protest like this. They should learn more,” he said.
What is the controversy
An expert committee that drafted the curriculum recently renamed one of the main subjects – contemporary political theory – to be taught in the third semester as ‘Debate in Indian Politics’. The Expert Committee justified the name change as the program required more ‘Governance’ components. “Contemporary political theory has been debated in three papers in the first, second and third semesters. The vice-chancellor after considering the matter in detail has approved the revision of the syllabus,” said a university circular issued on August 17, Onmanorama reported.
The controversial parts are covered in Unit 2 of the course, titled ‘The Nation or the Nation in Indian Political Thought’.
It teaches the students about Rabindranath Tagore (Nationalism), Sri Aurobindo (Nationalism is religion), Mahatma Gandhi (hatred is necessary for nationalism), BR Ambedkar (what constitutes the nation), Jawaharlal Nehru (what is nationalism and internationalism and culture). Calls to read tasks. , VD Savarkar (Who is Hindu? – extract), MS Golwalkar (We or our nationhood defined, Chapter – 3 and Extracts and Bunch of Thought – Internal Threats, Christian, Communist – Extract), Deendayal Upadhyay (Integral Humanism, p. 18 30, 31-39, Ark), Balraj Madhok (Indianisation, what, why and how) and Kancha Ilaiah (Buffalo Nationalism).
Dr. Biju Laxman (Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam), Dr. Sudhish (Assistant Professor, Payyanur College), Dr. Joby Varghese (Assistant Professor, Maharaja College and Dr. P. R. Biju (Assistant Professor, Brennan College) are the members of the Expert Committee.
The expert committee was tasked to prepare the syllabus as the university does not have a board of postgraduate studies for the subject. PR Biju said that the expert committee has included the works of all eminent personalities who have shaped Indian political thought. “We have included works of all eminent personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar. It is not just RSS ideologues,” he said.
What protesters say?
According to a report in the Indian Express newspaper, some student organizations are accusing the ruling CPM of helping saffronise education in Kerala.
The Kerala Students’ Union, the student wing of the Congress, on Thursday took out a march in the university and burnt copies of the syllabus. He alleged that the agenda of the Sangh Parivar is being carried forward in the CPM-controlled university.
Youth Congress state unit president Rijil Makutty said during the protest that this shows that the agents of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are controlling higher education in Kerala. “We will continue our protest against saffronisation of higher education under the Pinarayi Vijayan government,” he said.