Delhi University Replaces Mahatma Gandhi Paper with Savarkar in Political Science Syllabus

Ayush Katiyar
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 On Saturday, lecturers at Delhi University said that the university has changed the BA (Hons) Political Science program's syllabus by substituting a study on Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar for a course on Mahatma Gandhi in the fifth semester.


Delhi University



The paper on Mahatma Gandhi will now be taught in the seventh semester, according to the lecturers. As a result, students who choose to enroll in a three-year graduating program instead of a four-year one will not study Gandhi.



The choice was made on Friday during the Academic Council meeting. The decision has drawn criticism from confident educators who see it as an effort to saffronize education and draw comparisons between Gandhi and Savarkar.



The Executive Council, Delhi University's highest governing body, will make the ultimate decision. Yogesh Singh, the vice chancellor of DU, has not responded to requests for comment.



"Previously, there was a paper on Gandhi in the fifth semester and a paper on Ambedkar in the sixth semester," said Alok Pandey, a member of the Academic Council present at the meeting. They've just unveiled a paper on Savarkar. We have no objections to Savarkar being introduced, but Gandhi was sacrificed in the process. The Gandhi paper has been changed from the fifth to the seventh semester. Since students choosing a three-year program won't be required to study this paper, Pandey continued, "It appears that they plan to remove the paper on Gandhi from the curriculum."



They had previously decided to teach about Gandhi in the fifth semester, Savarkar in the sixth semester, and Ambedkar in the seventh semester based on their chronological order, said Pandey, who was also a member of the standing committee when the proposal was considered. He added that he had voiced his opposition to the idea at the standing committee meeting, and they decided to keep the Gandhi paper in the fifth semester. However, a resolution that was not approved at the intersection of the standing committee was presented to the Academic Council.



Former Executive Council member Rajesh Jha expressed resistance to the proposal and emphasized the value of exposing students to Gandhi in their first semesters in order to promote critical thinking.



According to the syllabus PTI reviewed, the fifth semester's "Understanding Gandhi" paper sought to acquaint students with Gandhi's social and political viewpoints. The primary goals of the course are to improve students' abilities to read and analyze texts, comprehend their conceptual and argumentative frameworks, and situate such writings within a larger intellectual and socio-historical context.



As part of the National Education Policy, Delhi University has adopted a four-year program, allowing students the option between a three-year undergraduate degree and a four-year undergraduate program.