Nagpur: The introduction of the 'Bharatiya Janata Party' by the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University in its MA history syllabus has stirred another controversy over syllabus in the country. The university’s decision to include the history of BJP in its MA, 4th Semester syllabus by replacing the history of the Communist Party has drawn sharp criticism from opposition, especially the left party.
The university has substituted a chapter on Congress ally DMK with AIADMK, which is an ally of BJP. As per the reports a chapter covering the Khalistan movement has also been omitted.
According to university sources, a new chapter titled “Indian Mass Movements from 1980-2000” has been incorporated, focusing on the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that significantly impacted India’s socio-political landscape. In 2019, the university faced a similar controversy when it introduced in its BA history fourth-semester syllabus a chapter on RSS, which has headquarters in Nagpur.
According to the chairman of NU Board of Studies (history), Shyam Koretti, whose team drafted the new syllabus said that Jan Sangh, the precursor to BJP was already part of the curriculum and the inclusion of BJP seems appropriate.
As quoted by media, "We removed CPI as it is no longer a national party and added BJP, which was not in the old syllabus despite having a national foothold. We have included BJP’s history only till 2010. We cannot teach wrong things to the students," said Koretti.
Leader of the opposition in the assembly Vijay Wadettiwar criticised the move, interpreting it as a reflection of the country’s trajectory. He said, "They (BJP) are imposing their ideology of casteism, religion and hatred on the citizens. RSS, which founded BJP, never respected women. What is there to teach about BJP?" Wadettiwar goes on to question the contribution of BJP to India’s freedom struggle and development.
In a similar move a few months back, the Delhi University Academic Council made several alterations to elective papers in the Economics curriculum for undergraduate students. The changes involve substituting the paper ‘Economics of Discrimination’ with ‘Economic Thought of Ambedkar’. The paper on ‘Production Relations and Globalisation’ was passed with minor modifications, and the reading list for the ‘Economy, State, and Society’ paper was revamped.
The University of Delhi also included a section on Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar for the fifth semester, while readings on Mahatma Gandhi have been moved to the seventh semester.