DU Adds Chapter on Veer Savarkar, Shifts Mahatma Gandhi to a Later Semester

New Delhi: In a recent update to the syllabus of Delhi University’s BA Political Science course during the Academic Council (AC) meeting, a new chapter on Veer Savarkar, a prominent figure associated with Hindutva ideology, has been introduced as an elective in the 5th semester.

This change has led to the displacement of the existing chapter on Mahatma Gandhi’s contributions to India’s freedom struggle, which has now been shifted to the 7th semester.

This is for the first time a comprehensive paper on Savarkar will be taught in class. However, some teachers have expressed their opposition to the move. While they do not object to an elective on VD Savarkar, they are concerned that the chapter on Mahatma Gandhi has been postponed to the fourth year of the program.

The revised units of the elective will cover various aspects related to Savarkar, including his role in Indian historiography, his involvement in the Indian National Movement, and his views on Hindutva, Hinduism, language issues in India, religious conversions, untouchability, and caste equations.

Alok Rajan Pandey, a member of the Academic Council, voiced his concerns, stating that Gandhi’s displacement to the seventh semester is problematic. He emphasized that while teaching Savarkar is acceptable, it should not come at the expense of studying Gandhi. He argued that since Gandhi predates Savarkar and BR Ambedkar, it is logical to study him before the others.

Prof. Pandey further highlighted the immense contributions of Mahatma Gandhi in India’s freedom struggle and his efforts to address caste discrimination and untouchability, stating that his works should not be disregarded.

The professor mentioned that the issue will be raised again at the GNT Executive Council meeting scheduled for June 9.

It is worth noting that Delhi University has implemented a four-year program as part of the National Education Policy (NEP). Students have the option to choose between a three-year undergraduate degree or a four-year undergraduate program. Consequently, students opting for the three-year program will not have the opportunity to study about Mahatma Gandhi.

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