DU Retains Course on Ambedkar, Drops Course on Inequality, Chapter on Mohd Iqbal

A chapter on poet Mohd Iqbal in the political science syllabus has been dropped.

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On Friday, 26 May, the Delhi University's Academic Council decided that the Philosophy course on Dr BR Ambedkar will be retained with a few 'changes', said officials present at the council meeting. 

Meanwhile, the History Department's course, 'Inequality and Difference', and a chapter on poet Mohd Iqbal in the Political Science syllabus have been removed from the syllabus.

On 24 May, The Quint reported that the Standing Committee on Academic Matters had proposed dropping the History course 'Inequality and Difference'. The course touched upon key issues across Indian history, such as varnajati, class, caste, and gender. 

Changes in Course on Babasaheb Ambedkar  

The suggestion to drop the Philosophy Department's course was initially made by the Standing Committee on Academic Matters on 8 May. The issue was on the agenda of the AC meeting on Friday, which went on till 1.30 am.  

Maya John, a History professor and a member of the Academic Council, told The Quint on Saturday, "The Department had agreed to make modifications to the course, so the matter did not come up for detailed discussion, but it was decided that the course will be retained with changes."

Some of the edits that have been suggested include changing the word 'Hindu' to 'Indian' in parts of the course.

Vikas Gupta, a History professor and an Academic Council member, said, "The Academic Council came to a consensus that the course will be retained but some tweaks will be made. For instance, one of the changes proposed was replacing the word ‘Hindu’ by ‘Indian’ in a unit “Rise and Fall of Hindu Woman”  The agreed alternative formulation was “Dr.B.R. Ambedkar on Women’s Question”. 


History Course on Inequality, Chapter on Mohd Iqbal Being Dropped: Why?

Mohd Iqbal, a writer, philosopher, and poet who is credited for writing the song 'Saare Jaha Se Acha', will be left out of the Political Science Department's syllabus.  

Why? Because of his contribution to the two-nation theory and his songs 'supporting the Muslim league'.

A statement from the office of the Vice-Chancellor (V-C) read:

"Regarding Iqbal, the Vice-Chancellor said that Iqbal wrote songs supporting the 'Muslim League' and the 'Pakistan Movement'. Iqbal was the first to raise the idea of the Partition of India and the establishment of Pakistan. Instead of teaching [about] such persons, we should study our national heroes."
A statement from the office of V-C

Meanwhile, the Standing Committee had recommended dropping the History course 'Inequality and Difference' as "elements of caste and gender" were part of other courses.  

Professor Maya John said, "Even before the 26 May AC meeting, the Standing Committee on Academic Matters had compelled certain departments to override the wisdom of their statutory bodies like the Committee of Courses (CoC) and withdraw certain papers and themes. Hence, even before this AC meeting, reportedly the Dept of History was compelled by the Standing Committee constituted by the DU VC to withdraw its Generic Elective paper Inequality and Difference." 

Professor Vikas Gupta said, “The course is being withdrawn for the time being. The Department’s Committee of Courses will rework the course and we will see if it can be brought back in the next semester.”   

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Topics:  Delhi University   BR Ambedkar 

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