Answer Sheet Scrutiny : Be Magnanimous, High Court Tells Delhi University

A group of professors of Delhi University appealed to the Vice Chancellor to, “restore the culture of academic debates” in the university syllabi.The appeal was made post certain objections were raised over two texts being removed from History syllabus of post-graduation level under the Choice Based Credit System(CBCS).To replace those books, ‘Subalterns and Soverigns: An anthropological History of Bastar’ by Professor Nandini Sundar and ‘Against Ecological Romanticism: Verrier Elwin and the Making of an Anti-Modern Tribal Identity(2003)’ by Professor Archana Prasad, are being considered by the Academic Council of the university.

‘Nobody is debating the fact that work of different ideologies should be taught but some of these wroks build a narrative that glorifies Naxalite Movement.There is another book by Prasad that legitimizes the conversion of tribals by saying there are other pressing issues in their lives- amenities, employment, food etc.These books build such a narrative by calling it data and research.The books are not banned,those interested can go and read it But why do we need to teach them in a university? This is where the young students of impressionable age come and these books create sympathy for the Naxalite Movement”,¬¨‚ĆProfessor Geeta Bhatt of Delhi University was quoted by News 18, as saying.

A letter,signed by the members of the Academic Council was penned to the Vice Chancellor in this regard.It read,“It is unfortunate that Academic Council members of the dominant political persuasion are being allowed to repeatedly go beyond their respective academic expertise and selectively target authors and works that offer a critical perspective at variance with the dominant political opinion but are considered meritorious and rigorous enough by domain experts to be included in syllabi.”



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