RSS leader MS Golwalkar and Hindu Mahasabha leader VD Savarkar have been witnessing heated protests by anti-Kannur University student organizations since Thursday against the decision to include parts of the book in his postgraduate course.
“The allegations of saffronization are completely baseless. If you make such allegations against Kannur University, you can make similar allegations against Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. VD Savarkar is also included in the syllabus of JNU,” he said.
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The vice-chancellor, who has faced strong protests from student unions over the issue, said the inclusion of Savarkar and Golwalkar in the syllabus should not be seen as part of the saffronization movement.
“When parts of their text are included in the curriculum, there should also be writing representing other ideologies that will help students both compare and develop critical investigative skills. What is missing here is what I feel is an error in this syllabus,” Rabindra explained.
Asked if Higher Education Minister R Bindhu had asked him for an explanation on the matter, the vice-chancellor said he had already submitted a reply to the government.
The minister told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that it was dangerous to find communal content in the academic syllabus.
Although the student wing of the University of Students Federation of India (SFI), the ruling CPI (M), did not initially oppose the syllabus, its state president Sachin Dev on Friday said the dress was “unacceptable” by RSS ideologues against the current syllabus and inclusion.
Earlier in the day, Youth Congress activists blocked the vice-chancellor’s car on the university campus and barred him from entering the office, demanding the withdrawal of controversial parts from the syllabus.
They dispersed only after the university authorities informed them about the formation of an external panel to review the syllabus.
The Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of the Congress and the Muslim Students Federation (MSF), the student union of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) staged a protest on campus on Thursday.
According to the union, the university has included excerpts from Golwalkar’s book, including “Bunch Thoughts” and Savarkar’s “Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?” In the syllabus of the students of the third semester of MA Governance and Politics.
The syllabus was not prepared by the Board of Studies, but by teachers at Thalassery Brainen College, and they complained that it was decided by the Vice-Chancellor.
MA Governance and Politics is taught only at Brennan College under the University of Kannur.
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