KANNUR: The controversial portions included in the syllabus of MA Governance and Political Science will not be withdrawn and a committee has been formed to revise the contents, Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Professor Gopinath Raveendran said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters here following the controversy, he said the university will take appropriate action on the basis of the report of the committee comprising political science experts Dr J Prabhash and Prof K S Pavithran, who retired from Kerala University and Calicut University, respectively. The committee has been asked to submit the report within five days, said the VC.
“There is nothing wrong in including the writings of M S Golwalkar and V D Savarkar in the syllabus, as a student should know about the writings of such people if one wants to learn more about a subject,” said Raveendran.
He also said the university has already submitted a report on the controversy to Higher Education Minister R Bindu. “We have also informed the minister that we have formed a committee to inquire about the incident,” said the VC. “The university has no intention of saffronising the syllabus,” he said. After more students and youth organisations joined the protests, the university decided to form the committee to review the decision.
Certain portions included in the paper ‘Themes in Indian Political Thought’ kicked up the controversy. On August 17, the VC had issued an order announcing the revision of the syllabus. The order was issued based on the recommendations of the four-member expert panel that, instead of the contemporary political theory, the university should include ‘dialogues in Indian political thought’.
The members of the expert panel were Associate Professor Dr Biju Lakshman of MG University, Kottayam; Assistant Professor Dr KM Sudheesh of Payyannur College; Assistant Professor Dr Joby Varghese of Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam; and Assistant Professor of Brennen College Dr PR Biju.
“There is no point in arguing that one should not study about the works of Golwalkar and Savarkar. In many univerisities in India, their works are being taught. A student of political science should have an idea about how the Right-wing political ideas influenced the Indian politics,” said the VC. “We agree that there are some shortcomings in the syllabus as the Left and Islamist thoughts are not included in the syllabus.”
Don’t glorify those who held regressive ideas, says Pinarayi
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that the government’s stand in connection with the controversy is clear as it doesn’t want to glorify those who had turned their faces away from the Indian Independence struggle. Any regressive ideas should have to be critically studied and analysed. Even while doing so, those who had held aloft such ideas should not be glorified, he said.
Earlier, Higher Education Minister R Bindu had said that, since the issue is very sensitive, a decision will be taken only after examining the contents of the syllabus. She also said that the department has sought an explanation from Kannur University. The syllabus would be re-examined and the university would take appropriate action regarding whether to cut out or add anything to the syllabus, she said.