Freedom movement ignored in TN courses: Governor RN Ravi

The governor said that while the syllabi of BA and MA courses extensively covered the Dravidian movement, they only briefly mentioned a few local freedom fighters such as Veerapandiya Kattabomman.
Governor RN Ravi delivers the valedictory address at the vice-chancellors’ conference held at Raj Bhavan in the Nilgiris on Tuesday
Governor RN Ravi delivers the valedictory address at the vice-chancellors’ conference held at Raj Bhavan in the Nilgiris on Tuesday(Photo | Express)

COIMBATORE: Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi expressed concerns over “unacceptable distortions” in history and political science syllabuses of BA and MA courses of the state universities. There is a total blackout of the national freedom movement in the syllabus, he claimed.

During his valedictory address at the vice-chancellors’ conference held at Raj Bhavan in the Nilgiris on Tuesday, Ravi alleged that history of Indian freedom movement is largely absent and there is a disproportionate focus on the Dravidian movement.

The governor said that while the syllabi of BA and MA courses extensively covered the Dravidian movement, they only briefly mentioned a few local freedom fighters such as Veerapandiya Kattabomman.

“Dravidian history has to be a part of history, but that does not mean that it is the only history,” he said, emphasising that Tamil Nadu had many participants in the freedom movement during the 19th and 20th centuries.

“The impact of British rule on the social, economic and political fabric of Tamil Nadu is totally blacked out from the curriculum. Instead, the curriculum is filled with the stories of Dravidian movement. With respect to social and political awakening, all the movements, to name a few, the Ayyavazhi movement of Ayya Vaikundar, the Sanmarga movement of Vallalar, and the Nandanar movement led by Dalit leader Swami Sahajananda are missed completely.”

The governor stressed that erasing the history of the Indian Independence movement insults Tamil Nadu’s freedom fighters. “This is very painful, and I am not going to accept that this place was not part of Bharat and not a part of the national movement for Independence in India. It is grossly unfair to the country as a whole,” he asserted.

In addition to his remarks on the curricula, Ravi addressed the significant shortage of teaching staff in universities, noting that some institutions had up to 50% vacancies.

He also criticised the over-reliance on poorly paid and randomly appointed guest lecturers, questioning their ability to effectively guide students.

“The syllabus for UG and PG courses in political science and history in the state universities is very well constructed. A thorough process is followed while chalking out the syllabus and by making such statements the governor is undermining the entire process,” said Ramu Manivannan, former head of department of politics and public administrations, University of Madras.

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