The committee had suggested removal of three of books of Ilaiah— Why I am not a Hindu, God as Political Philosopher: Buddha’s Challenge to Brahminism, and Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution.
Setting aside the recommendations of the standing committee on academic matters, which had suggested removing three books of OBC academician and activist Kancha Ilaiah for being insulting to Hinduism from the postgraduate syllabus, Delhi University’s
(DU) Political Science Department have decided to continue with the readings.
The decision was “unanimously” taken in a department meeting held on Thursday. The final decision in the matter, however, will be taken by the Academic Council
The committee had suggested removal of three of books — Why I am not a Hindu, God as Political Philosopher: Buddha’s Challenge to Brahminism, and Post-Hindu India
: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution.
“We stand by the past courses we have taught, as we had sent them earlier. The books will also continue to be used. These were very carefully considered readings which were given for these courses, and these are readings which are used all over the country and world. They are part of standing academic discourse, so there’s no question of selectively picking on them,” said associate professor Madhulika Banerjee.
Assistant professor Saroj Giri, who was also a part of the meeting, said no change was accepted which was suggested by the committee. “They had a problem with three courses — Black Radical Traditions
, where they objected to the word ‘radical’, Islam; International
Relations where they said that the word ‘religion’ should replace the word ‘Islam’; and Political Theology in India, wherein they wanted more Hindu literature. None of these recommendations were accepted,” he said.
“All these decisions were taken purely on academic grounds. The committee, in its formal communication
, has not mentioned the reasons for implementing these changes,” said Giri.
Professor N Sukumar, too, said no “academic reasons” were given for the suggestions: “The final decision rests with the AC, but if they do decide to drop these books, I… will approach court.”
Ilaiah said he was thankful to the department for “taking a stand”. “I’m glad the department has taken a democratic stand to protect the pluralist ideas continuing in the university. This will set a trend in universities in the rest of the country, where Hindutva people wanted to make universities
one dimensional,” he said.
Hansraj Suman, member of the standing committee and among those who raised objections to Ilaiah’s readings and the use of the word Dalit, said, “I don’t want to comment. The final decision will be taken by the AC.”