New Delhi: Teachers of the Delhi University’s English department, in a joint statement on Saturday, slammed what they called an “unacademic, politically motivated attack on our syllabus" by DU.
They said the syllabus was changed under pressure from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-backed National Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF) during an Academic Council meeting on July 15.
“We, the teachers of English across Delhi University are shocked and appalled at the unacademic, politically motivated attack on our syllabus. This is a democratically drafted syllabus, which involved faculty participation from around 40 colleges; over 2 years, and more than 3,000 working hours have been spent on it. It is a matter of sorrow and deep academic concern that the syllabus is now being maligned, and is sought to be scuttled, by certain political groups at the University,” read the statement, signed by teachers from across DU colleges.
“We are thus deeply dismayed that deliberations which have been marked by an open, free and fair exchange of ideas, are being described as ‘Leftist’ and ‘partisan’. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is to be noted that objections that are now being raised were never submitted during the time allocated for feedback,” it said.
The changes were proposed in the meeting on July 15, following which a meeting of the DU Oversight Committee would have to approve the same. Two weeks on, the changes have not yet been approved, leaving students without a syllabus.
“It has now been two weeks since the University reopened and we are yet to receive our syllabus. Students of English Hons, BA Programme, BCom and all other science and humanities departments where English is taught both as a Compulsory paper and as an Elective, are being made victims of the political machinations of certain groups,” the statement further said.
The ABVP and NDTF had objected to certain sections in the syllabus, particularly those pertaining to the 2002 Gujarat riots and 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, as “objectionable”.
Teachers told News18 that ABVP members had even surrounded the venue of the Academic Council meeting and threatened violence, which was however, denied by an ABVP representative.