Kannur University likely to drop works of Savarkar, Golwalkar from syllabus

This has been recommended by a two-member committee syllabus review appointed by the university, following massive public uproar


It is still not yet clear why Kerala’s Kannur University decided to included sections from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader MS Golwalkar’s “Bunch of Thoughts” , and “We or Our Nationhood Defined”, Deendayal Upadhyaya’s “Integral Humanism” and Balraj Madhok’s “Indianisation: What, Why and How”, and Hindu Maha Sabha leader VD Savarkar’s “Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu?” in the syllabus of the third semester students of MA Governance and Politics in the first place. They have now stated that these sections will not be taught at the university anymore.  

According to a report in the Indian Express, this decision to not teach those extracts was taken based on the “recommendation of a two-member committee appointed by the university to review the syllabus.” However, it has not been explained why those sections were included in the first place, seemingly without a review. Major outage had erupted when the news broke that the state university had included the works, to the extent that many alleged that the CPI(M) led Kerala government seemed to be enabling “saffronisation of education  in the state.”

Earlier the authorities had told the media that the “syllabus was not prepared by the Board of Studies but by teachers of Thalassery Brennen College and it was decided by the Vice-Chancellor.” Kannur University’s chairman MK Hassan, who belongs to the Students Federation of India (student wing of the CPI-M), had reportedly said it was not saffronisation as alleged but was “included in the comparative literature part and only if this is taught in detail will one know what damage these people have done. We have already had a few rounds of discussion on this and now we are going to have a public debate to find out the response.”  

According to IE even though “Vice-Chancellor Prof Gopinath Ravindran defended the inclusion of the extracts, the government took exception to it with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan speaking against the decision”. However, on Thursday, Ravindran said the paper “Debate on modern Indian political thoughts”, in which the extracts were included, would be dropped from the third semester of the course stated the news report, adding that “the paper would be included in the fourth semester after necessary changes.”

However, a final decision will be taken after the academic council meeting on September 29. Meanwhile the Bharatiya Janata Party has criticised this and alleged that freezing the move has “proved the nexus between the CPI(M) and Congress in Kerala.” Kerala BJP president K Surendran told the media, “It is surprising that the CPI (M) decides to withdraw the portions about national leaders from the syllabus when Congress demands so. The pressure from jihadis would have also prompted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to withdraw the text.”

There had been protests by students’ unions since Thursday last against the varsity’s decision to include portions of books by Golwalkar and Savarkar etc, and the two-member expert committee was then appointed to study the issue.


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