Kannur University in Kerala has decided to retain the works of M S Golwalker (A Bunch of Thoughts) and V D Savarkar (Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?) for their post-graduation course being offered, titled Governance and Politics. A controversy had erupted after the syllabus for the course was revealed – critics expressed their concern that teaching right-wing, Hindutva ideologues in today’s day and age can result in backfiring.
It is not new for universities to update and rework their syllabi for humanities and social science courses with new and old works of scholarship. Kannur University’s decision to add the two aforementioned texts was followed by student groups, social media users, media personalities, and politicians protesting the syllabus, calling it a move to create a ‘sympathizing’ space for the ruling BJP which follows the ideology of the said writers. In today’s political climate, there is no harm in taking such a stand. The student groups in Kerala were split on their stands regarding the controversial additions in the syllabus, with one faction of left groups claiming it is essential for critical learning, whereas the other faction calling it a ‘slippery slope’. The student faction of Congress opposed the texts.
This comes especially at a time when we have politicians, doctors, and public figures endorsing bazaar claims of Covid and Cancer cure with cow urine, notions of Ghar Wapsi, Love Jihad and young people working on social media to amplify such claims. Since the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, researchers have noticed a higher rate of support for the Hindu right from the youth in the country. This brings us to a serious discussion on how young minds are shaped in academia. A university is a space of critical knowledge exercise and a safe space for debates and discourse, and it is essential it stays that way.
In the recent past, post-2014, the state-sponsored attack on leading institutions in the country, like Jawaharlal Nehru University and University of Hyderabad have time and time again proved the current dispensation is not in favour of education that challenges the status quo – of a state that poses a threat to ‘free’ thought. The decision to keep the controversial texts in the syllabus is to be applauded as it is imperative for students to be exposed to works that need to critique as an act of academic exercise and to read them, an act of autonomy. Hindu Hegemony being celebrated in the country today, with Muslims and Dalits being lynched and videos of the attacks being circulated online pose a serious juncture to us as readers, and members of civil society. Students, especially those in higher education institutions who hold the future of the nation are supposed to read and involve themselves in discussions regarding the texts, this is essential in a university space. However, the concern over this being a ‘slippery slope’ cannot be brushed under the rug.
In Kerala, the BJP has not made any serious electoral claims but has a very alarming rate of silent support. The educators who teach such texts are also responsible for creating a safe space for critique, in the classrooms. Education should be a free and fair affair that needs to be given adequate autonomy to decide on readings and teaching methodologies. The decision to retain the texts will only create more room for critical thinking that threatens the power equation in the country today.
Akmal Ahmed is a final year student of Masters in Sociology at the University of Hyderabad. He is interested in politics, human rights and education.
TOP | TRENDING
FACEBOOK’S TOTAL USER BASE DECLINES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 17 YEARS: REPORT
Facebook has seen a number of controversies in recent years. But now, the company which was recently brought under new parent Meta, is witnessing a decline in its user base. This has happened for the first time in Facebook’s 17 years of existence that its user base has actually gone down.
SUBTLE HEART RENDERING COMEDY, SUFFICIENTLY DRAMATIC, GRIPPING CHAOS AND BITTERSWEET HUMOUR; A HIGH END COCKTAIL OF SCINTILLATING ENSEMBLE CAST AND CHARACTERS, WRITER- DIRECTOR CHIDAMBARAM ENDURES ALL STORMS TO DELIVER A WINNER
Ensemble casts have a unique place in Malayalam cinema. For decades, a good family drama in Malayalam has always been a good mix of pain, humour, characters, gripping plots and happy endings. Writer- Director Chidambaram delivers this fine balance in his debut film Jaaneman and creates a new age ensemble cinema for the routine film goer.
SATIRE DRIVEN, NON-MELODRAMATIC, FOCUSED, AND METICULOUSLY SCRIPTED; THIS MOVIE IS A WINNER THROUGH AND THROUGH!
How can one dislike a film that entertains throughout? In english, this movie title means ‘The engagement is on monday’. There is no surprise in the plot line; all of it is revealed in the title. The story is about the making of an engagement and the joys and troubles involved. Senna Hegde pulls off a regular story with exceptional craft. The highlight of the film is its climax. The climax offers no pomp and show, no tearful departures, no melodramatic breakdowns, no revolutions, no rebellions, no glamour, not even the promised engagement.This film is a must watch not because it is extraordinary, but because it is very ordinary, and the brilliance is entirely in the balance the filmmaker maintained throughout.
KURUP, THE MOVIE; DULQUER’S ATTEMPT TO CONQUER CINEMASCOPE FILMMAKING LEAVES AUDIENCES EMOTIONLESS
THIS PERIOD MOVIE COMES WITH COMPLETE GRANDEUR; GRAND SETS, STYLE, A GOOD CAST, LEAVES NO STONE UNTURNED IN PRODUCTION, BUT FAILS IN ITS EDITING AND COMPOSITION. DQ DOES NOT BECOME KURUP, KURUP BECOMES DQ.
Dulquer remains Dulquer, we recognize him and his methods in all his movies and he repeats himself once again. The actor lacks gravitas in his dialogue delivery and intonation. Can style and glamour make up for lack of method acting in a role like this? Did we expect more?