A controversy is brewing in Madhya Pradesh over the alleged saffronisation of education following a decision of the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Mass Communication to replace studies on ideology of Nehruvian socialism with that of right-wing ideologue late Pt Deendayal Upadhyay for postgraduate students.
The opposition Congress and Left parties have long accused the university vice-chancellor Prof BK Kuthiala of pushing a saffron agenda.
The chapter on Pt Deendayal Upadhyay will be introduced from the next academic session, sources said. Apart from Upadhyay, other personalities whose ideologies would form part of the syllabus include Swami Vivekanand, Maharishi Arvind, Bhimrao Ambedkar and Ram Manohar Lohia.
Other than introducing ideologies, the social issues including social stratification, positive and negative discrimination trends in communalism have been replaced by unemployment, poverty and black money.
According to the draft of the new syllabus to be introduced for MA in Mass Communication semester-IV, a copy of which is available with HT, another major change in the syllabus is in the gender issues. Patriarchy-male domination and hegemony has been replaced with male-female relationship.
The university administration has not brought about any change in the syllabus other than paper –IV (issue oriented writing) of MA Mass communication.
University officials tried to sidestep the issue.
“We have been asked to prepare the draft of a new syllabus and every department is making necessary changes in the syllabus. But the syllabus has not been presented before the academic council as yet. Therefore, I can’t say anything about it,” head of the mass communication department Sanjay Dwivedi told HT.
But students were more forthcoming.
“When we saw a changed syllabus, we asked our teachers about it. They said the new syllabus will be introduced from the next year,” said a group of students talking to the HT.
“For the past two years, teachers were not following the syllabus and were teaching students only one ideology- right wing ideology. But from the next academic session, the university has made the right-wing ideology studies a formal one, “said the students.
Minister of state for higher education Sanjay Pathak endorsed the new syllabus. “I am happy that university has added personalities like Pt Deendayal Updhayay and Swami Vivekanand in the syllabus. Students should read about such great figures,” he said.
But opposition leaders have blamed the university administration for misguiding students and spoiling their future.
“Vice chancellor BK Kuthiala is an RSS man and everybody knows about it. Even, recently when RSS staged a sit-in to protest against the alleged attack on RSS people in Kerala, Kuthiala was present on the stage and was shouting slogan against Left party. When a vice chancellor is sporting his ideology so brazenly heads of departments are bound to follow his path,” said Badal Saroj, CPI (M) leader in MP.
“Indian political thoughts and ideologies are incomplete without Nehru and the Left. By introducing such syllabus, they are misguiding journalism students,” said Saroj.
Madhya Pradesh unit president of the youth Congress, Kunal Chaudhary said, “For a long time, the BJP government and RSS have been trying to finish the identity of Jawahar Lal Nehru who laid the foundation of modern India. Now, they have started spoiling future of journalism students by teaching only one ideology to them.”
But the BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha hit back at the criticisms.
“Till now, when students are being taught only about one family nobody objected. Students have enough knowledge about Nehruji and his family. The introduction of personalities like Swami Vivekanand and PT Deendayal Updhayaya in the syllabus will give a correct vision to students. Their ideologies are relevant for present and future generation,” said its state unit president Abhilash Pandey
Vice chancellor Kuthiala said he could not comment because he hasn’t seen the new syllabus yet.
In what may kick up a fresh controversy regarding saffronisation of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of J