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Riding easy on Buddhism

Buddhist Studies is popular with prospective DUSU candidates. HT City finds out the reason behind.

entertainment Updated: Aug 28, 2010 01:01 IST
Namya Sinha

What is the favourite subject of most of the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) candidates, especially those belonging to the two major parties, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and National Student’s Union Of India (NSUI)? It has to be MA in Buddhist Studies. This year as well, four out of the eight candidates from the two parties are pursuing MA in Buddhist Studies.

Ever wondered why these neta types get interested in the philosophical teachings of Buddha? Talking to a few students, it emerged that getting into the Buddhist Studies course is easier, even though there is an entrance examination.

Professor KTS Sarao, head, Department of Buddhist Studies, DU, says, “Unfortunately, a large number of shady characters wanting to fight elections try to get admitted in this department. Entrance exams were introduced just to avoid this. Most of them hardly come for the classes and frankly, they don't care. Some take admissions for getting the ticket and if their ticket gets cancelled, they either withdraw their admission or just don’t bother to appear for exams.”

MA in Buddhist Studies is a 2-year programme. It is an interdisciplinary course of Chinese, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Pali, Philosophy and History. Candidates however, claim that interest in Buddhism made them chose the course.

Current DUSU president Manoj Choudhary, who was also a student of MA in Buddhist Studies, says, “I find the course interesting. I was interested in studying in Delhi University. I decided to opt for something new and the history of Buddhism was very fascinating.” Interestingly, Choudhary did not appear for his exams.

“I did not appear for my exams since I finished my MBA course, which I had applied for two years back. Being an MBA is enough.”

Akshay Kumar, NSUI candidate for the post of joint secretary, says, “I had a first division and I could have joined MA Political Science. But I wanted to study Buddhism.”

Priya Dabbas, a candidate for the post of vice president from ABVP, is a first-year student of MA in Buddhist Studies. She says, “I graduated with Philosophy Hons and I was interested in the course. This is one course, in which you can study as well as concentrate on your work as a DUSU representative.”

Read between the lines.