Delhi University removes poet Mohd Iqbal, who wrote ‘Sare Jahan Se Acha’, from BA syllabus
Iqbal who wrote the popular song “Sare jahan se acha Hindustan hamara” is one of the most prominent Urdu and Persian poets of the Indian subcontinent.
Delhi University’s Academic Council (AC) on Friday cleared a number of syllabi changes, including the scrapping of poet Mohd Iqbal from the BA political science syllabus, officials aware of the matter said.
They added that the council also approved proposals to set up new centres for Partition Studies, Hindu Studies and Tribal Studies.
Iqbal who wrote the popular song “Sare jahan se acha Hindustan hamara” is one of the most prominent Urdu and Persian poets of the Indian subcontinent. He is often referred to by the honorific Allama and was considered the brain behind the idea of Pakistan. He was also the national poet of Pakistan.
DU registrar Vikas Gupta said the syllabi, and proposals on setting up various centres were passed in the council meeting on Friday. “Proposals on setting up of centres for Partition, Hindu, and Tribal studies have been passed. Mohd Iqbal has been dropped from the syllabus,” said Gupta. Iqbal was included in BA political science’s paper, “Modern Indian political thought”.
The proposals will require a final stamp of approval from the university’s executive council (EC), which is scheduled to meet next on June 9.
In a statement, Delhi unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad welcomed the decision to scrap Iqbal from the syllabus. “Delhi University academic council decided to scrap fanatic theological scholar Mohd Iqbal from DU’s political science syllabus. Mohd Iqbal is called ‘philosophical father of Pakistan’. He was the key player in establishing Jinnah as leader in Muslim League. Mohd Iqbal is as responsible for India’s Partition as Mohammad Ali Jinnah is,” the student outfit said in the statement.
The council also discussed the syllabi for fourth and fifth and sixth semester undergraduate courses and held deliberations on the varsity’s adoption of the four-year integrated teacher education programme (ITEP) from the 2023-24 session, the officials said.
The AC, which has over 100 members, held day-long deliberations.
At least five council members opposed the proposal on Partition Studies and said it was “divisive”.
“The proposal for the centre is meant to be divisive. Its objective states that the centre will study past invasions, suffering and slavery over 1300 years. It is offensive, communally divisive and intellectually coherent,” said a statement signed by five AC members.
“A discussion on 1300 years will only provide an opportunity for venomous communal speeches,” the statement said.
During the zero hour, the meeting saw discussions on the displacement of ad-hoc teachers, pending EWS expansion-related teaching posts, DU notification on the opening of institutes from 8am to 8pm, maternity leave provision for ad-hoc teachers among others. The council also discussed the release of funds and grants to DU colleges.
On the issue of displacement of ad-hoc teachers, dissenting teachers said that the varsity was acting as a mute spectator while teachers were being displaced. “There are very serious allegations of politically motivated nepotism and unfair interview process that often borders on the farcical. Candidates have been humiliated during the interview process, mocked and have been asked questions which have no relevance to their academic discipline,” said a note endorsed by eight council members. They sought an investigation into the concerns raised by them.
“We raised the issue of lack of weightage being given to teaching experience during recruitment of ad hoc teachers,” said Maya John, a council member. John also sought clarity on the expansion of teaching posts. “There is a need for an action taken report on what DU authorities are doing with respect to pursuing the pending issue of sanctioning of EWS expansion-related teaching posts,” said John.
Dissenting members said that the DU notification on the opening of institutes from 8am to 8pm was dictatorial. “We strongly protested against the dictatorial DU notification asking institutions to be opened from 8 AM to 8 PM without any discussion in the statutory bodies of AC and EC. There are many problems with the notification ranging from inadequate infrastructure to safety concerns,” said Mithuraaj Dhusiya, an AC member, who is associated with the Democratic Teachers Front.