‘Black politics’ part of DU’s MA pol science course
New Delhi: For the first time in India, ‘black politics and discrimination’ will be part of an MA political science course. After much debate and objections, the political science department of Delhi University is all set to introduce a paper on ‘black radical movement’ as part of its syllabus, which will also draw a parallel with the ‘dalit movement’ in India. The topic was chosen due to the impact of AfroAmerican politics.
However, members of the standing committee of the university, involved in controversy over its recent attempt to remove books of Kancha Ilaiah from the reading list, objected to this course over the use of the word ‘radical,’ claiming that the course will give an impression that blacks are inherently violent.
Veena Kukreja, head of the political science department, said that the course is interesting and that “it will cover politics developed by the African community in the West.”
However, the course, when introduced in the standing committee, saw objection from the members. “It gives the feeling that blacks are involved with radicalism and extremism. When we asked for clarity on this, the department couldn’t give a satisfactory answer,” Geeta Bhatt, a member of the standing committee, said.
She also pointed out that members of the committee were “unsure of the course in the present context. But the department could not explain the relevance of this subject,” she added.
A member of the political science department, however, alleged that the issue was not so much about the name but the content. “There is a comparison drawn with the dalit movement in India as we talk about the Black Panther Party and its impact in India where the Dalit Panthers movement came about,” a member of the department said.
The member said that the reason for introducing this course is so that students get a different perspective.