‘Black pol­i­tics’ part of DU’s MA pol sci­ence course

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - @times­group.com

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.

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