Kannur University vice-chancellor Gopinath Ravindran on Thursday said portions of books of RSS leader M.S. Golwalkar and Hindu Mahasabha leader V.D. Savarkar would not be taught immediately as part of the varsity’s post-graduate course on governance and politics.
Ravindran said the new portions, after necessary changes are made, would be taught in the fourth semester. For now, the varsity will continue to teach the contemporary political theory paper as it had been doing in the past, he said.
The VC said a two-member expert committee appointed by the Kerala government to look into the matter had suggested changes to the varsity’s new syllabus. He said the syllabus would be sent to the committee after making the suggested changes.
The varsity’s new course material had drawn criticism from various student unions, which alleged saffronisation of the university. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said his government would not glorify leaders who had turned their back on the freedom struggle.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, however, had said intellectual freedom should not be sacrificed at the altar of party politics and under the “foolish” belief that ignorance of someone’s ideas would help defeat them.
“I have quoted Savarkar and Golwalkar at length in my books, and refuted them,” Tharoor had posted on Facebook. “If we don’t read Savarkar and Golwalkar, on what basis will we oppose their ideas? Kannur University also teaches Gandhi and Tagore.”
According to the student unions, the varsity has included portions from Golwalkar’s books, including Bunch of Thoughts, and Savarkar’s Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu? in the syllabus of the third semester of the governance and politics MA course.
The syllabus was not prepared by the board of studies but by teachers of Thalassery Brennen College and it was decided by the VC, they have alleged.