New Delhi, May 21 (PTI): The Academic Council of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi has “passed” a proposal to set up a Centre for National Security Studies under which there would be a course on “Islamic Terrorism”, a professor who attended its meeting today said.
But many members of the Academic Council opposed the proposal to impart courses on ‘Islamic Terrorism’, arguing that it is communal in nature, Sudhir K Suthar, a special invitee to the 145th meeting of the Council, said.
“Many members opposed the topic ‘Islamic Terrorism’ so as to not club any religion with terrorism, and suggested to call the phenomenon ‘religious terrorism’,” Suthar, who is an office-bearer of the JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA), told PTI.
“There was a debate on the issue in the meeting with many members supporting it too, saying that it was a globally accepted phenomenon and majority of the cases (of terrorism) were associated with the religion,” another Academic Council member, who was present in the meeting, said.
“The chair passed the proposal and said the objections would be considered (later),” Suthar said.
Since its inception, the JNU had been a bastion of the Left-Liberal tradition but has changed since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India in 2014, heading a right wing government with an agenda to impose Hindutva or Hindu majoritarian politics on India.
The draft of the proposal was prepared by a four-member committee headed by Ajay Kumar Dubey, a professor of the Centre for African Studies.
According to the proposal, in the first five years, the centre will only focus on research activities.
“The centre may have only M.Phil and Ph.D students (initially). After five years, the centre may start MA programme. In the first year, two professors, two associate professors and four assistant professors may be recruited to give the centre a good and visible shape,” according to the proposal.
Opposing the move, JNU Students Union president Geeta Kumari said, “In a deeply problematic and shocking move the JNU VC also allowed the tabling of a course/topic on ‘Islamic Terrorism’ under the Centre for National Security Studies.”
“This grotesque propaganda of Islamophobia in the name of academic courses is deeply problematic. It seems the RSS-BJP’s election propaganda material will be prepared through these courses rather than studying the nature of terrorism in general,” she added.
(The image at the top shows Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi which inherited a culture of protest but that is curbed now)