Delhi University’s Standing Committee on Academic Matters has recommended the removal of writer-activist Kancha Ilaiah’s books from its political science syllabus due to their “controversial content” while also suggesting the discontinuation of the word ‘Dalit’ in academic discourse.
The three books being recommended for removal are ‘Why I am not a Hindu’; ‘God as Political Philosopher: Buddha’s Challenge to Brahminism’; and ‘Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution’.
“The political science department should look into its syllabus. These books by Kancha Ilaiah are vitriolic towards Hindu faith,” Professor Geeta Bhatt, member of DU’s Academic Council, told News18. “He has problems with a word like ‘tapasya’. It is all about his mind and his understanding of a faith. As an academic piece, there is no content in it and no reason to teach it. His every book has this vitriol,” she added.
“We decided to remove the books ‘Why I am not a Hindu’, ‘Buffalo Nationalism’ and ‘Post-Hindu India’ because they are insulting to Hinduism. We felt it would not be appropriate for students to read it,” Committee member Professor Hansraj Suman said.
The writer is extremely displeased with the recommendation. “These books are a part of the syllabus of foreign universities like the Cambridge and even other universities across India. They are used in Delhi University as reference books as well as course material. It is a very unfortunate move. Under the BJP government, academic autonomy is getting destroyed. They do not want plural ideas in academic discourse,” the writer told PTI.
Earlier in August, the committee had recommended the removal of two books from the reading list for History, one each by Nandini Sundar and Archana Prasad, because they “glorify Naxalism” and “legitimize conversion of tribals to Christianity”.