Delhi University removes chapter on poet Mohd Iqbal, who wrote ‘Sare Jahan Se Acha’; final call to be taken in June

Delhi Univerty’s Academic Council has passed a motion to remove a chapter on Pakistan’s national poet Muhammad Iqbal from the political science syllabus, according to a report by PTI citing members of the statutory body. Iqbal wrote the famous song ‘Saare jahan se achha’. He was born in Sialkot in1877 in undivided India. He is often credited with giving birth to the idea of Pakistan.

At Delhi University, the academic council has taken a decision to remove the chapter titled ‘Modern Indian Political Thought’ which is part of BA’s sixth-semester paper. The university’s executive council (EC) will take a final call on the proposal, which is scheduled to meet next on June 9.

«A motion was brought regarding a change in the syllabus of political science. As per the motion, there was a chapter on Iqbal that has been removed from the syllabus,» said an Academic Council member.

The council also approved proposals to set up new centres for Partition Studies, Hindu Studies, and Tribal Studies. However, five council members opposed the proposal on Partition Studies and said it was “divisive».

“The proposal for the centre is meant to be divisive. Its objective states that the centre will study past invasions, suffering, and slavery over 1300 years. It is offensive, communally divisive, and intellectually coherent,» the council said in a statement.

A unit on Iqbal titled ‘Iqbal: Community’, which is part of the syllabus was reviewed by PTI.

There are 11 units as part of the course intending to study important themes through individual thinkers.

Other thinkers that are also part of the course include Rammohan Roy, Pandita Ramabai, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, and Bhimrao Ambedkar.

«The course has been designed to give students a glimpse into the richness and diversity within the Indian political thought,» the syllabus mentions.

The course is aimed to equip students with a critical understanding of modern Indian thought, it adds.

«The thematic exploration of ideas is meant to locate the topical debates on important subjects on a historical trajectory and reflect over the diverse possibilities exhibited in the writings of the respective thinkers,» it further stated.

Meanwhile, the ABVP welcomed the move, saying «fanatic theological scholar» Iqbal was responsible for India’s partition.

«Delhi University academic council decided to scrap fanatic theological scholar Mohd Iqbal from DU’s political science syllabus. It was previously included in BA’s sixth-semester paper titled ‘Modern Indian political thought,» the ABVP said in a statement.

«Mohammad Iqbal is called the ‘philosophical father of Pakistan’. He was the key player in establishing Jinnah as a leader in Muslim League. Mohammad Iqbal is as responsible for India’s partition as Mohammad Ali Jinnah is,» it added.

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Updated: 27 May 2023, 06:30 AM IST

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