NEW DELHI: The Academic Council of Delhi University has passed a motion to remove a chapter on Pakistan’s national poet Muhammad Iqbal from the political science syllabus, The Hindu said on Saturday quoting members of the statutory body.
Born in 1877 in Sialkot, Allama Iqbal — credited with giving birth to the idea of Pakistan — wrote the famous song ‘Saare jahan se achha’. It is not clear whether India’s military bands would continue to use the ‘Saare jahan se achha’ theme in their march.
The chapter titled ‘Modern Indian Political Thought’ is part of BA’s sixth-semester paper, officials said, adding that the matter would be presented before the executive council of the university that would take the final call.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), meanwhile, welcomed the development.
“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.
A unit on Iqbal titled ‘Iqbal: Community’, which is part of the syllabus was reviewed by Press Trust of India.
There are 11 units as part of the course with the objective to study important themes through individual thinkers.
“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. Not too long ago, the Uttar Pradesh government had dismissed a Muslim schoolteacher for using Iqbal’s prayer by a youngster: “Lab pe aati hai dua ban ke tamanna meri.”
“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.
Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2023