‘Distortion of History’: SIO Flays New Draft of History Syllabus Issued by UGC

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UGC

The draft curriculum deviates from the basic principles of Historiography by presenting mythological figures and fabled events as part of history, said SIO president

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) on Wednesday flayed the new draft of history syllabus issued by the University Grant Commission (UGC). The SIO has termed it as ‘distortion of history’.

The UGC has put up the draft Learning Outcome-based Curriculum Framework on BA (history) on its website on February 15 and sought feedback by February 28.

The History (honours) syllabus in Delhi University (DU) now covers pre-historic times and the early history period. The new syllabus is on the “Idea of Bharat”, and includes topics such as “Eternity of Synonyms Bharat” and religious literature like the Vedas, Vedangas, Upanishads, Smritis and Puranas.

“The draft curriculum provides disproportionate importance to Hindu religious literature and presents an uncritical and unhistorical view of ancient Indian civilization and the Vedic period. While doing so the proposed syllabus marginalizes the history and ethical traditions of various other communities inhabiting the country. This preferential bias towards a particular culture to represent all Indian knowledge is violative of our constitutional principles and threatens the plurality of our country,” said Salman Ahmad, national president of SIO, in a press statement.

Ahmad said that the draft curriculum deviates from the basic principles of Historiography by presenting mythological figures and fabled events as part of history. At the same time, it seeks to downplay or misrepresent the role of other actual historical figures and events to create a dubious past that exists only in Hindutva minds.

The draft has been criticized by academics and students including the ones from the Delhi University. The SIO said that this is an attempt to saffronise the history.

Criticizing the UGC, Ahmad said “It’s ironic that on one hand UGC is pushing for the autonomy of colleges, and on the other insists on providing a one-size-fits-all curriculum for educational institutes across the country. From making final year exams compulsory during Covid-19 pandemic to common syllabi, UGC’s undue interference will prove detrimental to the cause of higher education in a vast and diverse country like India. These sweeping diktats are contrary to the spirit of federalism and ideals of academic autonomy”.

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