The academic council of Delhi University on Friday passed a motion to remove a chapter on poet Muhammad Iqbal from its political science syllabus, reported PTI.
Iqbal, who was born in 1877 in Sialkot, which is now in Pakistan, had written some notable patriotic songs dedicated to India during the British rule, including Sare jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara. In 1930, at the annual session of Muslim League, he had said that the Muslims of northwestern India should demand status as a separate state.
On Friday, the academic council, comprising over 100 members, passed the motion to remove the chapter titled “Modern Indian Political Thought”, which is part of Bachelor of Arts sixth-semester syllabus. The decision is, however, not final as the executive council of the university will decide on the motion on June 9.
“Iqbal was the first to raise the idea of partition of India and the establishment of Pakistan,” said Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh. “Instead of teaching such people, we should study our national heroes. Those who laid the foundation to break India should not be in the syllabus.”
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated student body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad also supported the move, reported PTI.
“Delhi University academic council decided to scrap fanatic theological scholar Mohd Iqbal from DU’s political science syllabus,” the student body said. “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.”
The council also passed a proposal on setting up of centres for partition, Hindu and Tribal studies, Delhi University’s registrar Vikas Gupta told the Hindustan Times.
However, some members of the council have opposed this proposal.
“The proposal for the centre is meant to be divisive,” a statement by five academic council members said, reported the newspaper. “Its objective states that the centre will study past invasions, suffering and slavery over 1,300 years. It is offensive, communally divisive and intellectually coherent. A discussion on 1,300 years will only provide an opportunity for venomous communal speeches.”