The Jawaharlal Nehru University has given in-principle approval for a course on Islamic terrorism under the soon-to-be-set-up Centre for National Security Studies, PTI reported.
The university decided this at an Academic Council meeting on Friday, said professor Sudhir K Suthar, who was a special invitee to the meeting. Suthar is also an office-bearer of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association. “Many members opposed the topic ‘Islamic terrorism’ so as to not club any religion with terrorism, and suggested to call the phenomenon ‘religious terrorism’,” Suthar said. “The chair passed the proposal and said the objections would be considered [later].”
Another member who was present at the meeting said, “There was a debate on the issue in the meeting with many members supporting it too, saying that it was a globally accepted phenomenon and majority of the cases [of terrorism] were associated with the religion.”
Council member Aswini Mahapatra said the name of the course should be changed from Islamic terrorism to Islamist terrorism, according to The Indian Express. “Islamist Terrorism is a widely accepted term and a globally accepted phenomenon. It is used for those who use Islam for a particular objective,” Mahapatra said.
“There’s nothing called Hindutva terrorism; that was invented by the Congress to pander to the minority vote bank…There’s nothing called Christian terrorism also,” he added. “In India, it’s basically Islamist terror, whether it is J&K or Kerala, so in Indian context, the topic needs to be studied.”
The proposal was drafted by a committee chaired by Ajay Kumar Dubey, a professor at the Centre for African Studies, according to PTI. However, Dubey told The Indian Express that no such subject had been proposed.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union condemned the course. “This grotesque propaganda of Islamophobia in the name of academic courses is deeply problematic,” JNUSU President Geeta Kumari told PTI. “It seems the RSS-BJP’s election propaganda material will be prepared through these courses rather than studying the nature of terrorism in general.”