“Oral History imposed over scientific evidence” AIDSO severely condemns the UGC drafts on UG history syllabus

Sourav Ghosh, the General Secretary of AIDSO has issued the following Press Statement on UGC drafts on B.A History syllabus.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has circulated a draft B.A history syllabus in the name of Learning Outcomes based Curriculum Framework (LOCF) on 15th February 2021. The UGC which was constituted to monitor the standard of universities and provide them grants has overstepped it’s jurisdiction and has unilaterally imposed the curriculum content on DU is an infrengement on the Autonomy of University. Further, the undue glorification of the ancient Indian past; relying on Oral source of history and discarding of scientific process of studying history are evident in the Curriculum Contents. Thus the UGC has resorted to saffronise and communalise Indian history at the behest of central BJP government. Across the world, universities follow the time-tested path of studying and cultivating history based on scientific evidences and scientifically verifiable facts. When History book becomes a protagonist of the ideology of the party in power and universities become a platform for spreading communal ideas; is a threat to onward March of civilization. Like all their fascist predecessors, RSS-BJP combine care too hoots to Scientific knowledge, humanity, unity of the people and progress of our country. It’s is deplorable that in order to make their divisive and communal ideology an ‘official history’, the BJP government is out to destroy all democratic and autonomous institutions.

The first paper of new syllabus dealt on the “Idea of Bharat” which covers the concept of Bharatvarsha, Eternity of synonyms Bharat, Indian concept of time and space, the glory of Indian Literature – Ved, Vedanga, Upanishads, Epics, Smriti, Puranas etc. The third paper covers “History of India” which includes unit-1 Sources & Historiographical trends of ancient Indian History up to 550 C.E, the Indus – Saraswati Civilisation, Debate on the relationship of Indus, Saraswati civilisation and Vedic civilisation, significant features of Indus – Saraswati Civilisation, its continuity, fall & survival, Unit-2 includes Aryan Civilisation its origin, Myths of Aryan invasion, Vedic Cultures, Vedic Religion, Epic Literature etc. The 12th paper dealt on “Cultural Heritage of India” which includes significant of cultural heritage in human life, significance of Fairs, Festivals, Rituals, Tirthas in our life and about historical background of Ramayana, Mohabharata etc. The large corpus of genetic, archeological, linguistic, geographical and other evidences irrefutably vindicate the fact that nomadic tribes (called Aryans by historians) from central Asia migrated and settled on the banks of Ganga-Yamuna valley and had composed several Vedic hyms. There are enough scientific evidences to prove that ‘Saraswati River’ was a mythical river. Internationally acclaimed historians have proved that Vedic Period cannot be solely categorised as ‘Vedic Civilization’ since urbanisation and agriculture essential components of civilization, came up in this region (Ganga-Yamuna Plains) several centuries after the Vedas were supposed to have been composed. Further, in this period people also created non-vedic works like ‘Charaka Samhita’, ‘Sankya Philosophy’, etc. Further, in the geographical region of present India, amazing works in several fields have been done in present day Southern India; there have been several notable contributions in the field of Mathematics, Medicine, Surgery, Astronomy, Philosophy, etc.. In spite of having such huge scientific evidences, The UGC has formulated a Curriculum based on unscientific, uunverified statements and fictitious aimed at destroying the scientific process of knowing and studying history! UGC has undertaken this exercise to give credence to the RSS-BJP theories. Which are: ‘Aryans were the original habitants of India, and there was no invasion or migration’; ‘subjugation of India started from Muslim invasions and their rule’; ‘Rigveda was composed in India, on the banks of Saraswati’; ‘Harrapa-Mohanjedaro Civilization should be rechristined as Saraswati Civilization’ (ofcourse surreptitiously), and thus make Regveda more primitive’; etc. AIDSO opines that this will stunt the thinking faculty of our children and sow the seeds of blindness and fanaticism. False glorification about our ancient past is disrespect to our predecessors and their real contributions. Undermining the contributions of others, is unethical and foments fanaticism. This direction to curriculum violates the basic democratic principle that is only internationally accepted and verified facts should become the curriculum and syllabus.

The new syllabus has tied to make unscientific, obscurantistapproach and religious bigotry, a false narrow feeling among the young minds, have introduced in paper 7th, 4th chapter about Hindu Society: Caste and Occupational groups vs. Muslim Society: Divisions and Occupational groups.

            It’s the matter of very pain and anguish that the new draft syllabus has knowingly with an I’ll motive does not recognize and uphold our rich heritage of our renaissance movement and uncompromising freedom struggle against British Imperialism.

      Hence, AIDSO urges upon the DU to reject this Curriculum and uphold its autonomy; it also demands the UGC & central government to withdraw this draft. AIDSO calls for nationwide democratic debates involving eminent historians, intellectuals, educationists, professors, teachers and different students’ organisations to evolve a scientific curriculum from school to university level. AIDSO also calls upon the students, teachers and parents to raise their voice and get organised to resist all anti-education policies.

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