The Jawaharlal Nehru University is learnt to have given in-principle approval to the study of ‘Islamic Terrorism’ by a new centre on national security, in an Academic Council (AC) meeting held on Friday. Like in the recent past, the meeting was marred by a section of members alleging they were not permitted to speak.
Sources said a proposal to set up the Centre for National Security Studies (CNSS) was given approval, with ‘Islamic Terrorism’ set to be taught there. While the AC agenda mentions it as one of the “key areas” of study, there is no clarity so far on whether it would be offered as an independent course. Some AC members, including the JNU Students’ Union office-bearers, said it had been passed as a course. But professor Ajay Dubey, who chaired the committee to work out modalities of setting up CNSS, said no course on the subject had been proposed. He did not answer further questions.
Taking exception to what it said was a “communal” move, the JNUSU, said, “This grotesque propaganda of Islamophobia in the name of academic courses is problematic.”
However, AC member Aswini Mahapatra said the course was necessary but the name should be changed from ‘Islamic Terrorism’ to ‘Islamist Terrorism’. “Islamist Terrorism is a widely accepted term and a globally accepted phenomenon. It is used for those who use Islam for a particular objective. 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… In India, it’s basically Islamist terror, whether it is J&K or Kerala, so in Indian context, the topic needs to be studied,” he said.
JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar and Rector I Chintamani Mahapatra did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.