Uttar Pradesh proposes pro-CAA lectures in colleges from next month
Colleges in Uttar Pradesh have been asked to arrange debates, seminars and lectures on the CAA to counter the anti-CAA narrative on the street. Eventually, the plan is to include it in the syllabus
The Uttar Pradesh Government plans to introduce a class on the Citizenship Amendment Act in colleges as early as next month. The emphasis will be on the ‘positive’ and beneficial aspects of the law and to counter the ‘misleading narrative’ being propagated by the anti-CAA protestors.
The class, or the course, is going to be extended to all affiliated colleges of Lucknow University and other universities in the state, official sources claimed. Eventually Political Science syllabi will include the chapter and, naturally, frame questions for students to reply in examinations. No prizes for guessing what kind of answers will be deemed to be ‘wrong’.
A senior teacher who is in the know of things said that the Political Science department of the Lucknow University will first hold a debate on the new citizenship law in February. After this a proposal will be sent for inclusion of the positive aspects of the CAA in the syllabus.
Head of LU political science department Shashi Shukla said that this was the first attempt to clarify the CAA. “We include a paper on contemporary issues in Indian politics and including the CAA in it is under consideration. We will include it in the syllabus and put it to the Board of Studies as a proposal. If passed, it will be sent to the Academic Council and once cleared, it will be taught in classes,” she explained.
The move comes in the wake of anti-CAA protests gaining grounds across the country. In Uttar Pradesh itself the women, majority of them Muslims, are staging protests at Chowk area of Lucknow for the last 10 days. They are protesting against the Act which allows citizenship to be granted to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who came to India before December, 2014.
“The understanding of the law is necessary. Students should know why the government has introduced CAA. It says that the law will provide relief to thousands of people fleeing religious persecution in those countries” Dr Shukla said.
The opponents however contended that the law purposely left out Muslims and did not provide relief to those fleeing similar persecution in neighbouring Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
At the party level the ruling BJP has started a campaign to hold pro-CAA meetings at the block level. Instructions have gone out to ensure that at least 50 party workers should hold meetings and educate people about the CAA at each Block headquarter.
“The talking point is simple. The workers will tell that CAA is meant to give citizenship to Hindus who have been persecuted in neighbouring countries. Those who are opposing it are pro-Muslims,’ a senior BJP leader told this reporter.
BSP national president Mayawati has already criticised the move. With CAA having been challenged in the court, she said, inclusion of this controversial law by Lucknow University in the syllabus is completely inappropriate.
Congress leader in the Legislative Council, Deepak Singh, said that BJP is saffronising educational institutions at the behest of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.
“After appointing RSS functionaries as vice-chancellor and other key posts in universities, BJP is introducing courses either to divide the society on communal lines or to distort historical facts,” Singh said.