The syllabus of the Integrating Mind Body and Heart, introduced under the four-year undergraduate programme, is out. The objective as stated in the curriculum is to instil principles of non-violence and truth in each student by creating awareness about Mahatma Gandhi's practice of these beliefs in his life.
But a section of intellectuals both outside and from the university call this as an "academic conspiracy" and has questioned that in case non-violence is what the university intends to teach then historically it was Buddha who first preached and promoted peace and non-violence. So an honest academician or intellectual should remember Buddha when he refers to the concepts of peace and non-violence.
To be taught in semester 1 and as a mandatory course for all DU students, the philosophy as stated in the syllabus is "to kindle a value-oriented and holistic thought process in the consciousness of the student that will lead him/her to a better realization and appreciation of the fact that there should be harmony between what one thinks, what one feels and what one creates or presents externally".
The course requires students to take cognizance of some defining episodes in the life of Mahatma Gandhi and to examine how he managed to create a balance and harmony between his actions, thoughts and conscience. The student will be asked to seek incidents and episodes in his own life and world that resemble those in Gandhi's life and he will have to study his own responses in comparison with Gandhi's response.
A human rights activist and writer instrumental in organizing various rights campaigns in Andhra Pradesh, in a critique said "Will DU teach students the truth about Gandhi... what he did to the marginalized sections of this country and especially to the scheduled castes by opposing separate electorates? Will they also teach about the Gandhian view of Varna Dharma, his strong belief in caste system? Will they teach students his view on scheduled castes and Muslims?"
"A large number of people feel that this is a bogus course because as it doesn't teach any kind of critical thinking and has no intellectual or practical component," Hany Babu, professor, department of English, DU, said.