Nandini Sundar’s ‘Burning Forest’ and DU’s academic council

The author reacts to objections to including chapters from her book: The Burning Forest, in DU’s MA Sociology course

GN Bureau | July 6, 2017


#Delhi University   #Nandini Sundar   #The Burning Forest   #MA Sociology  
(Photo: Arun Kumar)
(Photo: Arun Kumar)

There is a proposal to include on the Delhi University MA Sociology syllabus some chapters from academician-activist Nandini Sundar's book ‘The Burning Forest: India’s war in Bastar’, but it is facing resistance from teachers associated with the National Democratic Teachers Front (NDTF). 
 
The book, published this year by Juggernaut, is about the decades-long Maoist conflict in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, and the inhuman militaristic policies and acts of the state and central government which resulted in ruining the lives of the region's tribal communities. 
 
The sociology department, of which Sundar is a part, had proposed to include the first three chapters of the book as part of the political sociology paper. But DU teachers associated with a BJP-backed group stalled the proposal and argued that its title “propagates a war against India”.
 
Sundar in a blog on juggernaut.in, says that those students who want to, will read 'The Burning Forest', regardless of whether it is on their syllabus or not. 
 
“When reporters called to ask for my reaction to questions being raised at the Academic Council on the inclusion of The Burning Forest in the MA Political Sociology course, I was not surprised. I had been waiting for them to attack the book… The NDTF members who objected to The Burning Forest admitted they had not read the book, but didn’t like the sub-title: India’s War in Bastar. But their pet channels routinely use headlines like “War against Maoists”, or “Will apologists take a bullet for the nation?” It certainly looks like a war to the jawans who are ‘martyred’, part of the 116 battalions of Central Armed Police Forces who are posted there,” she writes. 
 
The academic council has now referred the book to the university's sociology department for further scrutiny.
 
Sundar writes: “Fortunately, sociologists are not easily scared. The book has been referred back to a departmental committee for consideration and no doubt the department will respond appropriately. Ultimately, this is not about me, or Bastar, or The Burning Forest, but the collective right of our department to its own judgment. No doubt, too, this will not be the last of the attacks on the book we will see from the RSS and its fronts, but I hope that readers will make up their own mind.”
 
Sundar spoke with Governance Now last year about her book, questioned stakeholders and analysed insurgency and counterinsurgency in Chhattisgarh. 
 
 
 
 

Comments

 

Other News

Portrait of a scholar-activist as a young student

[Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, scholar and dalit activist, has penned his autobiography which is more than just the life-story of an individual but promises to become a document for a generation and a community. We reproduce below an excerpt, with the permission of the publishers, where he talks about his yo

Informal power

Villages without power supply are easy to find though the government says there are none. The lines are laid, but many villagers are too poor to pay for electricity. BPL (below poverty line) families, entitled to free supply, are waived the installation charge. But they don’t have money to wire their

Vande Bharat halts midway near Tundla

In a major embarrassment to the railways, the much touted Vande Bharat Express developed a technical snag at Chamraula, 15 kms from Tundla junction.   Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the train on Friday from New Delhi station.    The train was

PM flags off India’s first semi high-speed train

Indian Railways entered a new era as prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the country’s first semi high-speed train, Vande Bharat Express, from the New Delhi railway station. The new train is also seen as a success story of the NDA government’s ‘Make in India’

Estonia eyes on more e-Residents from India to open startups

Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia talks to Vishwas Dass on key issues like the importance of e-Residency programme of the Government of Estonia and why Estonia is becoming a preferred investment destination for Indian startups and budding entrepreneurs. The Ambassador says Estonia offer

Happily working away!

There’s no dearth of self-help books. They come in a multitude of single-topic and hybrid varieties: habit change, management, habit change in management, spirituality, spirituality in management...you get the drift. Happiness at Work: Mindfulness, Analysis, and Well-Being, by R Anand, adds to the li

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter