Binoy Viswam, a Rajya Sabha MP of the CPI and secretary of the National Council, in a letter to the Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, raised his strong objection "regarding the prejudiced and inaccurate nature of material," in a course included in a newly introduced Engineering Programme at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Titled 'Counter Terrorism, Asymmetric Conflicts and Strategies for Cooperation among Major Powers,' the new course asserts that "jihad terrorism" is the only form of "fundamentalist-religious terrorism". It also categorises Communist regimes in the erstwhile Soviet Union and China as the "predominant state-sponsors of terrorism" that had influenced "radical Islamic states". The course was passed in an August 17 meeting of the university's Academic Council, with the JNU Teachers' Association alleging that "no discussion was allowed in the meeting" when it was cleared.
One of the new course’s modules, titled ‘Fundamentalist-religious Terrorism and its Impact’, states: “Fundamentalist – religious inspired terrorism has played a very critical and dominant role in the spawning of terrorist violence in the beginning of the 21st century. The perverse interpretation of the Koran has resulted in the rapid proliferation of a jihadi cultist violence that glorifies death by terror in suicidal and homicidal variants.”
Another module, titled ‘State-sponsored Terrorism: Its Influence and Impact’, refers only to the Soviet Union and China. “Terrorism has always a geographical base and support havens for its operations. State sponsored terrorism has been largely spread during the ideological war between the West and the Soviet Union and China. The Soviet Union and China have been predominant state-sponsors of terrorism and they have been heavily involved in terms of their intelligence agencies training, aiding and providing logistical support to Communist ultras and terrorists,” it states.
The CPI MP took particular note of the assertions about "jihadi terrorism" and Communist regimes of the Soviet Union and China and called them historically inaccurate, deeply prejudiced and politically motivated. "It is highly unfortunate that higher education is being used as a platform to communalise and politicise geo-political issues through the presentation of half-truths and academically dishonest information," Viswam wrote.
He reminded Pradhan of his duties in his roles as the Education Minister and a Constitutional representative, wherein, he must "ensure that the centres of knowledge are not used for such malignant agendas." "Given the divisive nature of content and serious ramifications of such inaccurate information," Viswam appealed to Pradhan "to immediately intervene in this matter and ensure that the University undertakes a comprehensive review of this course material through a committee of senior professors who are experts on this subject matter and ensure such biased curriculum is not allowed."