After Narada, mythological god ‘Hanuman’ has made its way into the syllabus of a journalism university in Chhattisgarh. ‘Narada’ is already featured in the Bhopal-based Makhanlal Chaturvedi National Journalism University’s syllabus, in which he has been described as the ‘first journalist’ to have mastered the art of news gathering.
The state-run Kushabhau Thakre Journalism and Mass Communication University, Raipur, is going to organise a two-day international research seminar on ‘Hanuman and Spiritual Communication in the Global Culture: History, Tradition and Differences’. The meet is scheduled for September 7-8.
The university has invited papers from scholars all over the world on 19 themes, including Hanuman’s Life Management; Modern and ancient forms of Hanuman; Ram and Hanuman in various Ramayanas; Hanuman in folk literature and stories; Ram and Ramayana in folk tradition; Hanuman in Sabar Mantras and so on.
Interestingly, the university has received 50-60 research papers from all over the country. This was confirmed by an assistant professor of the university, Dr. Ashutosh Mandavi, who is in charge of the seminar.
“For India, Hanuman’s character is important. He was a management guru and a spiritual communicator par excellence,” Mandavi said. When questioned on the need for organising a two-day seminar on Hanuman, he said, “His qualities are worth emulating which have been neglected till date.”
Shahid Ali, head of the journalism department in the university, endorsed Mandavi’s remark saying, “We can learn a lot from Hanuman’s habits and his values. His time management was excellent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also once praised Hanuman in his speech.”
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh CPI(M) secretary, Badal Saroj, described the seminar as the ‘height of cynicism’. Saroj said that Hanuman was bound to be an ideal for saffronised academics.
He said, “Narendra Modi had once remarked that we all should learn from Hanuman, as he never asked questions. He only did what he was asked to do and this is what they want the academia to turn into – a body of people who never doubt, who never question,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, Congress spokesperson K.K. Mishra came down heavily on BJP for saffronising education. He said, “Saffronisation of education is continuing unabated in the country. After Makhanalal Chaturvedi University, the Kushabhau Thakre Journalism and Mass Communication University has joined the club.”
He further said, “Instead of going forward and adding modern subjects in the syllabus to make students more professional, they are returning to ancient times.”
Despite several attempts, the vice-chancellor of the university M.S. Parmar could not be reached for his comments.
Narada- the first ‘adi patrakar’
In this respect, the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National Journalism University based in Bhopal has been way ahead of its Raipur counterpart.
The University has already included in its syllabus a course on Narada, teaching the students that he was the ‘adi-patrakar (first journalist), who mastered the art of news gathering. Students are expected to learn investigative journalism from him. Similarly, the university also believes that Sanjaya was the first TV reporter and an embedded war correspondent, who covered the ‘Mahabharata’ and gave a live report of the epic battle.
It is worth mentioning that in both the states – Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, BJP has been in power since 15 years, and both states are going to polls at the end of the year.