New Delhi: Delhi University students will now study Chetan Bhagat’s novel Five Point Someone as part of the English literature syllabus from the academic session that starts in July.
Bhagat’s book will be taught along with fiction novels by American novelist and poet Louisa M Alcott, English crime novelist Agatha Christie and British novelist JK Rowling.
Five Point Someone is part of the Popular Fiction paper in the General Elective, which is offered to second-year undergraduate students pursuing honours and programme courses under the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS).
Other popular fictions that will be taught under this paper are Alcott’s Little Women, Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.
Bhagat, who had posted about the inclusion of his book on Twitter, has already gotten into an argument about whether or not his book is “good literature”.
Two years ago, DU introduced CBCS, which allows students to study elective subjects from any stream other than the subject they are doing Honors in.
So, this paper will be available to students from any stream who want to take up an elective subject from the English department. English teachers said even though the paper will be taught by the English department, it won’t be offered to those studying BA (honours) English.
CBCS core committee of English department recommended the novel as part of the general elective offered by the department.
A copy of the modified syllabus has been sent to all colleges by the English department. HT has a copy of the modified syllabus.
Teachers have been asked to send their feedback by May 1.
The recommendations will now be placed at the Academic Council and Executive Council for approval before being implemented in the new session.
Teachers at DU gave mixed reaction over the development. While some raised objection with the way the syllabus has been modified, others said it makes sense to include novels which students might have read.
“There is some sense to add these novels as students might have read them already and have seen movie adaptations. It gives an opportunity to do an informed critique of the text,” said Sanam Khanna, who teaches English at DU.
Sachin N, who teaches English at Dyal Singh College, said, “The way these modifications have been done has limited or no participation from teachers. There is no framework on how we are supposed to teach the popular fiction paper. The core committee has no statutory recognition. We used to have general body meeting of teachers before suggesting changes but that doesn’t happen anymore.”
Another teacher said on condition of anonymity, “There are other popular fictions available, why Bhagat? We have to see it in the context of his political leanings and stand on various issues.”