Lucknow: The studens of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) who appeared for the second year MA exams were shocked when they found questions about "triple talaq", "Halala", "Alauddin Khilji" and "Padmavati" in the History paper.
The students protested saying such questions featured in the exam to impose a "particular ideology". The university however remained unperturbed, saying the questions were asked so that the students learn "real history".
The images of MA History paper circulating in the media showed the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) asking students questions like "What is Halala in Islam?" and "Discuss about Teen Talaq and Halala as a social evil in Islam."
In yet another question, the BHU History Professors asked, "What is jille (sic) Allah?" and "The rate of wheat fixed by Alauddin Khilji."
Interestingly, zille ilahi is the title allegedly used for Mughal Kings became famous after it was portrayed in the super hit Bollywood film "Mughl-e-Azam". The examiner however used the word as "jille Allah" in the question paper.
A question on Society and Culture in Medieval India read: “What do you mean by Johor tradition? Describe Rani Padmavati’s Johar in the period of Alauddin Khilji.”
The BHU Professors asked questions on "Rani Padmavati" despite the fact that a good number of historians are of the view that "Rani Padmavati" never existed and it was a fictitious character, first came into picture after a 16th century Sufi poet mentioned her in his poem.
Triple Talaq itself is a disputed issue among Muslims, and the practice is not prevalent anywhere in the Muslim world except in India.
Yet, the professors said they included such questions in the History paper so that students learn "real history" and not the “distorted” versions of it.
“If students aren't taught and asked such things how will they know about it? When they are taught medieval history these things automatically become a part of it. History has been distorted and we need to teach things to them to know real history,” Rajiv Srivastava, an assistant professor at BHU, said.
Srivastava did not stop just here but went on to justify the controversial questions by citing the examples of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
“Why do AMU and JNU ask questions on child marriage and Sati system? Islam also has demerits which must be raised. When we teach the history of Islam, we will have to teach such things. People like Sanjay Leela Bhansali won't teach history to students,” Srivastava added.