Rename Course On ‘Bhoot Vidya’, Demands BHU Member

The Programme Has Evoked Criticism From Social Media And Int'l Press

New Delhi: Amid the storm in social media and in some quarters over the introduction of a course in ‘Bhoot Vidya’, a member of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has requested the administration to consider changing the nomenclature of the programme.

Shriram S Savrikar of Mumbai, who is a member of the university court has written a letter to the Vice-Chancellor Prof Rakesh Bhatnagar suggesting that the programme should be renamed to ‘Ayurvedic Psychiatry’.

“Common people perceive ‘Bhoot’ as ghosts and demons, and invariably relate it to ‘tantrik’ rituals, which makes the issue very sensitive. The course name ‘Bhoot Vidya’ conveys a bad message,” he said in his letter.

Savrikar’s suggestion comes against the backdrop of palpable outrage in social media and by some international press, who have described the university’s move as endorsing ancient believes and practices.

The university had last week announced the introduction of the six-month-long certificate programme for practising doctors to study the remedies and psychotherapy to treat psychosomatic disorders in patients who might have experienced unnatural activities in the surroundings.

The programme is being offered by the Department of Ayurveda.

A BBC report headlined ‘Bhhot Vidya: India university to teach doctors ghost studies’ had drawn intense criticism from the university, with a section of the teaching community in BHU demanding the withdrawal of the report as it portrayed the university in poor light.

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