RSS, the ideological fountain head of the ruling BJP has a clear cut plan to saffronise the education sector. It wants to promote its brand of Hindutva from kindergarten to institutes of higher learning.
The government at the centre and the state government’s ruled by BJP are fast implementing RSS’s plans. The criticism from academicians has not deterred them from going ahead with their agenda.
Vasundaraja Raje government’s decision to include a chapter by former RSS chief K S Sudarshan in a text book for Class 11 students, Gujarat government’s direction to research institute to include Modi’s pet projects, and HRD minister’s direction to IITs to include Sanskrit in the curriculum are the latest in the long list of saffron projects that the BJP government is looking to implement.
Class 11 students in Rajasthan will now have have to read Sudarshan’s take on environment-‘Dhara aur Paryavaran’ (Earth and the Environment). The former RSS chief’s scholarship to write on environment is not known.
The state education committee however says the chapter by the former RSS Sarsanghachalak has no link to politics or does not reflect any saffron views. The committee chairman Ashish Sisodia says that Sudarshan penned his thoughts purely as a writer and his role as RSS chief had no bearing on the subject.
This chapter had been introduced in 1998 as well but was removed after many questioned it.
This comes close on the heels of Gujarat government issuing directions to research institutes asking them to ensure at least five subjects are selected from a list of 83 topics which the government has given to them.
The students are asked to select from a range of topics–‘Education of minorities — A critical study’; ‘Gujarat: Good governance for growth’; and ‘Comprehensive analysis of growth of water in seven reservoirs of Saurashtra through SAUNI Yojana’ among others. This is the first time that a state government is directing research institutes to focus on government projects.
HRD minister Smrithi Irani’s statement that all the IIT’s should teach Sanskrit language has also elicited lot of criticism from academicians and politicians.
Many of the cultural and educational bodies governing councils have been revamped after Modi government took over. Now majority of these bodies are led by Sangh parivar associates.