Chandigarh: The BJP government in Haryana is all set to introduce six books by RSS ideologue Dinanath Batra in the state schools from the next academic session. While the move has revived the debate on saffronisation of education, the man behind it remains perturbed. "Those who make such charges are unaware of the great Indian values, culture and tradition," he says.
“People start making comments on the books based on their pre-conceived notion, even before they have read them. Tell me, have you read these books before making charges on me?” Batra asked responding to the saffronisation charge.
Speaking to Firstpost, Batra, convenor of RSS-backed Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, said his books would focus on moral education to the students. “The books will contain lessons on moral education, character building, respect for Indian culture and values, good conduct and manners, respect for duties and importance of discipline in life. These values and concepts should be ingrained in the students to make them responsible citizens who respect their culture and promote such values.”
The six books in moral education will be taught as supplementary and not main books. As a prelude to their introduction, the Haryana education department is planning to introduce `Panchatantra’ as a supplementary book from Class 7 to 12 in government schools of the state before Diwali. ‘Panchatantra’, written thousands of years ago by Vishnu Sharma is one of the finest examples of imparting great lessons of life through short stories, Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said.
Batra, who is on a panel formed by the Haryana government to bring in qualitative changes in the education system of the state, said the new books were necessary so that the students begin to respect moral values and adopt such values in their lives to be able to become good human beings. “The new books will contain stories, poems, essays in an interesting manner for the students. Focus will be on providing proper moral education, ethics and on character building,” he added.
The Education Minister, however, is more forthcoming on the saffronisation matter. “There is nothing wrong with saffronisation of education. When the sun rises everyday, its colour is saffron. Our National Flag has saffron as one of its three colours. What’s wrong with saffronisation?" he said at a press conference in Panchkula on Friday.
He added that the Haryana government was also all set to introduce Bhagvad Gita for the primary classes in schools. He denied repots that this was a move to promote Hinduism. “Bhagvad Gita is not a religious text. It promotes truth and 'dharma'. It tells people the right view of leading life. What is wrong about teaching good moral values to our younger generation?” he added.
Incidentally, no decision had been reached yet on the author whose book on Gita will be introduced in Haryana schools, but according to sources, the books written by Swami Maheshanand of Vrindavan on Gita was likely to get the nod.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said there was a need to focus on traditional Indian values. “The western education is centred on education of rights. It tells you what rights you will get. On the other hand Gita teaches us to focus on `Karma’ (duty) and not on its outcome.”
Reacting on the introduction of books by Dinanath Batra in schools, Haryana Congress spokesman Pawan Jain said the move will give a wrong message to people. “The BJP is an immature government. It does not know what it is doing or what end result will be. BJP just wants to promote RSS ideology in the country in the name of moral values in education. The party cannot fool the people any more,” he told Firstpost.
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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2015 09:54:33 IST