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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 14, April 6, 2024

Saffronisation of education only for corporate interest | Jayanta Kumar Ghosal

Saturday 6 April 2024


National Education Policy (NEP 2020), implemented by the NDA government which is actually run by Rthe SS clique, the national-level saffronisation campaign has gained fresh momentum. The huge majority obtained by NDA in 2019 election has given the scope for passing any debatable issue quickly without proper discussion or even bypassing the parliament. The COVID-19 situation was used to pass/implement the national education policy hurriedly avoiding the detailed parliamentary debate, or avoiding the public opinions at large. It is not to be forgotten that the previous two education policies i.e., of 1968 and 1986 were known as ‘National Policy of Education’(NPE) which at present has been placed as National Education Policy’(NEP). The Chauvinistic attitude behind it is clear.

The basic purpose of this NEP’20 is the policy to centralise, commercialise and communalise the whole education system. The process of commercialisation of education was started earlier during the regime of the UPA government. When the LPG policies were accepted by the then rulers. That time BJP as the political opponent opposed the steps. But after coming to power in 2014 took the initiative of imposing the same in the whole country.

Education was earlier a state subject in the constitution. It was changed and included in the concurrent list during the emergency in the mid-Seventies. Through NEP 20, the present NDA government led by RSS-BJP clique has reduced the powers of the states to a bare minimum. It is nothing but to capture the absolute power through centralisation.

India is a country with multi-faced diversity since the historical past. Unity in diversity has been reflected everywhere in India’s culture. From feudal rulers of the mediaeval period to the freedom fighters and then the policy makers of independent India followed it. Though in NEP20 this diversity is being suffocated with the policies of Hidutva agenda, this being the ultimate goal of present NDA rulers leading the country towards a fascist dictatorial state.

It is clear from the 6525 pages National Curriculum Framework (NCF2023) where much emphasis have been put on so called Indian Knowledge System (IKS). New text books are being designed by NCERT for spreading the age old absolute ideas among the young masses presenting the Hindu myth or purans before them.

In the name of reducing the burden on the school children significant changes have been brought. Chapters describing the Mughal period in Indian history from history textbooks, Gandhiji’s assassination and ban on RSS, references related to the Gujarat pogrom, and Naxalite movement, and chapters on democracy from texts have been excluded. In science Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, Mendeliffs periodic table has been removed. Many contemporary issues of post-independent India are in the list of exclusions from social science textbooks.

Attack upon history by the saffron camp is being described as an attempt at ‘Writing the history of India from an Indian perspective’.

Such changes which do not match the modern world/thoughts are brought only for making the majority of the vast student community religio fanatic and half-educated. They will act as ‘stormtroopers’ of corporate fascist forces. The corporate world wants cheap labour for their industrial initiatives. These fanatic students will be there to serve their interests.

The design becomes clear when NEP’20 keeps open the door for foreign universities and educational institutions where only the rich will have access to be admitted. The rest of the students from lower or lower-middle-class families will be compelled to learn the absurd stories and obsolete mythological fantasies unfit for the present-day world. Corporate designed and directed NEP20 only aims at that with a clear motif. RSS BJP are mere puppet at their hand.

NDA government with their only agenda of Hindutva faithfully helped them to implement their policies smoothly using the nationalist sectarian religious sentiments of the vast populi.

The demand for alternative systems is to be raised in every nook and corner of the country.

(Author: Jayanta Kumar Ghosal is a literacy activist)

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