Unleashing a process of regimentation and reckless distortion of history are typical of any fascist autocratic ruler because it dreads truth and scientific bent of mind. Present India is a glaring example of that. The ruling BJP, its mentor RSS and associate Sangh Parivar have a clear agenda in this regard which they unwaveringly pursue by propagating arch communal Hindutva and saffronization of all spheres particularly education. Union BJP home minister made it aptly clear when he bragged that no one can prevent them from changing history. Lately we’ve witnessed PM Narendra Modi himself, (at Varanasi, on 7th July) while inaugurating the three day Akhil Bhartiya Shiksa Samagam on implementation of NEP at BHU voicing the same tune as he remarked that the education imparted to the people so long ‘‘…was never part of Indian ethos’’.
Just as the erstwhile Congress-led UPA Government had trod the path of curtailment of education and set on to privatise and commercialise it in the process, in the interest of the corporates, the BJP too has been pursuing, its pro-capitalist approach to education with a communal agenda added. By introducing NEP 2020, they have launched a two-pronged attack, one—Indianising education with Hindutva content in focus and the other, restricting education for the elite section of society ensnaring the upcoming affluent young generations with high-tech skills through BJP-approved schemes which are replete with contents and intents that deny the essence of secular, democratic education.
One can interprete history as per one’s own understanding; but can history be changed? But the devil will never listen to a moral lecture. Hence, there is a spree to change history syllabus throughout the country replacing fact by myth, truth by fiction and simply jettisoning what is not liked by the ruling quarters and including a bunch of bosh. Lives and struggles of eminent personalities of our glorious freedom movement are dropped to make way for Hindutva protagonists who opposed the freedom struggle and collaborated with the British imperialist rulers. The BJP-ruled Karnataka bears a glaring example of this.
There has been a persistent effort on part of the government there to get the school text books revised even with a planning committee formed and that too illegally. The government had come up with the removal of 10th standard lesson on the legendary patriot and martyr Bhagat Singh, who has been the symbol of courageous revolt against injustice and as replaced by a speech of K B Hedgewar, founder of the RSS, who suggested the term ‘Rashtriya’ (national) for his Hindutva organization, for he wanted to re-assert the Hindu identity with ‘Rashtriya’. The Government’s plan also encompassed removing such writings by other eminent and enlightened personalities like Vivekananda, Savitri Bai Phule, Kanakadasaru, Purandaradasaru, Narayanaguru, Sara Abubakar, A. N. Murthy, Rao and many others.
But democratic-minded conscious people refused to accept such a motivated act. AIDSO took up the issue in right earnest and succeeded in involving eminent educationists and intellectuals as well as a large section of students in the protest movement. Soon enough, a strong protest erupted. The SUCI(C) also wholeheartedly backed the movement initiated by AIDSO. News channels, important dailies covered AIDSO’s protests against the move. Esteemed writers of the state even withdrew their permission to include their writings in those text books as lessons of progressive authors were withdrawn and regressive contents added.
As we have already stated above, history can be distorted but never be changed.That the BJP-RSS has traditionally been nurturing the idea of India turned into a totally Hindu country was clear earlier itself. The BJP ministers have at different times made no bones to declare that the modern education so far taught in Indian school has all but failed and that only Vedic education can build up the future generation as real patriots. Therefore, their object in omitting certain portions was to promote ‘‘real values’’. Gone in a whiff are the recommendations of the Renaissance stalwarts and replaced with outmoded Vedic education. ‘‘Real values’’, to them must be Vedic values! The beacon in this grim situation, the ray of hope, is the way public consciousness is alert today etching out its own course of protest and resistance. History has shown ever and anon that people’s voice raised in protest is the one and only thing that can compel the despotic rulers to retreat from rolling out regressive policies.
Under pressure of this movement, the BJP-led Karnataka Government had to drop its decision and the lesson on Bhagat Singh was reintroduced. The Government-appointed committee for planning to revise second PUC text books was dissolved by the CM in the face of opposition. AIDSO received admiration from one to all for spearheading such a just movement. It is once again proved that a just movement under a correct revolutionary leadership can alone compel the tyrannic rulers to bow down.