Swami Vivekananda led which religion in ‘Dharma Sabha’ in Chicago?
Where is Ram Janmaboomi?
Yogi Adityanath is CM of which state?
Who said India is a Hindu country?
The questions above are from a booklet – Samanya Gyan Pratiyogita 2017 – that has been handed out to students across schools in Uttar Pradesh (UP) to get them to register and prepare for a ‘competitive examination on general knowledge’ on August 26, marking the birth centenary of party ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya. If you hadn’t figured it out from the common theme in the questions, the competition is being organised by the BJP.
Covering topics such as demonetisation, Make In India, BJP and RSS ideologies, leaders like Deendayal Upadhyaya, K.B. Hedgewar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, and Yogi Adityanath and his government – this 70-page-long booklet oozes saffron, in every way. The question and answers cover notions of nationalism, sure, but when it’s liked to Hindutva can it be true nationalism?
While there is a complete section on the ‘First in India’, such as “the first governor general, president, vice-president, Lok Sabha speaker, deputy PM, law minister, industry minister, first woman CM and woman governor,” reports The Indian Express, but very conveniently, not mistakenly though, skips over India’s first Prime Minister (Jawaharlal Nehru for those who didn’t know), who doesn’t fit their party’s ideology.
The book was released on Monday by BJP president Amit Shah, and Adityanath at the state party headquarters. According to the party state secretary Subhash Yaduvansh, over 9 lakh students from class IX and X are expected to participate, with 9000 schools will administering the test. When asked by The Indian Express correspondent about the emphasis laid on RSS and its leaders, he said “Upcoming generations should know about the great personalities and heroes of history, about whom people were not told so far,” although he did deny that it was promoting Hindutva ideology. He said, “People should know about Hindutva because it is good lifestyle.”
So, to put it simply, and realistically, India’s most populated nation is testing its children on Hindutva. This is propaganda; it enthusiastically praises the ‘achievements’ of the RSS and BJP (the current government included), without any mention of people that may have opposed or questioned them.
Does Adityanath being Chief Minister of UP warrant the complete saffronisation of the state? Had a Muslim or Sikh person been elected, would their religious and political (here they both go hand-in-hand) beliefs be taught (and tested) in schools. These are things that should not, and cannot determine education systems or policies.
Read the complete report by The Indian Express here.
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