The NCERT’s National Steering Committee on text-book evaluation found that the RSS-run Vidya Bharati schools are being clearly used for the dissemination of blatantly communal ideas
We reproduce below extracts from National Steering
Committee on Textbook Evaluation, Recommendation and Report II, NCERT (National
Council for Educational Research and Training).
The Committee shares the concern expressed in the report over the publication and use of blatantly communal writings in the series entitled, Sanskriti Jnan in the Vidya Bharati Schools which have been set up in different parts of the country. Their number is reported to be 6,000. The Committee agrees with the report that much of the material in the so–called Sanskrit Jnan series is “designed to promote bigotry and religious fanaticism in the name of inculcating knowledge of culture in the young generation”. The Committee is of the view that the Vidya Bharati schools are being clearly used for the dissemination of blatantly communal ideas. In its earlier report (January 1993), the Committee had commented on publications which had been brought out with similar objectives by the Saraswati Shishu Mandir Prakashan and Markazi Maktaba Islami and had recommended that they should not be allowed to be used in schools. The Sanskriti Jnan series are known to be in use in Vidya Bharati schools in Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere. The Committee recommends that the educational authorities of Madhya Pradesh and other states should disallow the use of this series in the schools. The state governments may also consider appropriate steps to stop the publication of these materials which foment communal hatred and disallow the examinations which are held by the Vidya Bharati Sansthan on the basis of these materials.
A series of booklets which is being used in the Vidya Bharati schools has been published under the general title of Sanskriti Jnan Pareeksha and Sanskrit–Jnan Pareeksha Prashn–ottari (Culture–Knowledge Examination and Culture–Knowledge Examination Questions–Answers). These books are in the form of questions and answers which are meant to be taught by teachers and memorized by students. They are also used for assessing children in an all–India examination which is conducted by the Sansthan. The Sansthan claims that during 1993–94, 3,55,282 students appeared in the examination based on this question–answer series. The total number of schools run by the Sansthan is claimed to be 6,000 with 12,00,000 students and 40,000 teachers.
The Vidya Bharati Sansthan claims to be engaged in providing to the young generation education in religion, culture and nationalism. The catechistic series is part of the Sansthan’s effort in this direction.
Each booklet in the series comprises questions and answers
on geography, politics, personalities, martyrs, morals, Hindu festivals,
religious books, general knowledge, etc. Much of the material in these
books is designed to promote blatantly communal and chauvinist ideas and
popularize RSS and its policies and programmes.
2. India is presented in extreme chauvinist terms as the ‘original home of world civilisation’. One of the booklets (No.IX), for example, says, “India is the most ancient country in the world. When civilisation had not developed in many countries of the world, when people in those countries lived in jungles naked or covering their bodies with the bark of trees or hides of animals, Bharat’s Rishis–Munis brought the light of culture and civilisation to all those countries.” Some of the examples of the “spread of the light of Aryatva by Bharatiya Manishis” given are the following:
(i) “The credit for lighting the lamp of culture in China
goes to the ancient Indians,
“The first people to settle in Iran were Indians (Aryans)”.
“The Languages of the indigenous people (Red Indians) of the northern part of America were derived from ancient Indian languages”.
3. Many of these booklets have a section each on ‘Sri Ramjanma-bhumi’. They present RSS–VHP propaganda in the form of catechisms to be memorized by the faithful as absolute truths. Some of the questions – answers in these sections are as followers;
Q. Who got the first temple built on the birth place
of Shri Ram in Ayodhya?
Q. Who was the first foreign invader who destroyed
Sri Ram temple?
Q. Who got the present Rama Temple built?
Q. Which Muslim plunderer invaded the temples in Ayodhya
in A.D. 1033?
Q. Which Mughal invader destroyed the Rama Temple in
Q. Why is Babri Masjid not a mosque?
Q. How many devotees of Rama laid down their life to
liberate Rama temple from A.D. 1528 to A.D. 1914?
Q. How many times did the foreigners invade Shri Ramajanma-bhumi?
Q. “Which day was decided by Sri Ram Kar Sewa Samiti
to start Kar Sewa?
Q. Why will 2 November 1990 be inscribed in black letters
in the history of India?
Q. When was the Shilanyas of the temple laid in Sri
Q. What was the number of the struggle for the liberation
of Ram Janmabhumi which was launched on 30 October 1990?
Some other questions which have been included along with answers are:
“When did Ramabhakta Kar Sewaks unfurl the saffron
flag on Shri Ramjanmabhumi?”
In another question, children are asked to fill in the blanks ‘rivers of blood’ as the means by which Prophet Mohammad spread Islam.
5. There are special sections in some of the booklets on RSS, its founder and its other leaders. In one booklet (No. 11), RSS, which is mentioned along with Arya Samaj and Ramakrishna Mission etc. as a social reform organisation, is given the status of divine power. It says, “Some divine power, whether it was Bhagwan Ram or Bhagwan Krishna, has always emerged for the preservation of the greatness of Indian culture. The Hindu organization Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh has arisen to end the present miserable condition and for the defence of the greatness of Bharatiya Sanskriti.”
6. The ‘knowledge’ imparted in the booklets includes such facts as Meghnath Saha, being the author of History of Hindu Science. Punjab University being located in Jalandhar, Jammu–Kashmir University located in Jammu, Annamalai University in Madras, and Andhra University in Hyderabad.
Much of this material is designed to promote bigotry and religious fanaticism in the name of inculcating knowledge of culture in the young which should be a matter of serious concern.