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Enforcing Nationalism: Ministers Want Central Government to Target Education System

December 18, 2016 | By

New Delhi: The Central government of India is making efforts to charge the environment of the sub-continent with ‘nationalism’, which many consider as part of Hindutva agenda of ruling BJP and it’s ideological patron RSS.

As per media reports the central government is planning from introducing military lessons in schools and compulsory hoisting of the Indian flag. A group of ministers have reportedly suggested to the country’s top education policy-making body that “the education must help make students more patriotic”.

[Image Used For Representational Purpose Only]

Among their other suggestions are building more military-focused schools, teaching biographies of national heroes and making the singing of the Jan Gan Man anthem mandatory for children to create an “ecosystem of morals, ethics and patriotism”.

The ideas were pushed by several central ministers as well as those from BJP-ruled states at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) on October 25. CABE is the highest advisory body on education for central and state governments.

As per the report available with the Hindustan Times (HT) suggests an increasingly strident brand of nationalism whose rise has coincided with the election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government two years ago. Many oppose this resurgent nativist wave as just a means to curb personal freedom and dissent, Deepak Joshi Madhya Pradesh’s minister of state for school education said  “more Sainik schools should be built than state-run Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas because “nationalism and patriotism is need of the hour.

He further said that, chapters on the role of freedom fighters and stories of national heroes could be included in the upcoming policy,” according to the meeting’s minutes. The government is in the process of overhauling the country’s education policy”.

Josh’s idea for military style of education was reciprocated by Mahendra Nath Pandey, Central minister of state for human resource development, who said, “Military education should be provided to students to promote the idea of ‘patriotism and nationalism’. He felt that due importance be given to girls’ education and value education”.

Vijay Goel, minister of state (independent charge) for youth affairs and sports, reportedly stressed on instilling ‘patriotism and nationalism in the curricula’.

Kunwar Vijay Shah, minister of school education of Madhya Pradesh, suggested schools and government offices compulsorily fly the Indian state’s tricolour flag.

But this isn’t the first time government ministers have spoken of the need for education to be more Indian nationalistic in nature.

In February, the central government decided to fly the Indian Flag atop a 207-feet mast in all central universities across the country to evoke nationalistic sentiments on campuses, many of which were at that time rocked by series of protests.

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