Agenda of the Hindutuva , implemented in fully by the rules, detrimental to the vast majority of population, ignoring opposition and unrest
After the formation of BJP Government at the Centre in 2014, the agenda of saffronisation is being geared up and accomplished aggressively, ignoring the continuous opposition at the floor of the Parliament and at the field by the civil society. More than the other areas, the saffronisation is prioritised in educational institutions and autonomous educational and research bodies. The threat of saffronisation is multi – pronged.
Educational institutions: Changing the minds of youngsters and students will bear the lasting effect in the accomplishment of the Hindutva ideals. No one could find fault with the preaching of such ideals as a propagation practice , if it is in a democratic way.
On the contrary, the views, alternative to Hindutva ideals and the organisations shouldering progressive ideas are all suppressed undemocratically by applying authoritative and aggressive means. The autonomy of educational institutions is placed at stake by the controlling ministry at the Centre. The Union Ministers who hold the responsible positions habitually interfere in the internal administration of higher educational institutions. They give directions to the authorities of the higher educational institutions under the guise of official routine to initiate action on the anonymous complaint against the duly recognised student study circle. It happened as such in IIT-M, thereby banning the functioning of Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle. When so many student study circles are allowed to function on the campus, why did the IIT M authorities act only against APSC? It is the blatant enactment of saffronisation i.e. banning the organisations which are ideologically opponent to Hindutva. Such sort of approach at the University of Hyderabad caused the suicide of the research scholar Rohith Vemula which aroused wide spread protest and opposition, invariably throughout the country. The saffronisation agenda is continued still more aggressively at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) New Delhi. The political patronage given to ABVP, the student wing of RSS is the root cause of the unruly behaviour against the students and the unrest atmosphere prevailing in the JNU campus. Still, there is not even a slight change in the saffronisation process, engineered by the rulers; rather, they justify the actions initiated in the name of patriotism. But the history speaks vividly on the stand of the forefathers of the saffron forces aloof in the freedom struggle against the British. Besides that, those saffron functionaries surrendered themselves to the British rulers of those days with due apology in letter and expressing the prospective support and loyalty to the British rule. The saffron brigades with such organisational and ideological heritage do not have the moral authority to talk on patriotism and advise others.
Academic and Research bodies: The academic and research bodies at all India level have to do research, to document the facts and to offer advisory directions to the rulers in framing the educational policies, in the design of the academic syllabus and preparation of educational texts. The educationist and the intellectuals who are sufficiently exposed and experienced in the respective disciplines would be entrusted with the executive responsibilities of such bodies. This was the practice so far. But after the formation of BJP Government, it has become a practice to choose personnel to the academic and research bodies without their significant exposure and experience or irrelevant exposure and experience to the desired discipline. The sheer allegiance or association with Hindutva ideals is sufficient to adorn such positions. Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Indian History Congress(IHC) etc. are the few among the targets to accomplish the saffronisation agenda. Rewriting the history in an unscientific and biased manner by relying solely on the scriptures, puranas, idihas and face –shift the Indian History has become the official function of those bodies.
Recently, the HRD Ministry of the BJP Government has reconstituted the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR). It is customary so far to appoint educationists and scholarly personnel on philosophy who are well versed about the academic field to the positions in ICPR. But now the ministry has approved the nomination of 12 members to the Council, of them many are not related to the academics of philosophy; four are Sanskrit scholars, one is the former BJP Member of the Legislative Council and one is retired from the Indian Police Service (who has associated with the organisation that recently claimed to have put exact date to Lord Ram’s birth). Such sort of irrelevance prevails in the appointment made to ICPR. The only identity needed to get nominated to ICPR is the allegiance to Hindutva ideals and association with saffron organisations. In a philosophical body, the representation of irrelevant personnel is going to dominate, favouring the speedy formulation to face- shift of the philosophical heritage of the country.
Sanskritisation: Sanskritisation is yet another mode in the process of saffronisation. Historical facts show that the religious texts and codes which are in Sanskrit language had enslaved the majority section of the population of this land. Sanskrit is now a DEAD language and no one speaks Sanskrit language except its presence in the scriptures and its restricted usage in chanting Hindu religious mantras. To bring back the glory of the past, Sanskrit is given undue importance and projection. To begin with HRD Ministry has issued notification to introduce Sanskrit as the third language to be taught in the schools which come under the direct purview of the Ministry. The notification advised for the teaching Sanskrit in a phased manner to the students. Sanskritisation is nothing but suppressing the regional languages and put them sub standard and subservient. Sanskrtisation is nothing but upholding the supremacy of one sect in the religious hierarchy which is against the secular fabric of the country.
The saffronisation process is fast and is carried out meticulously. The deleterious effects have been caused alarmingly in the span of about two years of BJP rule. To cause further deterioration from the present position the saffron forces are planning systematically and accomplishing them aggressively. We warn , this is unbecoming of the Government, elected in a democratic way but discharging the task in a dictatorial manner. This sort of governance of the State is detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country.
U.S. varsity turns down grant for Hindu studies over right wing links
– Varghese K. George
Following protests from scholars and students, the University of California Irvine (UCI) has decided to “walk away” from the $3-million grant it received from an Indian American not-for-profit body, the Dharma Civilisation Foundation (DCF). A faculty committee of the university that reviewed the agreement with the foundation, has decided to drop plans for two chairs in Hinduism and Indian studies immediately and review two other chairs, one in Sikhism and the other in Jainism, which totals another $3 million.
The DCF has more than 1,000 Indian American donors and the four chairs it agreed with the university through 2015 involved a gift of $6 million in total. Before moving on to setting up chairs, the foundation had funded a series of projects at UCI focusing on Hinduism and Indian culture. The move came in for criticism from scholars and students, who found the conditions set by the foundation restrictive to academic freedom. The faculty committee found the foundation “extremely ideologically driven” with “extreme right wing notions”.
As the controversy was brewing, the foundation had said it was open to reviewing the agreement with the university. But the faculty review committee has decided that the grant from the foundation was not acceptable.
Courtesy: The Hindu