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SC supports Joshi’s education framework

At last, the BJP has got some solace from the Supreme Court. On September 12, vacating the stay on new syllabi, a three-judge bench upheld the National Curriculum Framework for Secondary Education (NCFSE)-2002. In its ruling, the bench said that the study of religion could not be equated with imparting of religious instruction.

In their petition, Magsasay award winner Aruna Roy and senior journalist BG Verghese, had alleged that the new syllabus, announced by the NCERT, distorted history to promote Hindutva and it has been prepared without consultation with the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE).

The court dismissed the petition and said that it did not have enough reason to call NCERT’s decision unconstitutional.

The court ruling cleared the decks for introducing new textbooks of Hindi and Social Science in the secondary classes. It has also given cheers to BJP leaders who were upset with one or another charge labelled against them.

The ruling was seen as moral victory for the BJP and Sangh Parivars, who had been trying hard to convince media and a large section of people that they had not been tampering with history.

An elated minister for human resources development(HRD) Murli Manohar Joshi, who was the main target of angry opposition on this issue inside and outside Parliament said, “the Supreme Court has vindicated our stand. Allegations of saffronising education hurled on us were politically motivated, mischievous or made out of ignorance.”

He asserted that now states should have no problem in implementing it. He added that the new syllabus was not mandatory. Students particularly of class nine, who will find substantial changes in their history books and their teachers do not seem very happy with the ruling. 

Reacting over this ruling, students said, “it’s time to do some unlearning but now we have to go through new books having a lot of new things.” On the other hand, teachers too are wary. In his reaction RC Shekhar, principal Gyan Bharti School said “if you impose a new syllabus mid-session, it will be difficult for them to adjust.” 

The ruling has obviously given a shot in the arm to the BJP but unwillingness of states ruled by the Congress and the left to implement it has complicated matters.

These states are not bothered about its implementation. Criticising the BJP,Maharashtra Education Minister, Ramkrishna More said, “Nobody should change the syllabus as per their party’s views and agenda”.

Clarifying his state’s stand on this issue, the Karnataka Minister for Higher Education, Dr. G. Parmeshwar said, “We are not going to implement this in the middle of the term. It is also not mandatory on the part of state governments to do so.”

Despite the court’s ruling, the opposition is rigid on its stand.CPI(M) leader Biman Bose said, “the VHP is linked with the RSS in running many schools. They now want to pass on the syllabus through the Central to the state government. This is not fair”. It is to be noted that during the last winter session this issue had rocked both the houses of parliament for many days. 

Showing disgust over government’s decision , the entire opposition walked out of the two houses repeatedly. They called it an attempt by Sangh Parivar to saffronise and Talibanise the education.

¯ MG News Desk

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