Efforts to saffronise school children in M.P.

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh’s BJP government, by taking yet another controversial decision, is working to vitiate the communal atmosphere. In government primary schools of this state a magazine is now being taught to children. Thousands of copies of this children’s magazine called Devpatra have already reached 83400 primary schools of the state. This magazine is published by Indore’s Saraswati Bal Kalyan Nyay. It claims to have a circulation of 1.3 lakh copies, and has already published a supplement on M.S. Golwalkar, former chief of RSS and RSS’s senior office-bearer Krishn Kumar Asthana is the head of the Trust which publishes this magazine. With the purchase of this magazine there will be an extra burden of Rs. 1.5 crore on the exchequer of M.P. government.

M.P. Department of School Education in a circular to Block Resources Coordinators has ordered them to ensure supply of this magazine to all government schools. Every school will get two copies of this magazine. According to this magazine’s managing editor Vikas Dave, he has not made any changes in this magazine. Last year when BJP government of the state had implemented this proposal, Department of Education had expressed its concern that a large part of the budget for ‘Education for all’ campaign will be spent on this publication. Congress Party on its part has described this step as a conspiracy to saffronise school children.

In Delhi, general secretary of Welfare Party of India Dr. Qasim Rasool Ilyas while condemning M.P. government’s steps to saffronise the state’s educational system said that religious minorities and secular elements are already opposing state government’s ‘Surya namaskar’ and ‘Bhojan mantra’ schemes but instead of withdrawing these schemes it has expanded the RSS agenda by making the teaching of the magazine Devpatra compulsory in government schools. He said that the compulsory teaching of this magazine is not only against the country’s secular character but also against religious freedom of religious minorities which is guaranteed by the country’s Constitution. He said that what is needed is that religious minorities and all secular minded and justice loving people should foil such efforts of spoiling budding minds of the new generation by propagating RSS’s hate mongering ideology by a common strategy.

MG News Desk

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2011 on page no. 11

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