NCERT: The Communalists Versus The Secularists
And the Sunday Navhind Times, in its ‘PANORAMA’ has given us the treat on the "pros" and "cons", as well as the ” for” and “against” arguments on the subject of NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training) by Rajesh Singh and Praful Bidwai, the two learned persons whose authoritativeness on the subject cannot be challenged offhand. And the verdict of the Supreme Court on the subject which has gone in favour of the communalists is seen as a threat to the National Education System by the Secularists on the one hand, and a welcomed euphoria by the communalists on the other hand. And this tug of war will continue endlessly until someone with enough authority will step in to say enough is enough. The question is WHO!, WHEN!.
And the captions abound such as “ NCERT: What to Teach?” “ Errors in the NCERT Syllabus” (depicting the errors which are infact not errors or mistakes but intolerable aberrations ) “Errors have little to do with ideological manipulations” “Evidence of Strong Hindutva biases” etc.
And to a balanced mind, free from prejudices and biases, both Rajesh Singh and Praful Bidwai seem to have done a pretty good job of convincing the readers that his respective point is right.
And I for one, being exposed to Praful Bidwai’s thinking pattern for a long time could predict the path of his thoughts. But Rajesh Singh is another matter altogether. It appears that Rajesh Singh wants to go places with the BJP government (not the party) and has gone out of his way to please his masters in the BJP with his corroborating views on this HINDUTVA tinged NCERT program. It is a fact that Rajesh Singh was acting as the media adviser to the RSS Chief Minister of Goa. It is a fact that Rajesh Singh is being sought to be appointed as the Director of Information, Government of Goa. He would like to have us believe that this dose of poison is really good for our children’s educational health and to develop their moral values. And he goes on to crow that the Justices of the Supreme Court would’nt have allowed this if they did’nt feel right. We would like to hear about the goodness of the proposed NCERT syllabus from a neutral person and not Rajesh Singh, who cannot be considered as anything but biased and prejudiced.
And the whole lot of constitutional provisions or not, Supreme Court’s judgment or not, whether the indignations and convictions of the communalists and the secularists are right or not, there must be an iota of common sense in the whole affair. Who says that the Supreme Court Justices could’nt be misled? or prone to misjudge? After all they too are human beings, are’nt they? When the whole lot of State Education Ministers walk out of the convention, it must mean something? We could be satisfying the constitutional provisions per say. But is’nt it a dead giveaway when facts are deliberately distorted or missed out? Everyone knows that Godse assassinated Gandiji. It is a historical fact. Why would anyone want to sweep this fact under the mat? And judging by the way things are happening in our nation, can the communalists be trusted with the education of our children who are the future citizens of this nation? Did’nt they demolish the Babri Masjid? Did’nt they use this to their own advantage to get to the seat of power? What is Lal Krishna Advani? Why is the Supreme Court NOT sending him to jail for demolishing the Babri Masjid? Is'nt he a charge-sheeted criminal who is hiding behind a technicality of a wrongly issued notification? Are’nt they messing up enough with the religious sentimentalities of the people which they prefer to call minorities? Aren’t thousands of people either killed, maimed, deprived of their livelihood and loss of property and/or made homeless? What guarantee is there that they will not infiltrate the education system totally to poison the minds of our future generation and make them the communalist zombies to walk in their own dirty footsteps? No Sir! We don’t want that to happen. Nor shall we allow that to happen to our children.
I have gone to school. I have gone to college. And I have learnt things like maths, science, geography, chemistry, physics and languages and what have you. But I would say that I have never been actually taught religion or for that matter, moral values in those class rooms. I have been groomed in moral values at home by my mother, my father, by my family in my religious faith . And those moral values, the values that can recognize right from wrong, selfishness from unselfishness, good from bad and clean from dirty, has been learnt by me by watching the behaviour of my parents and my village elders. And these moral values have been re-enforced in me by watching and learning from the behaviour of my teachers in school.
And there have been a lot of students who have passed out from the same school or college that I have passed out, and most of them have retained the moral values. But some of them have become pigs and have gone on to occupy high positions in the government. Why? Not because the morals were not taught to them in the classrooms. Because their parents themselves did’nt have any morals. The argument that some pass and some fail does not hold good here. And Rajesh Singh should know better. One grows with moral values. And the teachers of those values are the parents, the f amily influence. Children watch and learn, first, by the actions of their parents and then by the actions of their school teachers and elders. And if the moral influence is very strong at home, the influence from outside, even if it is morally bad, it does not take its toll. The auto pilot which is set at home takes over and becomes the stabilizing factor in guiding the moral destination of the youngster.
And to me, this high funda about learning about our own indegenous people rather than the foreigners, does not make any sense. We learn about Sir Isaac Newton’s findings of gravity and not about his life story. We learn about the principles of Archimedes and Pythagorus because they found them. We learn about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, because he was a great man, and because he led this country to independence. We learn about Rabindra Nath Tagore because he wrote beautiful poems and things. We learn about Dr. Ambedkar because he lifted himself above being a dalit and tried to put some sense into the inflated minds of the Hindu Brahmins to let go of the caste system. We learn about Jesus, Ram, Mohammed because they were good men and taught good things. So why do we Indians have to be obnoxious and prejudiced about learning the right things? And why should we allow our children to be brain washed by a bunch of communal vipers like Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, who are nothing but radical opportunists trying to vandalise the nation for their selfish gains and perverted ideologies? In the face of the massive opposition, why do they insist that they are right? and what they do is good for the nation?
The decision of the Supreme Court must be reviewed and if required the Supreme Court must be reminded that teaching and learning religion is fine provided the subjects are made available as specialised courses where the students make their own choices. But no religion must be taught or seen to be taught in schools, specially those run and/or funded by the Government of India, no matter how good or morally sound it may be. Neither should the Government of India be seen giving financial grants to any religious institution or seen favouring one over the other. Because the Government of India, whether it is of the Congress or the BJP or whoever, remains a secular Government by virtue of the written down Constitution of this Great Nation. And no tom fullery will be tolerated from no Supreme Court nor any Government in power to interpret and/or neutralise the secularity of that Constitution. If parents want their children to be brainwashed into becoming religious zombies then let them send their children to schools run by such vested interests at their own cost. The States and/or the people who decry this imposition of the will by the communal vipers in the government in this nation’s education curriculum must fortify themselves to go in for prolonged protests until the neutrality of religious beliefs is maintained in our classrooms. And if the preachers of moral values are bleeding to be righteous, then let them set the examples by eradicating the corruption in Government departments, in abolishing the curse of caste system and reservations and helping to restore the freedom for the individual citizen of India to live, work and practice religion as guaranteed by the Constitution.