Saffron schoolbooks? Smriti Irani meets RSS leaders to discuss education reforms

Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani reportedly met RSS leaders today to discuss education reforms. The RSS leaders discussed the Indian education system with Irani and gave her suggestions.

Saffron schoolbooks? Smriti Irani meets RSS leaders to discuss education reforms

Smriti Irani. Image courtesy: Facebook.

According to Headlines Today reports, the saffron outfits want to rectify UPA wrongs in textbooks. The RSS has been critical of the Congress governments for ignoring the contribution of Hindu culture and religion to nation-building.

The RSS has pitched for a practical instead of theoretical approach in the education system, reported CNN-IBN.
RSS leaders Suresh Soni and Dattatreya Hosabale were part of the meeting with Irani.

Earlier, just days after taking over the HRD ministry, Irani had asked officials to develop educational material that encapsulates the contribution of ancient Indians in different fields like science, mathematics, social sciences, philosophy, grammar and language.
She is reported to have already set up a committee which will study ancient literary works such as the Upanishads and the Vedas and identify suitable texts highlighting the Hindu contribution to science, mathematics and philosophy.
As Hasan Suroor noted in this Firstpost article,“Saffronisation’’ of education has been a pet RSS project dressed up as a campaign to purge textbooks of “foreign’’ influences, and to promote “patriotism’’. It was taken up with extraordinary zeal by RSS-loyalist Murali Manohar Joshi when he headed the ministry. There was extensive revision of NCERT books and pro-RSS historians were brought in to prepare heavily nationalistic teaching material. Key educational bodies, including the NCERT and the Indian Council of Historical Research, were “reconstituted’’ and packed with people sympathetic to the BJP thinking.

Irani’s meet with the RSS leaders comes only a day after the Union Human Resources Development Ministry asked the Indian Institutes of Technology to explore setting up separate canteens for its vegetarian students based on the possibility of non-vegetarian food creating tamas (dark thoughts) in students.

The meeting with the RSS leader to decide on the Indian education system has drawn much flak on social media:

Tavleen Singh @tavleen_singh

The RSS does not know enough about Indian history to be allowed by the HRD ministry to rewrite it. Bigotry cannot pass for history.

Priyanka Chaturvedi ✔ @priyankac19
Please tell us of one single, sensible, forward-looking decision Smriti Irani has taken since becoming HRD minister? Anyone?

Richard Jonathan @RichardJonatha
@priyankac19 Our education system is in serious threat under smriti irani.Association with rss wil push things backwards towards stone age

Nikhil Mehra @TweetinderKaul

Like meeting Srinivasan for match fixing reform RT @timesnow: HRD Minister Smriti Irani meets RSS leader to discuss education reforms