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Dinanath Batra slams criticism against Haryana government over charges of saffronisation


New Delhi: Dismissing criticism against Haryana government for deciding to include his books on “Moral Science” in the school curriculum, RSS ideologue Dinanath Batra on Sunday said if telling students about culture and history is “saffronisation”, the country should move faster in that direction.

Batra, who is on a panel formed by the Haryana government to bring in qualitative changes in the education system, also suggested that saffron should be made the “national colour” and claimed Rama and Krishna are part of the country’s history and not just religious texts. “If telling our young generation about India’s culture, examples and stories of sacrifice made in history is saffronisation, I would say we are moving a bit slow towards it and very fast I would like to see the entire country saffronised,” he told reporters on sidelines of an event here.

Batra said the “safrronisation” charge being levelled against the state’s BJP government was uncalled for and it is important for students to know about their culture and values which will help them channelise their energy.
“The controversy over the books is uncalled for. Universities today are making zero contribution to the country’s prosperity. The students are young but their energy is not being channelised to some useful and productive social or national work,” he said. Batra, further said the six textbooks written by him start with the “Saraswati Vandana” ? a mantra recited for knowledge and wisdom and have essays, couplets, stories and poems to instil “Indian values” and “nationalism” in students.

“Swami Vivekananda says renunciation and service are the twin ideals of our country so this colour is of an idea of sacrifice..It is a symbol of India’s culture. If I am asked what can be our national colour, I would say saffron..Let others not believe so,” he added.

Some books by Batra, convener of the RSS-backed Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, are already mandatory in schools affiliated to the Gujarat Board. He said Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma had asked him to write textbooks for students on moral education, which are likely to be introduced in schools in the state from next academic session.

“The education minister had told me to write books on moral education for students from class 7 to 10. I have written those books, my work is over. Now experts from SCERT will go through them and if they find anything which should not be included they are free to remove it,” he said. “Rama and Krishna are part of history and not just religious texts. They are part of our culture. The books will contain lessons on moral education, character building, respect for Indian culture and values, good conduct and manners, respect for duties and importance of discipline in life,” he added.

Asserting that even UNESCO has advocated routing education through culture, Batra said values and concepts will make the students responsible citizens. “Even UNESCO has said education of individual and country should be routed through its culture and wedded it to its growth. Education should have two aims, telling students about the cultural heritage as well as encouraging them to work towards country’s prosperity,” he said.

“These values and concepts should be ingrained in the students to make them responsible citizens who respect their culture and promote such values,” he added. Previously embroiled in controversies for advocating compulsory teaching of Sanskrit and Bhagvad Gita in schools, Batra said “saffron” is symbolic of India’s culture.


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