LUCKNOW: Ram Shankar Katheria, the junior minister in Smriti Irani’s education ministry, has stirred a controversy with his remarks that “if saffronisation of education is good for the country, it will happen”.
The Minister of State for Human Resource Development said this while attending a function to celebrate ‘Hindvi Swaraj Diwas Samaroh’ at the Lucknow University on Saturday.
“Reporters told us that some people are saying that our government is saffronising education in the country. Saffronisation will happen in both education and in the country. Whatever is good for the country will definitely happen, whether it is bhagwakaran (saffronisation) or sanghwad (the ideology associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS),” Mr Katheria said in his address at the event.
“…Whatever is in the interest of the country or for the benefit of the country…on the basis of which the nation can stand with pride in the world, should it not be made part of the syllabus or should it not been taught to our children?” he said.
He further said: “If our children do not read about Maharana Pratap or Maharaj Shivaji, then will they read about Genghis Khan?”
Seeking actions against the minister, Congress’s V Hanumantha Rao said Prime Minister Narendra Modi “should stop his ministers from making such absurd statements. No one is going to tolerate this.”
Mr Katheria’s remarks came even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership has cautioned its leaders from making controversial statements as these deflect from the “development agenda” of the Narendra Modi government.