The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other Hindu outfits on Saturday sought amendments to Articles 28, 29 and 30 of the Constitution in order to emphasise the civilisational development of the Hindu culture and tradition and mainstreaming of Hindu literature into the educational system.
The outfits, which have grouped under the banner of Hindu Charter Team, made these demands at a national conference that sought “Equal Right for Hindus” and pitched for non-interference of the state in the maintenance of the majority community’s temples and religious institutions.
At the day-long deliberation, which was inaugurated by VHP’s National Working President Alok Kumar, participants pointed out the overwhelming emphasis of foreign literature in the country’s existing educational system and attempts to keep the syllabus insulated from the vast reserves of Hindu literature.
Article 30 of the Constitution gives religious minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions. All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice, it says.
Article 29 assures protection of the interests of minorities. Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part there of having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same, it says.
“Article 28 prohibits the majority community from propagating the knowledge of its ancient civilisation, culture and traditions to the future generations,” said Dr Venu Gopalan, a Sanskrit scholar from Chennai.
One of the Team members cited ‘Macbeth’, a staple political satire from the 17th century English literature, to point out how well-absorbed it was in the Indian educational system. “‘Macbeth’ has been popular throughout history and it speaks volumes of the rich English literary tradition,” he said.
“But the Hindu literature, especially ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’, which hold exceptionally rich knowledge, especially from development aspect of a civilisation, have often being weighed-down in contrast with the foreign literature,” said Dr Bharat Gupta, retired Delhi University professor.
The Team condemned the fragmentation of the Hindu society by denying Hindus the right to run educational institutions without undue government interference.
According to a statement, the conference organisers have decided to submit a draft of Bill that seeks to amend Articles 12, 15, 19, 25 to 30 and inserts a new Article 12A, which is directed at protecting the rights of the majority and conserving its literary texts.