Call to Preserve Secular Character of Education
We very often say, “Muslims should become mainstream and Dalits should become mainstream Have we ever thought, ‘What the mainstream is?”
By M. B. Mistry
Pune: Lokayat , a non-government organisation working for the rights of the common people and the Akhil Bharatiya Samajwadi Adyapak Sabha, together organized a national workshop on February 8, 2015 to enlighten the educated and the lay people about the new challenges in the education sector in the wake of the policies introduced by the Modi Government. It was presided over by Bhai Vaidya, a veteran socialist and a former minister of Maharashtra.
Speakers included well-known educationist Dr. Anil Sadgopal from Bhopal, Neeraj Jain of Lokayat and Prof. Apoorvanand Jha from Delhi University. Prof. Jha expressed concern about the increasing communalization of education in India. He said, we need to ask ourselves the following questions: We very often say “Muslims should become mainstream… Dalits should become mainstream…. etc. Have we ever thought, ‘What the mainstream is?” Today Hindu common sense is becoming Indian common sense. ‘Gandhi had said Hindus should learn to become Indians. We all must reflect on this.,
Jha went on to say, “Increasingly fingers are pointed at Muslims as terrorists. Mumbai Police Commissioner recently said that we need to either modernize Madarasas or have mixed housing colonies. Do we ever talk about modernizing Vedic Pathsalas or Sanskrit schools? Jha outlined the objective of education as bringing about the integration of all the communities. Bhai Vaidya, in his presidential address, remarked that BJP had removed ‘socialism’. Now VHP wants to remove ‘secularism’.
Neeraj Jain from Lokayat informed that it plans to organize a number of workshops all across India to awaken the masses on the dangers of the education policies of the current government.