Taking exception to the Centre’s draft New Education Policy, DMK today said it will “disturb” the country’s time-tested ‘status’ of unity in diversity. Besides, it “re-introduces the Hereditary Occupation System, imposed Sanskrit, interfered with states’ rights and affected reservation policy,” party treasurer and Tamil Nadu Opposition leader M K Stalin said.
In a memorandum to Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, he claimed that the draft New Education Policy (NEP) “has evoked large-scale dissatisfaction and dissent” among students of SC/ST and BC/MBC communities, poor and middle classes, and minorities.
“India is a multi-dimensional country. It is multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious, enjoying unity in diversity. The Draft Policy will definitely disturb this time-tested unique status, of which we have been proud of,” Stalin said.
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A copy of the memorandum, submitted to Javadekar by DMK MP RS Bharathi, was made available to the media. Stalin said the draft policy was against the basic principles forming the bedrock of Dravidian movement and “therefore the DMK has taken a very firm stand to stoutly oppose the Draft National Education Policy, 2016”.
He took exception to the provisions allowing children below 14 years to pursue family occupation, saying it reminded one of the ‘Madras Scheme of Elementary Education’, popularly referred to as ‘Kula Kalvi Thittam’, introduced by the late C Rajagopalachari in 1953.
“The scheme (of 1953) became controversial as it was a Casteist Scheme to perpetuate the caste-hierarchy as Hindu professions were caste-based,” he said while recalling the strong opposition to it then by DK and DMK. “We are of the view that the BJP government at the Centre tries to re-introduce the widely-resented Hereditary Education,” Stalin said.
Among others, the word “Reservation” for SC/STs and OBCs did not find a place anywhere in “some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy, 2016,” he said in referrence to Javadekar’s recent statement about the draft NEP.
“The cabinet has not cleared any policy draft on New Education Policy. It is in the making. There were inputs that were published. Some people and organisations thought that is the New Education Policy and started protesting in Tamil Nadu and Kerala,” Javadekar had said recently. Stalin also said the draft NEP tried to ‘impose Sanskrit’ and took exception to it.