Haryana’s BJP government is set to overhaul the education system, introducing the Gita in school, reviving Sanskrit, and setting up a consultative committee under controversial educationist Dina Nath Batra. In this interview, Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma claims universal support for his plans to saffronise education.
Do you agree that the proposed overhaul amounts to saffronising education?
Yes, of course. We are on our way to saffronising education, which would be absolutely in keeping with our rich tradition and culture.
But educationists are apprehensive about it.
Oh, them! The proposed saffronisation is being opposed only by pseudo-secularists. It has become a fashion to oppose any rational move of the government of the day. Otherwise, we are getting support from across the universe. Even the Deoband Islamic school has supported the idea; only they want Qur’an ki aayatein included too.
Some say it will set a bad trend.
It is not bad. You know, when Jawaharlal Nehru constituted a flag committee, they put saffron on top of the design. The top deck of our flag is saffron. Saints dress in saffron. The sun’s rays too are saffron. It is my favourite colour. In fact, saffron is the best colour.
Don’t you expect opposition to your plans to introduce the Gita in the school curriculum?
Who can object if we include our rich culture, tradition and solution to all problems in the syllabus? The Gita is the solution to everything and accepted worldwide; it is the most relevant book in our history. There is absolutely no opposition to the introduction of the Gita; there is massive support for these changes. Religious, educational and political outfits have welcomed it. We are through with the initial formalities. Forget those who only want to make an issue out of it.
When is the educational consultative committee headed by Dina Nath Batra coming about?
By February, it will be constituted. I was with Batraji yesterday; we discuss issues daily. He was my principal during my 11 months as a teacher at Shrimad Bhagwat Gita Senior Secondary School, Kurukshetra. I have learnt a lot from him and want the young generation too to learn about out history, culture and social setup from him.
Why revive Sanskrit when its students would lack opportunities today?
That is just why it is necessary to implement Sanskrit. Out entire mythology and history is written in this language. Why should it be read in translation? Sanskrit will no more be extinct in the state. Foreign countries are seeking scholars in Sanskrit and we are denying the language its right to be taught in our country. This is the language that will turn India into a world power.
When is the overhaul happening?
The next academic session will be revolutionary. I have headed this department earlier and won’t drag my feet in implementing the changes.
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