This month’s edition of Manogat, the mouthpiece of the BJP in Gujarat, carries a four-page article on Dina Nath Batra, which, among other things, talks about the endorsement of his books by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Supreme Court Justice A R Dave.
Batra, the convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, who had also served as the general secretary of Vidya Bharati, the education wing run by the RSS, has written nearly 11 books, eight of which have been recently translated into Gujarati and introduced in government schools in the state.
The article, titled “Jivandarshan Karavata Prasangon ne Congress Bhagvakaran Kahe Chhe” (Incidents from life are termed as Saffronisation by Congress) carries a profile of Batra, along with his photograph. The piece argues that Batra has played an important role in the national education movement, for which he was imprisoned seven times.
Besides, the piece highlights the endorsement of Batra’s four books — Prernadeep I, II, III and IV — by the PM as “congratulatory and appreciative” under his personal message: “The main objective of education and knowledge is character development of a person”.
This article has appeared in response to the protests and wide opposition from various quarters after The Indian Express broke a series of stories on the introduction of nine books, eight of which are by Batra, in 42,000 government primary and secondary schools by the Gujarat government from this academic session.
Apart from personal endorsement messages, the write-up has several instances taken from Batra’s Prernadeep, citing stories from Vedic and pre-Independence era, covering personalities like Harinay Kashyap’s son Prahlad, philosopher and historian Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, author and founder of Swadhyay Mandal Shripad Damodar Satwalekar and Kolkata High Court Justice Gurudas Banerjee.