At Gyan Sangam, the RSS’s first national workshop of vice-chancellors and teachers where the outfit’s chief Mohan Bhagwat was present, someone asked a question: how many present had written a research book? Hardly a hand among the 721 academicians went up, raising concerns about the need to accelerate research work by “right-wing scholars”.
Many of the invitees had come with CVs, seeking jobs in various institutions. Some said that many academic posts were vacant and many occupied by people with opposing ideologies. Bhawat told them it was against the basic character of the Sangh to have expectations from the government.
The ostensible aim of the workshop that ended on Sunday, was to discuss Indian education. But when The Indian Express spoke to some participants and Sangh leaders, they said the event seemed to focus on the absence of research by right-wing academicians and a push for jobs. Bhagwat urged participants to conquer their ideological opponents by logic and research. Gyan Sangam was organised by Prajna Pravah, an RSS body.
Veteran pracharak J Nandkumar, who until recently worked as the all-India saha prachar pramukh, is the convener of Prajna Pravah. “It was organised to brainstorm on issues pertaining to the Bharatiya perspective of education,” Nandkumar said. The meet was to be at Hansraj College, but fearing students’ protests, it was shifted to Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology and Management in Rohini.
During the workshop, Swaraj in Ideas, a book by RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha was distributed. At another event, the Nanaji Deshmukh Memorial lecture, Bhagwat said the slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” was “a pronouncement of dharma”, implying that “all (people) are mine, no one is an enemy”. He cited a prayer from the Upanishad to swear by the good of all. He said the “dharma”, in the Indian tradition,was not the same as religion or a mode of worship, though it did include worship. It meant “a set of values” specific to India, he added.