BJP, RSS want rightwing educationists to head institutes
The BJP and its ideological fountainhead RSS on Saturday decided to press the Jharkhand government to bring more people who subscribe to their ideology to head educational institutions in the state amid allegations of “saffronisation of education”.
The move is perceived as an attempt to prevent the growth of educational institutions run by Christian missionaries who have been working in the state’s education sectors for decades.
The contentious decision was taken at a joint meeting of BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Seva Bharati, Vidhya Bharati and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) chaired by BJP president Amit Shah.
The Raghubar Das-led BJP government earlier this year rechristened the state’s oldest ‘Ranchi College’ to ‘Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee University’.
Mukherjee was the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangha, the forerunner to the BJP.
The renaming sparked angry protests from tribal students, who accused the government of “saffronising” higher education by suppressing students’ opinion and issuing diktats to please the RSS.
The meeting, held at the RSS office in Ranchi’s Niwaranpur, also asked the government to scrap affiliation of educational institutions that are allegedly directly or indirectly engaged in religious conversion.
“The government has strong evidences against some Christian affiliate institutions, universities that are encouraging conversions. And their numbers are increasing by the day. It’s high time that the government check their growth,” a senior RSS leader, who attended the meeting, told HT.
The meeting emphasised on improving the quality of education in both rural and urban areas by deputing officials who believe in the Sangh’s ideology at the helm of the educational institutions, sources in the RSS and BJP said emerging from the meeting.
Apart from senior BJP leaders, the meeting was attended by senior RSS functionaries Ram Dutt Chakradhadhar, Ravi Shankar, Rakesh Lal and Rajiv Kamal Bittu.
The meeting also hailed the 1,000-day old Raghubar Das government for its decision to introduce the controversial anti-conversion law, and resolved to implement the same effectively.
The Jharkhand Religious Freedom Act, 2017, restricts religious conversion. As per its provisions, anyone found violating the legislation would be imprisoned for three years and fined ₹50,000 or both, and four-year imprisonment and ₹1 lakh fine, or both, if the person converted is a minor, woman, or a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
BJP national president Amit Shah distributes LPG cylinders at 'Garib Kalyan Mela' in Ranchi on Saturday.