BJP, RSS want right-wing ideologues to head educational institutes in J’khand
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.
He also claimed she would be sent to Afghanistan or Syria, akin to 21 people missing from Kerala who are suspected to have joined the Islamic State.
In May, the high court annulled their marriage and in August, the Supreme Court refused to stay the HC order and asked the NIA to probe the wedding. But weeks later, justice T K Ravendran who was assigned to oversee the investigation withdrew, citing personal reasons. “There are many attempts to brand me as a terrorist. Many such unknown cases will come up in coming days to tarnish me,” Jahan told HT.
In his speech in Thiruvananthapuram, Alphons said the Modi government was committed to ensuring the welfare of the downtrodden by building houses for the homeless, providing electricity in all villages and building toilets in all houses. “We are imposing taxes to help the poor. All money collected is not being stolen by Union ministers,” he said adding it was the previous UPA regime that stole the money.
“Those who own vehicle require petrol also. I don’t think they have any problem in finding their food. In India at least 30% of the people are starving. The Modi government gives top priority to improve their lot. So those who are using fuel have to cough up tax also,” he said. This is not the first time Alphons has courted trouble since he was made a minister. Recently, he advised foreign tourists to eat beef in their countries before coming to India.
The driver, Khatta Singh, had initially testified against Singh in 2007 but changed his version in 2012.
Khatta Singh claimed he was living in the dera when the crimes were committed and had “personal knowledge” about the circumstances of the murders.
Meanwhile, Haryana Police arrested on Friday the driver of Honeypreet Kaur, the controversial adopted daughter of Singh. Pradeep Kumar was detained from near the religious town of Salasar in Rajasthan.
BJP national president Amit Shah distributes LPG cylinders at 'Garib Kalyan Mela' in Ranchi on Saturday.