From painting government buildings saffron to slipping in saffron ideology in the educational system, the Uttar Pradesh government seems bent on giving the state a ‘makeover’. In the latest move, CM Yogi Adityanath’s government has directed all state universities to set up a chair in the name of Deen Dayal Updhayay, the leader of Bhartiya Jan Sangh, and promote his ideology.
Last year, RSS organised a meeting in the national capital where Vice Chancellors of 51 universities across India participated to discuss how to bring in more ‘Indianess’ to the country’s educational system, reported Huffpost.
Several historians and academicians are opposing these moves by the BJP-ruled states targeting educational system to propagate the party ideology. But last year, even as Rajasthan introduced Veer Savarkar, Maharashtra ‘erased’ Mughals, slipping in Maharana Pratap in the school textbooks.
Speaking about Uttar Pradesh government’s latest move, renowned historian and academician, Sohail Hashmi told the Hindustan Times :
“It is sad the government is establishing a chair to promote its ideologue at a time when scholarships for poor students are being cut. Why couldn’t they create a chair in the name of Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen or Homi Jehangir Bhabha?”
Pro-RSS (Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh) historian, Makkhan Lal questioned pro-left over their silence ‘when chairs were created in the name of Nehru’. According to the report, the government would give Rs 7 crore to 14 state universities to promote the teachings of Deen Dayal Upadhyay through workshops and seminars.
Last year, while in March the UP Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma spoke about implementation of an additional Sanskrit Board in UP, a few months later, talking about Mughal emperors, Sharma told the reporters:
“Mughal rulers were not our ancestors but looters. We consider Mughal rulers who did wrong acts as looters. Those who have done good work, we praise. Babar and Aurangzeb were looters. We do not oppose Bahadur Shah Zafar as he extended support to Mangal Pandey.”
Talking about the need to respect and study more about the ancestors, Sharma had also said that we don’t carry the legacy of invaders but that of Lord Ram, Krishna, Guru Nanak, Mahavir, Gautam Buddha, Guru Govind Singh and Shivaji.