MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: A university in Nagpur has introduced a chapter on the history of the Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh in the second year undergraduate course, sparking a debate if this was beginning of saffronisation of education in universities.
The chapter called ‘The RSS’s contribution in nation-building’ has been started at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University.
“This chapter has been introduced in the fourth semester of B.A. (History),” said Satish Chafle of the university.
Although the university has been teaching RSS history in its postgraduate programme since 2003-04, what has raised eyebrows is its introduction at the undergraduate level with emphasis on the positive aspects of the Sangh.
Professors of political science and history in Delhi viewed this as an attempt at “indoctrinating students with myths and falsehood”.
“The role of the RSS, along with that of the Muslim League, has always been taught under the history of communalism in India at the post-graduate level,” said a history teacher with a Delhi University college.
By having a chapter on the RSS as a nation builder it has been given a whole new dimension, she said. “This step is clearly meant to give a twist to the earlier objective narrative.”
A professor of political science at Delhi’s Ambedkar University said the move was aimed at “glorifying an organisation that has been known for furthering social divide over a period of 90 years.”
The move attracted political fire, too. Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant tweeted, “Where would Nagpur University find reference of RSS in nation building? It is the most divisive force which collaborated with British, opposed freedom movement, didn’t hoist Tricolour..., wanted Manusmriti in lieu of Constitution, spreads Hatred.”