In a jolt to the RSS, the Congress government in Rajasthan has decided to give bonus marks to students who donate blood on Gandhi Jayanti. Unlike the earlier diktat of the BJP government asking students to donate blood on the birth anniversary of its ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay to get bonus marks in colleges of Rajasthan, the present Congress government has overturned the practice of the last four years with its new order.
However, in keeping with the earlier spirit of the order, the government will provide an appreciation certificate plus 1 per cent bonus marks for admission in colleges of the state.
The former education minister Kalicharan Saraf had launched the innovative blood donation drive in 2015 whereby a record 10,252 blood samples were collected. It was touted as a tribute to the memory of RSS ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay and almost every year, the annual exercise was geared to collect around 10000 units of blood from the student community.
The officials of the education department maintain that the planning and zest for the drive remain the same as ever except the change in date of collection.
In a bid to make the blood donation drive on Gandhi Jayanti day of 2nd October a huge success, higher education officials, Sanskrit students and Rajasthan Police officials have been roped in alongside assured participation by almost 150 higher education centres within the state.
Health Minister Raghu Sharma said that in case of blood banks exhausting their capacities, the authorities will ensure getting resolutions filled by students desirous of donating blood, thus making a complete data of blood donors.
He assured that all blood donating agencies and associates and workers will be suitably honoured and felicitated for their contribution to the success of the drive.
It may be noted that the state education department has been making constant changes after the Congress Government took over in Rajasthan.
Apart from the changes made in the curriculum, the department had also dropped Deen Dayal Upadhyaya's name from the State level Talent Search Exam organised under its auspices.
The opposition BJP says the effort now is a tit-for-tat move inspired purely by political motives.
The former education minister in the Vasundhara Raje government, Vasudev Devnani says, “Deendayal Upadhyay was well known for his philosophy of 'Ek- Atmavaad' and for his economic thinking which makes him as great as leaders like Gandhi and Lohiya.
But the Congress worships just one family and wants to ignore other major leaders of the country. For the BJP, all nationalists are very respectable and our central government is extensively celebrating Gandhi’s 150th birth year.
But the Congress does not accept other leaders as significant and that’s why they are trying to belittle Deendayal’s name."
The ruling Congress, however, strongly refutes the charge. Archana Sharma, Congress Spokesperson in Jaipur remarks, "The BJP had made education an RSS propaganda laboratory. We will not permit that.
Our move is inspired only by the desire to pay respect to Mahatma Gandhi and link students with the Father of the Nation. As for Deendayal, there is no way he can be compared to Bapu."