NEW DELHI: After the RSS and the BJP meeting to achieve at greater coordination between the ideological parent and the government, the BJP would call education and culture ministers from the saffron party ruled states for a uniformity in approach.
The two day meeting starting on September 6 will see the participation of the state ministers of for education and culture, BJP chief Amit Shah, central ministers Smriti Irani and Mahesh Sharma among others. All the BJP general secretaries and some experts will be present.
Sources said the meeting has been called to discuss the success stories or good governance practises carried by each of these BJP ruled states in the field of education and culture. “We would look if one state has done something good, so it will share and other may try to replicate it. Moreover, next year as the central government is coming out with the National Education Policy, we would like the states to take a look at it and align and participate in it actively,” BJP vice president Vinay Sahashrabuddhe said.
The two issues of culture and education drive the ideological message of the larger saffron family. With the Sangh and BJP’s focus on cultural nationalism, and need to bring new icons to the national mainstream in contrast to the Congress’ pantheon of national leaders.
Currently, the BJP has its government in eight states including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Haryana and Goa, while it shares power as alliance partner in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir. The ministers who hold the portfolios of education and culture have been called for discussions.
Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh where the BJP has been in power for long, the changes have been brought in the curricula with a “nationalistic” perspective and newer cultural initiatives with focus on ancient system of knowledge have been brought in. The other states will be able to pick from the examples of these states.
As the central government is carrying out many initiatives in the field of education and the culture, the party wants the states to harmonize its policies with the centre. The current meeting has been called by the good governance cell of the party to prepare a set of best practices in the field.
"The BJP had made a number of promises in the manifesto especially for brining a change in the education sector. The two day meet would look at means to achieve those promises,” sources said.
“...Education accords due emphasis on national integration, social cohesion, religious amity, national identity and patriotism... It must also be analyzed how far education has contributed to moral, ethical and humanistic values in the individuals and the society,” party manifesto of 2014 Lok Sabha had said.
The BJP had also laid emphasis on teaching in local Indian languages as these are considered “repositories of rich literature, history, culture, art and scientific achievements.” States which have carried out programme for local languages particularly traditions may also feature in the talks.
Sources said currently, both Sangh and the BJP ruled government was focussing on the national education policy which is currently being debated across the country. Emphasis is being laid on the inclusion of ancient system of knowledge, teaching in mother tongue, linking curricula with vocational training so that trained work force be prepared.
With 15-months in government at the centre, there is greater ‘pressure and focus’ on bringing about about changes which would have a “nationalistic” flavour. The BJP-RSS meeting was a step in that direction.