The education system of any country is its backbone, brain and the nervous system since it directly controls how the youth of any country thinks. Recently there has been a surge in the nationalistic feeling across the country. A huge percentage of the Indian youth that was previously almost ignorant about the various political, economic, and social occurrences in the country; have begun to show interest and also their political orientations.
The education system of India is much of what the Britishers left us. It is about time for a transformation to be brought in right from the grass root level. India has a huge output of graduates YOY and the number of school going students are disproportionately high due to the volume of the population. Thus it becomes critical to create a curriculum which gives the composite history and culture of this country its due. Which infers, that we design the right kind of messaging in our curriculum, in terms of history and sociology. The youth of India has to be equipped with actual facts and figures about our history and not just the blindsided version carefully preserved by our previous masters with no real moral significance.
There is very little or almost a fleeting mention of some of our great leaders, thinkers, and freedom fighters of our academic textbooks. Veer Sawarkar, Lala Lajpat Rai, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Rani Laxmi Bai are a few great personalities that have made great sacrifices for this country and yet our textbooks seem to have forgotten about them. Thus the resurrection of these notable Indian figures is a need of the hour.
Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya is one such legend who has been forgotten by us in spite of his selfless work. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya was born near Mathura, in the year 1916 and lost both his parents at a very young age and was brought up by his maternal uncle. He completed his Class XII which was called intermediate in the Pilani college which is now the famous BITS, Pilani.
He joined the nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the year 1937 soon after he completed his intermediate education. He became a full-time RSS functionary shortly before independence. Pandit Upadhyaya was very actively involved in RSS and played a key role in the founding of the journals and newspapers like Rashtra Dharma, Panchajanya, and Swadesh.
Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangha in 1951 and Pandit Upadhyaya became and stayed the General Secretary for more than 15 years. He later went on to become the president of the Jana Sangh in 1967 and passed away the next year in 1968. There was a CBI inquiry that concluded that the robbers in the train as the reason behind the death. However, the BJP leaders clearly dismiss the CBI findings. Pandit Upadhyaya was a renowned thinker, philosopher and played a vital role in laying the ideological foundations for the Bharatiya Jana Sangha.
Integral humanism is the basic principle that was laid by Pandit Upadhyaya at the BJS. Developing the human capital by centralizing man at the center of the system is what it means. He also advocated the ideology of restocking natural resources along with the usage of it. He did also want to develop the economy with rural India as the base. Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned in 2014 that the Deendayalji’s mantra of integral humanism remains the guiding force. Pandit Deen Dayal also had the vision of Akhanda Bharat which seems like the agenda for the current government.
The BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has named various schemes as a token of a celebration of the 100th Birth Anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. The schemes are definitely a method of reviving the name of the BJP predecessor and is a long pending one too. There are definitely a few more names of great personalities that have been forgotten and needs to be revived similarly.
PM Narendra Modi mentioned in 2016 about celebrating the centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya as Garib Kalyan Varsh. The prime minister also did mention that Pandit Upadhyaya was one among those great thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi and Ram Manohar Lohia. The nationalist right-wing government is clearly making some strides in the right direction.
It is important to be cognizant of the educational curriculum of our country to ensure that the students from a young age are raised with a strong sense of nationalism. Adding to the saga of the brave freedom fighters like Jhansi Rani Laxmi Bai, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and many more, would help the young minds understand the treachery of the Britishers and the bravery and sacrifice of our fellow countrymen. The mention of original names of civilizations/ the ancient history like Ramayana and Mahabharata with the connection of names of places in today’s world is also definitely helping to better understand the ancient Indian history.
There have been both favourable and unfavourable opinions about introducing Bhagavad-Gita in the Indian education system; although it has been a part of school curricula at various grades and universities in the Netherlands and Germany. The introduction of various topics related to the Hindu culture seems to be opposed and are a hot topic of debate in our country recently. Critics view certain religious topics as being sensitive and that the addition of that in the curriculum could cause disharmony in the country.
Some of the recent developments in the country have definitely created a rift and has led to an increase in the number of students choosing sides based on their political/ nationalistic ideologies. The political atmosphere of the country clearly affects the way youth thinks and it is definitely the responsibility of each one of us to pass on accurate information to the younger generation. The current curriculum clearly does not talk about a lot of important kingdoms, ancient history and culture of India, the sacrifice of freedom fighters and so much more, which actually is the essence of the Indian history.
Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Human Resource Development had previously stated that “Our government is the first government to have the courage to even question the existing version of history that is being taught in schools and colleges”. Cultural minister, Mahesh Sharma in an interview with Reuters said: “If the Koran and Bible are considered as part of history, then what is the problem in accepting our Hindu religious texts as the history of India?”. These statements have clearly sent some strong signals of change being on the cards for the Indian education system.
Introducing more facts and figures about some of the ancient history, the great freedom fighters, ancient history and culture of India, the struggles of India before and after the partition, and many more topics of relevance is extremely important. Educating the youth of the nation with factual information and inculcating in them a deep sense of pride about our nation, and culture is of the essence at the moment. While it is a welcome change to make these additions at the academic level it has been causing quite a stir across the country.
Talking about the history, culture, value system and the Bhagavad-Gita (a Sanskrit scripture of the Hindu epic Mahabharata) at the academic level is a great way of introducing a real more authentic version of the Indian history to the students. BJP, the right-wing Nationalist Government is definitely trying to rejuvenate the Indian history at the academic level and these changes have been due for long.