A report by Udayan Namboodiri
?India must have its own world-view. And that should flow in the veins of its children so that they can grow up to contribute to human civilisation just as their ancestors did in the glorious past,? said Dr Murli Manohar Joshi to a gathering of school teachers, parents and students in Hazaribagh on September 24. Three days later, Prof. J. S. Rajput enthralled a gathering in Bangalore with his observation: ?India'seternal values of satya and ahimsa must be upheld in the education system. These values are today under seige by a foreign-bred ideology which thrives on dividing society.? Historian Meenakshi Rao held the audience further spellbound when she recounted the grim history of Islamic conquest.
These were no ordinary meetings, but part of a larger national movement-the Siksha Bachao Andolan. Each week, in cities and small towns across India, groups of people came together-often as many as 800 as witnessed at a meeting addressed by Shri Dinanath Batra, vice-president of Vidya Bharati in Thiruvananthapuram, but averaging about 400-to share feelings about India'smuch distressed education sector which is under communist siege since May 14. Addressing them were resource persons who are at the core of Siksha Bachao Andolan. Distinguished intellectuals like Dr Joshi, Dr Harshvardhan, Prof. Rajput, Shri Dinanath Mishra, Dr Chandan Mitra, Dr Swapan Dasgupta, Prof. Devendra Swaroop, Dr Swaraj Prakash Gupta and Dr Makkhan Lal formed the nucleus of the movement.
Siksha Bachao Andolan completes three months on October 2. This forum of 14 organisations of the Sangh Parivar has experienced phenomenal growth within just three months, having spread its operations all over India by stimulating in ordinary Indians a sense of pride in their history. The forum was launched on July 3 in New Delhi out of a growing realisation among nationalistic-minded Indians that the coming of the communist-backed United Progressive Alliance government to power posed a serious threat to the national, collective memory.
Siksha Bachao Andolan, therefore, was founded in the darkest hour of Indian education. On the one hand the communists were riding high-decimating Indian history with all kinds of falsification. On the other was the World Bank out to commercialise education and thereby fritter away all the gains made by the Vajpayee government. Drawing the synergies of nationalists from all walks of life, even lawyers, the Siksha Bachao Andolan moved the Rajasthan High Court against Arjun Singh'sillegal action against the NCERT texts. A Division Bench ordered a stay and started contempt proceedings against the government when it did not pay heed to the order and went ahead with issuing ?advisories?.
At another level, common citizens were urged to send e-mail messages to UNESCO when Arjun Singh visited Geneva for a meeting with the world body. They were genuinely outraged by Singh'saction of preventing UNESCO from giving Prof. Rajput the highest award for contribution to education, the Jan Amos Comenius medal, by instituting bogus ?inquiries? against him. This particular struggle also led to the public burning of Singh'seffigy in New Delhi on September 11.
Siksha Bacho Andolan now has its own website-www.Sikshabachaoandolan.org which projects the latest activities of the movement. Nationalist-minded Indians all over the world can now follow the progress of the struggle and contribute with ideas, messages and slogans. The movement has notched many successes already. It has established state-level samitis in West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala. A nation-wide campaign to collect 10,00,000 signatures has been launched to bring to the President'sattention the disastrous effects of the Congress-communist combine'seducational policy, particularly with regard to history. Siksha Bachao Andolan also publishes pamphlets highlighting the abuse of history in different states like Delhi and West Bengal.
|Uma Bharti felicitated
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti was felicitated by the party on the successful completion of her Tiranga Yatra on October 25. In the picture are Leader of Opposition Shri L.K. Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Uma Bharti, Dr Harshvardhan, Anantha Kumar, Babulal Gaur and Shahnawaz Hussain.
| Deendayalji remembered
Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and party president Venkaiah Naidu paying tribute to Deendayalji on his birth anniversary on September 25, 2004
| Kamal special released
BJP president Venkaiah Naidu with former Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, releasing the Kamal special in Delhi on September 25, 2004