Terming the attempts by the Union HRD Ministry to create divisions in the society in the name of minorities as blatantly against the national interests and communal harmony, former HRD Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi has warned the UPA government that such divisions in education would not be tolerated at all by the country. ?The malady of minoritism, which was confined to politics till now, is being used as a weapon to create vote-bank in education sector also. What is more surprising is that after eating humble pie at judicial front, the UPA government has now heralded a new era of planned constitutional sabotage and sustained usurpation of judiciary,? he said.
The noted educationist said reservations in jobs on religious lines and declaration of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) as a minority institution have been received as shocking developments by the people and totally rejected by the judiciary. ?It appears that the UPA government has a single point agenda in education?how to convert the minorities into a committed vote bank. Minority institutions can now see affiliation from the newly constituted Minority Education Commission instead of the established bodies like universities, councils like the MCI, AICTE, NCTE and others. These bodies in effect get reduced in their jurisdiction to general category institutions only. This is a shocking example of destroying the credibility of the national and state level statutory bodies by the central government. Are UGC and AICTE not trustworthy enough to deal with minority institutions,? he asked, adding that the new measures proposed by the UPA Government would create social and religious dissensions and further widen the gap between the communities. He said the minorities would be losers in the political manoeuvrings indulged in by the present dispensation at the Centre.
Coming down heavily on the Quota Act, Dr Joshi said the approach would divide the nation into two groups?majority and minority?vs all others. ?It is beyond comprehension how the provisions of quota reservations are acceptable in all private institutions except the minority institutions. This jaundiced view of education shall create mutual distrust amongst the youth of India in a measure experienced never before in the country. The very concept of national integration and national unity shall stand compromised, a situation no nation, more so India, can afford in the times of ever increasing fundamentalism and terrorism all round,? he said further adding that the fallacy of the Quota Act gets exposed when one looks at the Article 30(1) which says, ?All minorities, whether based on religious or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.? Dr Joshi said under the Quota Act thousands of institutions would get out of the ambit of reservation provisions hurting deeply the interests of the SC/ST/OBC and others. ?Thus, the Bill is not only flawed but also injurious to the rights of large population of the country,? he said.
Dr Joshi said Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of AMU too did not want to turn it a minority institution. ?I shall feel sorry if anybody thinks that this College (Anglo Oriental College as the AMU was known in the beginning) has been established so as to show discrimination between the Hindus and the Muslims. ..All rights of the college appertaining to those who call themselves Muslims are equally related to those who call themselves Hindus without any reservation. There is no distinction between the Hindus and the Muslims.?
He said, till 1977 the Ministry of Education was headed by eminent Muslims like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Humayun Kabir, M.C. Chagla and Nurul Hasan, but none of them thought of converting AMU into a minority institution, despite the fact that the University Act of 1921 went through 14 amendments during their period.
Nationalists win the battle
The Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti has been in forefront in the fight against communalising of education by the UPA government. Though the battle is yet to be over, the victory has started touching the feet of nationalist forces. The NCERT on December 12, 2005 has issued a circular to delete the objectionable passages from the history book, Ancient India, by Prof. R.S. Sharma that hurt the sentiments of Jains. The author of the book had even negated the existence of the Jain tirthankaras and had also written derogatory comments against Lord Mahavira.
Meanwhile, the Delhi University has also issued a circular to delete the objectionable portions from the history book that describes patriotic leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Dr K.B. Hedgewar as terrorist.
A writ field by Shri Dinanath Batra, convenor of the Samiti against the NCERT and the derogatory remarks written by Bipin Chandra and Satish Chandra, is under consideration in the Delhi High Court. The court on January 16 this year has directed the NCERT counsel to reach at a consensus to delete the objectionable portions from the textbooks. The Samiti has, however, expressed concern over the rigid attitude of the NCERT to continue to teach the objectionable books to the students during the 2006-2007 session also. Talking to Organiser Shri Batra said their struggle against mischievous activities of Marxists would continue. (FOC)