Third Nanaji Deshmukh Memorial Lecture
THE attempts to turn the Indian education system employment-oriented has hit the entire sector very hard. It is the only cause which can be held responsible for today’s poor state of affairs in this sector. The state has failed to act and the commercial forces are freely dominating. It is going to prove costly to the entire nation,” said Vice Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapeeth Dr Sudarshan Iyengar, while delivering the third Nanaji Deshmukh Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on March 24.
The Lecture was organised by Deendayal Research Institute (DRI) in New Delhi. RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi was also present. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Smt Sushma Swaraj presided over the function. Senior Sangh Pracharak and patron of the DRI Shri Madan Das, RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale, senior VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore, noted Swadeshi thinker Shri KN Govindacharya, Shri Yadavrao Deshmukh, Dr JK Jain, principal secretary of DRI Dr Bharat Pathak and organising secretary Shri Abhay Mahajan were also present.
Dr Iyengar further said it is wrong to say that only liberalised education can help in the competitive era. “If the government leaves the education sector purely at the mercy of market, how will the economically deprived and backward students get higher education? Questioning those who say that because of the TINA factor English education is must today, he asked if this is correct how the big countries like China, Russia, Spain and Japan made remarkable progress without English.
Dr Iyengar blamed the wrong approach of the bureaucracy for the poor state in education sector. He said today government officers are deliberately making policies to hand over the education sector to businessmen who are turning it into a profitable industry. Many government committees were formed to study and suggest ways and means for improvement, but they failed to deliver any good due to lack of coordination.
Recalling the DRI founder Nanaji Deshmukh he said there is very much similarity between the thinking of Gandhiji and Nanaji on education and it could be the best remedy today for this field. “In the eyes of both these great personalities, education is the mean of man-making and not the medium of earning bread,” he said stressing that rural business, industry, commerce, land, forest and water should be connected with the local schools.
Presiding over the function, Smt Sushma Swaraj said Indian education system needs to follow originality and not the modern alternatives. She said literacy is not the alternative of education and similarly English does not symbolises scholarness. She said any change in education system should be seen in practical terms only. She said we need the education, which makes us free from all bindings of castes, sects, traditions and ways of worship. Any change in education should lead to this direction only, she added.
Referring to several rich traditions of Indian education, she said the state had nothing to do with education in the ancient time. She said the Gurukul system laid the foundation of a healthy society. She also underlined the importance of imparting education in mother tongue, wherein the role of mother has been the most important.
Indicating to the shortcomings in government policies, she said without improving infrastructure in rural areas education to all and right to education are meaningless. She said one of the prime reasons of leaving school by girls above the age of 8 years is that there are no toilets in rural schools. Quoting Nanaji she said character building is no more the objective of education and to improve this condition, we need to go to original Indian thinking. She also stressed the need to impart moral and value based education.
In his brief speech, RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi said there should be a perfect coordination between the educationists and the policy-makers. He said the policymakers should also bring those who are conducting new experiments in this field with them.