Siddheshwar Shukla/ Faridabad
Knowledge gets contaminated in the course of time. Therefore it requires regular cleansing. Not only static but running water also gets polluted and requires cleaning. Shri Suresh (Bhaiyaji) Joshi, Sarkaryavah of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, expressed his views in the inaugural session of National Convention of Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM) organised at Echelon Institute of Technology, Faridabad from November 23 to 25. The three days convention witnessed active participation of over 15 Vice Chancellors of Central and State universities, professors, academicians, educationists, scientists, social scientists, teachers, researchers, authors, journalists and students of prestigious institutes throughout the country.
“Indic knowledge is most scientific, but we also have the patience to listen to all the views. The sages never asked us to close our doors. They prescribed to accept knowledge based on the broad principals of social welfare and national interest,” said Joshi. He emphasised that as money is a basic requirement to fulfil needs of life, every educated person should have skill to earn money. “Indic education system also includes ‘economic dimension’ (Arthayam) of education; its scope is wider. If mere earning is the focus of education, the educated persons are always engaged in earning more and more money,” he highlighted.
Speaking on the present education system, he said, “The present education is creating ‘informed’ but not knowledgeable persons. Those getting degrees are informed but not educated in the true sense,” added Joshi. He also praised the role of BSM in identifying and removing the impurities of the present education system. He also said that an infant is like an animal for his requirements but goes through a journey to become human, best among humans and then becomes divine (Aham Brahmasmi). Education should provide knowledge to the youths to motivate them to travel on this path. He emphasised that overall ambience, teachers, parents and students all have their roles in education. Therefore all these aspects must be addressed.
Chief Minister of Haryana Shri. Manohar Lal said that the role of government is limited. “Government can create the infrastructure, but the job of providing education lies with the teachers. The teachers and society have greater roles in reforming the education system,” said Manohar Lal. Haryana’s Minister of Industries Shri. Vipul Goel said that his government is always ready to support every step of introducing Bharatiya perspective in the Indian education system. The National President of BSM Dr Sachchidanand Joshi said that after several kinds of research it was found that the Gurukul system of education is the best model to provide holistic education to the students. He enumerated the activities and achievements of BSM besides highlighting the needs for more Gurukul schools in the country.
In the three days national convention, four brainstorming ‘Think Sessions’ were organised besides two ‘Circle Meetings’ and a ‘Wing Meeting (Gatashah)’ was also held to finalise strategies for organisational activities. Think Session 1 was conducted by National Organising Secretary of BSM Shri Mukul Kanitkar in the august presence of Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi. The second think session was chaired by eminent Sanskrit academician from Karnataka and Gurukul Project Pramukh of BSM Dr Ramchandra Bhatt in which Dr Ashok Modak, National Professor, Ministry of HRD and Dr Sachchidanand Joshi presented their views. There was also a general body meeting of BSM in which the summary of previous academic events was presented and the future course of BSM was also discussed. Other two think sessions were highly interactive and brainstorming. On the final day, an ‘Open Session’ was conducted by Joint Organising Secretary of BSM Shri Shankaranand in which every member was given freedom to speak his mind.
Prof. Modak presented his views on ‘The Glorious History of Education in Bharat’. In his address, Prof. Modak established that before the onset of British colonial rule, Bharat was far better in all the disciplines of education – philosophy, metallurgy, medicine, engineering, mathematics, space technology etc. He proved his points with evidence from the books of European scholars who visited Bharat in the early days of the British rule. Modak quoted several authors particularly the famed books of Dharmapal, Claude Alvaris, Kapil Kapoor and Swami Vivekanand to prove his points and deconstruct the tenet that all the good knowledge originated in the West. “Vivekanand has emphasised that knowledge is different from information. Information without knowledge is burden on youth. The knowledge should be focussed on nation-building and character building,” said Modak. He elaborated that the western concept is based on ‘knowledge is power’ but according to Bharatiya concept ‘knowledge liberates’. The Bharatiya concept of knowledge includes money and profession, but it is much more than this. He also quoted the recent experiments in psychology that are gradually accepting the Bharatiya perspective of education.
Dr Sachchidanand Joshi said that the history writing in Independent Bharat has ignored the achievements of our ancestors and focused only on discrediting them. “It’s a historical fact the whole country was never under the rule of a single foreign ruler however the historians painted us as slaves for centuries. Our ancestors fought bravely on all the fronts though they were defeated on some occasions but there is a lot to inculcate a sense of pride among the youth about the nation through education,” said Joshi, who is also the incumbent Member Secretary of Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi. “The education should connect the youth with society, community and nation. There is a need to revisit the texts like Rajtarangini that were ignored in the syllabus,” he emphasised. He also stressed the need for dedicated members in the organisation to achieve the vision.
Dr Ramchandra Bhatt said that the Sanskrit scripture Kulavatantra describes 14 qualities in an Acharya (teacher). He emphasised that the ultimate stage of learning is Anandmay stage in which the learner enjoys in learning & performing his duties. He proved his views by several supporting citations. He also said that Nachiketa was an icon of Anandmay model of learning who needs to be emulated.
In the second and fourth think sessions, two resolutions were moved for deliberations of the members. The first resolution – Vishuddha Bharatiya Arthayam (Economic Dimension) of Education; was presented by Smt. Aruna Saraswat, Joint General Secretary of BSM. She highlighted the fact that in Gurukul Model of education there was no fee but every alumnus was duty bound to donate 10% of his income to the Gurukul throughout his life so Gurukuls were autonomous. Present educational institutions were completely dependent on government or commercial fee structure. “If the alumni of the institutes donate, the pooled incomes would be much higher than the grants of the governments,” said Mukul Kanitkar. After prolonged discussion and deliberation in which several university professors and academicians provided their suggestions, three commitments were adopted by the members.
1. To donate a certain percentage of their income to their alma mater throughout their life.
2. To promote others in society to donate a certain percentage of their income to their Alma mater besides donate in the form of land and cash etc for opening new schools.
3. To work with central and state governments for required policy through campaign or advocacy.
The second resolution – Providing Ambience for result oriented education; was presented by Shri. Banwari Lal Natiya, Vice President of BSM. After two rounds of deliberations, three commitments were adopted on this resolution as well.
1. To provide every student with the freedom to choose the discipline of his/her choice.
2. To work for ensuring due respect for every discipline so that every student could choose the discipline of his/her interest without being influenced by trend or fashion.
3. To request the Central and state government to formulate and implement the policies with a view to include the needs and aspirations of youth in the syllabus. The policy should also have provision for promoting industry and employment.
Addressing the valedictory session of the convention on November 25, Shri Mukul Kanitkar proclaimed that this is the golden period for Bharat to become Vishwaguru. The goal of enthroning Bharat on the seat of Vishwaguru shall realise in our lifetime. “We belong to the generation which is fortunate enough to witness the fruits of this mission. The great scientific and holistic knowledge of Bharat was protected and conserved by many generations those had no idea about the fruit of their efforts,” said Kanitkar. He further added that nobody should be in illusion that we are talking about unachievable goals. “The results are now being visible on the ground. We completed the first stage of making ‘Bharatmata a Vishwaguru’ when the entire world celebrated Yoga, thereby paid respect to the Bharatiya knowledge system,” he added. He vowed the members to convince more and more persons to join the intellectual movement. He emphasised that every member of BSM should develop a culture of writing at least one page daily even if it is not published.
(The writer is a freelance journalist)