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RSS run Schools: Indoctrinating in Sectarianism
By Ram Puniyani

RSS run schools are coming under a scanner, with MHRD minister contemplating action against them (Oct 2006). In last three decades thousands of schools of different variety have mushroomed, Ekal Vidyalaya, Sarswati Shishu Mandirs, and Vidya Bharati, run by RSS combine. Those working in the remote interiors realized that communalism which was an urban phenomenon so far, now is making stronger inroads into rural, Adivasi areas as well. As if well planned, a parallel phenomenon of the incidents of sectarian violence, have gone up during the same period. Is there any correlation between the two? While one awaits the publication of Central Advisory Board for Education (CABE) report, one also knows that already various social activists and academics have analyzed the books being taught in Shishu Mandirs and Vidya Bharati. Some of these studies/reports were put together by many organizations like Sahmat and Communalism Combat amongst others.

These reports did point out the dangers posed by the types of books being taught in these schools published by RSS combine. That the books being taught in these outfits are divisive to the core is beyond any shade of doubt. The type of social common sense, which is becoming strong in the country all over, and the type of hate which communities are developing for each other have come from various sources, one of them being the type of books, the type of education being given in these chains. One realizes that RSS shakha bauddhiks were the progenitors of hate ideology right from 1925. They kept working silently, spreading that this is a Hindu nation, Muslims and Christians are aliens, secularism is being imposed on 'us' by those influenced by Western culture like Nehru, there is a need to keep the Muslims and Christians 'in place', we need to restore the glory of ancient Hindu India in the exalted position of the World teacher, the fountain head of wisdom for the all other countries of the World, as we are chosen for the World Mission.

This kept percolating in the society and the indoctrination of sections of community started taking place, followed by the infiltration of RSS elements in Media and formal education, giving the process a further boost. The later stage of this process of sectarian indoctrination is through distortion of educational books at all the levels and that's what Sarswati Shishu Mandirs are doing.

The reports and analysis of these books so far has revealed that the sectarian ideology of Hindu nation, the hate and denigration of other religious communities, the upholding of caste and gender hierarchy and the glorification repressive ideology of fascism have been blatantly propagated through these. These books have listed all the Hindu festivals as national festivals, excluding the ones of Sikhs, Jain, Buddha, Christian and Muslims. They blatantly propagate that Islam spread on the strength of sword, it is a violent religion, and lakhs of people have sacrificed their lives to save the attacks on Ram temple. There is a subtle attempt to undermining of the acts of violence done by RSS swaymsevaks, like Gandhi's date of birth is mentioned but his death and how he was murdered by Godse does not find any mention. ( L.S.Hardenia, Socialist Secular Bharat Jan 2002) Similarly a more detailed study in Communalism Combat, October 1999, goes on to show the pattern of distortion of facts, the way presentation is slanted to demonize other religious communities is elaborated. This is what they have to say about Christianity, "It is because of the conspiratorial policies of the followers of this religion that India was partitioned. Even today Christian missionaries are engaged in fostering anti–national tendencies in Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal, Bihar, Kerala, and other regions of our country because of which there is a grave danger to the integrity of present day India". Muslims and Islam are given a similar treatment, "Thousands of opponents of idol worship, the followers of Islam, go to the pilgrimage centre of Islamic community at Kaaba to worship 'Shivalinga'. In Muslim society, the greatest wish is to have a darshan of that black stone (Shivalinga)".  

In one of the questions, children are asked to fill in the blanks 'rivers of blood' as the means by which Prophet Mohammad spread Islam. Meghanad Saha is supposed to have written the history of Hindu science, the water of river Ganga, whose pollution is phenomenal, is supposed to be so pure that it never gets bad and is pious. The obscurantism and sectarianism walk hand in hand in this and they boost each other. One of the questions in these books relates to the demolition of Babri Masjid, if x number of Kar sevaks can demolish the mosque in so many hours how much time will be taken by y number of Kar Sevaks. One is reminded of a similar question regarding Kalashnikov rifles being put forward by Taliban. It goes without saying that institutions like Markazi Maktaba and Madrassas also need to be brought under scrutiny for the content of their curriculum and similar action needs to be taken against them also if the syllabus and books being taught there have divisive content.

The violence in the society rests on the pillars of Hatred of other communities, hatred which is deep and takes hysterical proportions when incited around temple issue or such one's or other make believe incidents. The violence cannot go on without this deep hatred for others, without a mindset indoctrinated into hating others. That's what these books are doing; supplementing to the work which Shakha bauddhik was doing/ is doing. It broadens the scope of its reach far and wide and that too starting from an early age. Is it not against the national integration? Is it not against the values of Indian constitution? There is an urgent need to make public the CABE report and to take stern and immediate action against these hate spewing factories.