Madhya Pradesh: Saffron agenda push through quiz competition draws flak
Titled ‘Mere Deendayal’ after Deendayal Upadhyay, founder of BJP’s progenitor Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the quiz seeks to raise awareness about him (50%) and the schemes of the BJP-helmed state government (30%) and Centre (20%).bhopal Updated: Dec 11, 2017 15:47 IST
An attempt by the ruling BJP’s youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), to further the saffron agenda through an international quiz competition in schools and colleges across Madhya Pradesh has met with criticism from the opposition Congress and educationists.
Titled ‘Mere Deendayal’ after Deendayal Upadhyay, founder of BJP’s progenitor Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the quiz seeks to raise awareness about him (50%) and the schemes of the BJP-helmed state government (30%) and Centre (20%).
While the competition is not compulsory, BJYM is pushing to get 30 lakh students to participate, and has asked government teachers and professors to extend support.
Congress and educationists have raised their voice against it, citing politicisation of education although the organisers said it would help students learn about Upadhyay and the governments’ schemes, whereas the government said it was a motivational move.
“We are not providing any aid to them. The quiz competition is a motivational thing for students and there is nothing wrong in informing students about beneficial schemes,” minister of state for school education and technical education Deepak Joshi said.
Noting that till now, the government was using students for increasing crowd in their programmes, Kunal Chaudhary, president of MP Youth Congress, said now, “they have started misguiding students by asking them to learn about BJP and its leaders”.
Educationist Zamiruddin questioned why they were mixing politics and education, and reasoned that it could be because they want to change the students’ mindset.
“It is very dangerous for the future of students. Are they afraid of their failure of providing good education and infrastructure to students?” he asked.
However, BJYM state president Abhilash Pandey said the quiz would help students learn about “a leader whose thoughts are relevant in the 21st century” and about schemes of the state and the Centre that are beneficial to them.
“BJP has done so many good things. So we can ask the students about it, but Congress never did anything remarkable except criticising others’ work. So it is obvious that they would raise questions,” he said.
The organisers are charging Rs 10 per participant. Government teachers and professors have been asked to motivate students to take part in good numbers and get registered themselves.
Interestingly, they will also provide booklets to the participants in a few days and ask them to prepare in 20 days for the competition, that is being organised on January 23, the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
Sources said the booklet, which is in the final stages of preparation, contains information glorifying Jana Sangh heroes and the various beneficial schemes of the state and central governments.