It’s time for BJP workers to get lessons on social harmony, foreign policy and resource mobilisation for the party. Starting next month, India’s ruling party will roll out the next phase of its programme to train workers on these and 15 other subjects.
The BJP claims to be the world’s largest political outfit with 11 crore members. It has set a target to train 1.5 million of them on the party’s ideology, history and others.
The new subjects have been approved by party chief Amit Shah and will be included in the course for state and national level sessions that start after Diwali. “Cadre working at senior levels should have an understanding of all such issues,” a BJP leader told HT. “It has nothing to do with the criticism of BJP over Dalit issues”.
These subjects were not part of curriculum for mandal and district level training programme, currently underway in different states.
“Instructions have been given to also invite women leaders and those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Each training session will involve about 150 participants,” another BJP office-bearer said.
The BJP was at the centre of controversy following the suicide of University of Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula, the flogging of Dalit men on suspicion of cow slaughter in Gujarat, and other such incidents related to Dalits. After mounting pressure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to break his silence, remarking,“If you want to shoot, shoot me, not Dalits.” Agitations in BJP-ruled states, such as the reservation stir in Gujarat and the Maratha protests in Maharashtra, too created unrest.
The idea of India, social media for political work, relations with media, election management and government-party relationship are other subjects added to the curriculum for training senior leaders. Experts on these subjects are being approached for developing the learning materials.