Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh seems to be spoiling for a face-off with the saffron brigade again. This time, he has hinted at action against Saraswati Shishu Mandir schools, run by RSS-affiliated organisations.
In 2005, Singh had accused the RSS of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi. He had even suggested to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to cleanse the administration of people owing allegiance to the RSS. His accusation had evoked strong reactions from both the RSS and the BJP with the Delhi unit of the former threatening to take the issue to the court.
On Monday, at a function organised by the Congress’s student wing, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Singh hinted at action against RSS-affiliated schools on the basis of the report of the Central Advisory Council Board for Education (CABE). The CABE had suggested that the books taught in schools run by religious outfits like the RSS should be monitored by a regulatory body. Working on the recommendations, the HRD ministry has prepared a draft proposal for National Book Monitoring Body for the textbooks available in schools not run by the government. “The proposal at its final stages,” an official commented.
The HRD minister cautioned people about the “venom” injected into the society by educational institutions run by the saffron brigade. When asked about a possible ban on such educational institutions, Singh replied: “The nation should understand the damage done by these institutions.”
Reacting strongly, Arun Jaitley, general secretary of the BJP, said Singh should focus on modernisation of madrassas rather than Sishu Mandirs.