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Congress for secular education

The CWC decides to set up a committee to chalk-out further programmes to educate people about the relevance of Mahatma's ideals, reports Anil Anand.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 04:11 IST
Anil Anand

Congress intends to use the year long centenary commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha launch in South Africa as a springboard to promote "secular education" to counter the virus of communalism. Special focus of the campaign will be tribal and backward areas.

The plan includes resurrecting the now defunct Gandhi-Bapu Shiksha Trust. In its rejuvenated form, the Trust will be used by Congress to counter the challenge posed by RSS outfits' propagation of their own brand of school education, party sources said.

The Congress Working Committee, which met on Sunday, recalled the Mahatma's Satyagraha launched in South Africa, a century back. Presided by the Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the CWC decided to set up a committee to chalk-out further programmes to educate people about the relevance of Mahatma's ideals.

Apart from activating the Shiksha Trust, plans are afoot to hold an international youth seminar in the Satyagraha year.

The focus of the meet would be to create awareness amongst the younger generations about Gandhian values and their relevance in the present era, the sources added.

"On this auspicious occasion of the centenary of the birth of Satyagraha, the Indian National Congress re-dedicates itself to the noble ideals of the Father of the Nation and calls upon all Indians to be true to the life and teachings of the Mahatma," said a resolution passed by the CWC.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other CWC members, including its permanent invitees, also attended the meeting.

The committee also paid homage to those killed in the bomb attacks in Malegaon and the mine victims in Dhanbad and expressed sympathy with the families of the victims, the souces said. In her opening remarks, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said, Mahatma's unique satyagraha on 11 September 1906 in South Africa became the focal point of India's freedom struggle.

She asked the Congressmen to be more active in propagating Gandhian ideals among the younger generation.

The Congress Chief also said that Mahatma Gandhi's life has "greater relevance" today.