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Maharashtra government spends Rs4 crore to buy RSS icon’s books for 12,000 libraries in state

These copies will now be distributed across nearly 12,000 libraries in the state, free of cost.

mumbai Updated: Aug 29, 2017 10:48 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,Maharashtra government,RSS
(HT File)

In a bid to spread the message of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay, the state government bought 10,000 copies of his philosophical works, each work spread into 15 separate volumes, for Rs4 crore.

These copies will now be distributed across nearly 12,000 libraries in the state, free of cost.

Collated from various sources, the works contain Upadhyay’s speeches, letters, other writings and intellectual discourses. It covers works published from 1940 until 1968, when Upadhyaya was elected president of Bhartiya Jana Sangh , the political arm of the RSS.

The state bought copies of his collated works edited by Mahesh Chandra Sharma and published by Prabhat Publications.

The state has already published and distributed speeches, writings, and other works of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mahatma Phule and Balgangadhar Tilak.

For the first time, works of an RSS ideologue are being distributed given that the government in power in RSS-aligned, a senior official said, requesting anonymity.

Sitaram Kunte, additional chief secretary, higher and technical education department, confirmed the purchase and

told Hindustan Times the decision to buy Upadhyay’s writings and works is part of the programme undertaken by the government during his birth centenary year.

“The state has bought 10,000 copies of his literary works, which will be distributed across all government-run and government-recognised libraries at no cost,” Kunte told HT.

The state will soon publish the literature of Sayajirao Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda, who had helped the socialist stalwarts from Maharashtra, such as Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, for higher studies, informed Kunte.

The books were bought from Prabhat Publications, New Delhi, at 30% concessional rates than the catalogue price following the state’s policy for such cases, the official said.

The state government had recently moved congratulatory motion in both Houses of the state legislature hailing the work done by Upadhyay. It has also started a tribal welfare scheme on his name, which provides a cash amount for facilities such as hostel accommodation and food to tribal students.

The current government has found itself in a controversy over interference in academic issues and syllabi . It was recently in a controversy for mentioning the names of former Congress Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in state board history textbooks in reference to the Emergency and Bofors scam. The Maharashtra Education Board has also revised history textbooks for classes VII and IX and erased large portions related to Mughal rule and monuments built by them.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 10:48 IST