Friday, Jan 21, 2022
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Saffronisation Of Education? RSS Says Its Schools Imbibe Indian Values In Students

Shapers of syllabi in the rapidly expanding RSS-backed schools dismiss criticism, say their emphasis is on long-neglected, ancient Indian knowledge and value systems

Saffronisation Of Education? RSS Says Its Schools Imbibe Indian Values In Students
Morning Purification -

It’s 8. 30 in the morning, and the scene inside the GLT Saraswati Bal Mandir School is a world removed from the bustling traffic just outside—a narrow street in South Delhi’s Nehru Nagar. An air of tranquility rests over the morning assembly in the courtyard. A young student lights a lamp in front of three garlanded photographs—Goddess Saraswati, the symbol ‘Om’ and Bharat Mata—murmuring a prayer. Hands clasped, around 100 students standing in lines follow suit, as Vedic chants play loudly in the background.

After a 10-minute long prayer session, they are shepherded into their classes by a teacher in cha­rge of ‘discipline’. “We strive to instil discipline in students,” says principal Bela Mishra. “Beca­use of Covid restrictions, we have pared down assembly to 10 minutes. It usually runs into 20-30 minutes, with shlokas, prayers and stories of his­­­­to­­rical figures,” adds Mishra, who joined the sch­ool in 1991. GLT Saraswati Bal Mandir is among thousands of schools run by Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan, the educatio­nal wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

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