Do not saffronise education: Opposition

NEW DELHI, AUG. 7. Non-Congress Opposition parties today decided to target the BJP-led NDA Government for `saffronisation of education' in the country and make it an issue in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.

At a meeting of various non-Congress Opposition parties - which was attended by the Samajwadi, the Left, the AIADMK, the RJD and the SJP - the leaders expressed concern over the Government's move.

Briefing correspondents, the CPI(M) Parliamentary Party leader, Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, said the Vajpayee Government was trying to saffronise education and introduce obscurantism into the system.

On Monday, Education Ministers from nine non-NDA governed States had expressed serious reservations calling for the withdrawal of the `National Curriculum Framework for School Education' prepared by the NCERT and the `indigenous system of knowledge' introduced by the University Grants Commission.

Mr. Chatterjee said instead of making the education system forward-looking and keeping pace with times, the Government was taking it back to the days of the vedas and astrology. ``We have decided to raise the issue in a big way,'' he said adding that the CPI(M) would try and coordinate with the Congress on it.

He said apart from the Left parties leaders, those who attended the meeting included Mr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD), Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Mr. P.H. Pandian (AIADMK) and the former Prime Minister, Mr. Chandra Shekhar (SJP). The NCP chief, Mr. Sharad Pawar, could not attended.

Referring to the Prime Minister's reply in the Lok Sabha today to a debate on the Agra summit, Mr. Chatterjee welcomed the announcement that the Government intended to keep the dialogue with Pakistan going.

But there seemed to be little enthusiasm in the NDA ranks, especially the BJP and the Shiv Sena, on the subject, he said.

The CPI(M) leader reiterated there appeared to be a lack of agreement among NDA constituents and cited the latest instance of the Shiv Sena MP, Mr. Sanjay Nirupam's letter to the Prime Minister.

He said the letter clearly expresses gratitude to the Prime Minister for promising a probe into the telephone calls between the sacked UTI chief and some people in the PMO. Mr. Chatterjee said he hoped the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the stock market scam would go into the issue

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Referred by: Mukundan C.M.
Published on:August 8, 2001
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