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Has Indian education become blatantly politicised?
Whenever an NDA government comes to power, they try to bring about drastic changes in the textbooks to provide a slant towards changing the national heroes; increasing religious content through Hindu mythological stories; extreme nationalism; stressing belief thinking through prayers, etc. They (NDA) have been blamed for 'saffronisation' of the curriculum.

The curricular context gets changed with change of the government which is now giving rise to controversies leaving a legacy of politicisation in our educational system as an accepted norm.

There is a strong resistance to the introduction of so-called Vedic mathematics from certain political quarters as well as mathematical scientists. There has been opposition to surya namaskara and Sarswati vandana in school curriculum by certain religious minorities.

Changes in Indian history have been affected and Indian culture has been introduced in the curriculum to instill a sense of pride in nation and its heritage, argue the NDA politicians.

The curriculum in India is now going shuttle back and forth to the extremes of saffornisation and de-saffornisation. True educationists and pedagogical scientists are pained that education is no more a neutral subject to develop critical and creative thinking process.

Our present education system lacks vision and direction. This hollowness creates a sense of confusion and disillusionment among students. Due to rampant politicisation and commercialisation of our educational system, the focus has shifted from analytical and ethical thinking to making the student suitable for job market and following the swings of ideological changes dictated by the rulers of the country.

Education is not limited to textbook knowledge dictated by political ideologies. Real education goes beyond that. As the great Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar rightly says: "Let a man learn thoroughly whatever he may learn and let his conduct be worthy of his learning."

It needs to be understood that 'politics in education' pertains to the thoughts and actions to use the political power to manipulate the educational system to propagate specific political agenda and philosophy. On the other hand, 'politics of education' is regarding sops, freebies, reservations, quotas, privatisation, special projects, new schemes, favoritism, patronage, partisan policies, establishing regulations and allocation of resources.

There is a need to democratise educational institutions, organisations and departments with full autonomy to them to emphasise the intrinsic validation of philosophy and sociology of education, rather than politicising it.

According to thinker Benjamin Barber, education is crucial to democracy and anybody who has been thinking about democracy has to think about education. In other words, education should be free from party politics.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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