Earlier this month, the Minister of School Education and Literacy of Karnataka, BC Nagesh, announced that schools and colleges have complete freedom to celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi this year as usual. The statement brought in a lot of flak, considering that the minister was at the forefront of the hijab ban row, claiming that educational institutions would not be entertaining any form of religious practice.
The Campus Front of India (CFI), the student wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI), strongly condemned the "hypocritical" stance of the education minister and took to the media to announce that they would be holding a campaign in response. Held across different colleges in Karnataka under the banner 'Detox Education Deport Hindutva', the campaign would go on for a month starting from August 25.
'Detox Education Deport Hindutva'
The CFI would demonstrate their criticisms of the current educational scenario in a series of campus talks, seminars, corner speeches, street dramas, and other activities. Conducted across various institutions in and around Karnataka, the month-long campaign will start off by August 25 under the name 'Detox Education Deport Hindutva'.
Commenting on Minister BC Nagesh's statement on the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, the student body state president Athavulla Punjalkatte said, "The education minister is deliberately making such statements at the time of elections to score brownie points".
Building upon his statement, he noted that as per Article 28 of the constitution, no religious instruction should be provided in any educational institution maintained out of state funds. This idea of the constitution was disrupted when the minister called for installing Ganesh idols in the educational institutions and he believes that it would only further the divisiveness among the students.
Athavulla also took to Twitter to express his distaste over the Education Minister's statement,
Statement on the NEP 2020
While announcing the campaign, the CFI members also expressed their views on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and called it "unconstitutional". In regard to the same, the student body would ensure to incorporate targeted campaigns to expose the "loopholes" of NEP 2020.
As per the report by the Indian Express, the body also accused the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) of a biased selection of the 25-member focus group for the National Curriculum Framework. They alleged that NCERT specifically chose people who have links with the right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and denied the opportunity to many rightful members.
Adding further to it, a CFI member criticised the introduction of the National Testing Agency, Common University Entrance Test and NEET. They believe that it partially destroys the idea of federalism and has made the system more accessible for wealthy students through the proliferation of private training institutes around the country.
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