Gujarat’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) made a strong case for compulsory Sanskrit education from Grade 1, during a meeting with the state government, The Indian Express has learned.

According to sources, senior representatives of the Sangh and its affiliates met with Minister of Education Jitu Vaghani, senior officials of the department and Secretary General of Gujarat organization BJP Ratnakar in April to discuss implementation. of the new National Education Policy (NEP).

Teaching Sanskrit was the main objective of nearly 20 representatives of RSS affiliated organizations including Vidya Bharati, Shaishik Mahasangh, Samskrita Bharati, Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal, during the meeting with Vaghani who was accompanied by nearly 25 senior representatives of the government. The Sangh also advocated giving the Bhagvad Gita, Ramayan and Mahabharat a place in the school curriculum, making Vedic mathematics compulsory, providing value education based on
Upanishads and Vedas, and regulating private universities.

In its presentation at the meeting, the RSS reportedly called on the state government to allocate at least six periods per week for Sanskrit. The presentation on the implementation of the NEP, a copy of which is with The Indian
Express, speaks of giving a “special preference” to Sanskrit in the trilingual formula of the NEP and that the schools
should “teach the best English but not at the expense of Indian languages” in primary grades.

Interestingly, the trilingual formula of the NEP 2020 does not prescribe any specific language to be taught compulsory in school. “The three languages ​​learned by the children will be the choice of the states, regions and of course the students themselves, as long as at least two of the three languages ​​originate from India,” the policy reads.

Asked why the RSS is pushing Sanskrit under the trilingual formula even though the NEP does not prescribe it, Himanjay Paliwal of RSS affiliate Samskrita Bharati told The Indian Express: “…the NEP speaks gol gol (little clear) about Sanskrit. It is not clear whether the NEP is in favor of the language or against it. Is by koi spashtata nahi hai (there is no clarity about this). Paliwal is the sangathan mantri of Gujarat of Samskrita Bharati.

He added: “English is compulsory in schools even though the NEP says that no language will be imposed on pupils. For teaching Sanskrit from grade 1, paramarsh (consultation) is done at all levels with the state government… NEP has defined the formula. Now, how the formula will be explained and interpreted depends on the government. »

However, the RSS suggestion on the study of Sanskrit is not limited to school education. The Sangh suggested that in secondary and higher education, Gujarati should be taught as the first language, Sanskrit as the second, and the government could decide which should be offered as the third language. Additionally, students who do not study Sanskrit in grades 11 and 12 should not be admitted to BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) programs, he told the state government.

According to sources, a follow-up meeting between the RSS and the state government on the implementation of the NEP is scheduled for July.

Regarding the implementation of the RSS suggestions, Vaghani said, “We received several suggestions. The government will work on the feasibility and these will be implemented accordingly.

The government of Gujarat, in the past three years, has launched programs to promote the learning of Sanskrit. For example, he launched the Gujarat Sanskrit Education Board in 2019.

Other Suggestions

— At all levels, Sanskrit must be taught only in the Sanskrit language.

– Measures to increase the number of students in open schools (currently 14 lakh are regular students and only 63,000 enrolled in open school)

– Pupils in class 10 have two options to try a science subject modeled on mathematics.

— Many schools have set up separate classrooms for pupils admitted under the RTE law (article 2 (1)c), which promotes social inequalities. This should be controlled.