PUNE: The State Education Department’s decision to spend a higher amount of money on books about PM Narendra Modi has come as a surprise to all. The State has sanctioned Rs 59.42 lakh for books on the PM this year. This is more than the amount spent on books on Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Ambedkar or Mahatma Phule, inviting the wrath of educationists who raised questions over the State’s education policy.
“Does the State wants to impart education or run propaganda through schools?” they asked. According to media reports, the Devendra Fadnavis government has decided to spend Rs 59.42 lakh on books on the PM while spending Rs 24.28 lakh on books on Dr Ambedkar, Rs 22.63 lakh for books on Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule combined, Rs 21.87 lakh for books on former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and only Rs 3.25 lakh for books on Mahatma Gandhi.
The expenditure was part of the Education Department’s policy to give books on respectable figures as supplementary reading material to school children. These books will be kept in school libraries for students from Std I to V. There will be 33 books in Gujarati; 7,148 in English and 424 in Hindi named Pradhanmantri Narendra Modi.
Speaking on the issue, Nihal Kirnalli, social and education activist said, “This is an inappropriate and shameless decision by the government that it is spending only Rs 3.25 lakh on books related to the ‘Father of the Nation’ compared to Rs 59.42 lakh on books on Modi. It is shameful that the BJP government is running clear propaganda to take over the young minds for future political gains. By this decision, the Fadnavis government is trying to wash out the glorious history that our freedom fighters have created irrespective of their political beliefs.”
Matin Mujawar, education activist, Shikshan Hakka Manch said instead of bringing any productive initiatives in the education sector, the government wants to push its agenda of party propaganda everywhere. “The government doesn’t bother much about education. Why are they trying to portray the PM as an ideal leader, when we have so many role models for our children. This is wrong. If they wish to do something good, BJP should stop mixing politics with education,” he said.
State sanctioned Rs 59.42 lakh for books on PM Modi while Rs 24.28 lakh on books on Dr Ambedkar, Rs 22.63 lakh for books on Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule combined, Rs 21.87 lakh for books on former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and only Rs 3.25 lakh for books on Mahatma Gandhi.