Indian MP Slams Study Material Terming Soviet Union and China as 'State-Sponsors of Terrorism'
The governing BJP in India has often been accused by Opposition parties of trying to use education as a means of “ideological indoctrination”. In 2014, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) published a booklet titled "Stop Communalisation of Education", claiming that the BJP was "distorting facts" in schoolbooks.
An Indian parliamentarian from the CPI has condemned the "deeply prejudiced and politically motivated" study material being taught to students at Delhi's premier Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which refers to China and the former Soviet Union as "state sponsors of terrorism".
On Tuesday, Binoy Viswam, a member of parliament (MP) in the Rajya Sabha, wrote a scathing letter to Dharmendra Pradhan, the country's minister for education, slamming the content of the course materials, which are being taught to engineering students at JNU.
For example, in a course entitled "Counter Terrorism, Asymmetric Conflicts and Strategies for Cooperation among Major Powers", the course readings assert that "Jihadi terrorism" is the only form of "fundamentalist-religious terrorism". The readings also assert that the Soviet Union and China were the "predominant state sponsors of terrorism", which in turn influenced "radical Islamic states".
"It is deeply unfortunate that higher education is being used as a platform to communalise and politicise geo-political issues through the presentation of half-truths and academically dishonest information", Viswam wrote to the Indian education minister.
He went on to state that "in distorting history in an attempt to serve the vested political and communal interests of a certain ideology, the contents of the course make incredulous assertions pertaining to both global terrorism and the political regimes that have supported it".
Slamming those who drafted and approved the syllabus, parliamentarian Binoy emphasised that they had acted in an "irresponsible manner". He went on to insist that this course material should not be allowed to be taught. "This goes against the very ethos of education and critical thinking that has been the hallmark of eminent institutions like the Jawaharlal Nehru University", he declared.
The Marxist Communist Party of India has frequently accused the BJP of trying to communalise society by using education to "indoctrinate" young minds, with an eye to converting the country into a "rabidly intolerant Hindu Nation". In fact, in 2014 the CPI published a booklet that alleged the BJP harboured the desire to "hegemonise" Indian society.