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Withdraw UGC directive to hold lectures on “ancient Indian democracy” on Constitution day: AIDWA, CPI-M

Both the CPI-M polit bureau and the All India Democratic Womens Organisation (AIDWA) have demanded that the UGC withdraws the controversial directive

Sabrangindia 18 Nov 2022

AIDWA, CPI-M
Image Courtesy: pratidintime.com

On November 15, 2022, the University Grants Commission sent a letter to 45 Central and 45 Deemed to be universities, to hold lectures on India: Mother of Democracy in order to celebrate Constitution Day on 26 November 2022. The letter directs all Universities to hold lectures on the “ancient origins of Indian Democracy” apart from reading the Preamble and the Chapter on Fundamental Duties.

The AIDWA statement says, “The UGC appears to have circulated a concept note on this subject which identifies 15 themes. Though the note has not been made public, several media reports and the statements of the UGC Chairperson suggest that the themes include the glorification of anti-women ancient texts and traditions.  The themes of the lectures include Khap Panchayats, feudal and dictatorial monarchies and anti-women customs that follow the Manusmruti.  It is very ironical that the UGC has asked Universities to celebrate Constitution Day in a manner that fundamentally ignores the rights of women to a decent and dignified life. While it asks people to read the preamble, it promotes ideas and texts that have laid the foundation of the oppression of women since ancient times.

“The UGC has been attempting to push courses of Vedic culture and alter the academic syllabus to suit the patriarchal Hindutva brigade. By issuing this letter, it has shown that it is not an autonomous agency which is wedded to the ideals of modern education, but that it is becoming a hand-maiden of the Hindutva brigade. It is directly following the direction of the Prime Minister Modi, who has been selling the idea of Vedic democracy as an ideal political system. This idea is fundamentally against the spirit of the Constitution and furthers the regressive and anti-women content of the NEP, 2020. The NEP, 2020 lays the foundation of the promotion of Hindutva morality in universities and opens the window for the glorification of patriarchal traditions. The UGC Chairperson’s latest comments, also provide a justification for legitimizing illegal and conservative social institutions like the Khap Panchayats, against whom the AIDWA has waged a long campaign.”

Therefore the AIDWA calls upon the UGC to exercise its constitutionally mandated role of promoting modern education that is based on the Constitutional Values. It appeals to all members of the University to oppose attempts which will alter the character of UGC and make it an instrument of conservative Hindutva politics. The statement has been issued by Malini Bhattacharya, president and Mariam Dhawale, general secretary of the organisation.

Polit Bureau: withdraw UGC advisory forthwith

Meanwhile, the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongly rejects
“the UGC chairperson, M. Jagdish Kumar's letter to all Governors to "encourage" universities in their states to hold lectures on themes such as the "ideal king" in Indian philosophy, as well as, 'Khap Panchayats' and their "democratic traditions" to celebrate India as the "mother of
democracy" on Constitution day on November, 26.

“This is in direct contravention of the framework of our Constitution, as well as, statutory provisions of the UGC Act as enacted by the Parliament. UGC has planned 90 lectures in 90 universities across the country.

“The UGC chairperson's ridiculous claim is that ancient India was unique because there was no autocracy or aristocratism. It is unbecoming of the UGC chairperson to make such an assertion which is a negation of the reality of Varnashram and the caste based social hierarchy that is a major challenge in the evolution of our modern democracy.

“The UGC chairperson negates the Constitutional requirement of democratic consultation with the elected state governments in the sphere of higher education and has directly approached the unelected RSS-BJP appointed governors to pursue this agenda. This exposes the real objective of the National Education Policy of using education as an instrument for destroying scientific temper and rationality while undermining the foundations of our
Constitution.”

The polit bureau has also urged all democratic organizations and individuals to join in demanding the immediate stoppage of this exercise.

Related:

Allahabad University Students on Fast Unto Death Against ‘Unprecedented’ Fees Hike
Open letter to Sharda University Vice Chancellor
AIFUCTO Calls for Withdrawing NEP, Revival of old Pension Scheme

Withdraw UGC directive to hold lectures on “ancient Indian democracy” on Constitution day: AIDWA, CPI-M

Both the CPI-M polit bureau and the All India Democratic Womens Organisation (AIDWA) have demanded that the UGC withdraws the controversial directive

AIDWA, CPI-M
Image Courtesy: pratidintime.com

On November 15, 2022, the University Grants Commission sent a letter to 45 Central and 45 Deemed to be universities, to hold lectures on India: Mother of Democracy in order to celebrate Constitution Day on 26 November 2022. The letter directs all Universities to hold lectures on the “ancient origins of Indian Democracy” apart from reading the Preamble and the Chapter on Fundamental Duties.

The AIDWA statement says, “The UGC appears to have circulated a concept note on this subject which identifies 15 themes. Though the note has not been made public, several media reports and the statements of the UGC Chairperson suggest that the themes include the glorification of anti-women ancient texts and traditions.  The themes of the lectures include Khap Panchayats, feudal and dictatorial monarchies and anti-women customs that follow the Manusmruti.  It is very ironical that the UGC has asked Universities to celebrate Constitution Day in a manner that fundamentally ignores the rights of women to a decent and dignified life. While it asks people to read the preamble, it promotes ideas and texts that have laid the foundation of the oppression of women since ancient times.

“The UGC has been attempting to push courses of Vedic culture and alter the academic syllabus to suit the patriarchal Hindutva brigade. By issuing this letter, it has shown that it is not an autonomous agency which is wedded to the ideals of modern education, but that it is becoming a hand-maiden of the Hindutva brigade. It is directly following the direction of the Prime Minister Modi, who has been selling the idea of Vedic democracy as an ideal political system. This idea is fundamentally against the spirit of the Constitution and furthers the regressive and anti-women content of the NEP, 2020. The NEP, 2020 lays the foundation of the promotion of Hindutva morality in universities and opens the window for the glorification of patriarchal traditions. The UGC Chairperson’s latest comments, also provide a justification for legitimizing illegal and conservative social institutions like the Khap Panchayats, against whom the AIDWA has waged a long campaign.”

Therefore the AIDWA calls upon the UGC to exercise its constitutionally mandated role of promoting modern education that is based on the Constitutional Values. It appeals to all members of the University to oppose attempts which will alter the character of UGC and make it an instrument of conservative Hindutva politics. The statement has been issued by Malini Bhattacharya, president and Mariam Dhawale, general secretary of the organisation.

Polit Bureau: withdraw UGC advisory forthwith

Meanwhile, the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongly rejects
“the UGC chairperson, M. Jagdish Kumar's letter to all Governors to "encourage" universities in their states to hold lectures on themes such as the "ideal king" in Indian philosophy, as well as, 'Khap Panchayats' and their "democratic traditions" to celebrate India as the "mother of
democracy" on Constitution day on November, 26.

“This is in direct contravention of the framework of our Constitution, as well as, statutory provisions of the UGC Act as enacted by the Parliament. UGC has planned 90 lectures in 90 universities across the country.

“The UGC chairperson's ridiculous claim is that ancient India was unique because there was no autocracy or aristocratism. It is unbecoming of the UGC chairperson to make such an assertion which is a negation of the reality of Varnashram and the caste based social hierarchy that is a major challenge in the evolution of our modern democracy.

“The UGC chairperson negates the Constitutional requirement of democratic consultation with the elected state governments in the sphere of higher education and has directly approached the unelected RSS-BJP appointed governors to pursue this agenda. This exposes the real objective of the National Education Policy of using education as an instrument for destroying scientific temper and rationality while undermining the foundations of our
Constitution.”

The polit bureau has also urged all democratic organizations and individuals to join in demanding the immediate stoppage of this exercise.

Related:

Allahabad University Students on Fast Unto Death Against ‘Unprecedented’ Fees Hike
Open letter to Sharda University Vice Chancellor
AIFUCTO Calls for Withdrawing NEP, Revival of old Pension Scheme

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