The curriculum for higher education should be refashioned to foster cultural nationalism and bring prosperity for the country, experts said on Saturday, while making an impassioned plea to create a conducive atmosphere in the universities to instill confidence among the Dalits.
The views were expressed at a seminar on ‘Nationalism – Challenging Perception and New Challenges’, organised by Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram (BVK) as part of Sri P Parameswaran Navati Celebrations here.
The seminar was addressed by Dr Sanjay Paswan, former Central Minister; Dr Prasanna Deshpande, Professor, Fergusson College, Pune; and Prafulla Ketkar, Chief Editor, Organiser Weekly. Dr C I Issac, Vice President, BVK, was the moderator.
“Neo-liberals have entrenched themselves in the academic set up under the pretext of cultural studies,” said Dr Deshpande. “This was started in on 1925 at Frankfurt Institute as part of the left ideologies and later it was spread to all other universities under the Colombia University.”
He also said that the neo-liberals have now captured the Indian universities which would destroy the country’s cultural nationalism. “Though communism is aimed at organising workers, it is now targeting the students. It led to the anti-national slogans being raised at the JNU campus recently,” he pointed out.
Dr Deshpande said educational institutions are now being used to mobilize students and act in a manner that defies the laws of the country. A sinister atmosphere has been allowed to prevail in the universities in the absence of proper studies of nationalism, he added.
Paswan said deliberate attempts are being made by certain quarters to scare the Dalits in the country. “Even after three generations, the reservation system has failed to benefit the Dalits, which itself proves that their exploitation continued unabated. They have the ability to think and act. They should be rescued from the forces which are trying to wreck their future,” he added.
Paswan said the downtrodden people must be taken into confidence and treated as equals. “We should create conducive conditions to achieve their upliftment,” he noted.
Ketkar said it is imperative to reconstruct the country based on nationality. “Problems erupt whenever the concept of nationality is compromised and destroyed,” he opined.
Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was of the opinion that India was an emer
ging nation, he said, but the Left believed that there should not be a nation like India and this led to 50 years of delay in building up the nation.
Ketkar said Shri Prameswar ji is among those who have played a key role in fostering the ethos of nationalism in a most selfless manner. His life should be taken as a role model for the reconstruction of the nation, he added.
A session on Development and Environment will be held on Sunday. Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh will address the valedictory function at Bhaskareeyam.
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