New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s alma mater Nagpur University has decided to introduce the history of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in its undergraduate syllabus. In particular, a section in the history textbook will focus on the RSS’s role in nation-building before Indian independence.
Nagpur is the headquarters of the 94-year-old RSS, the parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The move will be a first among educational institutions in India.
The Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, formerly called the Nagpur University, will now teach the history of RSS as part of its second year BA programme. It will be included in the ‘Indian History’ section in the textbook.
The first part of the said textbook will talk about Congress and the rise of Jawaharlal Nehru; the second part will talk about the non-cooperation movement and other events during the freedom struggle; and the third part will be about the role of RSS in nation-building.
A senior functionary in the Nagpur University confirmed the development to ThePrint.
The new section will only be a portion in the history book and not an entire course on the organisation. However, it only deals with the role of RSS in nation-building and does not talk about anything after 1947, said the official who didn’t wish to be identified.
Nothing to do with move: RSS
The RSS, however, said that it has nothing to do with the move and never asked the Nagpur University to teach about the organisation.
Speaking to ThePrint, Rajiv Tulli, state media convener of RSS’s Delhi Unit said, “RSS would never ask any university to include a course on the organisation. It is against our ethics and principles.”
He added, “Moreover, it is not even possible to teach about the values and principles that RSS preaches, in universities and colleges. It will be something like expecting a crime free world after teaching morality to people.”
The Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University is a state university in Maharashtra with notable alumni including Union minister Nitin Gadkari, state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and former prime minister P.V. Narsimha Rao. It has close to 600 affiliated colleges under it.
Soon after the information became public, RSS opponents started protests.
On Tuesday, the Maharashtra unit of Congress’ students wing, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), led by city unit chief Ashish Mandpe, met Nagpur University Vice Chancellor Siddharthavinayaka P. Kane and registered its protest against the move.