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Nehru lacked originality, had colonial mindset, RSS education affiliate leader says at DU event

Mukul Kanitkar of Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal was speaking on inaugural day of three-day international seminar at DU titled ‘Revisiting Ideas of India from Swaraj to New India’.

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New Delhi: India will reclaim its lost academic glory in 2022 and present its culture to the world, said Mukul Kanitkar, national organisation secretary of the Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Thursday.

Kanitkar was speaking on the inaugural day of a three-day international seminar at the Delhi University. Titled ‘Revisiting Ideas of India from Swaraj to New India’, the seminar is being organised as part of the varsity’s centenary celebrations.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Home Minister Amit Shah and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Other eminent speakers who are slated to attend the event are Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor Santishree D. Pandit, Lavanya Vemsani of US-based Shawnee State University, and Amit Dholakia of The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.

“India has lost several windows of opportunities to represent its true soul of learning to the world but we must not miss the chance now,” Kanitkar said.

He added, “Concepts like conflict resolution and recycling have been part of the Sanatan Hindu Dharma for ages and all that is required is for it to be presented in the form of a social science theory. The world will follow our Indian culture.”

He also said that professors at the varsity should present India’s rich culture to the world through research and academic work.

Kanitkar said Indian academics lost their uniqueness and failed to identify with Indian culture. “Post-1835, Indian academics had lost their originality and hadn’t recovered, until recently. The Pokhran test and the testing of indigenously developed naval anti-ship missiles is a true sign of Indian research.”

Attack on Nehru

Kanitkar also took a swipe at former PM Jawaharlal Nehru and said “India had been denied a window of opportunity to express itself” in the past by leaders with colonial hangovers.

Citing an instance when Nehru refused Mahatma Gandhi’s advice, Kanitkar said, “In our newsletter, we had published Gandhi’s letter to Nehru where he had insisted that in order to make sure development reaches to the poorest of men, we must adopt ‘Gram Swaraj’ (idea of a self-reliant village). Gandhi had even broken down what swaraj means into six points.

“However, Nehru rejected this idea because he lacked originality and had a colonial mindset. Another opportunity lost was after the formation of Bangladesh. India could easily have made a mark for itself in the subcontinent.”

Addressing the event, Home Minister Shah said universities should be the “driving force of change”. He also said PM Narendra Modi has brought international honour to India.

“It is important that students understand universities are not grounds for ideological battles or a place to fight for their rights. It is a place where they learn and fulfill their responsibilities towards the nation,” Shah added.

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