Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat will meet vice chancellors and academicians over the weekend to discuss how social science research in the country should be guided and how to create a “positive national narrative in academics”.
Nearly 500 invitees will attend the closed-door meeting ‘Gyan Sangam’ in the Capital where apart from Bhagwat, senior Sangh functionaries will take stock of how the curriculum needs to be revisited, with emphasis on history and social sciences. Suggestions will also be made on textbook drafting and areas of research that universities can undertake in areas such as foreign policy and constitutional matters.
According to sources in the Sangh, the meeting will also review how to prevent campuses from being bastions of the Left ideology.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, one functionary said events such as beef eating festivals, Mahishasur Shahadat Diwas and Kiss of Love campaigns that erupted across university campuses over the past few years are fallout of communist ideology foisted on students.
The Sangh blames academe for “cultivating” communist ideology and paving the way for Indian traditions and cultural studies being “questioned and denigrated”.
“Support for such campaigns came from the theories evolved by neo-left academicians who have made Ravana into a hero and question the relevance of goddess Durga,” said a functionary on condition of anonymity.
Alarmed by the communists “capturing the mind space of the youth”, and to “unfetter campuses from such ideology,” the RSS will set things rolling at the two-day meeting.
The RSS and its students’ wing, the ABVP, have been at loggerheads with students unions, particularly those aligned with the Left parties over organising beef festivals while the Sangh pushes for a complete ban on its sale and slaughter. The Mahishasur Diwas, which was organized in JNU campus ostensibly to celebrate the mythological figure as an icon of the backward classes had sparked off a confrontation between the students and the government.
According to the functionary the programme is intended to “correct the biases that have crept in interpreting history and cultural studies”.
“There is a need to change the way cultural studies are undertaken at universities. We cannot have the concept of nation dismissed as oppressive and authoritative. Like countries such as Switzerland and Australia that realized the dangers of western interpretation of cultural studies, there is a need to indigenize these,” he said.