New Delhi: Seeking to push a uniform education and cultural policy in states ruled by BJP, a two-day meeting of their ministers started here on Sunday, days after the RSS pressed for "Indianising" the education system at a co-ordination meet with the party and central government.
Apart from the education and cultural ministers of BJP-ruled states, representatives of the RSS affiliates in the two fields, which are at the heart of the Sangh Parivar ideology, were present in the meeting that was also attended by Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, sources said.
The meeting assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of the three-day coordination meeting of the RSS, its affiliates, BJP and the Union Government in which the need to "Indianise" education was emphasised at a time when the saffron outfit is in power at the Centre as well as many states.
BJP vice-president Vinay Sahastrabuddhe had earlier said that the exercise is aimed at "exchanging notes about the best practices in education and culture sectors" as part of the party's agenda of good governance. He is also in charge of the saffron outfit's good governance department.
Critics have accused the party-run governments at the Centre as well states of working to "saffronise" education and pointed out measures like Haryana government's decision to introduce Gita in school syllabus and the appointment of people purrported to be close to its ideology in several education and research bodies.
Irani has vehemently denied the charge time and again.
Sources said the meeting deliberated about uniform education policy besides replicating best practices in all states ruled by the party. The initiatives of the HRD Ministry were also discussed.
Underlining the "organic relationship" between culture and education, the sources said representatives from RSS affiliates spoke about the gaps in implementation.
At the end of the three-day 'samanvay baithak' of the RSS, its joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale had said they had deliberated about "Indianising" education besides preventing its commercialisation and involving bodies working in the field.
BJP is in power in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana and Goa. It is also a junior partner in states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.