The Karnataka Legislative Assembly witnessed pandemonium on Friday, the last day of the monsoon session, regarding the implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) in the state with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai accepting the Congress’s charge calling it RSS or Nagpur Education Policy.
The House saw chaotic scenes with Congress members trooping into the well of the House about an hour before its adjournment, first demanding extending the session and then targeting the government for implementation of NEP without discussion and calling it an RSS agenda.
The ruling BJP, defending the NEP, hit back at the Congress by stating that the NEP was not Italy’s or Rome’s education policy or Macaulay’s education policy which the Grand Old Party wants. This resulted in a heated exchange between the Opposition and Treasury benches following which Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri adjourned the House sine die.
Making his case for extending the session, Mr Siddaramaiah said, “NEP is a matter of the future of this country, it has to be discussed…our president (State Congress chief D K Shivakumar) has called it Nagpur Education Policy.”
Then, Mr Shivakumar, too, who was in the House, said, the “Nagpur” Education Policy has to be discussed.
Agitated by this, some BJP MLAs, including C T Ravi, retorted by shouting: “Yes…but it is not Rome or Italy education policy.”
Continuing his attack on the NEP, Mr Siddaramaiah further said it was an RSS agenda, so it should not be implemented for any reason. It is being implemented in the state without proper discussion with stakeholders.
The Speaker, intervening, sought to know what’s wrong with RSS or Nagpur agenda, if it is good for students and the country.
Responding to this, Mr Siddaramaiah said, “RSS may be your background.” To this, Mr Kageri replied “I”m still RSS…”
Intervening, the Chief Minister said, “Nation, Nationalism and RSS is nothing but one. RSS means nationalism. There is nothing wrong if National Education Policy is an RSS agenda, what is good for the country, its children are important. The NEP is to prepare our children for the 21 st century, and to the global standards.”
Stating that the country doesn’t want Macaulay’s education policy brought in by the English, he said,”It has been detrimental to our country and has not given enough opportunity for our children, especially from rural areas, to compete at the global-level.”
An enraged Mr Siddaramaiah then said, “This is nothing but authoritarianism, Hitler (rule), it is RSS education policy.”
Hitting back, Mr Bommai said, “Let them (Congress) call it RSS Education Policy, we are not bothered by it, we, in fact, accept it. Yes, it is the RSS education policy….nationalism and RSS are the same.”
He said the NEP has been discussed and deliberated for three years under the leadership of eminent
personalities like Dr K Kasturirangan and it is to bring in change for the good of the children of this country.
“NEP is a policy prepared by Indians, for Indians and for the children of India. Their (Congress) party people are foreigners, so theirs is Macaulay’s education policy, they want foreign education policy. The
Congress’s education policy is slavery, our stand is for the country’s self-esteem,” the Chief Minister added.
Amid chaos in the Assembly with members of both sides shouting slogans against each other, the Speaker asked heads of various committees to lay the reports before the House.
After this, he asked the Health Minister K Sudhakar to reply to the discussion on COVID-19 second wave initiated by the Mr Siddaramaiah on Thursday.
However, slogans like “(PM) Modi sarkar chor hai“, “Chowkidaar chor hai“, “RSS’s puppet government” “Don’t want NEP” reverberated in the House, which saw slogans like “Italy Congress” “Slave Congress” from BJP members.
As sloganeering continued, Mr Sudhakar, after trying to present his reply, said he was tabling it and should be considered as read, as he blamed Congress for not wanting to listen to the reply after raising the issue and said the party was indulging in a hit and run.
Blaming the Congress for the poor state of health infrastructure, which has seen remarkable progress only after BJP came to power, he said, “We have managed COVID efficiently, so they (Congress) don’t have the courage to listen to the answer.”
As the chaos continued, the Speaker read out the summary of the 10-day-long session that had begun on September 13 and said 19 Bills were passed during the session during which more than 90 per cent of the business has been transacted.
Thanking members for smooth conduct of the Assembly other than protests and chaos at the fag end of the session today, the Speaker adjournd the House sine die.
Noting that Congress had decided not to go to the well of the House and protest during the session, Mr Siddaramaiah had earlier said the problem that has emerged now is many MLAs are not getting a reply to the issues they have raised.
“I have requested the Chief Minister and the Speaker to extend the session by a week because the Assembly has met after a gap of six months and there are a lot of issues to be discussed. You have finished all your government business, but the issues faced by the people have not been discussed yet,” he said.
Further stating that he wants to have a discussion on issues like NEP as colleges are re-opening from October 1, and the State government has decided to implement the policy here before any other State without proper consultation, he asked where is the time to discuss all issues.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)