Ekal Vidyalayas program in Tribal (Adivasi) areas of India
Just a word on Ekal Vidyalayas referred to in this letter. The agenda of these single-teacher schools in tribal and other backward areas is not just "countering Christianity among Adivasis" but to violate the entire Constitutional vision of India as a democratic, egalitarian, just and secular society. These schools conduct a subtle hate campaign under the name of "Samskara" against all those who do not agree with the agenda of Hindu Rashtra (or Samskritik Rashtravad, as BJP prefers to call it) – an agenda that was rejected by the freedom struggle against imperialism. I must point out that these Ekal Vidyalayas have grown primarily because of the collapse of the publicly funded government school system, especially since 1991, as a result of Structural Adjustments and the neo-liberal policies pursued by the government at the behest of the World Bank, UN and other international funding agencies. No Ekal Vidyalaya (or, for that matter, any other private school rooted in religious fundamentalism, Hindutva, Muslim, Christian or otherwise) can survive in a locality which has a well-functioning government school. The most effective way to put a stop to this poisoning of young minds is to fight for a fully publicly funded Common School System based on Neighbourhood Schools with decentralized and community-controlled management, just what you have in the US.
The issues raised in the forwarded letter assume great significance in view of the crisis India is going through for the past several months due to the rising decibel of the 'communally charged propaganda' for petty political ends.
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
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