Speaking in the Assembly on Friday, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he does not mind the National Education Policy (NEP) of the Bharatiya Janata Party government being called ‘RSS or Nagpur Education Policy’. However, he opposed what he referred to as the ‘Italian Education Policy’.
Reacting to the opposition Congress’ attack on the NEP, Bommai said, “RSS, nationality, nation are all same. ‘RSS’ stands for nationalism. There is nothing wrong if it is RSS Education Policy. We need to prepare our children for the 21st century. NEP provides an opportunity for students to compete at the international level,” he added.
Bommai alleged that the Congress had adopted a policy of slavery in education. “We don’t want the education policy of Macaulay, we don’t want the ‘Italian Education Policy’ either,” he said.
“Let the opposition describe NEP as ‘RSS Education Policy’. We agree to it,” he added.
As soon as the Assembly session commenced, the members of the Congress party gathered near the well of the House and demanded that they should be given the opportunity to discuss the NEP and other issues.
Siddaramaiah, the Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, said, “The state government is implementing NEP ahead of all states. The colleges are reopening from October. This is the question of the future of the next generation. We need to discuss the issue in the Assembly session.”
He emphasised that the Congress wants to discuss ‘Nagpur Education Policy’, following which the ruling BJP members opposed the move.
Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar countered Bommai by asking why former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee did not oppose the so-called ‘Italian Education Policy’ when he was ruling the country.
Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri adjourned the House for an indefinite period when commotion prevailed inside the House.
“We have decided not to stage a protest. But the state government has not given answers. Initially, we wanted to stage a walkout from the state Assembly. I have requested the Speaker to extend the Assembly session by a week. The Speaker never responded,” Siddaramaiah said after the session was adjourned.