Rajasthan colleges to install Vivekananda statue: CM

The Rajasthan government has directed colleges in the state to install a statue of Vivekananda if they do not have the image of an ‘inspirational personality’ on campus. But the move has come under fire, with many considering it as another one of the BJP government’s measures to institutionalise Vivekananda—considered an icon of Hindu philosophy.

The Reason: A Govt Notice

The move is being soured to a bid for attempt to make each student ‘patriotic’. A recent circular by the commissionerate of college education states that as per government instructions, each college in the state should have the image of a ‘great or inspirational personality’ displayed on campus so as to ‘inspire the students to live with integrity’.

The notice further reads that if the image of a ‘great figure’ is not there on campus, then colleges should begin the process of installing a statue of ‘Swami Vivekananda Ji’.

The Discord

The move, however, has received criticism from academicians who claim that the government was turning educational institutes into places where personality cults were worshipped. Requesting anonymity, a senior official from the state higher education minister’s office said, “Vivekananda is an icon of youth power, which is why we want his statue to be there in colleges and inspire the youth. Our only aim is to make each student patriotic.”

Saffronisation of Education?

In the past too, the state government has been accused of saffronising education. In February, BJP MLA Mohanlal Gupta had demanded that Vivekananda’s writings on cultural nationalism be included in the list of recommended books for history students of RU.

Last year, Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh had also told vice chancellors of state varsities to install a statue of Vivekananda in their institute’s campuses

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