Delhi

Universities should not become ideological battlegrounds: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaking at Delhi University on Thursday

Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaking at Delhi University on Thursday | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said universities need to be fora for discussion and exchange of ideas, and not arenas for violence and ideological battles. 

“No one remembers those who destroyed the universities of Nalanda and Taxila. It is said that the library of Nalanda University burnt for months. But the thoughts from those universities continue to live on even till now,” Mr. Shah said. 

He was speaking at the inauguration of a three-day seminar conducted by the Political Science Department of the university on “Revisiting Ideas of India from ‘Swaraj’ to ‘New India’.”

Mr. Shah said that universities play an important role in bringing about change in society. He said Delhi University has been an important vehicle for change since the Independence movement. 

“Delhi University should also be the vehicle for change that started in this country after 2014 in building a New India,” Mr. Shah said.

The Home Minister said that it was not right to see India as a geo-political country as India is a geo-cultural country. “There is cultural unity in every corner of India and it is this culture that connects us. Until people understand that India is a geo-cultural country, they will not understand the idea of India,” he said.

Speaking about the National Education Policy (NEP), Mr. Shah said that the policy pushed for learning in the mother tongue for the first five years of schooling which is why it was accepted by all. 

“One can learn in any language in the country’s education system, but without studying your mother tongue, you will not be able to connect with the roots of the country,” Mr. Shah said.

Talking about the changes that the county has gone through in the past eight years, Mr. Shah said that crores of poor people in the country started considering themselves part of India only after the development and strong defence policy that was brought in under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

“Mr. Modi abrogated Article 370 and Article 35A, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, with the snap of a finger on August 5, 2019. Those who had said that there would be a bloodbath could not even indulge in stone-pelting,” Mr. Shah said.

Also present at the inaugural session was the Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who said that under the leadership of Mr. Modi, a New India is being made. Mr. Pradhan called for everyone to work together to make India a global superpower. 

He also spoke about how technology has been changing the world rapidly and added that the NEP was being implemented to prepare India for 21st-century challenges. 

“Delhi University should work towards developing courses on emerging and important areas like blockchain, e-commerce and patent management. The university has the potential to solve the challenges not only of India but also of the world,” Mr. Pradhan said.

The university said that the seminar will focus on understanding the journey of India through the ideas that have emerged in the last two centuries, including Swaraj, truth, nationalism, socialism, democracy, Hindutva, secularism and Samarsta (Social Harmony).


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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 1:13:22 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/universities-should-not-become-ideological-battlegrounds-amit-shah/article65430975.ece