28/09/2015 10:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

RSS Wants To Know: Do You Want To Educate Your Child In Her Mother Tongue Or English

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Indian schoolgirl studying in the classroom at her poor village school outside Bandhavgarh National Park. The children sit barefoot on the floor to learn their lessons. She is wearing a school uniform.

Furthering its quest to "Indianise" the education system, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has circulated a questionnaire in schools across the country, which asks parents whether junk food hurdles education, and if they would prefer their child to be instructed in her mother tongue.

Two questionnaires with 10 questions, one for teachers and the other for parents, has been prepared by the Ahmedabad-based, Sangh-backed Punarutthan Vidyapeeth (Revival School), and the RSS will use this feedback to provide inputs for the National Education Policy, expected early next year, The Telegraph reported on Monday.

In November, the Vidyapeeth held a two-day conference on "Nationalist Education: Concept and Structure" at the Sangh's Nagpur headquarters, which discussed ideas on editing accounts of Muslim rule in India and reducing the "dominance" of English, The Telegraph reported.

"We want to polarise the academia into our ideology because at the end of the day, they will be the ones teaching this Indianised curriculum to the students," Vidyapeeth head Indumati Katdare, former national president of Sangh women's wing Rashtra Sevika Samiti, told the newspaper, a few days after two conference, which was attended by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

"The BJP and our organisation have similar mindsets. Other governments have put hurdles in our path, this government is unlikely to do so," she said, last year.

Meanwhile, several schools in India have reportedly received this questionnaire, which asks teachers: Is education in India nationalistic? followed by, "The education system in India is not nationalistic - what are your suggestions for making it nationalistic?.

It asks parents: "Do you see Maggi, burgers, pizzas or or any other junk food as a hurdle or an aid to your child's education?" and "Do you want to educate your child in her mother tongue or English?"

Devi Prasad Chaturvedi, principal of the Saraswati Shishu Mandir in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, also told The Telegraph that she had received 100 forms, and distributed them among teachers and guardians at several schools including her own.

"We are planning a meeting of principals and teachers of all the schools in the district. Our aim is to have a nationalist education system in the country," said Chaturvedi.

Meanwhile, Ramendra Singh, director of the Vidya Bharti Samskriti Shiksha Sansthan at Kurukshetra, which runs a chain of schools in the country, said the organisation had begun discussions with teachers and guardians on how to fill the forms. "These surveys are necessary. They will accommodate the opinions of all the stakeholders," he said.

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