West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee cracks down on RSS affiliated schools

The West Bengal Government has decided to shut down over 125 schools in the state affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The state’s education minister, Partha Chatterjee alleged that schools sponsored or inspired by the RSS teach religious education and stick wielding instead of regular syllabus. He further alleged that many RSS affiliated schools don’t even have NOC (no objection certificate).

“The state government has received information on about 493 schools that are inspired by RSS. Out of these, 125 are running without any no-objection certificate from the government. We have already asked these school authorities that will not be able to operate anymore. The investigation is on against the remaining schools,” the education minister said.

According to Partha Chatterjee, upon investigation it was found that all of those 125 schools are run by three trusts, Sarada Shishu Tirtha, Saraswati Shishu Mandir and Vivekananda Vidya Vikas Parishad, which are all affiliated to Vidya Bharati that is the educational wing of RSS. Chatterjee said that remaining RSS affiliated schools may also be shut down in coming days.

Partha Chatterjee said that whether affiliated to RSS or not, all the schools will have to follow a certain norms and wielding sticks can’t be taught.
“RSS or nor RSS, schools have to follow certain norms wielding sticks cannot be taught. We are looking into each case that is being brought to our notice,” he said.

“Some schools in Bengal are not in the accordance with the education syllabus. They have not received a NOC from us. We have stopped 125 and we are scrutinizing other schools too. Then only we will take any decision,” the education minister Partha Chatterjee added.  

However the RSS and BJP have reacted strongly to the actions of Mamata Banerjee led state government.
Biswapriya Roychowdhury, the vice president of the West Bengal BJP, slammed the Trinamool Congress and said the government was being ‘thick-skinned’ on the issue.

Related: Mamata Government stops RSS Chief from entering West Bengal again

“This government is shameless. They don’t know that we went to the High Court against their decision and the court has already imposed a stay order. This government is wearing the skins of rhinos, so that they don’t respond even if they are touched,” said Roychowdhury.

Calling the action of the government as contempt of court, Roychowdhury said, “We will move court against this and would urge the honourable court to issue contempt notice to the state government.”

Jisnu Basu the secretary of RSS in South Bengal said that before taking any action the government should visit and take a first-hand experience of the schools. “The schools that he is trying to close are providing students with good education and hygienic atmosphere. The government needs to focus on improving the standards of primary education in Bengal,” Basu said.