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Give Representation To Arts and Classical Indic Heritage in National Education Policy

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The government has appointed a nine-member committee under space scientist K. Kasturirangan’s leadership to prepare the final draft for the New Education Policy (NEP), but does not contain a single Sanskrit expert, artist, musician or philosopher. The exclusion of not only arts but also humanities, social sciences, and traditional systems of knowledge is complete.

Sir, it is true that your Government has been very assiduously conducting a country wide survey collecting opinion from all possible quarters about what the NEP should be. Perhaps no other Government has been so democratic so far. But even the earlier TSR Subramanium committee did not recommend any serious changes to enlarge the areas of subjects and disciplines to be taught from nursery to PhD, nor in the methodology and environment of teaching. Did the people of India express no dissatisfaction with what is being taught since British days?

The new committee chosen by the new HRD minister has given the task just some different individuals from the same class, namely the same bureaucracy and hence not likely to suggest anything new.

Sir, education in India is hung in a time warp from which all the colonized nations have freed themselves. What India has prided itself throughout its history, that is arts and culture, has been relegated to an extra-curricular status in schools and colleges. Education without arts, humanities, religion and darshanas was the master stroke to uproot Indians from their heritage. This should be remedied now, to produce morally upright citizens. For honesty, you need, more than laptops, a sense of dharma.

A concerted effort needs to be made to reinstate the arts as a creative, therapeutic and moral force in our educational system, print and electronic media. We sincerely hope you will intervene and include in the NEP panel some experts with proven record from the fields of arts and humanities, especially those who are steeped in Indian systems of knowledge to create an integrated education for India.

We the undersigned demand substantial representation from experts in Arts, Sanskrit and other Heritage related disciplines in the educational policy making.

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