Digvijay Singh targets RSS-run schools: they incite hatred

Targeting the RSS-run chain of schools, Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Congress leader Digvijay Singh Thursday demanded that the Communal Violence Bill look into the curriculum of such schools that "incite hatred". He also alleged that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has paid Rs 1,600 crore to American PR firm Apco Worldwide for his image makeover.

"The Communal Violence Bill must look at all curriculum of institutions, which have brought in subjects that instigate and incite communal hatred," Singh told The Indian Express, adding that he was not referring to the national curriculum. "I am talking about private schools, which have introduced subjects that are not part of national curriculum. For instance, Shishu Mandir has been teaching young students how bad Muslim rulers were and how temples were destroyed. The Bill should look at pamphlets distributed to create communal disharmony."

Earlier in the day, addressing the national convention of ANHAD, an NGO, Singh said, "The present format of the Communal Violence Bill talks only about the post-riot scenario. It does not talk about its impression on young minds."

Digvijay's attack on RSS-run schools came seven years after then HRD Minister Arjun Singh hinted action against them on the basis of a Central Advisory Board for Education report. He had said such institutions were injecting venom into society, drawing sharp reactions from Sangh Parivar. Later, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav attacked Shishu Mandir, saying these schools were spreading hatred.

The Communal Violence Bill, first drafted in the early years of UPA I, has been hanging fire due to opposition by the BJP, which termed it as "dangerous".

Digvijay also accused Modi of making false claims about development in Gujarat and claimed he had given $300 million to Apco Worldwide to disseminate wrong facts about development. Asked how the Congress plans to counter it, he said, "We will do our bit."

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