according to press reports a few months back, permission has been obtained by theDelhi Government from the relevant authorities, for setting up a Holocaust type of museum on Partition which would reflect the RSS sectarian view of the tragedy. One canimagine the consequences of this along with their programme to ‘liberate monuments.These would in fact result in the reconstruction and manipulation of popular memory tosuit their diabolical designs.All this is reinforced by the capture of the institutions of learning and education with thestated goal of influencing the funding and direction of research and educational policy.The control over committees and autonomous bodies through the strength of the Stateapparatus has already resulted in the creation of institutional structures designed to givesanction and legitimacy to the changes that they are pushing through and to survive thelife of he present BJP Government. They guarantee the continuance of the fascist agendaeven if the BJP Government is defeated at the hustings. The battle for the minds of theIndian people is clearly at a critical stage and the sooner the democratic movement inthis country faces this reality, the better equipped it will be to face this onslaught ondemocracy –for clearly this is what it is. The struggle for a secular –third front in theParliament is only one dimension of this larger struggle for the defense of democracy andpeoples’ dignity.
UNDERMINING OF EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND COMMITTEES
The crucial institutional measures taken by the BJP government during its rule are:It has filled the
Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR)
with historiansnotorious for their association with the VHP campaign on Ayodhya and without anycredibility in the field of history writing. Of the twelve secular and eminent historians whoif the established practice had been followed would have remained for a second term.Not a single one of them were permitted to continue. Among them are Prof. SumitSarkar and Prof. KN Panikkar. The Member Secretary, TKV Subramaniam, a notedhistorian, was not allowed to finish his term and now hardly any secular historianremains as a Council member. Of the new faces, three appeared on the VHP committeeto argue the case for the RSS stand on Ayodhya temple. Among others, one is an activeRSS
, another one is 96 years old. The assault on ICHR is clearly aimed atinfluencing the direction and funding of historical research towards the Sangh Parivar'scommunal agenda. In its caretaker capacity and in violation of all norms the BJPgovernment now seeks to appoint a Chairperson from among three nominees selectedafter they took over, who are known advocates or sympathizers of the Hindutvacampaign, two of them having actually been the leading participants on the RSS panel toprove the existence of a Ram mandir on the Babri Masjid site.
The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR
) has been similarlyreconstituted and filled with pro RSS men whose only call to fame is their support to theSangh Parivar's Hindu Rashtra agenda.The
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS)
in Simla has a new chairman andseveral other members of the same ideological colour, among them Kirit Joshi, memberof the Ved Vidya Pratishthan, an RSS outfit and GC Pande, an orthodox Sanskrit scholar.For the
Nehru Museum and Memorial Library
, the candidature of eminent historianslike Professors Mushir ul Hasan and Madhavan Palat were brushed aside to appoint asDirector a person from the Doordarshan expected to be softer to their designs. Theinstitution has big funds apart from a number of Senior Fellowships for research andscholarship, and is an important centre for organising seminars and discussions in socialsciences.