Citing their contribution to the freedom struggle and value-based lives, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Madhya Pradesh government has decided to incorporate the teachings of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder KB Hedgewar and erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Deendayal Upadhyaya in the first-year foundation course of MBBS students.
Over 2,000 students who take admission to MBBS courses every year will also learn the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, state education minister Vishwas Sarang said on Sunday adding that the move is aimed at instilling social and medical ethics in the students. The academic session for MBBS students is likely to start by the year-end.
Hedgewar, Upadhyaya and Vivekananda are part of the Hindutva pantheon of the RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP. Hedgewar, a surgeon, founded the RSS in Nagpur in 1925 based on the ideology of Hindutva. Upadhyaya was one of the prominent leaders of the Jana Sangh, the forerunner of the BJP.
“Hedgewar, who had actively participated in India’s freedom struggle, produced crores of patriots while Deendayal’s concept of Antyodaya for helping the last man (the poorest of the poor) was exemplary. Swami Vivekananda travelled to far-off places to showcase the Indian vision. BR Ambedkar was born in a poor family but went on to frame our Constitution. We have decided to teach the (MBBS) students about the inspiring lives of these great personalities in the academic session (2021). Lessons on these great personalities will inculcate values, principles, social and medical ethics in the students,” Sarang told reporters in Bhopal.
The first-year MBBS students will also be taught about Maharshi Charaka, one of the principal contributors to Ayurveda, and Sushruta, known as the ‘father of surgery’ in India, added Saran.
“The National Medical Council (NMC) has said that ethical values should be part of the foundation course in the first year. Therefore, we thought of incorporating these great personalities, Hedgewar, Upadhyaya, Vivekananda and Ambedkar, for building the character of students as they were great visionaries and human beings. Their lives were based on values. Their thoughts, conduct and personalities are inspiring,” the minister said.
The opposition Congress criticised the BJP with Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary and media-in-charge KK Mishra saying, “The founder of the RSS, Hedgewar, and his disciple Upadhyaya never participated in the freedom struggle and even opposed Mahatma Gandhi and the freedom struggle. Terming them as freedom fighters is a blatant lie and it wouldn’t do any good to the image of state’s medical education system, infamous for the Vyapam scam.”
Earlier, Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur, had introduced diplomas in Ramcharitmanas, Karmkand and Garbh Sanskar as part of the new education policy claiming that the courses will generate employment. “This is not new. The state education system is going the RSS way,” said senior Congress leader Bhupendra Gupta.
The NMC decides the syllabus of the MBBS course, a source told news agency PTI. It sets topics of each subject, but the education department is empowered to prepare the content of the foundation course, sources in the medical fraternity said.
Lectures on Hedgewar, Upadhyaya and others are likely to be clubbed with the topic of medical ethics in the foundation course, they added. Lectures in the foundation course are generally given to students for a month after they take admission to MBBS courses, the sources added.
With inputs from PTI