ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Students as Bhakts?


The “Deshbhakti curriculum” is a new initiative by the Delhi government to inculcate nationalism and patriotism among school students. The curriculum seems to hint towards state-led nationalism. The implications of such a curriculum have to be understood by questioning what does the government mean by “desh” and “bhakti” in the Deshbhakti Curriculum. Here, the very notion of bhakti seems to be problematic as there seems to be an implication that the government desires students to be bhakts or devotees instead of critical citizens. The fact that bhakti is associated with religion, particularly Hinduism, reflects the Hindu nationalist ideas propagated by the government.

The scholar Avijit Pathak notes that a bhakt does not have the capacity to critique the “sacred,” which is opposed to the reflexive thinking proposed by theories of education and pedagogy. He argues that school students should be inculcated with compassion and empathy instead of hyper-nationalism and demonstrative patriotism. Moreover, the bhakts of political parties tend not to question their leaders and instead follow them thoughtlessly.

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Updated On : 31st Jul, 2022
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