11/17/2022, 16.54
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Hindu nationalists want saffron-coloured schools in Karnataka

by Nirmala Carvalho

The authorities’ proposal of painting the walls of almost 8,000 classrooms with a colour associated with Hindutva is proving controversial. For the opposition, the state should be more concerned about the “More than 10 lakh (one million) children” out of school after the pandemic. Meanwhile, India’s central government unveiled the logo for next year’s G20, and it has more than a passing resemblance with the ruling party’s logo.

Bengaluru (AsiaNews) – In Karnataka the state government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wants to paint classroom walls saffron, the symbolic colour of Hindutva, Hindu nationalism.

Education Minister B.C. Nagesh made the proposal at a press conference unveiling a project to build 7,601 new classrooms.

“The new classrooms will be in saffron colour,” he told reporters, “not because of ideology, but because the architects suggested it.” However, in the wake of the controversy the proposal generated, the minister said that no final decision had been made.

For his part, Karnataka’s Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, reacted to the criticism, asking: “What is wrong with saffronising the education system when the saffron colour is in the National flag?"

Congress, Karnataka’s main opposition party, slammed the state government for this choice. “Throughout the state there is a lack of infrastructure in schools,” it tweeted.

Instead of “painting school buildings in saffron, first build toilets, give us hygienic drinking water and facilities that would attract children to schools.”

“More than 10 lakh (one million) children are out of education in the state after COVID. The number of child labourers has increased. Child marriage is also on the rise.

“#CMuncle: Why are you sitting around talking about colouring instead of making a plan to bring the children back to school?" asked the tweet.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the Bali summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the official logo of the next G20 summit in India..

Its saffron and green colours together with a lotus flower show a striking resemblance to the ruling BJP’s logo.

Complaining that the government is using the Hindu nationalist party symbol, Congress said that Modi and the BJP do not miss any opportunity to shamelessly promote themselves.

The latter responded by accusing the opposition of not respecting the lotus as India's national flower.

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