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History of Education Policymaking in India, 1947-2016$
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R.V. Vaidyanatha Ayyar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199474943

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199474943.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

The Mikado and the Shogun (P.V. Narasimha Rao and Arjun Singh)

The Mikado and the Shogun (P.V. Narasimha Rao and Arjun Singh)

(p.156) Chapter 6 The Mikado and the Shogun (P.V. Narasimha Rao and Arjun Singh)
History of Education Policymaking in India, 1947-2016

R.V. Vaidyanatha Ayyar

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the personality and politics of Arjun Singh who was Minister of MHRD for about nine years in two spells (1991–95 and 2004–9), and left a deep imprint on Indian education policies. It also describes the developments during 1991–6, a watershed in Indian economic and political history which among others marked the end of Nehruvian era and the unquestioned sway of hegemony of the liberal-left ideas about nationalism, identity, and secularism which were regnant from Independence. It outlines how Arjun Singh built his political career around a fiery commitment to secularism, leftist economic ideology, and social justice, and how that commitment served him well in his battles with political rivals including the Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao. It also outlines Arjun Singh’s strategic use of MHRD to cultivate ‘progressive’ intellectuals, and further his political agenda. It elaborates the conceptual underpinnings of the perennial controversy about school history books, and offers a blow by blow account of the controversy during period 1967–1996 which includes the reign of Indira Gandhi, Janata Party, and P.V. Narasimha Rao.

Keywords:   P.V. Narasimha Rao, Arjun Singh, Economic Reforms, Ram Janmabhoomi, Ayodhya, Babri Masjid, History Wars, Culture Wars, Marxist-Secular School of History, Nationalist School of History, Historiography, Secularism, Indian nationalism, School History textbooks, Janata Government

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