50 Leaders Changing Indian Education


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Liberal face of Hindu nationalism

Homi N. Dastur, Mumbai-based executive secretary and director general Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB). An English literature and journalism postgraduate of Bombay University who signed up with BVB in 1963, this septuagenarian educationist has been closely involved with the Bhavan’s activities for almost half a century.

Founded by Kulapati K.M. Munshi on November 7, 1938 with the blessing of Mahatma Gandhi, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has steadily evolved into a nationwide intellectual, cultural and educational movement propagating the liberal and inclusive tenets of Indian — specifically Hindu — culture. During the past six decades, this essentially cultural organisation has promoted 92 schools, several arts, science and mass communications colleges, six business management institutes and 375 institutions and departments through its 125 centres across India and abroad. The aggregate student enrolment in BVB institutions is estimated at 300,000 and BVB’s print publications exceed 1,750 titles with aggregated sales of over 30 million.

The polar opposite of rabid right-wing and anti-minorities Hindu nationalism represented by the RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, this values driven education and cultural organisation represents the acceptable face of majority nationalism, as envisioned by its founder K.M. Munshi (1887-1971).

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