Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday slammed the centre for introducing the National Education Policy 2020 without consulting teachers and students and said it is being "used as a weapon to communalise and push a particular ideology".
"An education system is for our students and it is run by our teachers. If we are going to have any policy made for the education system, then, it has to come from a conversation with students and professors. Unfortunately, this was not done," Mr Gandhi said while interacting with college professors at St Xavier's College in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.
"There is too much power being centralised in one institution (in the NEP). This is going to damage the education system. The positive side is that it is reasonably flexible on many counts but is a weapon to communalise, to push a particular ideology into Indian society," he said.
Mr Gandhi further said that when the Congress party comes to power in the state, the party would push for scholarships in education.
"I don't believe that education should be only for financially strong people. When we (Congress) come to power, we are going to push for scholarships in education," he said.
While addressing a question about the separation of religion and politics, the Congress leader hit out at the ruling party, saying, "You don't want to necessarily remove religion from the discourse. You want all religions to be part of it. As long as ideas are competing without hatred and anger, there is no problem. The problem is when you tell someone that you cannot open your mouth because you are from a certain religion."
"The Government of India says that they represent Hinduism but a lot of the ideas they espouse have nothing to do with Hinduism. Nowhere does it say 'insult, kill people'," he added.
This comes ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly elections that will be held in a single phase on April 6; the counting of votes will take place on May 2.
The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting the polls in a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). MK Stalin's Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has joined hands with the Congress.
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan's party Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) is also contesting the state elections this time.