In order to develop a sense of patriotism, the Rajasthan government has directed its colleges to take students on an educational tour to Pratap Gaurav Kendra in Udaipur.
The Department of College Education's recent circular said the centre set up by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been named as 'National Pilgrimage and tourism Site'.
In an order circulated on October 23, Directorate of College Education (DCE) had instructed principals of the colleges to compulsorily organise a study trip to the kendra.
The order claims that the visit will inculcate a sense of patriotism, bravery, culture, values, duty and awareness about tourism and history. However, this his invited criticism from the opposition.
"The BJP government is propagating RSS ideology. There is no other rationale behind the order to take students to this kendra established and developed by the RSS, Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot told DH.
There are about 9 lakh students in 220 government colleges across the state. If the order is implemented, the private trust will earn an income of Rs 4.5 crore annually, which will be indirectly received by the RSS, a source in education department to DH.
The Rs 100 crore Pratap Gaurav Kendra project which aims to promote Maharana Pratap as an icon among the youth is situated at Tiger Hill in Udaipur. It has a 57-foot metal statue of Maharana Pratap in a sitting posture.
The RSS general secretary Mohan Bhagwat laid the foundation stone in 2008 and inaugurated it in November 2016