Call it helplessness or internal ideological tensions, but the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the fountainhead of right wing cultural nationalism, is teaching aspiring bureaucrats from books by the very same authors it has derided for decades for distorting Indian history and giving it an anti-Hindu, anti-India tilt.At Samkalp IAS, a civil services coaching institute supported by and affiliated to the RSS, aspirants are being taught from books the Sangh Parivar has long opposed for being steeped in either colonial or leftist intellectual traditions.The brochure that the institute hands out shows that integral to the reading lists are anti-RSS scholars as Bipan Chandra in Modern History section, Satish Chandra (no relation) in the Medieval History section, and avowed Leftist scholar RS Sharma in the Ancient History section. Both the Chandras taught at Jawarharlal Nehru University, which the right wing has long targeted as a bastion of Leftist ideology, while Sharma was the founding chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research.Apart from these, the institute also encourages candidates to read older NCERT book instead of later ones commissioned under the NDA-1 regime when debate raged over the so-called ‘saffronisation of history’.The coaching institute attributed the dichotomy to both academic helplessness as well as a paucity of credible works by right wing intellectuals. “We have to teach these books because we have to confirm to the UPSC syllabus. These are the books from which the UPSC asks questions. Now we can’t teach students our brand of books because they will fail the exams,” said an officer of the institute, declining to be named.He rued that there were not enough and credible right wing intellectuals who had written anything which was acceptable and could be taught. “People among us have not produced work of repute,” he added.THE CONTRARIANAspirants are being taught from books the Parivar has long opposed for being steeped in either colonial or leftist intellectual traditions. Reading lists are anti-RSS scholars as Bipan Chandra, Satish Chandra, and Leftist scholar RS Sharma

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At IAS coaching institute, RSS teaches what it protests