Education BJP style : Saffronisation of Books
An Online Collage
Joshi's Hindutva agenda in form of 'Saraswati Bandana' et all, may have backfired, But this is is not the first time that BJP tried to impose RSS philosophy of so called Hindutva on education. Right from the year 1989 when BJP came into power in four states Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and in-alliance with Siva Sena in Maharastra. On October 22 this year Joshi and his band tried to sneak in a purely RSS agenda into the National education Minister conference. It had included a private agenda by Vidya Bharati an affiliate of RSS to be discussed within teh conference. the agenda spoke of compulsory sanskritisation of education, and emphasis on Hindu thinking and views. But however great, if at all, they may be, it is improper in a secular country like India thought the left parties and amidst much pandemonium BJP had to drop these plans. The midset however continues, and the UP government led by BJP has already made singing of 'vandanas' or religious hyms compulsory at schools. The dangers have not abetted...
We have made a study of the situation at different times in states ruled by BJP. In this edition we give a report on Uttar Pradesh.
Just after coming to power BJP tried to Hinduising text book, particularly the history text book at the primary level.
In 1992 the then BJP Government of UP tried to revise the entire history text book. "Babri Maszid," said the new history text book for high school student, is a disputed shrine but the Hindus believe it to be a temple (birth place of lord Rama)". The text stated that the mosque was constructed by one of the Babar Officials, Mir Baqi, on this were the temple existed. This is one of the many charges brought by the BJP government in the history syllabus in UP History was not only being re-written to reinforce the Hindutva ideology, but the subversion of facts was also being backed by those in Power. The Babri Masjid was but one instance of the RSS-BJPs ideological propaganda infiltrating history textbook. A special section dealt with the life and styles of Dr. K.R. Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, and outlines his links with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Madan Mohan Malvya. Likewise Chanakya, the propounder of the concept of Sampurna Bharat too gets good coverage, as does Shivaji.
But it is the indigenistion of the Aryans, which conforms to the RSS "interpretation" of ancient Indian history syllabus. The RSS school of thought believes in the nation that Aryan culture was the nucleus of civilisation and the Aryans were an indigeneous race. However, research based on literary and archeological evidence does not support such a thesis.
An entire chapter on the Aryans has been inserted in the new history text-book. The 12-page chapter describes in detail the origin of the Aryans, their political institutions, social and economic life and their religion and philosophy.
The RSS-BJP obsession with India being the home of the Aryans and the glorification of Rana Pratap and Shivaji have been even earlier come in for criticism from eminent historians.
For instance, it was the attempt to prove that India was the original home of the Aryans that led Dr. Romila Thapar to remark that it was "essentially an attempt to ponder to a false sense of national pride" in her Communalism and the writing of Indian history. Stating that the Aryans problem is "perhaps the most vened problem in ancient Indian history", Dr. Thapar says, that it is extremely difficult to insist on the purity of Aryan culture.
Another leading historian, Dr. Bipan Chandra, dwelling were they national heroes and their struggle against the Mughals a national struggle? Because they were fighting against "foreigners"? Dr. Chandra is of the opinion that the tag of "national" leaders given to Rana Pratap and Shivaji no doubt important men in their own historical content gave the impression that a Hindu nation existed in medieval India and it was in perpetual conflict with the foreign Muslims (Mughals)".
Ironically, Rana Prataps heroic deeds are the subject of a poem reintroduced in the high school Hindi syllabus in 1991. The poem, Haldighati, written by Shyam Narain Pandey was banned in 1975 by the Congress (I) Government as it was found to incite communal feeling because of its strong Hindu overtones.
The poem describes the famous battle of Haldighati between ana Pratap and the Mughal forces led by man Singh, Akbars general. The poem gives an inpassionate account of how Rana Pratap heads towards Haldighati, looks the Mughal forces in ferocious combat and routs Man Singh.
Mr. Brahmadutt Sharma, office secretary of Lok Bharati, a newly formed front organisation of the RSS, says, "students must know correct historical facts. Political motives have for long guided the study of history. This trend has to be reversed." Indeed, the trend has been reversed in Uttar Pradesh, in addition to Babri Masjid, Aryan Culture, Haldighati, Hedgewar ad Chanakya, high school students have to reckon with Vedic mathematics. This branch of ancient mathematics has been introduced to make students aware that Vedic mathematic was the mother of modern mathematics.
to be continued.....
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