Editorial: Ingenious Explanation For Textbook Omissions

Editorial: Ingenious Explanation For Textbook Omissions

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, June 17, 2024, 10:35 PM IST
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Representative Photo | File

The NCERT chairman’s explanation for the omission of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the LK Advani-led Rath Yatra and the Gujarat riots in school textbooks is ingenious to say the least. To justify these startling omissions by saying that children should not be taught about riots and demolitions but only positive things as it would otherwise lead them to become depressed and violent individuals is hardly fair. Rebutting allegations of saffronisation of education, Dinesh Prasad Saklani has claimed that tweaks in textbooks are normal. The curriculum prepared by the NCERT is followed by about 30,000 schools that are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Ever since the BJP government led by Narendra Modi took charge in 2014 there have been systematic attempts to downplay the medieval period or the Mughal empire. The glories of ancient India have instead been the focus of historians. The Mughals are portrayed as destroyers of temples and oppressors of Hindus, overlooking the benevolent policies of Akbar and other rulers. The RSS agenda of a Hindu Rashtra is sought to be given primacy by highlighting the alleged atrocities against Hindus during Mughal rule.

Whatever be its motives, the current dispensation’s attempt to whitewash certain aspects of history are against the tenets of scientific education. For children to gain a holistic perspective of the events surrounding India’s independence the role of the Indian National Congress in the freedom struggle cannot be wished away. That is why political interference in education is detrimental to the wellbeing of the young generation. It is imperative that educationists are given a free hand to decide on the curriculum, free of political pressure. The Human Resource Development Ministry should merely act as a guiding light to help prepare students to be leaders of the future. Education should be left to the experts and should not fall prey to ideological biases. Students are the future of the country and their lives should not be played with.

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