A proposal to include epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata as part of school history curriculum of has received mixed reactions from teachers, parents and activists.
Some believe that the recommendation, made by a National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) committee to revise the social sciences curriculum for schools, will help inculcate moral values among students. However, others have criticized the suggestion as they believe that it amounts to presenting 'mythical events' as part of history and lead to saffronisation of syllabus.
The panel has made several proposals including the introduction of the Indian knowledge system, the Vedas and Ayurveda in textbooks. The suggestions have been part of the final position paper on social sciences, which is a key perspective document that helps in the development of new NCERT textbooks on the subject.
Pratibha Mirchandani, mother of a kid from Saraswati Vidyalaya, Thane, lauded the proposal. "The children should know about our holy books and if they are taught the morals that they carry in the school itself then it will benefit the entire life of that child because of these morals and values taught at an early age," she said.
On the other hands, Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO), a student organization has criticized the recommendation. "The introduction of these scriptures betrays a singular vision of Indian literature and history. This preferential bias towards a particular culture to represent all Indian knowledge is violative of our constitutional principles and threatens the plurality of our country," said Roshan Mohiddin, National Secretary, SIO.
"The proposal provides disproportionate importance to Hindu literature and presents and unhistorical view of the ancient India. It deviates from the basic principles of Historiography by presenting mythological figures and fabled events as part of history," he added.
Some suggested that the government should include other religious scriptures in the text. "It would be great to include Ramayana and Mahabharata but at the same time we should keep in mind that India is a diverse country and if we are including Ramayana and Mahabharata then why not the holy books of other religion as well, so that children can know and learn about all the religions," said a teacher from Orchids The International School, Kurla.
(with inputs from ANI)