[Reader-list] BJP begins unmasking its real face by initiating "saffronisation" of text books June 1, 2014

Asit Das asit1917 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 2 07:03:27 CDT 2014

BJP begins unmasking its real face by initiating "saffronisation" of text
June 1, 2014


By Muslim Mirror Special Correspondent,

New Delhi:  As expected, the new BJP government at the Center has started
unmasking its real face by initiating "Saffronisation"   programme of text
books in the garb of protecting the ancient heritage.  The new Human
Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani, who was in news for wrong
reason after assuming the charge, wants introducing the Hindu perspective
in the education system.  Sources said she has asked her ministry officials
to develop educational material that encapsulates the contribution of
ancient Indians in different fields like science, mathematics, social
sciences, philosophy, grammar and language. It is also learnt that the
ministry is planning to set up a committee to study the ancient Hindu
texts, Vedas, Upanishads and other epics to select relevant material for
teaching. She brought this up during detailed interactions with senior
bureaucrats in the past two days. She also articulated her desire to
preserve the ancient culture and heritage of the country, sources said.
This is being seen as an attempt by the government to push through the RSS'
educational revamp agenda.

It to be recalled that a group of eminent academics and intellectuals had
demanded last year for setting up a national
commission  for  evaluating  and vetting  textbooks in Social Sciences and
Humanities to check the increasing "Saffronisation" of textbooks in
Karnataka and other states. For example, a story in Karnataka text
book inserted narrating pledge of tiger as it says he will never eat the
flesh of cow.

Historians Romila Thapar, Mushirul Hasan, former West Bengal Governor Gopal
Krishna Gandhi, JNU's Dr Zoya Hasan, Director CSDS Rajeev Bhargava, senior
journalist B G Verghese, playwright and actor Girish Karnad had said in a
statement that "Various distortions of fact, interpretation and emphasis
have crept into certain history and social science textbooks in Karnataka
and other states that contain elements of "Saffronisation" and valorisation
of specific regional heroes, ethnic identities and faith-based communities
in a manner that do not do justice to or even denigrate others. This has
happened in Maharashtra, Punjab and elsewhere (as cited by the CABE
Committee of 2005 on non-governmental text books taught in private schools,
chaired by Prof Zoya Hasan), and others.

 Now the BJP got absolute majority in the Lower House, academics fear that
it will pursue the Saffronisation agenda with much vigor as it had tried to
do during its earlier rule in late nineties.

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