Sunday, February 28, 2021
Home Fact-Check Is BJP replacing Newton in textbooks, or is Indian Express replacing truth with agenda?

Is BJP replacing Newton in textbooks, or is Indian Express replacing truth with agenda?

On 7th April, Indian Express via this article announced dramatically that “Akbar, Newton may make way for ‘local heroes’ in Rajasthan textbooks”. The article made claims that Saffronization of School Textbooks would take place at the behest of RSS. The article commented that “Akbar the Great, Pythagoras and Issac Newton would be nudged out”. The most interesting part was this story was run ONLY by Indian Express. Firstpost later curated this same report, but there were no other independent reports on this story.

The problem with the Indian Express story is, in its headline it says “Akbar & Newton may make way” and they reiterate this claim in the body. BUT, if we see the quotes of the Minister in the same piece, there is not a single quote mentioning  “nudging” Akbar or Newton or any other “foreign leaders”.

From a plain reading, it seems that the Primary Education Minister Vasudev Devnani only wanted to include Indian personalities like “Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Suraj Mal and Mahatma Gandhi” in History books, who he feels haven’t been given their due in Indian Textbooks. He also says he would like to add “Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya” in science books.

Following are the exact words of the Minister, as per the report of Indian Express itself:

“Why should our children only learn about Akbar, the Great? Why not Maharana Pratap, the Great?, Our children are constantly learning about foreign rulers, mathematicians, scientists et al. Soon after I took charge, I wanted to rework the textbooks but I was told printing had started and making changes would cause a huge financial loss. This year, we will bring significant changes. In science books, we will include Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya. We have to build a feeling of of nationalism in our children.”

As you can see there is not a single quote where the Minister says he will remove Akbar or Newton. This is further established by reading this report in Patrika on the same matter. This report says 5 new chapters will be “added” on the famous characters earlier mentioned by us. There is no mention of any deletion of Newton etc.

All the facts of this case can be summarized as below:

1. Indian Express report is the only report on this issue

2. It claims Newton, Akbar & Pythagoras will be nudged out of text books

3. This claim is not backed by any quotes of the Minister, in Indian Express’s own article

4. This claim is not backed by any other media report

Based on the above, there is serious concern whether the Indian Express report is accurate, or whether they have added their own narrative to sensationalise the issue. It is more dangerous since, just last month Indian Express was caught with their pants down when they tried to communalise Kolkata’s Archbishop’s statement.

There is no doubt that Indian history books should definitely have chapters on great Indian leaders such as Veer Savarkar, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Suraj Mal and Mahatma Gandhi. There is also no doubt that Indian education system in most places is in desperate need of revamp. There might be some who may express concern over inclusion of Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya in Science textbooks, but the fact is, the entire world has acknowledged many contributions of these stalwarts in the field of science. There are those who claim everything worthwhile was invented in Ancient India, while there are those who claim nothing ever came from there. Sadly, the truth lies in between the two, and there is no harm in propagating this truth.

We had asked an opportunity to enquire with the author of the Indian Express report, but we are still awaiting a reply.

UPDATE (10 April, 2015): 3 days after publishing the misleading article, Indian Express has now published excerpts from an interview of the concerned minister Vasudev Devnani, which confirms what we had pointed out. In the interview, the minister says: “I am not saying stop teaching Newton altogether but let us give due credit to everyone.

This is exactly what we pointed out, that there was no proof that Newton will be nudged out or dropped, as the earlier report by Indian Express claimed. Strangely, despite this explanation by the minister to Indian Express itself, the earlier article has not been corrected by the publication.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Hindu Mahasabha asks Rahul Gandhi to change Congress’ name to ‘Godsevadi Congress’ after Godse follower joined party: Read why

Hindu Mahasabha has advised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to change the name of the Congress party to Godsevadi Congress.

As desperate Pakistan welcomes the Indo-Pak ceasefire with much fanfare, India takes it with a caution

The latest ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan comes nearly 17 years after such an agreement was first signed

Encryption vs Compliance: The new IT Act guidelines put messaging services like WhatsApp in a tight situation

To comply with the new IT Act guidelines, services like WhatsApp will have to break its famous end-to-end encryption

Is Yogendra Yadav now an anti-election activist?

“We should have an outcome very soon, we do not have a mandate.” These were the words of Yogendra Yadav after Bihar elections

Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh advances to the second position on the GSDP list ahead of Tamil Nadu, was fifth only a year ago

Amidst economic gloom induced by the pandemic, Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath has recorded impressive GSDP figures

A 2 minute video with 16 cuts: Pakistan releases new doctored video of Wing Commander Abhinandan days after committing to peace at LoC

Pakistan has released a new video of Wing Commander Abhinandan who had fallen into the hands of the Pakistani Army.

Recently Popular

Did Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan elope with her Hindu servant? Here is the truth

The image that is being used to claim that Iran Khan has 'eloped with her Hindu servant' was originally shared by Nupur Shikare, her fitness trainer. The two were posing on the occasion of Diwali.

US President Joe Biden casually drops the N-word during Munich Security Conference, accused of racism on social media

The N-word is considered as one of the hateful words that were first uttered in the 17th century. Its origin can be traced back to the Spanish word 'negro', which is often used by white supremacists to deliberately offend the African-American community.

Father of Richa Bharti, the girl who had refused to distribute Quran to secure bail, shot dead in native Bihar village: Read details

The father of the daring Bihar girl Richa Bharti has been shot down by assailants in her native village of Nalanda district in Bihar.

Father of 6, Mehtab Rana, abducts minor by shrouding her in Burqa, had abducted the girl twice in 2018, role of in-laws, family suspected

Kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl in Agra, where accused made her wear a 'burqa', has sent shockwaves and resulted in outrage

‘His opinion less than objective and reliable, his conduct questionable’, says UK court about justice Markandey Katju in Nirav Modi extradition order

The UK Court rejected Justice Katju's argument that Nirav Modi will not get fair trial in India, and exposed his hypocrisy

“A contest between my ball and your ball”: Netizens in splits after comments of Harsha Bhogle go viral

Harsha Bhohgle said that a cricket contest should be between bat and ball, not between bat and bat or ball and ball
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,133FansLike
520,783FollowersFollow
23,800SubscribersSubscribe