On Wednesday February 24, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Mrs. Smriti Irani spoke in the Lok Sabha on the debate on the recent events in Hyderabad and Delhi universities. Among other things, Mrs. Irani read passages from Class IV and Class VI textbooks, approved by the previous UPA regime, which are factually incorrect, distort history, and paint India in poor light with respect to the ongoing conflict with Pakistan on Kashmir. See what she said:
This was perhaps the first time a Union Minister has spoken about the indoctrination our children are subjected to as they grow up, that too at a very young age. Several facets of the history, geography, economics, and civics we teach our children are written by agenda merchants, pop historians, and establishment professionals, who made careers out of carving out a neo-Anglican narrative, which constantly and purposely demeans the Indian dharmic narrative.
Examples abound, as many parents in India can easily testify. The Aryan Invasion Theory (the proponents of which have themselves reduced its severity to an Aryan Migration Theory) which divides one country into two people is still taught. The obliteration of references to River Saraswati, the cradle of Indus-Saraswati Civilization, serves as a vehicle to the same, while strengthening the Proto Indo European schools, discrediting the Vedic people. From Rigveda to Sulbha Sutras, from Aryabhatta to Panini, the Indic achievements are completely or mostly left out from our textbooks. Our history and heritage is trampled by calling it mythology. Socialism is constantly glorified and wealth creation is demonized.
This is a long list – a list of how our children are learning a rigid, politically charged version of social sciences. When the English Education Act of 1835 was envisaged by Thomas Macaulay, he would have not dreamt of the converts one day outdoing him. Outdoing him on de-glorifying our past, questioning our present, and constantly hitting skeptical notes for our future. But this is being done every day as the books our children carry in their school bags will testify to.
So why not bring out these factual inaccuracies in the open? Why not highlight the glorification of the conquerors and dehumanizing of the vanquished, so commonly found in these books? Why not collate the instances of gradual brainwashing our children are subjected to as they progress through their scholastic career?
Here’s what you can do – check your children’s books for inaccuracies, for inclusion of theories which have long been denied, for statements which are lopsided presenting one side as evil and one side as saintly, for glorification of economic systems which have long crumbled elsewhere in the world.
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Append these social media posts with the hashtag #SaveOurChildren. Do not forget to mention these details along with your submission: The name of the state, the name of the board / agency (CBSE, ICSE, NCERT, State Board etc) and the class/division the book is from.
We will make a collection of these problems with our children’s books and we will then petition the Union Minister for Human Resource Development Mrs. Smriti Irani to get these references checked and corrected. Let’s start a campaign together to reclaim the truth, to teach our children what they deserve to know, not what a few in Delhi’s establishment want them to!
Editorial team of OpIndia.com