Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeOpinionsA rebuttal to the misleading claims made in the Western media regarding changes in...

A rebuttal to the misleading claims made in the Western media regarding changes in the Indian school curriculum

Interestingly, it is not the first time such misleading claims about India have been made by the Western media.

“Right to Education” is one of the fundamental rights mentioned in the constitution of India. Since 1947, every Indian government led by different political parties has put enormous efforts to protect this right. However, one of the biggest achievements was made when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President APJ Abdul Kalam worked together to launch the “Education for All” campaign in 2001. The nation witnessed an unprecedented willingness of the Government to prioritize educating the mass. 

In 2014, following a decade of corrupt governments led by the Indian National Congress party, people unanimously elected Narendra Modi from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the Prime Minister of India. Just before the pandemic, the then finance minister, the late Mr.  Arun Jaitley had made a significant statement in the 2018 budget session that the Government was aiming to double the contribution of GDP in our Education system. 

This statement indicated the Government’s sincere attempt to revamp the education system. Finally, in 2020 during the pandemic, the Government introduced the New Education Policy (NEP 2020). Interestingly it was done when the global pandemic was raging, Indian scientists were making indigenous vaccines against the Coronavirus and India was feeding no less than 800 million of her population free of cost under the PM-GKAY scheme. On top of that, we had to deal with neighbours like China and Pakistan on the military front. 

While India was managing multiple threats and still growing on the economic front, the entitled Western world had already surrendered to the virus. India not only manufactured her own vaccines but also helped neighbouring countries and poorer nations of the world by supplying them vaccines, often free of cost. While the giant pharmaceutics of the West were lobbying for their respective governments in return for vaccines, India was helping the world while taking care of 1.4 billion of her own.

Now, post-pandemic, it becomes increasingly difficult for financially richer “first world countries” to sit on a moral high horse and continue to preach a third-world challenger who has emerged as the only bright spot on the world economic stage. Hence, based on fake news and with the help of half-baked journalists, a smear campaign is launched where it is declared that the Indian education board removes chapters on Periodic Table and Evolution for students in middle school. What it deliberately omits is the simple fact that all those students will learn those topics in high school as explained in detail by Prof. VS Baswanath from the SRM University AP.

The Government proposal on New Educational Policy (NEP 2020) was highly praised as it was the first step towards fulfilling Swami Vivekananda’s educational philosophy on nation-building. Being the world’s largest democracy and following its own civilization traditions, the Government of India has always been open to accepting constructive criticism to improve the education system. However, it is always possible to find a sell-out in any country. Similarly in India, finding an elitist anglophile who loathes the present government is readily available too. 

These academic activists are motivated by nothing more than personal hatred for the present dispensation. They go to the extent of misguiding renowned science journalists and the Western world with tampered information. A simple rescheduling of the curriculum is pointed out as removal, making it the source of all misinformation going around. While the West, already facing the loss of face on the world stage for mismanagement during the pandemic with much less population and much more financial equity than a populous country like India, laps it up for moral oneupmanship. A country that is publicly celebrating her scientists for their service during the pandemic would do anything but remove basic tenets of science like evolution and the periodic table from the curriculum. 

It was quite striking that a reputed journal like Nature published an editorial to criticize India’s educational policy based on the recent rescheduling of the textbook. The mention of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, alleged ideological source of the present Indian government) makes the agenda clearer. Recently, as the Indian education board, the NCERT clarified its stand in a series of tweets, it became clear that the editorial in Nature was based on fabricated data. The question is why was the information not cross-checked with NCERT themselves before publishing the article? It reflects lazy journalism. Renowned journalists and publishing houses are expected to be better than that.

Interestingly, it is not the first time such misleading claims about India have been made by the Western media. An editorial on the abrogation of Article 370 was published in the famous medicine journal Lancet. We witnessed that different Western media houses doubted the success of the Indian army’s surgical strike on cross-border terror camps. Most recently, BBC’s biased documentary on the Gujarat riots made it to the headlines. The smear campaign against the status quo seems to be a regular adventure for the preachy, sanctimonious Western media.

During the pandemic, many models were published that predicted India would face hundreds of thousand of deaths due to covid third wave. A cohort of economists with a couple of Nobel laureates has been constantly criticizing India’s economic policy. Blowing all doubts away, the outstanding vaccination policy helped India overcome the threat of the pandemic. The effective financial planning of the Government is steadily taking India towards achieving the target of a 5 trillion-dollar economy. 

It is naive to think the media is politically unbiased and they prefer to sell reports based on their political beliefs. But scientific journals are expected not to behave the same. Scientific journals publish results based on scientific observation. So, it is shocking that journals like Nature started publishing news rife with political connotations. 

By this time, the people of India have realized that a large group of politically biased economists and scientists holding high positions are involved in spreading fear among Indian voters by agitating them against the Government’s policy. They have lost all credibility over the last decade. So, their latest attempt to spread panic among the voters by softly targeting the education system is out in the open. Unfortunately, this time Nature got trapped in this political war, hopefully unknowingly. To keep its reputation and glory, Nature must clarify their position regarding its editorial published on 31st May under the headline “India Cuts Periodic Table and Evolution from School Textbooks”. Keeping the scientific fervour intact, the misleading article should be retracted. 

The falsified editorial in Nature must be considered as “Wrongium, the Media’s Favourite Element” as brilliantly articulated by Prof. Salvatore Babones of University of Sydney in Australia. The least Nature can do is retract the article and publish an apology. 

But why has a group of people in India been purposely denigrating their own democratically elected Government in front of the world media? It is probably because India is moving forward to regain the glory of its own pluralistic idea based on Hinduism and rapidly shedding her misplaced ideals of “Gandhi- Nehruvian” pacifism that has had a devastating effect on its indigenous populace for the last seven decades. 

For Hindus, religiosity comes from our overall way of life, it is quite different from Abrahamics for whom the ways of life come from their religion. Those who are facing an existential crisis and suffering from an inferiority complex to disclose their socio-political ideology in front will be more frustrated in the coming years; hence, they will put more effort to denigrate the country’s progress by exploiting Western media. 

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  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

Rudra Prasanna Banerjee
Rudra Prasanna Banerjee
Postdoctoral Scientist, Washington, USA. PhD in Molecular Biology & Genetics, University of Alberta, Canada.

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -