Lethargic IITian
Musings of a 20-something lethargic IITian on India and Catholicism.

Sunday, November 10, 2002  

From the pages of Frontline:

The new social science textbooks of the NCERT for Classes Six and Nine are flawed in terms of factual details, content and historical interpretation.

It might be worth mention that this article has been clearly written by a socialist. Nevertheless, some of the flaws in the "new and improved" version of history our rightist rulers would have us believe are interesting:

... To begin with, in the textbook "India and the World", prescribed for Class Six, Chapter Ten entitled `Indian Civilisation-Harappan Civilisation', betrays a deliberate effort to imply that contemporary religious beliefs and practices of Hindus, such as worshipping the Siva linga or the pipal tree prevailed in that period as well ...

... Even while elaborating the geographical spread of the civilisation, nowhere is it mentioned that its two most important sites, Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, are located in Pakistan ...

... The presence of an elaborate drainage system was one of the most impressive features of the Harappan period, but the NCERT would like one to believe that this was because the Harappans gave importance to sanitation and not because some sort of a municipal structure existed ...

... One is also informed that Hinduism, apart from being a Sanatana Dharma (that which is eternal), "does not believe that there is only one way of achieving salvation like other monotheistic religions." But there have been sects, the Arya Samaj for instance, that are opposed to the idea of Sanatana Dharma, writes a historian ...

... while disagreements in Christianity and the formation of sects in it find mention, Hinduism is portrayed as a relatively conflict-free religion. That several sects emerged on account of the conflict with various Vedic religious practices does not find any reference in the textbook ...

... According to the new textbook, [Buddhism and Jainism]simply emerged out of a quest for salvation through knowledge which had already been initiated by the philosophical tradition and six philosophies of the Upanishads. That these two religions denied the authority of the Vedas and opposed animal sacrifice, thus bringing them into conflict with the brahmanical orthodoxy, does not find mention ...

...the reader is informed that one of the most noteworthy developments of the century was the "coup" in Russia ... Fascism and Nazism are described as dictatorial tendencies. Communism is also described in the same vein, to have "represented a similar trend in the sense that it stood for the dictatorship of a particular class". Regarding the former two, there is no mention of the Holocaust, the responsibility for the World War and the systematic persecution of certain people in Nazi Germany ...

... There are ... serious errors, such as the one suggesting that Stalin was the first European leader to enter into a peace agreement with Hitler, to buy temporary peace. It is amazing that the authors should conveniently forget the Munich Pact ...

... There is no mention of Hindu communalism with particular reference to the Hindu Mahasabha or the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. But statements like the "only political elements who did not support the Quit India Movement were the Indian communists and the followers of Jinnah" abound. The RSS is not perceived as a "political element" here. Interestingly, there is no reference at all to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by a Hindu fanatic ...

I'm sure my friends Ketan, Chetan and Varsha would justify all this as "affirmative action" against "decades of hegemony by Marxist historians".

posted by Kensy | 8:45 PM
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past blogs of interest
Hinduism as a religion
Pederasty and the American Church
Caste in Indian Christianity
Syro-Malabar engagements
Syro-Malabar weddings
Divine Retreat Centre
Varsha Bhosle and Ideological Relativism
Anti-Conversion Ordinance and the Church stance
Self-Righteous Rightism
The Hindutva Attack on St. Francis Xavier
Varsha Bhosle and the Church (U-turn)
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