Dangerous Course

The nation’s credo of secularism faces grave threat from quarters determined to rewrite history on communal lines and inject poison into the young minds. With the advent of the BJP Government at the Centre, bodies keen to dish out saffronised diet to students have become active. A workshop to give a distinct Hindutva colour to History textbooks is currently on in Gujarat where efforts would be launched to integrate history with Puranic roots. Around 670 districts across the country have been identified, where roots of Hindutva history would be excavated. These are likely to receive full fledged encouragement from the official quarters. Some of these efforts have seen fruition in Gujarat where books by saffron historian Mr. Dinanath Batra are already part of the curriculum in 42,000 schools.
The 14-member Committee for Resisting Saffronisation of Textbooks (CRST) had in a report identified contents in history and literature textbooks that tend to distort history and undermine the secular foundation of the nation. It had pointed out that the stuff was contrary to the desired goals of the New Education Policy formulated in 2005 which aimed at inculcating secular values in the younger generation and nurturing scientific spirit based on reason. Yet not much could be done during the decade long UPA rule to remove the distortions in history and belittling of the contribution of minorities despite acknowledging its damaging impact. But going a step further, the saffron lobby is determined to incorporate irrational mythological stuff into textbooks which has the potential to spawn regressive tendencies and challenge the very basis that leads to scientific and technological progress anywhere on the earth. Consequences for the nation will be much greater than marginalization of minorities, for it will seriously compromise a common individual’s capacity to think rationally and will drown the nation into irrationalism and blind beliefs that have been the bane of progress and development.

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