Very little 'saffronisation' of education after all!
A report by a panel of scholars appointed by the new HRD ministry in their efforts to de-saffronise Indian education, has indicated that saffronisation of the history texts used in schools was a minor matter as compared to the 'Northanization' of Indian history by parochial writers with 'a strong north-India bias'.
Evidence: Of the 89 pages devoted to the study of Ancient History of India, not even nine full pages are spared for the history of peninsular India. ‘‘Tamil Nadu and Karnataka together have preserved a corpus of over 50,000 inscriptions, but not even a passing reference is made to this enviable wealth, even where the sources of history are discussed.’’The report also does criticize the exclusion of certain facts relating to Muslim movements in the Indian history, pointing to 'saffronisation' of the books. But the major emphasis is on the 'north-Indian' bias that was introduced in the books by the previous government.
The panel contrasts this with the reality: An estimated 1,050 CBSE schools teach this course (and follow this text) in the four states of South India and two union territories (Kerala: 489, Andhra Pradesh: 350, Tamilnadu : 150, Karnataka: 35; Lakshadweep: 10 and Andaman: 15).
‘‘To all these students, the text has nothing to offer about the land in which they are born and brought up, and also in which the majority of them spend the rest of their lives. As long as history is imposed from above, in this manner, without involving the scholarship of the rest of the country, the history of India is bound to be a meaningless exercise.’’