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Thursday, July 15, 2004

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 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.’’
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.


Blogger Une Femme Folle said...

well, i dont know.. if you are talking about our school textbooks, i doubt if any of us gave a damn about what we were reading/bothered to understand it.. as long as we didnt flunk in the History exam.

7:10 AM

Blogger Ujjwal said...

The most glaring fact atleast in Delhi (which reflects most of the North) is that the students who opt for Arts or for that matter any history related subject in college,do so out of compulsion and never by choice.So whether its saffronisation or any damn thing, how does it finally matter? Nobody is actually interested in the details as such and these things just serve as propaganda for successive govts....
However,History isn't that boring as it is made out to be...but there are not enough avenues for those who might wish to pursue it...one cannot live by eating history books..can he?? no wonder we have a dearth of noted history scholars..
anyway..lemme stop here itself...i'm expected only to comment...right?? :)

7:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I studied in one of those 1050 schools. I have noted this bias. Just by going through the NCERT books, one would think that southern India does not have much of a history. The Chola dynasty which extended through a major part of India and also Burma and other countries barely gets mentioned. I am highly ignorant of my cultural roots because of those books.

9:39 PM

Blogger Priya said...

Could the change be due to the domineering presence of DMK? (Just kidding!)

10:07 PM

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Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.