Millennium Post

Don’t con the text

The union minister for human resource development may soon find herself in murky waters again. This time the onus can be heaped on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliates who have openly asked Smriti Irani, HRD minister to correct the history taught in schools as Hindu culture is not being highlighted in spite of Indian history being replete with over the board mentions of Hindu freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to name a few. In fact the entire saffron urgency to colour history is a little perplexing. It may be noted that since May, Irani and the RSS affiliates have met for the sixth time and every time it has been alleged that the union HRD minister has taken note of every suggestion and has also asked for written submission in some cases. While it is true that a lot of history that we know is West oriented but then again is the RSS ready for alternative thought especially after Dinanath Batra most famously forced Penguin India to withdraw American scholar Wendy Doniger’s book- The Hindus: An Alternative History? What is new if politics in India becomes counter-productive on such issues? Political parties anyway have such enormous dependence on religious organisations for the vote-bank that even if the natural course of something that has happened in the past needs a tweak, they do not mind it. Perhaps these are exigencies for them but what about the students who eventually get to read such books? Glorification of one person over another is in itself a huge disservice to the cause of education. Religious ideologies should never be the basis of historical revisionism and independent experts who can openly say that their point of view is not subverted towards a political party or religious outfit should be employed for the purpose.
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