Thursday, December 14, 2006

Furore over Rajasthan's 'saffron' syllabus

NDTV Correspondent

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 (Jaipur):

Politics over the school curriculum is once again creating a huge controversy in Rajasthan.

The recently revised social studies and political science textbooks for class 10 and 12 students in the Rajasthan board read more like the manifesto of the RSS and the BJP.

A chapter on terrorism states:

The Jammu and Kashmir government works under the pressure of terrorists, many of the political leaders in the state are hand and glove with terrorists
Article 370 should be abolished to prevent terrorism and the armed forces be given sweeping powers to wipe out terrorism

On Rajasthan, the textbook says that certain minority groups living in the border districts of Barmer and Jaislamer, who have relatives in Pakistan are engaged in anti national activities, should be monitored carefully.

On Mahatma Gandhi, the political science textbook says that at first he was a supporter of the British. It was only later that he turned against the empire.

Educationists, quite clearly, are not amused by the controversial syllabus.

"It ignores the complexity of an average Rajasthani classroom, it does not address Muslim and Christian children," said Apoorva Nand, Reader, Delhi University.

Caught on the backfoot, the BJP government has now promised to look into the matter.

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