By Dr L.S. Madhava Rao
As the days roll by, each ministry stretches its muscles to strike a note of difference and departure in the working pattern from the earlier one. Since I belong to the teaching fraternity my first love and concern is for education and the HRD ministry headed by Shri Arjun Singh, who is still surviving after the great Bhopal gas tragedy which killed more than 30,000 people and blinded and disabled many more. The ghost of saffronisation (misnomer) of education haunts him and his ministry, making him spend many sleepless nights. The President'saddress to the joint session of the Parliament would have been appreciated had he and the cabinet taken care to use milder terms to the expressed words such as “divisional Agenda” of earlier BJP-led NDA government and the removal of communalisation of school syllabus. Such an approach would need some guts of the President of India to depart from the prepared and approved text of the cabinet in the present form. There was no discussion of President'saddress.
What is red rag to a bull, the phrases and words such as Hindu, Hinduism, Hindutva, Hindu Rashtra sound abhorrent and anathema and cause hiccups to the Congress and the Communist. BJP is in their eye of the storm. They allege that BJP is a born enemy to them and is highly communalist in character and it is a fascist organisation and wears the garb of religious fundamentalism. These are synonyms to spout their venom. They always exploit the minority trump card to gain political mileage and use all tricks and wits in their secret bag to defame it and its ideology.
There is no patriotic fervour in the Communist Party. They are like paper pins which plan foot in one direction (India) and head in another direction (Russia or China). Analyse their role in the 1942 Quit India movement and after. They preach proletarian philosophy while they themselves are rich landlords. Communists always seek to fish in troubled waters. They enter the centre stage through backdoor. They are lucky to have bagged 62 seats in the 14th Lok Sabha elections to influence in a great measure the decision-making by the Congress and its allies.
The use of the word Hindu is as old as Rigveda itself and is associated with the land of Indus, alias Hindus. A Hindu means a person who regards this land of Bharatavarsha from Indus river down to the seas as his fatherland as well as holyland and that is the cradle of this religion. The word is comprehensive enough to encompass the beliefs, the dogmas, the doctrines, symbolical or scriptural values owned and honoured by the crores of people who constitute the great Hindu community and form the national face and identity of the country. Loyalty to one'sfatherland, and loyalty to one'sholyland are the true great forces that form the national life of the country and its people.
A lot of heat and dust has been raised in the country about the issue of “history” textbooks written in the past without objectivity and authenticity, apart from books written on other subjects such as chemistry, physics, et al. It is appreciable that earlier the Ministry of HRD, Government of India mooted the point in all earnestness with a view to correct the imbalances if any and correct them while publishing new textbooks, while narrating an event. The review was necessitated because the books written on the subjects were more than two decades old and more and more new and worthy information as a result of research came to light, deserving their incorporation in the new textbooks to keep the students abreast of the latest discoveries and inventions made, such as IT packages and space technology.
It is a matter of great joy and satisfaction that NCERT girdled up its loins and held many workshops and seminars in all regions of the country to get the issue chilled thoroughly and came to the conclusion after reviews that there is urgency and necessity to have the books rewritten on various subjects required at school level with clarity, objectivity and authenticity, reflecting all the shades of opinions and discoveries made in recent times by independent personalities and institutions of repute.
The crux of the matter is that earlier the BJP-led NDA government and HRD ministry took up the cause of giving a balanced approach to the treatment of the subject. The allegation is that the government is saffronising the education policy and the system which is meaningless. Anything Hindu and mentioning of old system of values are unsecular in character. To say that the original textbook writers for CBSE on history subject were not consulted by NCERT is a white lie. The New Delhi Star news channel is always biased and JNU professors are very close to its heart for panel discussion as if there is a dearth of professors to be invited from other universities. Is the deletion of controversial sentences in the textbooks an undesirable act? The phrases and words like secular and social are empty, hollow and deceitful in nature. They keep the public myopic.
What the Congress and the Communists say is secular and others are religious fundamentalists. The earlier writers of history on medieval period by and large appear to be radical humanists.
The trio historians—Romila Thapar, Satish Chandra and R.S. Sharma—including R. Champaka Lakshmi, who are all Leftists, are advised to update their knowledge about the latest, discoveries of Vedic Aryans? supremacy of Harappan culture proclaiming to the world that they are the vanguards of world civilisation and existence of Saraswati river and how it dried-up during later centuries.
Their mindset is to oppose everything that is old—history, geography, science and technology, civilisation and culture. They only know “secular mantra” which is bogus to its core and application in everyday politics and administration. They may even debar and forget their old great, great grand parentage.
According to the author Prof. R. Champak Lakshmi one should not be proud of one'sown nation and much less speak and write about its glorious past. So, therefore, according to her scale of mental balance, the singing of the national anthem Jana gana mana adinayaka jayahe of India is to be stopped because it eulogises India. A contemporary student should be taught about the current affairs of the country such as a broad, unbiased spectrum of all religions, types of governments and democracies, politics, economics and administration. A mix of these will broaden the mind of the student and it cannot be called a nexus formed to carry out a specific agenda. The word ‘secularism’ used in the Preamble of the Constitution needs to be changed into sarva dharma samabhava as the present word falls short of this comprehensive thought and application.