By M.V. Kamath
A few hundred jihadis were apparently killed in Pakistan occupied Kashmir following the earthquake that devasted vast areas with Muzaffarabad as their epicentre. It is unlikely that this will dissuade the ISI from setting up new centres to train terrorists with the main object of destroying all efforts at establishing peace in the disturbed State. Pakistan wants all Indian troops to be withdrawn from Jammu & Kashmir. India rightly points out that this is not possible until all cross-border terrorism is brought to a swift and permanent end. Either President Musharraf is unwilling to do so or is plainly unable to enforce his orders. Peace talks, in the circumstances continue like time and tide with no end in sight.
Musharraf may feel helpless in containing the ISI in its nefarious activities but is he equally helpless in cleansing Pakistani school text books of hate propaganda against Hindus and India? How can Pakistan be ever at peace with India if Pakistani children right from their school days are given a distorted picture of Hinduism? Consider some of the following extracts from government-sponsored text books approved by the National Curriculum Wing of the Federal Ministry of Education: These have been picked up from an article authored by one Amir Mir and available on Outlook India. com. ?Before the Arab conquest, people were fed up with the teachings of Buddhists and Hindus. Before Islam, people lived in untold misery?.
?The Muslims of Pakistan provided all facilities to the Hindus and Sikhs who left for India. But the Hindus and Sikhs looted the Muslims in India with both hands and they attacked the caravans, buses and railway trains. Therefore, about one million Muslims were martyred on their way to Pakistan?.
? The Hindus treated the ancient population of the Indus Valley very badly. They set fire to their houses and butchered them.?
?The religion of Hindus did not teach them good things. Hindus did not respect women?.
It is not enough for Pakistan to stop cross-border infiltration and ISI-supported violence. Delhi must protest against the way in which education in government schools is manipulated to promote hatred towards India and Hinduism. Peace has many faces.
?After the war of 1965, India with the help of Hindus living in Pakistan incited the people of East Pakistan against West Pakistanis. In December 1971, the Indians themselves also attacked East Pakistan…The Hindu has always been an enemy of Islam?.
?The foundation of the Hindu set-up was based on injustice and cruelty?.
? The Hindus who had always been opportunists, cooperated with the British?.
?The Hindus used to please the Goddess Kali by slaughtering people of other religions?.
?Hindus always desired to crush the Muslims as a nation. Several attempts were made by the Hindus to erase Muslim culture and civilisation?.
? The Hindus and the Muslims… could not amalgamate each other'sway of life to become one nation. The main reason for this difference of cultures, civilisation and outlook was the religion of Islam which cannot be assimilated in any other system as it is based on the principle of…oneness of God…. On the other hand, Hinduism is based on the concept of multiple gods?.
?In connivance with the (British) government, the Hindus started communal riots and caused loss of life and property. At the time of prayers, the Hindus tortured the Muslims by playing music in front of the mosques. Before the commencement of classes, the students saluted the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi and Muslim students were also forced to do so?.
?Muslims promoted equality and social justice as against the division (created) by the (Hindu) caste system?.
?(The ideology) of Pakistan… was a revolt against the prevailing system of India in which Hindu nationalism was imposed on the Muslims…?
?Islam gives a message of peace and brotherhood…There is no such concept in Hinduism. Moreover, Islam preaches brotherhood, equality and justice… On the other hand, the Hindu society is based on caste system which downgrades the entire mankind?.
?The Hindus were encouraged by the (British) government to force the Muslims to join the Congress?.
Goodness knows the way Hinduism is practised has many shortcomings of which Hindus are only too well aware. But is the way Islam is practised any cleaner? How does it help better understanding between India and Pakistan if Pakistani textbooks are right from the start planned to put Hinduism in the wrong light? It is not that Pakistani intellectuals are unaware of what is going on. According to a report, the ill-liberal nature of Pakistan'seducation system has been brought out in pitiless detail by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad in its report entitled: The Subtle Subversion: The State of Curricula and Textbooks in Pakistan?. Authored jointly by A.H.Nayyar and Ahmed Salim, the 140-page SDPI is reported to illustrate through sheer examples, how the education system is contributing to the culture of Pakistani sectarianism, religious intolerance and violence. Some of the important findings of the SDPI are: The current curriculum and textbooks are ?impregnating young and impressionable minds with seeds of hatred?; the nature and significance of actual events in Pakistan'shistory have been substantially distorted; insensitivity is shown to existing religious diversity; war and the use of violence are glorified with incitement to militancy and violence; including encouragement of loaded concepts like jihad and martyrdom.
One can understand such things happening in madrassas. But that government approved textbooks used in government supported schools should indulge in promoting hatred of minorities calls for questioning. It is not enough for Pakistan to stop cross-border infiltration and ISI-supported violence. Delhi must protest against the way in which education in government schools is manipulated to promote hatred towards India and Hinduism. Peace has many faces. One thing is for sure: There can never be true peace between India and Pakistan if entire generations are brought up to hate and despise non-Islamic religions in the vilest possible manner.