Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti organised country-wide massive demonstrations on July 27 to warn the UPA government against continuous distortion in textbooks published by National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT). Besides the state capitals, demonstrations were also organised at district level. The demonstrators submitted a memorandum to the authorities concerned demanding immediate removal of distortions. Massive demonstrations were held at Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ranchi, Bhopal, Kerala, Bangalore, Aligarh, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Banaras, Amritsar and Jalandhar, etc. Dozens of local organisations supported the cause and also participated in the demonstrations. In all the demonstrations, the effigies of Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh, leftist writer Romila Thapar and notorious painter Maqbool Fida Husein were also burnt by the angry demonstrators.
Thirty-one educational and social organisations of Delhi and adjoining areas staged a massive demonstration at Parliament Street demanding immediate stop on distortion of education. More than 10,000 educationists, teachers, students and representatives of various organisations participated in the massive demonstration. Majority of demonstrators in Delhi was youth.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, former Union HRD Minister cited the debate going on in Parliament that day. He said: ?Today a strange debate is going on in the House that on which topic the discussion should be first held?on terrorism or on the Office of Profit Bill. The BJP has been pressing for discussion on terrorism while the Communists and Congress are saying that Office of Profit is the most important issue. It proves that two streams are flowing in the country. First gives priority to the country while the second wants to save the posts they are illegally occupying. In fact, even the small children know what is the most important issue today. But these Congress and Communists do not understand it. The problem has developed due to the education being imparted in schools, which totally lacks values of life, samskars. In fact those who are getting such type of education can never talk about patriotism. The country is indeed facing the consequence of its suicidal education system,? Dr Joshi exhorted.
Dr Joshi said that there is no country in the world that insults its national heroes, saints and God as is being done in India. They teach glorious history, but we demorlise our children. The instruments today used in surgery, were invented by Sushruta about 2500 years. Similarly instead of teaching about Aryabhatta, we teach our children about Newton. Coming down heavily on the argument that most of the development in India was done by Mughals, he asked, ?If it is true then who built Konark, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Khajuraho, etc?? ?Both Macaulay and Marx have gone. Arjun Singh will also go one day. But this country will continue. We shall impart our children the most advanced scientific and glorious education,? Dr Joshi added.
Shri Dinanth Batra, convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti said that when the whole country is worried for growing terrorism, the NCERT books are teaching poems of Naxalite poet Pash. In the books of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) the students are being taught that Lord Shiva was bhogvilasi and he used to sexually assault the wives of other Gods. The book claims that Goddess Durga used to drink wine. There are also various other derogatory remarks against our God, national heroes and saints in the books.
Shri Batra informed that the NCERT had agreed to withdraw four more points from the textbooks and now the fight has been for rectifying the remaining 26 points out of the total 70 points that the SBAS had pointed out in the Delhi High Court. He further said that the SBAS would soon be filing a case in the Delhi High Court against the derogatory remarks in the books being taught in IGNOU.
Shri Vijay Sonakar Shastri, former chairman, SC&ST Commission said that a conspiracy was going on in the country to deepen the gap between the upper and lower sections of the society. He said that no Hindu religious book including the Vedas, mention about untouchability or discrimination. Shri Atul Kothari, co-convenor of SBAS warned that if the UPA government did not change the anti-national education policy, it would be thrown away. Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the countrymen would never excuse the people who are teaching wrong and distorted history to innocent children.
Later, a memorandum was presented to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh demanding immediate deletion of objectionable passages from textbooks that insult the Indian culture, national heroes and various communities. Demanding high-level probe into the irregularities in IGNOU, the memorandum demanded strict action against the culprits. Demanding stop on monorityms in education, the memorandum also sought rewriting of history with Indian perspective so that the new generation of the country can know its glorious history.