Instead of making our children proud of India and its glorious past the NCERT textbook tries to create a suicidal and absolutely false impression in their mind that Indian culture and educational system are inferior to their counterparts in the west. The materials used in the said book tends to make them feel that their ancestors were uncivilised and could be made civilised, truthful and honest through western education.
In this connection an NCERT textbook in History ?Our Pasts-III Part 2 for class VIII may be seen.
Before discussing the subject further it is necessary to take a look at the words ?our pasts? used in the title of the book. Does any one who know English well ever write or speak ?our futures? or ?our presents?? But the NCERT writers do not hesitate in distorting historical facts, how can they feel ashamed of grammatical blunder?
The book named above abounds not only in factual errors, but also contains observations which derogatory to the dignity of our motherland. Carrying a photograph of the British clone Macaulay who introduced a flawed educational system here the NCERT textbooks says:
?By 1830s the attack on the orientalists became sharper. One of the most outspoken and influential of such critics of the time was Thomas Babington Macaulay. He saw India as an uncivilised country?that needed to be civilised. No branch of Eastern knowledge, according to him could be compared to what England had produced. Who could deny, declared Macaulay that ?a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. He urged that the British government stop wasting public money in promoting Oriental learning for it was of no practical use.? (Pp 97, 98).
The sinister silence of the NCERT writers about the above objectionable remarks of Macaulay about Indian learning make it abundantly clear that they do not want to controvert them, but rather want the students to regard the educational system introduced by Macaulay as superior to Oriental learning.
How could Macaulay who did not have even elementary knowledge of Sanskrit, much less of Vedic Sanskrit comprehend the vast and variegated literature of India spanning several lakhs of years? This treasure-trove containing rarest gems of spiritual knowledge as well as worldly wisdom which contrary to macaulay's mischievous remarks, is of immense practical value?
India'sancient literature which includes the Holy Vedas and Upanishads is far superior to European literature of which Macaulay was boastful. No sensible or civilised person can say about any country'slearning that it has nothing useful in it and the same ought not to be promoted as Macaulay had said about Oriental learning.
There is no epic in English or in any other European language, which can equal the Mahabharata either in magnitude or in spiritual excellence. This great epic which was composed by Srikrishna Dwaipayana Vyas contains more than 1,00,000 verses which leave an indelible imprint upon the mind of those who are fortunate enough to have access to them.
While narrating the story of the Mahabharata to a congregation of holy men in Naimisaranya Ugrashrawa Sauti had said?Vibhetyalpashrutad Yedo mamayam praharasyati (Adi Parva O1: 268). The import of this verse is that the Veda is afraid of a ma of little learning and say ?He will attack me?. Undoubtedly Macaulay and the like of him belong to this category of the little learned who make disparaging remarks about other'sDharma, culture, civilisation and learning without having understood them properly.
Instead of condemning Britisher'sbaseless and false observations about our countrymen the NCERT'sso called historians carry them again and again in their textbooks. Here is another example;
?Wood'sdespatch argued that European learning would improve the moral character of Indians. It could make them truthful and honest and thus supply the company with civil servants who would be trusted and depended upon?.
The scathing message the NCERT textbook writers want to convey to the school going students is that the Indians are untruthful and dishonest and cannot be depended upon. Should growing children be taught in this perverse manner about their own nation?
Attaching undue importance to Macaulay'sMinute following which the English Education Act of 1835 was introduced in our country the NCERT historians brazenly highlights his objectionable remark, inter alia, about Benaras Sanskrit College which was one of the most important centers of Oriental learning as ?a temple of darkness?. Could anyone manufacture a greater and more shameless lie than this and more importantly, could any self-respecting sovereign state spread such lies among its own students as Government of India has been doing through the NCERT textbooks?
The NCERT textbook on two separate pages (98, 99) carries quotes, which ridicule our dialects and praise European language. The first quote is as follows:
?All parties seem to be agreed on one point, that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives… of India, contains neither literary nor scientific information, and are moreover, so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them.? (p.98)
The subsequent quote reads as follows:-
?Wood'sdespatch of 1854 marked the final triumph of those who opposed Oriental learning. It stated: We much emphatically declare that the education which we desire to see extended in India is that which has for its object the diffusion of the improved arts, services philosophy, and literature of Europe, in short European knowledge. (p.99)
What the NCERT writers do not want to say themselves they convey that through others particularly through India'senemy Macaulay.
The recent reports of violence in educational Institution and other evils like suicide by students and their growing infatuation for wine and other intoxicating drugs bear eloquent testimony to the fact that Macaulay's educational policy which he imposed on our country during British Raj like his highly flawed penal code is detrimental to our all round development and the sooner it is altered the better it will be.
(The writer is an Advocate in the Supreme Court may be contacted at A-207, Kalyani Apartments, Sector-06, Vasundhara (Ghaziabad), UP)