WHEN we enter the NCERT Campus at Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi, the first thing which strikes us as a glaring mistake is the wrongly spelt Hindi word Rashtreeya displayed on the big board at its gate. The spelling of Rashtreeya is a common error in Hindi. The correct word is Rashtriya which is seldom used by anyone. When common people commit such mistakes no objection is generally raised against them, but when the same mistake is committed by a person in a responsible position it becomes a matter of serious concern. The NCERT is the apex council of educational training and research in the country. If it cannot write the word ‘Rashtriya’ correctly and goes on misspelling it on the opening pages of all the textbooks it publishes, it becomes a matter of very great concern and cannot be sidetracked on any count. This and all other mistakes have to be rectified by competent persons. If the NCERT does not do it, it is better to close it down than to harm the cause of education.
What is surprising is that the NCERT writers distort words out of shape without realising that it will have an adverse effect on the upbrining of children in schools. Besides right use of words, imparting of correct knowledge of each and every subject to students is another sine qua non of proper education. The NCERT is deficient in both. Its books abound not only in grammatical errors, but also in distorted facts of history which are bound to cripple the learner’s ability and adversely affect their values.
Let us take a look at the grammatical mistakes found in the NCERT’s textbooks. One of the most abominable mistakes committed by the NCERT writer (s) can be seen in the caption of a book of history for the students of Class-VI. The title of this so-called book of history is Our Pasts-I. Some words in English as in other languages do not change. The word ‘Past’ like ‘Present’ and ‘Future’ cannot be altered in any circumstance. For example, we cannot write present and future as ‘presents’ and ‘futures’. Similarly the word ‘past’ cannot be used as ‘pasts’ as has been erroneously done in the NCERT textbook named above.
Yet another mistake can be seen in the clause ‘You have read of how’ (Social and Political Life-III at page 133). The erroneous positioning of words in the above part of a sentence is too obvious to be overlooked. Needless to say that there are several grammatical errors in the NCERT’s textbooks which need immediate removal.
The NCERT writers have not only indulged in wrong use of words, they have also tried to denigrate India’s glorious history by deliberately giving erroneous dates about the composition of the holy Vedas, the Manusmriti, the Upanishads, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
According to the NCERT writers the Vedas were written in two phases which they have arbitrarily and falsely fixed as early Vedic traditions and later Vedic traditions. The intention of the NCERT writers to belittle the importance of the holy Vedas which are the greatest spiritual asset not only of our motherland but of the people of the whole world and are universally regarded as the first and earliest scripture of the world is too obvious to be sidetracked.
Contrary to the claim of the NCERT writers the holy Vedas contains revelations from God to the earliest enlightened sages of India and came into existence in primordial times. The claim of the NCERT writers that ‘the Rig Veda was compiled between C. 1500 and 1000 BEC’ (Themes in India History, Part-1, page-84), is therefore, absolutely false, confusing and highly misleading.
The Vedas are even older than the celebrated Ramayana composed by the sage Valmiki as is evident from the fact that the word ‘Veda’ occurs in several verses of the Ramayana which has been composed by the sage Valmiki who was a contemporary of Sri Rama.
Accordingly to the NCERT writers the Upanishads were written only 600 years before Christian era. This is another blatant lie. The principal Upanishadas which are 17 in number were written several thousand lakhs of years before and constitute the concluding part of the holy Vedas. It is totally false to say that they are of recent origin.
Manusmriti which is the earliest code of conduct and first book of Hindu law was, in the words of the NCERT writers, ‘complied between C. 20 BCE and 200 CE (Themes in Indian History, Part-I at page 58)’. There can be no greater lie than this!
About the Mahabharata it has been falsely written that it was composed ‘over a period of 1000 years.’ (Themes in Indian History, Part-I, page 53). The indisputable truth is that Sri Krishna Dwaipayana Vyas, the great sage, had written it within a period of three years only (Adi Parva 62: 41-42).
It is well known that the immortal treatise Arthashashtra had been written by Kautilya who was none other than the great founder of Magadh empire Chanakya, but the NCERT textbook of history creates confusion and doubt in the minds of school students about this historical fact. Chanakya was not only the author of the celebrated Arthashashtra but also the famous Prime Minister of the Magadh empire. The NCERT writer does not want school going children to know this fact and be proud of it. Besides falsifying medieval history, they have tried to belittle the importance of Chanakya, the excellent statesman and leader in the following words –
“Another source that is often used is Arthashashtra, parts of which were probably composed by Kautilya or Chanakya, traditionally believed to be the Minister of Chandragupta.” (Themes in Indian History, Part-1, Page-32. On what historical ground does the NCERT textbook describe and that too in a dubious language that Chanakya was a Minister, and not the Prime Minister of Chandragupta?
It is time to find out an alternative so that the cause of national education may be furthered without any constraint.