Intro: A Book adviced for degree students of Kakatiya and Satavahana University for the year 2013-14 published by Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd Hyderabad has malpracticing the mode of Education to contrast a social and harmonal barrier between different regions.
Destiny of a nation is being shaped in its class rooms, many believe but Swami Vivekananda said, “The idea of all education, all training should be man-making. Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life. It should be life-building.” Contrary to all said and done here we have a text book English for fluency , a text prescribed for 1st year degree students of Kakatiya and Satavahana University for the year 2013-14 published by Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd Hyderabad. Textbooks being the chief site of the transmission of knowledge are powerful instruments in the creation of shared social constructs and in the enterprise of Nation-building. A curriculum, is often used to give a sense of a glorified past and inculcate patriotism. Learners should be educated to uphold the democratic values, respect the Rules of Law, and support humanitarian ideals; they should engage in healthy practices to be able to develop robust and healthy physiques, learn how to think for themselves and be creative and aim at nurturing responsible citizens with a sense of patriotism and a global perspective. Really? Now read on: In a chapter titled “Pochamma's Goddess” by Radha D Souza, the lead says, “Which goddess does your mother worship? You would have noticed that even women in cities engage themselves in worship of Goddess on specific days. Have you ever seen your father engaged in worship though as your mother does? You may find this ridiculous but it’s true?”
The writer compares her Goddess with that of her maid servant thereby qualifying of her strict Brahmanical upbringing and taunts of some Hindu rituals with remarks that she was chastised for not learning her prayers as they were in Sanskirt that too in long verses that was almost incomprehensible. When I had my periods even my shadow would not fall on my Goddess and wondered what her maid did in such times? When the maid underwent bereavement and her son Rajanna barely 24, who was killed by Police in encounter and was suspected of helping Naxalites. Nobody dared to ask what the basis of suspicion was. Who would? (Page 15)
Come to poetry, titled “The Kitchen” by Vimala. The poem according to the writer depicts the crucial role of a housewife as well as her imprisonment in the house in the name of household responsibility. Thus for a housewife it’s a situation of confinement. Some verses, “No one comes to the Kitchen except to eat, my mother was queen of kitchen, but the names engraved on the pots and pans are Father's. Damn all kitchens, May they burn to Cinders, our lives eat our days like some enormous vulture and let us tear out these private stoves before our daughters must step solitary into these kitchens and for our children sake destroy lone kitchens.
“Yanadi Kotadu” is about a man hailing from tribal community in Andhra,outlaw and a thief and some sort of a modern day Robin hood. The writer Sujatha Gidla narrates, why would a thief begin to be worshipped by villagers and under what circumstances would a thief become a legend?
And then came the Hindus from the foreign lands. They cleared forests with iron implements and attacked the tribals and drove them deeper and deeper into jungles. The Hindus started farming, set up castes and imposed system of private property. Thus from the ancient times, it became their (tribals) sacred duty to violate private property and they pious burgled and religiously robbed.
Most Indians are non-vegetarian and only some sections are vegetarians. According to All India survey by centre for the study of Developing society, 60 percent eat meat and lo behold meat is the most preferred food all over the world and for primitive hunting of animals for food was necessary. The meats of pig, fowl, fish which we eat were discovered by Adivasis. In conclusion Illiah submits that society owes a historical debt to them and they must be given preference in education and modern employment.
“For Vegetarians Only” another chapter narrates the difficulties in availing the rental accommodation in city of Hyderabad. Ibrahim and Shaheen, Muslim couples are on look out for a house and was refused accommodation as the land lord preferred “Vegetarians only”. The writer interprets thus: They won’t let out to Muslims. They won't let out to anybody who was Non-Vegetarian. Who are the people who are purely vegetarian? Think about it, Muslims -Completely non -vegetarians, Christians? Backward Castes? Yes all of them are non-vegetarians. So who does this leave out? Brahmins and Vysyas ! So they let out only to people of their own castes! How clever the people are! In one shot you eliminate so many people. He comes across a Land lady letting him peep through, she asks him, what caste are you! He introspects and questions does it matter as long you are human. Since there is no hesitation in declaring you are a Reddy, why is it so difficult to say you are a Muslim? He is evicted later on as he was caught buying Beef at a meat shop. He shouts at her declaring, “The Whole World Eats Cow's Meat.”
The writers in this book include Jawaharlal Nehru, RK Narayan and also poetry by Rabindranath Tagore and Rudyard Kipling. One is amused to find how they inserted these above said writers plain rubbish to make it look respectable and peddling their ideologies that are outdated.
Humans don't need meat or animal products to survive. Millions of healthy vegans and vegetarians the world over are proof of this. It is stated by most world and government health organisations that's it's possible to live perfectly healthily on a plant-based diet. Cows are still sacred to millions of Hindus in India today. The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness in Non-Human Animals in July 2012 brought together the findings of top neuroscientists showing that animals are aware and conscious beings. . Therefore as with human beings, animals have the right under natural justice to life and should be granted basic rights under law. A society functioning with a significant amount of social cohesion is one that is imbued with a great deal of internal harmony.
In the multi-cultural society like India the education system needs to holistically develop socially and emotionally well adjusted young people and children, who can interrelate and contribute to peace, harmony and cohesion in society. After reading the verses above a student is sure to come out hating all Hindus and hold Muslims to be victims of great conspiracy denying them equal rights. The law enforcing police and seen as brutal, trigger happy and thievery is glorified to an extent that it could well be a decent profession. Police kill innocents in a encounter and Muslims are discriminated in society and cooking at home by women is confinement and misguided feminism has taught a generation of women that men are opponents and not allies. Thus a Woman is shown triumphant when she abandons kitchen and above all on the back cover a learned professor claims all the chapters are culturally familiar and present themes and attitudes are nearer home.
If education is to play a constructive role in nation’s development then all irrational irritants must be removed at once. Education should play a unifying rather than divisive role. Many western nations looked up to India as an ideal nation. Mark Twain once quoted, “If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India”. Hence it is our duty to maintain and enhance social harmony in the great society. One of the basic aims of education is to nurture in the learner a sound mind and strong values driven character in principle, education is a learning progression to help learners explore their innate capacity and talents as well as develop their potential to improve and enhance sustainability of their living environment. Does this book qualify to be one?
-N Nagaraja Rao (The writer is a Hyderabad based Correspondent)