Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saffronization of Education - Part 3

Arun Shouri, in his famous book Eminent Historians, has quoted the West Bengal circular regarding Sudho-Ashudho and has given appalling examples of the leftist ‘objectivity’ and sense of history. The state government issued circulars to schools to delete portions from the text books which described any act of conversions, butchery, plunder and rapes by the Muslim rulers. The logic given was that these encourage communalism and hate against Muslims. The terms used were ‘Aushuddho’ – the text which depicted the history as it is and ‘Shuddho’ – delete or make corrections to the history of actual events!

A circular sent relating to textbooks for class ix, dated 28 April 1989, issued by West Bengal Secondary Board, and it carries a number ‘sy1/89/1’ says “all the West Bengal government recognized secondary school headmasters are being informed’ it begins, ‘ that in history textbooks recommended by this board for class ix the following amendments to the chapter on the medieval period have been decided after due discussions and review by experts’.

‘the authors and publishers of class ix history textbooks,’ it continues, ‘are being requested to incorporate the amendments if books published by them have these ‘aushuddho’ (impurities/errors) in all subsequent editions, and paste a corrigendum in books which have already been published. A copy of the book with the corrigendum should be deposited with the syllabus office’.

The accompanying pages contain two columns: aushuddho – and shuddho. We need to just glance through the changes to see the objective the progressive are trying to achieve through their ‘objective’, ‘rational’ & ‘secular’ approach to the writing to history.

Book: Bharat Katha, prepared by the Burdwan education society, techers enterprise, published by Sukhomoy Das:
Page 140: Aushuddho – “in Sindhudesh the Arabs did not describe Hindus as kafir. They had banned cow-slaughter”.
Shuddho – “delete, ‘they had banned cow-slaughter’”

Page 141: Aushuddho – “fourthly, using force to destroy Hindu temples was also an expression of aggression. Fifthly, forcibly marrying Hindu women and converting them to Islam before marriage was another way to propagate the fundamentalism of the ulema”
Shuddho – delete from “secondly… to Ulema”

Aushuddho – “the logical, philosophical, materialist mutazilla disappeared. On the one hand, the fundamentalist thinking based on the Quran and the badis…”
Shuddho – delete

Book: Bharatvarsher itihash, by Dr. Narendranath Bhattacharya, published by Chakravarty:
Page 89: Aushuddho – “Sultan Mahmud used force for widespread murder, loot, destruction and conversion”.
Shuddho – “there was widespread loot and destruction by Mahmud”. i.e., no reference to killing, no reference to forcible conversions.

Aushuddho – “he looted valuable worth 2 crore dirham from the Somnath temple and used the Shivling as a step leading up to the masjid in Ghazni”
Shuddho – “delete ‘and used the Shivling as a step…”

Page 112: Aushuddho – “Hindu-Muslim relation of the medieval ages constitute a very sensitive issue. The non-believers had to embrace Islam or death”
Shuddho – all matter on pages 112-13 to be deleted

Page 113: Aushuddho – “according to Islamic law non-Muslims will have to choose between death and Islam. Only the Hanafis allow non-Muslims to pay Jaziya in exchange for their lives”.
Shuddho – rewrite this as follows: “by paying Jaziya to Alauddin Khalji, Hindus could lead normal lives”. Moreover, all the subsequent sentences “quazi…”, “Taimur’s arrival in India…” to be deleted.

Aushuddho – “Mahmud was a believer in the rule of Islam whose core was either Islam or death”
Shuddho – delete.

Book: Itihasher Kahini, by Nalini Bhushan Dasgupta, published by B.B.Kumar:
Page 132: Aushuddho – “according to Todd [the famous chronicler of Rajasthan annals] the purpose behind Alauddin’s Chittor expedition was to secure Rana Rattan Singh’s beautiful wife, Padmini”.
Shuddho – delete

Page 154: Aushuddho – “as dictated by Islam, there were three options for non-Muslims: get yourself converted to Islam; pay Jaziya; accept death. In an Islamic state non-Muslims had to accept one of these three options.”
Shuddho – delete

Page 161: Aushuddho – “the early sultans were eager to expand the sway of Islam by forcibly converting Hindus into Islam”. Shuddho – delete.

Book: Bharuter Itihash, by P.Maiti, Sreedhar Prakashini:
Page 139: Aushuddho – “there was a sense of aristocratic superiority in the Purdah system. That is why upper-class Hindus adopted this system for upper-class Muslims. Another opinion has it that Purdha came into practice to save Hindu women from Muslims. Most probably, purdah came into vogue because of both factors”. Shuddho – delete.

The most extensive deletions are ordered in regard to the chapter on ‘Aurangzeb’s policy on religion’. Every allusion to what he actually did to the Hindus, to their temples, to the very leitmotif of his rule – to spread the sway of Islam – are directed to be excised from the book. He is to be presented as one who had an aversion – an ordinary sort of aversion, almost a secular one – to music and dancing, to the presence of prostitutes in the court, and that it is these things he banished.

Book: swadesho shobhyota, by Dr. PK Basu and SB Ghatak, abhinav prakashan:
Page 126: Aushuddho – “some people believe that Alauddin’s Mewar expedition was to get hold of Padmini, the wife of Rana Rattan Singh”. Shuddho – delete

Page 145: Aushuddho – “apart from this, because Islam used extreme, inhuman means to establish itself in India, this became an obstacle for the coming together of Indian and Islamic cultures.”. shuddho – delete

Book: Bharat Katha, by G. Bhattacharya, Bulbul Prakashan
Page 40: Aushuddho – “Muslims used to take recourse to torture and inhuman means to force their religious beliefs and practices on Indians”. Shuddho – delete.

Page 41: Aushuddho – “the liberal, humane elements in Islam held our hope for oppressed Hindus”. Shuddho – the entire paragraph beginning with the “the caste system among Hindus… was attacked” is to be deleted. Instead write: there was no place for casteism in Islam. Understandably, the influence of Islam created an awakening among Hindus against caste discrimination. Lower caste oppressed Hindus embraced islam”.

Page 77: Aushuddho – “his main task was to oppress non-believers, especially Hindus”. Shuddho – this and the preceding sentence to be deleted.

Looking at all these changes convey us one single motto. That no forcible conversions, no massacres, no destruction of temples. Just that Hinduism had created an exploitative, casteist society. Islam was egalitarian. Hence the oppressed Hindus embraced Islam! Such cleansing act of our history has not just happened at West Bengal alone. There are innumerable examples across India in all the states for such changes with 'malicious'intentions.

The question is “are we Indians not privileged enough to know the true History of our nation?” Is it right that the ‘never-stepped-in-to-school’ ministers of this country change the history for minority appeasement? BJP has called for the eradication of such cheap practices and they are blamed for 'saffronizing' the education! Now if Saffronization is going to give us our ‘history’ as it is without changes, what is there to oppose it? Is it not good for our country?

-- to continue --


Rajesh J Advani said...

Corruption or 'editing' of history for any purpose is wrong. And removing 'facts' - if they can be proven or at least are agreed upon by a majority of modern historians.

But should school-going children be exposed to details of such violence? Should they be instilled with prejudice at such a young age?

History is full of crimes and heinous acts committed by people in the name of God. Another good example is the acts of the Church during medieval times. Hundreds and thousands of women (and children) were burnt alive just because they were suspected to be witches. For example, red-haired people are rare today, because a huge number of them were burnt between 1480 - 1700, on suspicion of being witches. Someone with red hair 'had to be a witch'.

If we want to expose children to the truth, let us also un-censor the Ramayan and Mahabharat, with all their open sexuality and violence.

helle said...

It's Excellent post. I liked it.