One of the allegations that has troubled the Narendra Modi-led BJP government since it came to power is that it is trying to saffronise education in India.
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani has dismissed this charge many times. But she might find it difficult to counter the charge now as reports have said that the BJP government in Rajasthan is planning to remove chapters on Nelson Mandela and William Wordsworth's poems from the textbooks state government-run schools.
According to a report in The Times of India, the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) is going to change English textbooks for Class I to XII by replacing content by foreign authors with ones by Indian authors.
"It is strange and unfortunate that Rajasthan students have been reading chapters on Africa and poems by foreign authors while they are ignorant about our own tribals and poets. These textbooks giving undue importance to foreign authors and chapters are meaningless. The committee is thoroughly examining the books to bring forth the work of Indian authors which is closer to our motherland," TOI quoted a senior member of the textbook re-writing committee as saying.
Imagine children who grow up without having any idea of who Nelson Mandela was or what he did and without having read any of Wordsworth's poems.
Strangely enough, a chapter on PM Modi's pet project Beti Bachao Andolan will be included in the curriculum, according to The Huffington Post.
On 1 June, Smriti Irani had said that education was not being saffronised in India. "I never ask students about the religion as we do not discriminate the right of a student to education on the basis of caste or religion," she had said.
However, a week later, on 8 June, Irani had taken a jibe at critics alleging saffronisation of education and had said that the country's inherent strength in education, ancient concept and values is hailed and applauded abroad but is described as "saffron" back in the country.
(With inputs from PTI)
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Updated Date: Oct 21, 2015 18:41:07 IST