Akhbar South Asia Documents Delhi Magazine
Latest Issue   Archives   Useful Links  
Year 2002, No 3
July
Ethnic Cleansing In Gujarat
An Analysis of A Few Aspects
By Tanika Sarkar
Waterwoes
Degradation of Indus Basin: how secure is South Asia's future?
By Arjimand Hussain Talib
Religion and civilisation
By Mushirul Hasan
Outsider as Enemy
Politics of Rewrting History in India
By KN Panikkar
Passing Blame on Godhra Muslims
By David Hardiman
Censoring nuclear truths
By MV Ramana
The No-Exit Society
By Praful Bidwai
From software to nowhere
By P Sainath
In Gujarat, Adolf Catches 'Em in Schools
By Monobina Gupta
  Education  
In Gujarat, Adolf Catches 'Em in Schools



Education has been an important arena for the Hindu right wing’s politics. Gujarat is one state where apart from the numerous Vidya Bharti schools (RSS schools), the government schools too have consistently followed the Vidya Bharti pattern. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the complicity of a wider section of people in the genocide against the Muslims and the enormity of anti- minority prejudice in Gujarat linked to a great extent to the education that young children have been receiving through the decades. We give below a report that throw some light on the matter

The government that sprung the "Nazi solution" on students to test their language skills has been bringing them up on the Fuehrer's fare.



Gujarat's board of school textbooks believes Adolf Hitler "lent prestige and dignity" to Germany and had adopted only a "policy of opposition" to Jews. It also believes all minority communities in India - Muslims, Christians and Parsis - are "foreigners" and that Hindus have been reduced to a "minority" in most states. Students in Classes IX and X in Gujarat are being fed these nuggets of "knowledge" despite strict strictures from a parliamentary committee against several sections in the textbooks. Dismissing the
Committee's critical observations, the Gujarat board has gone ahead and reprinted the textbooks.



"Even human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi, replying to a question in Parliament on the textbooks, defended their contents, saying there was nothing wrong," said Prof. Arjun Dev, former head of the NCERT's history department.



The revelation comes less than a week after students appearing for Class XII examinations were given five sentences to join. The sentences: There are two solutions. One of them is Nazi solution. If you do not like people, kill them, segregate them. Then strut up and down. Proclaim that you are the salt of the earth." But the questions that rocked Parliament are but a logical extension of what the students have been taught three years earlier.



Gujarat's Class IX social science textbook, in a section titled "Problems of the country and their solution", says: "Apart from Muslims, even Christians, Parsis and other foreigners are recognised as minority communities." The section then says this: "The priests of Catholic Churches have accumulated plenty of wealth through unjust taxes and illegal fees. And they spend the money on worldly pleasures and immoral behaviour."
The indoctrination of school children begins early. Examination papers in Classes V and VI listed a question that read: "What is the basic difference between miyans and Others?"



The social science textbook for Class X showers praise on the Nazi chief. The section on "Internal achievements of Nazism" does not even cursorily mention the Holocaust and the extermination of Jews. It dismisses the mass killings in one sentence: "Hitler adopted a policy of opposition towards the Jews and advocated the supremacy of the German race." The section begins by stating, "Hitler lent dignity and prestige to the German government within a short time by establishing a strong administrative set-up." Then, it credits the Fuehrer with a string of achievements. "Hitler adopted a new economic policy - brought prosperity to Germany - began efforts for eradication of unemployment. Made untiring efforts to make Germany self-reliant within one decade. Instilled a spirit of adventure into the common people. But in doing so led to extreme nationalism and caused the Second World War."



Mussolini, the same textbook states, " established a strong, stable government in Italy. He made Italy prosperous and powerful. All the institutions of the state functioned according to the tenets of fascism". There are no critical comments either about fascism or
Mussolini.



When the textbooks were brought to the notice of a parliamentary committee a couple of years ago, it reacted strongly, saying these sections paint a "frighteningly uncritical picture of fascism and Nazism. There has been no mention of the extermination of six million Jews." The Gujarat government, however, sent a letter stating its disagreement with the parliamentary committee's observations.


Courtesy: The Telegraph, 29 April 2002



Akhbar South Asia Documents Delhi Magazine top of page