In a step to cleanse the Indian social science books with socialist, Marxist, colonial and Nehruvian biases, the Modi government has removed 5 chapters from class 10th board exam syllabus. These chapters will be in NCERT books and will be taught in schools but the questions will not be asked from these chapters in exams. Three chapters from political studies namely, “Political Struggles and Movements”, Challenges to Democracy” and “Democracy and Diversity”. The chapter named talk’s Marxist uprising in the neighbouring country of Nepal and South American country- Bolivia. The two other chapters are “Forest and Wildlife” and “Water Resources”.
The NCERT school textbooks are written from a left-wing perspective. Most of the advisors in the textbook development committee have taken the oath of the constitution of different Communist parties. The major problem with these textbooks is that nowhere in the books one finds the description of the political inclination of the writers. The writings, which claim to be ‘independent’ try to ‘condition’ the students to think in a certain political direction from a very young age. One political party (read Congress) and its leaders who belong to one family (read Nehru-Gandhi family) are venerated throughout the syllabus.
The chairperson of NCERT social science textbook development committee is Hari Vasudevan who has published many articles praising Communist Russia in Economic and Political Weekly, a prominent leftist magazine. The chief advisors to the committee are Yogendra Yadav, a politician associated with Aam Aadmi Party who later formed his own political party. Another advisor named Suhas Palshikar is well known as Congress party sympathizer. The members of the committee include Nivedita Menon, a professor in Jawaharlal Nehru University who openly supported Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Shehla Rashid and other ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ members.
The opinion-making (journalists, writers, and academic) class of the country has been inclined to a particular ideology (read socialism) for long. This intellectual class has parroted and perpetuated biased thoughts ad nauseam and it binds debate and discussion to a particular set of ideas without testing them on empirical evidence. The socialists and communists who dominated Indian universities and media since the 1970s didn’t give space to the ‘other side’ of the narrative. These pseudo-intellectuals were more committed to their ‘ideological cause’ than evidence-based research to shape public policy.
The worst part of the textbook development committees is that they do not have a single member from ‘right wing’ while they claim to be ‘independent’. The members of RSS and other right-wing organizations were ostracized by these people. The content in the textbooks was openly upper caste bashing, anti-America, pro-Communism and socialism, anti-free market. Now as the Modi government is trying to remove the socialist, Marxist, colonial and Nehruvian biases, the old elites who were entrenched in the system petition and Award Wapsi drama.
The Nehruvian elite wants to preserve its social and political capital at any cost. They have ruled India for more than 6 decades from the posh bungalows of Lutyens Delhi. So it is obvious that they would not like to become politically and socially irrelevant. But Modi government should ignore their rants and continue to ‘correct’ the biases, just like it removed the chapters from the syllabus.
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