In a controversial move, the Congress govt in Rajasthan has decided to change the biography of freedom fighter Veer Savarkar which is taught in schools. According to the Rajasthan government, the reason behind the change in the syllabus is the existing version served the political interests of the RSS and previous BJP government.
Rajasthan education minister Govind Dotasara said the syllabus of Savarkar would be changed in order to teach history to the students “the correct way”. The Rajasthan government said that Vasundhara Raje government has portrayed Savarkar in a far stronger light and alleged that it was done at the behest of RSS.
Communist ideologues under the patronage of Congress have been called out multiple times for their blatant disregard for Indian culture and their meek attempts to mould Indian history to suit their political agenda. The left ecosystem which was born out of the perpetual quid pro quo has been systematically driving out opposing viewpoints from the social institutions. Academicians have been the biggest victim of this ‘organized genocide’ so much so that by 1990s, the presence of opposite views to the left were virtually non-existent in social institutions. The greatest victim of this charade has been the Indian education system and young minds seeking education.
However, this systematic attack on Indian culture dates further back to the British rule in India. The transition of the British East India Company’s rule to the rule of the British crown further magnified the need to introduce a British inclined education system. This education system was used to create human resource required to aid British imperialistic rule over India. Different commissions were set up for this purpose.
The English Education Act 1835 was a legislative Act of the Council of India which gave effect to a decision in 1835 by Lord William Bentinck, then Governor-General of British India. To reallocate funds the East India Company was required by the British Parliament to spend on education and literature in India. This education introduced was mainly English centric and lacked basic tenants of India centric education. Formally education in native languages was relevant however in course of time major focus on English education, made English more than a language of foreign invaders to the language of higher courts and other official structures.
“All parties seem to be agreed on one point, that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India contain neither literary nor scientific information, and are moreover so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them. It seems to be admitted on all sides, that the intellectual improvement of those classes of the people who have the means of pursuing higher studies can at present be affected only by means of some language not vernacular amongst them.”
“We must at present do our best to form a class who may be Interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, -a class of persons Indian in Blood and color, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.” T.B. Macaulay is considered to be the forebearer of the western style of education considered foreign and incoherent in India.
However after independence what followed was the continuation of the British system with little or no change made either to the curriculum or the education process instead of a total much-needed restructuring of the education system. Adding to the problems was a total hijack of the education machinery by left-leaning groups which further added to the narrative of demeaning Indian cultural practice and blatant molding of history to provide a skewed picture of the past.
Several freedom fighters were virtually reduced from whole chapters to mere paragraphs ultimately to be replaced by the very people who had the worst impact on Indian society. The British strategy to downplay Indian empires was also carried forward with little or no regard for their contribution to Indian History Great Empires of the Cholas, Rashtrakutas and the more recent Maratha Empire find little or no mention in current educational curricula. What replaced these was massive re-appropriation of history to provide a rosy picture of the various rampages, first of the brutal Islamic invasion followed by the whitewash of British rule in India.
First attempts to bring back the coherency in the Indian Education System was undertaken under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. In 2000/01, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) issued a National Curriculum Framework for school education under the slogan of “Indianize, nationalize and spiritualize”. The framework called for the purging of all foreign elements from the curriculum in state schools. These included the British legacy as well as aspects of Indian culture which were seen as having been introduced by the Mughal invaders. The new policy involved a massive textbook revision. The revisions were contested by a petition to the Supreme Court brought by three activists who argued that the NCERT had not followed the correct procedures of consultation with the states and that it had tried to introduce religious teaching, which is forbidden by the Constitution. However, the Supreme Court rejected this petition.
However, left-leaning groups by their resistance have always tried to dampen the efforts towards an India centric education and have focused more on the inclusion of parts which might aid their political agenda. Similarly, the Rajasthan government led by Ashok Gehlot of the Congress has taken the decision of editing parts which relate to freedom fighter Vinayak Damador Savarkar from the education curriculum of Class 10. However, the Congress government in Rajasthan is not just stopping at removing the relevant parts but has manufactured parts, which portray Veer Savarkar in a bad light, as someone who had asked for mercy from the British to escape jail term. Following on the steps of the British, who had detained Savarkar in the cellular jail in the Andaman and Nicobar islands where only hardcore freedom fighters were placed, whereas other political activists were sent to comfortable jails with facilities like newspaper and personal spaces, Congress has been doing the same, denigrating Indian freedom fighters.
This comes even after Indira Gandhi the founder of the Congress in current form had endorsed Veer Savarkar. Indira Gandhi had also decided to issue a commemorative stamp in the honor of Savarkar in 1970, she also made a private donation of Rs 11,000 to his memorial fund a decade later, her hailing Savarkar “daring defiance of the British government” as having its own “important place in the annals of our freedom movement” and she even commissioning a Films Division documentary on him.
However, Congress by meddling with history to suit its current political agenda has certainly hit a sliding slope. Efforts to remove the biases of British have been perpetually opposed however now this blatant attempt to hinder the truth is sure to meet deafening silence from the so-called ‘flag bearers of truth and knowledge’.