Former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri | Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
Former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri | Ramandeep Kaur | ThePrint
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Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh education board’s decision to drop portions related to Congress’ history, former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri from Class 12 syllabus has angered the state party unit, which has threatened agitation if it’s not rolled back.

Congress leader Anil Shastri, son of Lal Bahadur Shastri, has written a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandi Ben Patel Sunday evening, urging them to ensure that those portions are reintroduced in the syllabus.

Calling it a “conspiracy”, Shastri told ThePrint that the central and state governments want to eliminate Congress’ contribution in freedom struggle and in formation of the country after Independence from school curriculum.

“If the children of the country aren’t aware about (the legacy of) Nehru-Shastri, then what will they learn about history,” he asked.

UP Congress president Ajay Lallu said that if the government fails to take cognisance of the letter written by Shastri, then they will agitate against the issue. He said that reducing the syllabus does not mean that the Congress’s history should be removed. 

Lallu further said that if children are unaware about the history of this country, then how they would know about great leaders like Nehru and Shastri. 

“All this is being done at the behest of the government. The UP Congress will openly oppose it,” he added.

Several local Congress leaders from Prayagraj, where the UP Board has its headquarters, have also written to it last week, demanding a rollback of its decision. 


Also read: Science syllabus revisions will hurt CBSE students’ chances in JEE & NEET, teachers say


What all were dropped?

The Board of High School and Intermediate Education in Uttar Pradesh is considered to be one of the largest education boards in the country. More than 50 lakh students, including high school and intermediate, study under it and there are over 8,000 schools across the state affiliated to the board.

The board last week announced rationalisation of syllabi from Classes 9-12 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The portions of the Congress, Nehru and Shastri were a part of the Class 12 civics syllabus under a section called Unit B and were based on ‘Politics in Independent India’. 

The portions dropped from the syllabus include phase of single party (Congress) dominance, the first three general elections, the nature of the Congress’s dominance at the national level, challenges to the Congress’s style of functioning, political pattern after Nehru and Shastri, the general election of 1967, division and re-organisation of the Congress and the party’s victory in the 1971 elections.

Portions dropped from other subjects too

Not just from civics, the board has dropped portions from other subjects too.

William Shakespeare’s magnum opus ‘Merchant of Venice’ has been dropped from Class 12 English syllabus, while a satire called ‘Ninda Ras’ authored by popular satirist Harishankar Parsai has been dropped from Class 12 Hindi syllabus.

Portions related to electoral politics, free and fair elections have been dropped from Class 10 syllabus of social science, while electoral politics and electoral reforms have been dropped from the syllabus of Class 11 civics. 

Topics on ‘Rise of Nazism’, Hitler and Harappan civilisation have been dropped from Class 12 history syllabus.

While interacting with the media last week, Divya Kant Shukla, secretary of the board, said all these topics have been removed from the syllabi and not from textbooks. “They are very much available for those who want to read them,” he had said.

Shukla also said that very few classes were held for students due to the pandemic, which is why the curriculum for their exams has been reduced. 

He also said that objections raised in the matter would be looked into.

‘Intention of the government is quite obvious’

Shastri, meanwhile, said that people still fondly remember the honesty of his father and the entire family, and children need to know about it.

“After the death of Shastriji, my mother paid the entire car loan from her family pension. All these are lessons to be learnt for the new generation, which have been removed from the course,” he said.

“The real intention of the government is quite obvious, otherwise how can such important chapters be dropped? If the children do not get to know about the first three general elections, then how will they be able to comprehend the electoral history of the country?”


Also read: CBSE revises syllabus for class 9-12, axes chapters on India’s foreign policy, demonetisation


 

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10 Comments Share Your Views

10 COMMENTS

  1. Mr ak.dev: The UP government, led by a saffron thug and backed by blinkered, blind bhakths with tunnel vision such as yourself is behaving exactly like the government of Pakistan. Pakistan refuses to acknowledge that there was anything civilised in that region before Islam came there. And like the warpedPakistan,

    Indeed, the Pakistani establishment, in its massive history revision project projects preposterous myths that neatly skirt virtually every historical event in the region save the highlighting of Islamic conquests. One of the most ludicrous claims in the Pakistani version of history is that Mohammad bin Qasim (695-715 AD),an Arab born in present day Saudi Arabia was the first Pakistani, see ref: bit.ly/2X17O9e ! Pakistani history virtually omits almost every mention of the rapacious conquests of the regions and then suddenly fast forwards to Jinnah and 1947. Obliterated from its history are mentions of the achievements and contributions of people who are not Muslims.

    In a very similar fashion, the BJP, led by rabble-rousing, bigoted thugs who profess to being religious men rewrites the history of India from its own narrow perspective. Facts are removed, unpleasant events are omitted, Muslims and the Congress are selectively brushed away and a distorted, diluted history is manufactured for mass consumption. And people like you support this travesty.

    Shame on you Mr ak.dev !!

    • Well said Mr Ram ! Clearly, for the Hindutvaists of India, Pakistan, of all places has become the role model!

      Indeed in the Pakistani rewrite of history, Pakistani textbooks extol the virtues of Mohammad bin Qassem (695-715 AD) and regard him as the first Pakistani ! I think the BJP and the RSS have drawn inspiration from Pakistan and India too is rewriting its history to suit a political narrative rather than a factual one. Of course, the many “intellectuals” who support this harebrained endeavour forget the fact that the original Pakistan barely lasted 2 decades, the country belatedly discovering that religion is a very weak glue in nation building !

      But then who cares for facts ? Politicians want votes and promise gullible voters that everything will have a happy ending like a nice Bollywood movie. As British novelist George Orwell (1903-50) said:

      “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history”.

      The BJP is well ahead with that project.

    • Mr PM Ravindran: Unfathomable that presumably well educated South Indians like you would applaud the crude antics of a crazed, bigoted, rabble-rousing saffron yokel called Adityanath.

      And let me hazard another guess: you are not going to send your kids to school to study the rubbish that BJP’s overzealousness saffron ideologues dream up in the name of national pride or whatever silly nonsense they dream up in their putrid shakas. Indeed, you will ensure that your kids get an education that will prepare them for a green card or a ticket to Europe or the wider West. After all, even the native born citizens of Adityanathisthan head down to the south of India to eke a living rather than live his decrepit state.

      You are one pathetic chap Mr PM Ravindran – after all, despite your erudition, you allow yourself to be led by a bunch of saffron cretins.

  2. The govt may be would like to teach future gen how right wing fundamentalist colluded with raj. How their heroes fought incarceration by writing personal letters to raj officials. These are important sacrifices next gen should know.

      • Mr PM Ravichandran: Do you have any arguments to refute Mr Christo or are you merely doing what they taught you in your shaka : how to abuse and be disrespectful to people who disagree with you?

    • An astute observation Mr Christo ! And you get your history spot on Sir !

      You allude to BJP ideologue Damodar Savarkar, one of the conspirators in the plot to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi grovelled before the British and wrote letter after letter to get out of Cellular Jail in the Andamans. Indeed, in his plea of 1913, Savarkar writes:

      “.. Therefore if the government in their manifold beneficence and mercy release me, I for one cannot but be the staunchest advocate of constitutional progress and loyalty to the English government which is the foremost condition of that progress .. Moreover my conversion to the constitutional line would bring back all those misled young men in India and abroad who were once looking up to me as their guide. I am ready to serve the Government in any capacity they like, for as my conversion is conscientious so I hope my future conduct would be. By keeping me in jail nothing can be got in comparison to what would be otherwise ..

      And present day saffronistas – and many of them haunt these columns – refuse to accept these uncomfortable and yet seminal elements in their own history. They airbrush away the fact that the RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP was inspired by Hitler’s Nazism and Mussolini’s fascism. They conveniently omit forget fact that the RSS, never fought for freedom and never flew the national flag until recently. And more worryingly, many actually believe that Hitler was a force for good: For instance, Bal Thackeray openly praised Hitler. And Hitler’s biography Mein Kampf is openly sold in India.

      It is against this backdrop that one must view the comments of rightwingers like Mr PM Ravichandran and Mr ak.dev who will defend even the zany absurdities of Neanderthals like Yogi Adityanath. It matters little to these gentlemen that India under the BJP is slowly metamorphosing into a Hindu Pakistan where you see exactly these very same trends in action. But what to me is truly puzzling is that they refuse to talk truth to power even when their children will be the ones getting stunted educationally.

      Meanwhile, not a word about the appalling state of the economy in UP, the ravages of the COVID virus, the extra-judicial killings and the complete breakdown of law and order in the state. But, cunning Adityanath succeeds in hoodwinking people and getting them to talk about Ram Mandir whilst quietly altering history to suit his needs.

      As Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli said:

      “.. One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived. ..”

  3. UP government has done the right thing to break the monopoly of Congress leaders in education syllabus. Congress is now the thing of past. New names should replace Congress leaders. The only thing that Congress leaders can do now is abuse, accuse, and cry.

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