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The RSS’s surreptitious censorship of syllabus: An effort to distort history

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09.10.2020

Under the RSS’s influence, syllabi in several states have been surreptitiously altered to accommodate pro-Hindutva material. India’s Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ played down the changes in a tweet. He pleaded that the exclusions from the CBSE textbooks of Classes 9-12 were “a one-time measure for exams owing to the COVID-19 pandemic”. censorship of syllabus

Educationists see a Hindutva CBSE was involved in the decision to selectively reduce the syllabi for Classes 9 to 12 this year citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Academics feel that the portions removed suggest that this seemingly innocuous exercise is, in fact, a continuation of the RSS’s machination to control the met narrative on nationalism and inculcate a Hindu majoritarian world view among students.

Censorship of syllabus

Chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism have been “completely deleted” from the Class 11 Political Science syllabus. Portions pertaining to business ethics, the Planning Commission and Five-Year Plans, demonetization, goods, and services tax (GST) and consumer protection have been removed from Business Studies. Chapters on Indian democracy, social structure, stratification and social processes have been removed from Sociology. censorship of syllabus

Entire chapters on early societies, nomadic cultures and confrontation of cultures have been removed from World History. Portions about peasants, seminars and the state and understanding Partition have been axed from Indian History. Issues pertaining to gender, caste, and social movements have also been removed.

Dr. Gaurav J. Pathania, Adjunct Sociology Professor, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., told Frontline “As a scholar of movements, it pains me to see that chapters on social movements and regionalism have been completely removed from the CBSE textbooks.”

He added: “Social movements change the course of history by questioning the authorities (we have seen the JP movement, anti-Emergency movements, anti-corruption movement, anti-rape agitations) and if we don’t tell the story of a movement then we will end up misunderstanding the root cause of our historical problems.

Read More: The Great Transformation: How is RSS transforming India into a fascist regime?

My own research on regional movements highlights that the separate Telangana movement has unfolded many historical realities that were not known to the masses. Movements produce new knowledge, literature, leaders, music, arts that challenge the existing belief system. censorship of syllabus

Omitting historical facts or banning literature sets us on a dangerous path that cannot lead to scientific knowledge production.” Comparing the CBSE case to the California textbook controversy where a section of Hindu fundamentalist scholars had removed the word “caste” from South Asian history, Dr. Pathania said that Hindu life could not be imagined without caste.

RSS does not believe in the separation of powers

In a statement, the All India Forum for Right to Education said: “The democratic theory of the separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers of the state, and the federal structure of the Indian state, strengthened by the institutionalization of local self-governance, is unacceptable to the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh]-BJP which beliefs in complete centralization and concentration of power in a Supreme Leader—an idea that the RSS, drawing inspiration from Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, has propagated since the early 1930s. In opposition to the Constitution, their goal is ‘One leader, one nation, one state’.”

Education has always been a priority area of intervention for the RSS which runs organizations such as the Seva Bharati, the Saraswati Shishu Mandir, and the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram.........

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