ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Textbook Case

Capturing young minds by infl icting political ideology through textbooks.

History textbooks have often been at the centre of controversies, having had to carry the incredible burden of inculcating patriotism in students. Post independence, the project of nation-building all but spilled over into education, an ideal avenue to push the dominant ideology of the time, which was essentially that of the political party in power, the Indian National Congress. This set the precedent for the evolution of what a noted educationist has called “India’s textbook culture,” one which operates with the “assumption that all history is the history of the nation-state,” as was stated by this journal in 2004.

The recent textbook revisions by the State Institute of Education Research and Training, Rajasthan, are the latest in a series of attempted ideological captures orchestrated by the powers that be. With one of the many such captures since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power two years ago, the events engineered in Uttarakhand, it tried to enact a capture of power, and with the textbook revisions, a capture of the mind. It comes as no surprise that when asked as to the reason for the recent revision of school textbooks in the state, Rajasthan’s Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, Vasudev Devnani, went on to remark that it was to ensure that “no one like Kanhaiya Kumar is born.”

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