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HIJACKING INDIA'S HISTORY

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  • World View <ummyakoub@yahoo.com>
    HIJACKING INDIA S HISTORY KAI FRIESE, New York Times, 12/30/02 http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/30/opinion/30FRIE.html NEW DELHI - Last month the National
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2003
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      HIJACKING INDIA'S HISTORY
      KAI FRIESE, New York Times, 12/30/02
      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/30/opinion/30FRIE.html

      NEW DELHI - Last month the National Council of Educational Research
      and Training, the central government body that sets the national
      curriculum and oversees education for students up to the 12th grade,
      released the first of its new school textbooks for social sciences
      and history. Teachers and academics protested loudly. The
      schoolbooks are notable for their elision of many awkward facts,
      like the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by a Hindu nationalist in
      1948.

      The authors of the textbook have promised to make revisions to the
      chapter about Gandhi. But what is more remarkable is how they have
      added several novel chapters to Indian history.

      Thus we have a new civilization, the "Indus-Saraswati civilization"
      in place of the well-known Indus Valley civilization, which is
      generally agreed to have appeared around 4600 B.C. and to have
      lasted for about 2,000 years. (The all-important addition
      of "Saraswati," an ancient river central to Hindu myth, is meant to
      show that Indus Valley civilization was actually part of Vedic
      civilization.) We have a chapter on "Vedic civilization" - the
      earliest recognizable "Hindu culture" in India and generally
      acknowledged not to have appeared before about 1700 B.C. - that
      appears without a single date.

      The council has also promised to test the "S.Q.," or "Spiritual
      Quotient," of gifted students in addition to their I.Q. Details of
      this plan are not elaborated upon; the council's National Curriculum
      Framework for School Education says only that "a suitable mechanism
      for locating the talented and the gifted will have to be devisedÂ…"

      The carefully nurtured sense of Hindu grievance has been nursed
      rather than sated by acts of mob violence: the destruction of the
      15th-century mosque in Ayodhya, for instance, or the persecution of
      Christians in earlier pogroms in Gujarat's Dangs district. The
      B.J.P., along with its Hindu-supremacist cohorts, the R.S.S.
      (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the V.H.P. (Vishwa Hindu
      Parishad), has a seemingly irresistible will to power. (The R.S.S.
      and the V.H.P. are not political parties but "social service
      organizations" that have served as springboards to power for B.J.P.
      leaders like Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat.)


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