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WB: Indoctrination through textbooks

WB: Indoctrination through textbooks

Author: Ashoke Dasgupta
Publication: Orgnaniser
Date: September 12, 2004
URL: http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=40&page=8

Introduction: The sense of national belonging is being wiped out from the minds of young students and they are kept ignorant even about the basics of their own country and people.

A recent survey shows that only six lakh students manage to appear in the Secondary Examination in West Bengal out of a crore students who enter primary education. The endemic ills in education in the state are evident alongwith rural poverty, as can be seen from this simple fact that 94 per cent students are forced to opt out before reaching Class X.

It means 94 per cent students in West Bengal have to live with the impressions gained in their early lives when reading upto Class V, VI, VII or VIII. The government knows it and in its efforts to indoctrinate the students with some ideas that may serve their political interest, is following such a course in which the young people who form the bulk of the population acquire hazy and fragmented misinformation about history. As a result, the education of 'history' in West Bengal is in great peril so far as the question of teaching 'history' upto Class VIII and thereafter is concerned.

Students who happen to leave schools before reaching Class IX or X, shall constitute the bulk of the next young generation in the urban, particularly the rural society, and become the political backbone of Marxist politics. This is the reason why such distorted 'history' is prescribed for students in the state's schools.

Let us see the 'history' textbooks of Class VI, introduced in 1994 and continued till late 2004. The textbook is published by the secretary, Madhya Sikhsa Parishad, Government of West Bengal. Comprising 112 pages, the text includes:

1. Why do we read history? Annals about ancient human civilisations-how do we come to know about them?
2. Man in ancient times, ancient Stone Age, New Stone Age.
3. Copper-Bronze Age.
4. Civilisations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Babylonia, Sindhu, China and the special features of river-centric civilisations.

Well, this is for Class VI. Upto Class IV no 'history' is taught as evident from the curriculum. Teaching of history in the nascent class is devoid of any history of India. The student learns nothing about his own country in Class VI; instead he is introduced to such terms, informations, language and facts which his young intelligence and power of conception are unable to comprehend. This is a planned scheme to keep the history of India out of the frontiers of knowledge of our young generation.

Next to that, let us take a glimpse at the 'history' textbooks of Class VII. It is a still more splendid work. The textbook is cleverly contrived from a textbook taught earlier in sixth grade, in USSR (when Russia was a communist state) and authored by E.V. Agibalova and G.M. Donskoi (published by Publishing House, Moscow, 1965; see Table).

The content list given here is in abridged form. Each and every stage of these two books will clearly show that the current texbook of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, prepared and prescribed for Class VII is just a copy of the Russian textbook for sixth standard during the communist regime. Why should the textbooks of history for Classes VI to X follow the textbooks of erstwhile communist Russia?

It is because the communists are trying to indoctrinate students to their creed through propagation via education. Wrong, concocted, mutilated, obsolete 'histories' are being taught in West Bengal to enhance the views of the ruling power. Students are not taught about their own state, own country, own people, own land. The people and culture of India are wilfully and cleverly kept out of the bounds of academic curriculum, rendering the young learners victims of dull, unintelligible, incomprehensive textbooks.

The sense of national belonging is being wiped out from the minds of young students and they are kept ignorant even about the basics of their own country and people. In a state where 94 per cent students drop out from academic life after reading till Class V to IX, what can they learn about their own state, country, society by going through draconian 'history' books in use in West Bengal schools?

Rationality demands that such textbooks be immediately banned, scrapped and new textbooks published giving correct information to save the students of West Bengal from the onslaught of fundamentalism of Marxist ideology.

(The author can be contacted at 59/B Kankulia Road, Kolkata-700 029.)

Contents of Russian book
1. Establishment of feudalism.
2. Establishment of the feudal system in Eastern Roman Byzantine Empire.
3. Arabs in 6th-11th centuries.
4. Development of feudal system. to Church.
5. The Christian Church in 11th-13th centuries.
6. Formation of centralised States in Western Europe.
7. China in the Middle Ages; feudal age and system.
8. India in Middle Ages.
9. Feudal system, economic system.

Contents of Bengal textbook
1. Feudalism in modern Europe.
2. Eastern Roman Byzantine Empire, Medieval Europe, Hun invasion.
3. Arabia, Islam and its impact.
4. Western Europe in medieval period in relation
5. Fedualism in Medieval Europe, Crusades.
6. Medieval China, feudal system.
7. India in the Middle Ages.
8. Towards the end of the Medieval Age.
9. Decline of fedualism.

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