Of all the ministers of the new cabinet formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the performance of the new Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan would certainly be the most keenly watched and critiqued.
As the new minister of education, his job is cleanly cut out. He needs to bring his ministry out of the current stupor and do everything to ensure that the textbooks are re-written and rebuilt cleaning the garbage that has been heaped on them in the name of ‘detoxifying’.
The most egregious has been the circus carried out in the name of history books being taught in our schools.
The amount of filth and sheer false anti-Indic propaganda that is being stuffed down the gullet of our children in schools is to be seen to be believed.
Sadly, Indian parents, even those who are among the most educated elites, do not find anything amiss when their children are subjected to sheer lies in the name of ‘detoxified history’.
The planned mayhem on the textbooks has been continuing since independence and since the tenure of the first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
However, it was re-initiated with vigour especially in 2004-05 by the then Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh, who conjured up the need to ‘detoxify’ NCERT textbooks and appointed a committee for this.
His ministry also replaced the then NCERT secretary Anil Kapoor. And his project has sadly continued till date.
It is unfortunate that till date no Education Minister in Narendra Modi has done anything worthwhile to remove the garbage from school textbooks. And while NCERT books are full of garbage, the private publications have been spinning sheer fantasy in the name of history and in the garb of following the line of NCERT books.
The history books published by private publishers and being taught in ICSE Schools and even private CBSE Schools are full of falsehood and agenda.
So much so that any moderately educated person would see the game and the hidden motive between their pages.
How would you react if a historian 500 years hence writes in the future history books the following paragraph and your great-grand-grand children read this paragraph?
“ISIS was a unifying force of early 21st century that appeared on the international horizon like a phoenix, rejuvenating one of the second most populous, but one of the most tortured and tormented, religions of the world. It tried to bring unity in the entire world from Iraq to England to Germany to Kerala in India, and only sometimes eliminated those who did not believe in their ideology of unity of the world and rational belief in monolithic political ideology. Sometimes, they killed many yezidis, beheaded disbelievers and traded in women slaves for satisfying martial and physical needs of their fighters. However, killing enemies was the usual norms in early 21st century. Even Hindus lynched many merely for stealing cows, Americans invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and Chinese too killed Uighurs. So, killing was something that could be accepted as a prevalent tradition of early 21st century and keeping in line with this tradition, ISIS brought a sense of unity to the world and ably represented the spirit of equity, instant justice, enduring peace and maximum welfare they stood for. It can be safety concluded that ISIS largely succeeded in giving impetus to economy in the Arab world and brought about a new dawn of spirituality as well as economic and political excellence. It was a great historical force of 21st century and this period can be termed the period of rejuvenation of humanity in a world stalked, pillaged and captured by post-brahmanical supremacist regimes ruled by tyrannical rulers like Narendra Modi and Angela Merkel and Donald Trump.”
Do you find anything amiss? If yes, well, this is likely to be a pattern of the textbooks your progeny may read some 500 years hence.
And if you find nothing amiss, congrats! You are now a proof of a well-executed project.
Undoubtedly, education is one ministry that has been completely neglected by Narendra Modi in his first tenure as well as the second tenure till date.
Everyone would broadly agree that this is one area where Narendra Modi government has not scored very well.
In fact, the former Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar went to the extent of famously proclaiming that his government ‘did not re-write a single history chapter in 4 years’.
And after his departure as the HRD minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank became the education minister.
He too will be known for not doing much for furthering education or correcting distortions in the textbooks.
Dharmendra Pradhan holds a post-graduate degree in Anthropology from Utkal University and is known for some key decisions in the hydrocarbon sector.
He has the credit of leading consumer initiatives like PAHAL, the world’s largest Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme.
However, till now, Narendra Modi government has been reluctant to upset the cart as far as the education sector reforms and textbooks are concerned.
Almost as if the government wants to seek validation from the ‘Aurangzeb-actually-built-mandirs’ brigade.
If one goes by the reactions of the people on the social media, the expectations are very low from the new education minister. And this may very well be an advantage for the new minister.
If he does succeed in changing the textbooks, and presenting facts the way those should be presented, that would bring kudos to Narendra Modi government.
Facts and history should be taught without bias and malice, in an academic way, free of any distortion or larger plot.
You should not hide from children the fact of Kalinga war just to ensure that there is no enmity caused between Biharis and Odiyas.
That would not be education, but sheer chicanery and absolute fraud.
However, there is every likelihood that even this opportunity to alter the textbooks radically would ultimately be squandered.