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Dina Nath Batra again: He wants Tagore, Urdu words off school texts

Along with five pages of recommendations, the Nyas, headed by Dina Nath Batra, a former head of Vidya Bharati, the education wing of the RSS, has attached pages from several NCERT textbooks, with the portions that it wants removed marked and underlined.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | New Delhi | Updated: July 24, 2017 10:27 am
Dinanath Batra, moral education by Dinanath Batra, Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, RSS, school textbook, textbooks, books, RSS, Dinanath Batra, GBEAC, NCERT, Haryana Education Board, Kothari Education Commission, RSS ideologue, Nation news, Nation news Dina Nath Batra at his home in New Delhi.

Remove English, Urdu and Arabic words, a poem by the revolutionary poet Pash and a couplet by Mirza Ghalib; the thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore; extracts from painter M F Husain’s autobiography; references to the Mughal emperors as benevolent, to the BJP as a “Hindu” party, and to the National Conference as “secular”; an apology tendered by former prime minister Manmohan Singh over the 1984 riots; and a sentence that “nearly 2,000 Muslims were killed in Gujarat in 2002”. These are some of the many recommendations the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas has sent to the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which recently sought suggestions from the public on reviewing school textbooks of all classes.

Along with five pages of recommendations, the Nyas, headed by Dina Nath Batra, a former head of Vidya Bharati, the education wing of the RSS, has attached pages from several NCERT textbooks, with the portions that it wants removed marked and underlined.

“Several things (in these books) are baseless, biased. There is an attempt to insult members of a community. There is also an appeasement… how can you inspire children by teaching them about riots? The history of valour, of great personalities like Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Vivekananda and Subhas Chandra Bose find no place,” Atul Kothari, secretary of the Nyas and a veteran RSS Pracharak, told The Indian Express.

“We have found these things objectionable and have sent suggestions to the NCERT. We hope that these will be implemented,” Kothari added. The Nyas had earlier run a campaign demanding the removal of A K Ramanujan’s essay Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation, from the syllabus of Delhi University’s undergraduate syllabus, and gone to court demanding the withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus. Three Hundred Ramayanas was removed from DU’s reading list, and Doniger’s book was temporarily unavailable.

The five-page note has objected to the fact that the Class XI political science textbook mentions the “massive majority of Congress in 1984” but “does not present the 1977 election details”; that the Class XII political science textbook “terms National Conference of J&K a secular organisation”; and that the Class X English textbook “places nationalism against other ideals” as “an attempt has been made to show a rift between nationality and humanity by citing thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore”.

The Nyas wants that Hindi textbooks must mention that the medieval Sufi mystic Amir Khusrau “increased the rift between Hindus and Muslims”.

Some key deletions the Nyas has sought are as follows.

Political Science, Class XII:

* Paragraph on 1984 riots that ends, “During his parliament speech in 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed regret over the bloodshed and sought an apology from the country for anti-Sikh violence.”
* A paragraph saying the Ram temple movement was “linked with the growth of BJP and politics of Hindutva”.
* A paragraph that describes the BJP as a “Hinduvadi party”; another that says “Hindutva or Hindupan were coined by VD Savarkar”.
* The sentence, “Babri mosque was built by Mir Baqi… Some Hindus believe that it was built at the birthplace of Ram by destroying a Ram temple.”
* A description of the Godhra incident of 2002 says: “A train caught fire… on a suspicion that the fire was caused by Muslims.” The Nyas wants “caught fire” to be replaced by “set on fire”, and the word “suspicion” removed.
* A box that says “Can we ensure that those who plan such massacres… they can be at least taught a lesson in a political manner (voting)”.

Hindi textbooks:

* These are among the many words the Nyas wants removed: Vice-Chancellor, worker, margin, business, backbone, stanza, royal academy (in English); betartib, poshaak, taakat, ilaaka, aksar, imaan, jokhim, mehman-navaazi, sare-aam (Urdu/Arabic words); ullu kahin ka, kambakht, badmaash, luchche-lafange, chamaar, bhangiyon (“abusive” words)
* Ghalib’s couplet, “Hum ko malum hai jannat ki haqiqat lekin/dil ko khush rakhne ko Ghalib ye khyal achchha hai”.
* A Class IX book has a poem by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar that follows a question on the “yearnings of a lover”. Such questions “misguide children and cause the loss of their character,” the Nyas has written.
* A Class XI book contains extracts from M F Husain autobiography. The Nyas wants it removed because the “central government considered his activities a threat to the country’s unity and sovereignty”.
* A chapter on the Kannada Bhakti poet Akka Mahadevi describes an incident in which she took off her clothes in protest. This “description of naked women” is an “attack on Hindu culture in the name of women freedom,” says the Nyas.


* Class VI: During the post-Vedic period, “women were normally considered equivalent to Shudras”.
* Class VII: Akbar introduced “Sulah-e-Kul policy”, which stated that “the followers of all religions have an equal place… (before) God’s grace.”
* Class VIII: An extract from the 19th century activist Tarabai Shinde’s milestone book A Comparison Between Women and Men, which attacks patriarchy and is considered the first feminist text in modern India. The extract details the “misfortune” and “social boycott” a widow suffers.
* Class XII: A chapter on the varna system says, “In this system the status was probably determined by birth. They (Brahmins) tried to make people realise that their prestige was based on birth… such parameters were often strengthened by stories in many books like The Mahabharata.”
* A chapter terms “Indra, the war god of Aryas” as the “accused” of “massacre of men, women and children” during the last phase of Mohenjo Daro.
* A chapter on the Mughal period says that “the rulers had an extremely liberal policy towards people… All Mughal rulers gave grants for the construction and maintenance of places of worship. Even when the temples were destroyed during battles, grants for their repair work were released later.”
* In his “memoirs”, Jahangir mentioned a “chain of justice” he got erected to ensure justice. This “30-yard chain had 60 bells”, and anybody could ring it and “attract attention” of the authorities.

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  1. Satyaananda Saraswathi
    Sep 13, 2017 at 7:11 pm
    Those who ask for deletion of this great poem are traitors of India and Indian peoples. Those who speak against Ravindra Nath Tagore are traitors. Those who speak sweet words to defend such traitors are no less traitors! Time for the great Indian people to expose these traitors and preserve Indian culture and Hindu culture ! It is time to save the great cons ution of India! These traitors opposed Indian cons ution! They opposed our national anthem! They opposed our national flag! For fifty years they refused unfurl our national flag! They are evil tiger in sheep skin come to eat Indian culture and kill Indian people! The bogus veer Savarkar got gandhi killed! Read Kapur commission report! They have commenced their death dance! India must be protected! They are dangerous neo fascists and neo s drawing all their strength and inspiration from the original fascists and s. Beware of them! Expose them!
    1. Kamlesh Kapur
      Jul 25, 2017 at 5:58 am
      Every time someone tries to right the wrongs of the earlier Indian govt the Hindutava and the word ideologue are used. 80 population of Hindus have not rights to correct the distortions and despicable maligning of Hindu History papers and other media start their nonsensical response- oppose and oppose. Accept the fact: 1. Bharat is Hindu majority country. Majority view prevails especially if it is to correct the speculative, incohesive narrative that is called Indian history. American history is written by the American historians and Hindus cannot claim their own glorious past. You statistics have been wrong and your article's thrust is the usual crap. Accept the fact that India is Hindu majority country with composite cultural ethos. Stop being shameful lackeys of the anti-national elements and your foreign paymasters. For once, grow up conscience and show some patriotism as citizens and work for for the uplift of the country. Be a part of the solution, not a problem.
      1. Upananda Brahmachari
        Jul 25, 2017 at 12:04 am
        Hahhahaha.... It is not against Tagore as surfaced by Indian Express. NCERT book were portraying Tagore as a conflicting personality between Nationalism and Humanism. Now, Batra's recommendation for Class X English textbook is in “places nationalism against other ideals” as “an attempt has been made to show a rift between nationality and humanity by citing thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore”. What is in it????
        1. Sagnik Bose
          Jul 25, 2017 at 10:50 am
          Upananda Brahamachari Actually tagore is an advocate of composite nationalism which differs from so called hindu nationalism.It is expected from a hindu nationalist organisation that they would supress the thoughts of tagore who finds a rift between this pseudo nationalism and true nationalism.For e.g. the comment of giriraj singh those who will not vote for bjp shall go to pakistan reality more than 60 percent voted against bjp.Moreover Tagore is a bengali by birth this type of attempt is to prmote the view of sangha's genesis HINDI,HINDU,HINDUSTAN.
        2. Sagnik Bose
          Jul 24, 2017 at 11:50 pm
          Oh!What kind of nationalism is this?Removing the texts from school of writer who wrote our national anthem.Kabiguru is a national asset and these type sanghi crooks are defaming our nation by insulting him.Actually these stooges are unable to understand tagore's intellectual thinking and tagore's view on composite nationalism.
          1. A
            AR Kunil
            Jul 24, 2017 at 11:12 pm
            Both Farsi and Hindi are Indo-Iranian languages. Old Persian and Sanskrit are indeed very similar. In fact, originally, the Rig Veda was written in the Kharoshti script which like Persian is written backwards i.e. from right to left. The Brahmi script came much later and our Devnagri script even later than Brahmi. In Lemuria, Atlantis and Babylon, there was the Akhadian script, found on Babylonian tablets during excavations, from which the Pali script evolved. This is why, since ancient Persia was the melting-pot of civilisations, Sanskrit sounds like old Persian e.g. Veeg the seed became the Sanskritised Beej. The Aryan settlers who lived in Persia and later, in India, had a lot in common by way of phonetics, language, spirituality and reverence for nature. The five elements of nature called Panchamahabhoot were worshipped, with fire and it’s apex in ancient India. This idea came from Persia and the oldest religion in the world viz. Zorastrianism.
            1. Ajeya Biswas
              Jul 25, 2017 at 1:09 am
              In fact, originally, the Rig Veda was written in the Kharoshti script which like Persian is written backwards so why if the languages were same they were written in reverse, if it came from outside then there would have been chance of addition of new dialects but there would not have been a chance of totally changing the side.
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