AN INDIAN HISTORY
The Organiser has defended Y. Sudershan Rao, chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR), whose appointment has been criticised by several historians. “The purpose of history,” an editorial argues, “is not only to state facts chronologically… but to carry forward the wisdom of mankind, rectify the mistakes and build a constructive future.” It asks: “The question here is also whether or not [a] discipline like history can ever be completely objective, or is there always a conscious or tacit ideology that makes for history?” Though it agrees that education should be autonomous and no political meddling is justifiable, “what is equally important is who is raising these objections and on what grounds”.
It believes that “ India’s social science discourse is dominated by the Western perspective, by so called liberals or leftists. The research is authenticated only if it is in English language and recognised by the established lobby patronised by the ruling party.” To his “misfortune”, it states, “Rao did most of his research in his mother tongue, Telugu… How can he then be so readily accepted as a member of the eminent league? And if eminent historians don’t know him, what is his authority to head the reputed institution established, nurtured and milked by this league?”
The Organiser’s cover story, “Finally, Farmers First”, hails the Narendra Modi government for “sustaining pressure against the contentious Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at WTO… The NDA government has finally ensured food and farmer’s security for India”. It adds: “Simultaneously, by unveiling his vision for Green Revolution II, PM Modi has taken a step forward to boost India’s agriculture growth.”
It claims that for the first time a prime minister, in plain and clear language, called upon agricultural scientists to find ways to boost the income of farmers from agriculture, referring to Modi’s address to the 86th Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Foundation Day in Delhi, whereby he exhorted agricultural scientists to work towards the twofold objective of enabling Indian farmers to feed the nation as well as the world.
A story in Panchjanya depicts how educated Muslim youth are turning to extremism. The weekly cites a survey done by Queen Mary University in March among London Muslims aged 18 to 45, which found that rich, educated and young Muslims are showing an inclination towards extremism. Those headed for recruitment by Muslim extremist groups include a singer from Germany and a student of chemical engineering from Canada. It says madrasas are a fertile ground for recruitment for extremist activities, but the lure of terrorism for the educated rich points to the root of the problem — religious fundamentalism.
Compiled by Pradeep Kaushal