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City professor laces textbooks with Bollywood masala

Class XII students of CBSE across the country have new life infused into their political science books this academic year,thanks to Suhas Palshikar of the University of Pune.

Written by Sunanda Mehta | Pune | Published: January 13, 2009 5:06:55 am

Class XII students of CBSE across the country have new life infused into their political science books this academic year,thanks to Suhas Palshikar of the University of Pune (UoP).

Heading the committee set up last year to revamp Political Science books,Palshikar,a professor in the department of politics and public administration,UoP,along with team member Yogendra Yadav of the Centre for Studies on Development Societies,came up with the idea of introducing Bollywood movies as reference material for various chapters in the book.

“Most textbooks writers in India don’t think of using such teaching aids,but films have always been a culture response to the changing socio-political processes in the country. In that way,they help to understand and inter-link the political changes while making the subject more interesting,” said Pashilkar.

“The students won’t get questions related to the films in their exams. The references are only for their better understanding,” he said.

Thus,the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) textbook titled ‘Politics in India Since Independence’ lists Garam Hawa,based on Partition,as reference for the chapter ‘Challenges of Nation Building’. Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece Pather Panchali is a reference source for the chapter ‘Politics of planned development’ and Mani Ratnam’s Roja is put under the chapter ‘Regional aspirations’.

“Each chapter in the book has a film pertaining to the topic as reference material. For instance,in the chapter on the 1962 war,we have recommended Haqeeqat and so on,” said Palshikar.

Examination results in the current year may reflect the response of the novel idea,he said. “In Maharashtra,the feedback is limited since there are not many CBSE schools here. But whenever I attend conferences and workshops across the country or interact with students on the internet,the response is positive,” he said.

Asked if the move could also benefit the state board students,Palshikar said he would be happy if they used the idea. Having been involved with textbooks for Class V to VIII in the state board,the professor feels it’s more difficult to implement radical ideas in state board that is plagued by resources crunch and political pressures.

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