Mysore/Mysuru: Noted litterateur and Saraswathi Samman awardee Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa has spoken about the controversies surrounding State syllabus textbooks and said that the objections raised by some political parties and ideology-driven writers have no credibility nor standing. “Education means truth and schools must teach only the truth to students,” he said.
Addressing a press conference at his residence in Kuvempunagar here this morning, Dr. Bhyrappa touched upon various issues, the prominent one being political parties imposing their ideologies on students.
“They will oppose any Government that speaks truth and they will resist any move to dislodge the ideology based syllabus that has been imposed on young minds for decades,” he said.
When Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, the Government tried to teach authentic history and social studies. That time too, these political parties opposed and cried hoarsely. “They could not resist attempts by the Government to remove the factually incorrect history as narrated by certain vested interests and ideology-driven historians. Even when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, many resorted to the malicious ‘Award Wapsi’ campaigns,” Dr. Bhyrappa recalled.
“History must be based on facts and any distortion is fictional history. All these years, children were studying the textbooks written and ratified by people or historians who had a hidden agenda of brain-washing young minds for the sake of votes. Historians narrated the history as desired by their political patrons. There is no place for ideology in education and there is only place for truth,” he said.
Dr. Bhyrappa recalls how he was removed from NCERT panel for questioning distortion of history
Recalling his professional days with NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) in New Delhi, Dr. Bhyrappa said that when Indira Gandhi was the PM, she framed National Integration Rules and as part of it, a committee was formed under the Presidentship of G. Parthasarathy, who was the Policy Advisor to Indira Gandhi and was her confidante and was also close to Jawaharlal Nehru family.
“Parthasarathy later formed a National Syllabus Revision Committee and five members were appointed and I was one among the members. In the very first meeting, Parthasarathy told us to cleanse the history and social studies textbooks. I asked what actually must be removed from the textbooks,” Dr. Bhyrappa recalled.
“Parthasarathy replied to me that in the textbooks, it has been mentioned that Mughal ruler Aurangzeb destroyed hundreds of temples including the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi, revered by lakhs of Hindus. Parthasarathy asked me if this is needed in the history books and such incidents will pollute young minds. I was surprised and asked Parthasarathy if Aurangzeb did not destroy Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Parthasarathy had no answer for that,” Dr. Bhyrappa said.
Narrating the proceedings of the National Syllabus Revision Committee meeting, Dr. Bhyrappa said, “I asked Parthasarathy that what does one infer when he/she saw a Nandi staring at a mosque in Varanasi? What if the students question the teacher tomorrow on this? Parthasarathy had no answers to these questions and he led me to his chamber and told me, ‘You are from Karnataka and I am from Tamil Nadu and we must be like brothers. Let’s not fight.’ After listening to Parthasarathy, I headed out.”
“In the next meeting held after 15 days, I again asked the same questions as I did not get any answers earlier. Parthasarathy ended the meeting there itself. After a few days, a Government notification was published which said that the National Syllabus Revision Committee has been reconstituted and my name was missing from the list,” Dr. Bhyrappa recalled.
“The five-member composition was retained and instead of me, one left-leaning historian was appointed and this committee changed the history and social studies books and hid the real history from the students. All lessons were favourable to the left-leaning ideology and the authentic history was dropped. The lessons projected outside invaders as heroes and India’s real treasures, history and knowledge found no place in those books. As most of the States were ruled by the Congress, all meekly accepted the syllabus and no one protested,” he added.
In his concluding remarks, the noted litterateur said that academics have been spoilt for the sake of votes. “Agenda-driven historians, academicians and also vote-bank-focussed politicians have corrupted young minds,” he regretted.