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Mainstream, VOL LV No 33 New Delhi August 5, 2017

Lynching of Psyches!

Saturday 5 August 2017, by Humra Quraishi

MUSINGS

A few years back, when I had first heard a well-known Delhi University professor talk in an open forum of the twisted history taught in the RSS-run schools, it was more than shocking as she had actually read out several of the communally provocative passages from those books... poison dripping from each one of those sentences, enough to inculcate hatred in young minds for the other—the Muslims of the country.

Now, of course, there seems a well-planned strategy to change the very course of history. Not just in the RSS schools but also in the average schools which our children attend. Not to overlook the very distortion of words and their meanings. Just last week there were news reports of textbooks of Gujarat coming up with the wrong meaning of the word’ ‘Roza’ (Muslims’ fast during the month of Ramzan). It was not just incorrect but slanted and planted!

How vicious can the going get under the RSS rulers can be well judged from some of the latest developments. The RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, headed by Dina Nath Batra, has sent a list of recommendations to the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) demanding a host of changes in its textbooks. News reports state that Batra has asked the NCERT to 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... Batra also wants references to the Mughal emperors as “benevolent”, the BJP as a “Hindu” party, the National Conference as “secular”, an apology tendered by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the 1984 riots, and a sentence that “nearly 2000 Muslims were killed in Gujarat in 2002” to be removed.

News reports also state that the Nyas objected to the facts that the Class 11 political science textbook mentions the “massive majority of Congress in 1984” but “does not present the 1977 election details”, the Class 12 political science textbook “terms National Conference of J&K a secular organisation”, and the Class 10 English textbook “places nationalism against other ideals” as “an attempt... to show a rift between nationality and humanity by citing the thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore”. It also wants that the Hindi textbooks must mention that the medieval Sufi mystic Amir Khusrau “increased the rift between Hindus and Muslims”.

It is relevant to mention that the Nyas had on earlier occasions demanded the removal of A.K. Ramanujan’s essay Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation from the undergraduate syllabus of the University of Delhi, and had gone to court demanding that Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus not be sold in India. Sadly and unfortunately, their demands were fulfilled! Ramanujan’s essay was removed from the DU’s reading list, and Penguin India, the publisher of Doniger’s book, pulled it from circulation.

And, perhaps, it would be more than relevant to mention here that in 2014, government schools in Gujarat were given six textbooks written by Batra as “supplementary literature” that claimed cars were invented in ancient India and told children to draw an enlarged nation to include in it such countries as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

RSS’ Complex Aversion for the Mughals!

There seems to be no end to the ongoing efforts to twist history and implant nothing but communally-twisted facts. School students in Rajasthan will soon be taught that Rajput warrior Maharana Pratap defeated the army of Mughal emperor Akbar in the Battle of Haldighati some 450 years ago.

Eminent historians have refuted this twisted tale spun by the RSS men, with this one-liner: “This is factually and historically incorrect as historical evidence shows that Maharana Pratap, ruler of the Mewar region, had fled the battlefield, although in the later years he continued his guerilla war against the Mughals.”

In fact, the RSS’ hatred for the Mughals can be judged from the fact that not just the suffix ‘Great’ was dropped from the name of the Mughal emperor Akbar from textbooks in the State of Rajasthan but the Rajasthan Government has even renamed the well-known Ajmer Fort—from Akbar Ka Qila to ‘Ajmer ka Qila and Sangrahalaya’. Nah, no expert committee of historians and academics was involved in the decision. Just by the order of the Rajasthan Education Minister, Vasudev Devnani, the name of a historical monument stood changed. No questions or queries were hurled! After all, who can veto the State’s might! This fort built by Akbar in 1570 was left untouched even when the Rathors, Marathas and the British ruled the state.The original name of the Ajmer Fort was sanctioned legally by a Gazette notification in December, 1968. It was named as ‘Akbar ka Qila’ or ‘Daulat Khana’ and this name continued till, of course, the RSS rulers came to the centre-stage.

 And UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s hatred for the Mughals and their monumental wonders is writ large, and he doesn’t give a damn to dilute his venom—this year’s annual Budget for 2017-2018 makes no mention of Taj Mahal in the special section ‘Hamari Sanskritik Virasat’ (Our Cultural Heritage) incorporated in the Finance Minister’s 63-page speech. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has on earlier occasions pointed out that the Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, did not reflect India’s ancient culture... In fact, in one of his recent speeches he made it amply clear that no replicas of the Taj Mahal will be given to the foreign dignitaries visiting Uttar Pradesh, instead copies of the Hindu scriptures.

This aversion for the upkeep of the Taj Mahal when it’s one of the seven wonders of the world —an Unesco world heritage site that draws thousands of tourists and earns crores in terms of revenue for the government.

Are we living in a so-called democracy or in a Hindu Rashtra where the Hindu Taliban will force their dictates down my head and throat and psyche!

And pray, which tourists will set foot in Uttar Pradesh where the Hindu Vahini Sena men and women attack to hound and kill if they see you walking with a friend or if they hear you whisper three-letter or four-letter words!

My countrymen, don’t be too shocked if you see the beautiful Taj Mahal turned into a gau-shalaya! 

I know the long dead Mughal emperors will be turning in their graves and cursing the times that we, the not-so-dead, are living in ...rather are trying to survive in!

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62