Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Friday, September 30, 2005

High Court notice to HRD

A bench of Delhi High Court, comprising Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma, issued notices to Human Resource Development Ministry, NCERT and CBSE on September 14. The notices have been issued on a petition filed by Shri Dinanath Batra, Shri Vijay Shankar Shastri, Shri Inder Singh, Shri Ram Gopal and Shri Atul Rawat, under Article 226 of the Constitution. The petition sought direction or order for setting aside the decision of the government withdrawing the history text book written, published and prescribed in accordance with the NCFSE-2000 and also reintroducing the reprints of old history text books which were withdrawn by the government pursuant to implementing the NCFSE 2000. Senior advocate Shri R.P. Bansal, with Shri Rakesh Mahajan, Shri Prabhat Ranjan and Shri Rajiv Kumar argued the case on behalf of the petitioners. The next hearing of the case has been fixed for October 26, 2005.

The petitioners said: "The books on social science and history recently introduced by the NCERT for the academic year 2005-2006 is nothing but the same old books which were in circulation from 1966 to 2002 and were discontinued after the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE-2000) was implemented. Yet, in the publisher's note accompanying some of these books, it is falsely stated that these conform to NCFSE-2000."

The petitioners said the books should not have been introduced because they are irrelevant for the present day course structure. "It is against national interest to continue with textbooks which teach facts which are no longer right or uphold a pedagogy which has been discarded." The petition said that vast stretches of India were left out of these books. The histories of the northeast states and south India are just not included, whereas NCFSE-2000 had categorically stressed the study of all the regions. "From the point of view of promoting secularism, these books are counter-productive. The insults heaped on Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, etc. prove that these books are dangerous for the psyche of children and against the national objective of fostering communal harmony," the petition said.

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