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Chouhan defends change in syllabus

india Updated: Jun 23, 2006 13:44 IST
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CHIEF MINISTER Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said though he has great respect for Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, it is wrong to glorify one particular family in school textbooks.

He called newsmen today at his residence especially to clarify the State Government’s stand vis-a-vis the row over School Education Department’s decision to delete a poem on Pt Nehru in class I syllabus.

“Imbalance in textbooks about portrayal of great leaders needs correction,” Chouhan said. For instance, he said a CBSE class X book titled ‘Freedom Struggle’ has eight to nine photographs of Nehru and only two of Mahatma Gandhi.

There was no mention of martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Chandrashekhar Azad and no photographs of Sukhdeo, Sardar Patel and Dr Ambedkar, he decried. 

The State Government would consider balancing textbooks contents on legendary figures with regular reviews of textbooks, he asserted. 

He alleged that the Congress had been carrying out glorification of one particular family in textbooks so that its seventh generation could reap electoral benefits for the party.  

Dismissing Congress allegations about belittling importance of Nehru, the Chief Minister pointed out that the party conveniently ignored the fact that textbooks up to class VIII still had chapters on the first Prime Minister of India.  

On deletion of the poem on Nehru in class I, the Chief Minister’s contention was that educationists recommended lessons on environment for children of that age, and hence, a lesson on vegetation replaced the poem.

The Supreme Court has also directed to teach small children more about environment, he added. When asked why ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star….’ was dropped from the course, he retorted why should it be taught? 

On the Office of Profit issue, he said he had not received any notice from the Election Commission. As far as notices to the ministers were concerned, lawyers were studying the matter and replies would be given by the specified date.
None of the ministers should have any problem as the relevant MP Act, 1967 that was amended in 1982 would take care of the notices, he added. 

He refused to comment on the Governor’s reported statement that the Chief Minister does not take his (Governor’s) letters seriously.  “I would not like to comment on the Governor’s statements before the Press,” he said.

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