After painting Kolkata blue, Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has set about white-washing history. The school education syllabus committee — formed after the TMC government came to power in May 2011 — has decided to knock out an entire chapter on Marx from the higher secondary history text book.
The reason? TMC MP Derek O’Brien explained: “History doesn’t begin and end with the Bolsheviks (Russian revolutionaries) and end with the (Jyoti) Basus and the (Buddhadeb) Bhattacharyas.”
The head of the committee, Avik Majumdar, a Jadavpur University teacher who supports Maoists openly, said, “The history syllabus gave importance to a particular ideology. If there was excess of anything, including Marx, it has to be done away with.”
He said, “We have retained Marx wherever required and have introduced topics such as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.”
But a history teacher at a prominent government school in Kolkata, who refused to be quoted, struck a discordant note. “He (Marx) is discussed in the context of the industrial revolution, which can’t be taught without mentioning Marx.”
Earlier on August 8, 2011, Banerjee’s supporters heckled Burdwan University economics professor Pinaki Chakraborty for saying that Rabindranath Tagore and Karl Marx were still relevant decades after their deaths.
For, Banerjee has a known anti-Marx political stance and criticised the German philosopher and his West Bengal followers (read: CPI-M leaders) in public on more than one occasion.
With inputs from PTI