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Flower power: Rajasthan Class 10 textbook says lotus represents Indian culture

The revised textbooks for classes 10, 11 and 12 also bring students up to speed on current “hot topics” such as the Uniform Civil Code, Hindi as the country’s contact language and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policies, especially with reference to Pakistan.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2017 12:35 IST
Salik Ahmad
Salik Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan Class 10 textbook,Rajasthan English textbook,Lotus
The Rajasthan board revised the textbooks for Class 10, 11 and 12. (HT Photo)

An English textbook for Class 10 of the Rajasthan secondary education board, in an interpretation of a poem titled “Lotus”, describes the flower as the representation of the Indian culture.

The poem by Toru Dutt (1856-77) reads:

“Love came to flora asking for a flower

That would of flowers be undisputed queen,

The lily and the rose, long, long had been

Rivals for that high honour.”

The poem depicts victory of the lotus in a contest between the lotus, the lily and the rose. The interpretation of the poem reads, “Symbolically, the victory of the lotus is the victory of Indian culture over the western world, since the lily and the rose are the western flowers.”

The analysis of the poem says that Flora, the goddess of flowers chooses the lotus for its supreme beauty as it has whiteness of the lily and the redness of the rose.

Lotus is also the poll symbol of the BJP government in power in Rajasthan and the Centre.

The interpretation of the poem further says that the lotus has been a favourite flower with Indian gods and goddesses.

“Both Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi love this flower. In present times, many prizes have been named after the lotus – the Padam Shri, Padam Bhushan, Padam Vibhushan among others,” it says.

“Padam” in Sanskrit means lotus.

Describing the poet, the book says that author’s family “was impressed by the glitter of the West” and embraced Christianity. “But Toru Dutt had a deep attraction for the Indian epics and mythology,” it reads.

“She read the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Vishnu Purana and the Bhagvata. Her imagination was shaped by these Indian classics.”

First Published: Jun 09, 2017 12:07 IST