History in Haryana: Morally correct by Dinanath Batra
While the state government refrained from choosing Batra-authored text books for the schools, the moral education books were developed under his guidance.india Updated: Sep 23, 2017 20:19 IST
Chandigarh: When the BJP government in Haryana roped in RSS ideologue, Dina Nath Batra in 2014 to tender advice on education revamp in the state, it ignited concerns over saffronization of education.
While the state government refrained from choosing Batra-authored text books for the schools, the moral education books were developed under his guidance.
There is a profusion of Vedic text and verses from Bhagvad Gita, but there are also couplets from Koran, Buddhist literature and the Guru Granth Sahib.
The books, which were developed by the State Council for Education Research and Training (SCERT) for students of class 6 to 12, begin with a prayer to the goddess Saraswati, and have lessons on yoga. But they also have inspirational stories of freedom fighters like Ashfaqulla Khan, war heroes like Havildar Abdul Hamid, reformers and prominent personalities like former president, Dr APJ Kalam, along with the teachings of Swami Vivekanand and Vinoba Bhave. The books also have poems by Urdu poet, Nazir Akbarabadi.
Batra, an RSS ideologue and convener of Shiksha Bachao Andolan, has been thanked in the foreword of the books for the guidance given by him in development of these books.
He was initially brought in to author the books by Haryana Education Minister, Ram Bilas Sharma. However, later, Batra’s role was reduced to an advisor and he did not find a place in the committee of the SCERT constituted to put together the books.
The content of the moral education books also include lessons on humanity quoting the Tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, teachings of Jesus Christ, motivational couplets by Rahim, lessons on Karma Yoga quoting Bhagvad Gita as well as Sufi saint Rabia, teachings of Lord Mahavir and Buddha, inspirational stories of freedom fighters like Veer Savarkar and personalities like eminent scientist Dr CV Raman and noted ornithologist, Dr Salim Ali.
The books also have lessons on universal brotherhood in which couplets by Urdu poet, Altaf Hussain Hali, Rabindra Nath Tagore and teachings of Sufi saints like Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and Nizamuddin Auliya find mention.
“These books are not a part of the course. Students do not have to take exams. They have been introduced to impart moral values to the students,’’ said an official of the School Education department.