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Kamasutra in UK school curriculum?

A link on a site, that is a part of history curriculum, takes users to another site with linked pages containing the Kama Sutra.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2006 14:27 IST

Britain’s History Curriculum Association (HCA) has said that the general tone of new chapters on Indian history during the British Rule included in the schools curriculum, was "anti-British", and silent on positive consequences of the imperial rule.

The new chapters have been included in school curriculum for pupils aged between 12 and 14.

The Association accused the British Government's curriculum advisers of a "politically correct" interpretation of Britain’s imperial past based on false claims about Winston Churchill.

The lesson plans published today by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) entitled -- "How and why is the legacy of British rule in the Indian sub-continent interpreted in different ways?" -- is supposed to take 10-15 hours of the teachers’ time taken to cover 20th century history, stated the Association.

Association Director Chris McGovern said that teachers would have to abandon other important events in the century if they followed the new unit on India’s role in the British Empire and its struggle for Independence.

According to him, there was a "need for pupils to learn more about the British Empire".

McGovern also criticised the new history curriculum over the fact that teachers were told to direct pupils to Internet sites with links to material on the gender perspective of the history of India and "Indian genders and sexualities".

One link listed on this site takes Internet users to a site run by Fordham University which has links to other sites containing the Kama Sutra, the ancient Indian text on sexual behaviour.

The references to the Kama Sutra and "Indian genders" were part of a misguided attempt to encourage children to understand history from different viewpoints, The Telegraph quoted McGovern as saying.

He added: "It is well within the legal requirement to teach history through a gender perspective. The QCA says 'be cautious', but nevertheless, it is there, only one click away. The general tone of the unit is anti-British, with little about positive consequences of imperial rule."

He also spotted errors of fact portraying Churchill in a bad light. The unit states that "Churchill's view of Gandhi as a 'half-naked fakir' can be contrasted with the popular acclaim Gandhi received".

According to McGovern, in fact Churchill said in 1931 about Gandhi that he was "posing as a fakir" and that he strode "half-naked up the steps of the vice regal palace".

"Given the mix of nationalities in England, it is important to foster understanding through learning. Children need to learn about British history, but also need to improve their knowledge of the events that shaped the world we live in. Learning more about the recent history of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can help children better understand the legacy of the British Empire, providing an important and valuable insight into the history of their own country," said McGovern.

First Published: Dec 27, 2006 20:23 IST