Marx in, Indian history out of school books in Left-ruled Tripura
After former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was dropped from Class 8 social science textbooks in BJP-ruled Rajasthan, Tripura’s Left Front government has removed Indian history from Class 9 textbooks altogether.
The only national icon that figures in the book is Mahatma Gandhi, not for his contribution to India’s freedom movement but for his views on cricket. Penned by Kalyan Choudhury, former head of history department in Kolkata’s Maharaja Manindra Chandra College, the book features the Russian and French revolutions. It also devotes pages to the birth of cricket in England, Nazism and the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the history of agriculture.
There is also a chapter on the Santhal rebellion and deprivation of forest-dependent tribals during the British rule.
“Students are taught Karl Marx and Hitler but nothing about Indian freedom fighters,” a teacher said, on condition of anonymity, adding the textbook could be revised in the next session.
Tripura Board of Secondary Education officials denied that chief minister Manik Sarkar’s communist government pressured them to prescribe the book, labelled “flawed” by non-Left parties.
“We followed NCERT guidelines for the new history syllabus. Class 9 students used to study Indian history earlier,” Mihir Deb, the board’s president, said.
BJP’s Tripura unit president Biplab Deb said: “The Left Front wants to paint everything red, even if it means destroying the education system. They are brainwashing students with Marx and communism. This is a recipe for disaster,” the BJP leader said.