Kerala textbooks present biased history: former minister

June 9th, 2008 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  


Thiruvananthapuram, June 9 (IANS) The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala has chosen to highlight communist struggles rather than the Indian freedom struggle and its own leaders instead of national icons like Mahatma Gandhi in the new textbooks in the state, former education minister T.M. Jacob alleged Monday. “There seems to be a concerted effort on the part of Education Minister M.A. Baby to ensure that the real history of the country and the state is kept under wraps and in its place comes the history of the communists,” said Jacob to reporters here.

He also pointed out that an illustration of Mahatma Gandhi in the history textbook for Class 5 and 7 is in “very poor light”.

“All along when we see a spinning wheel we see Gandhiji sitting and weaving, but in the textbook we see a woman working on the spinning wheel. And there is a picture of Gandhiji which is really an insult,” said Jacob.

He said great social leaders from the state like Ayyankalli and Sree Narayana Guru appeared to be ignored while Communist leader A.K. Gopalan was mentioned in a textbook.

“What was hitherto studied by the students about the Quit India movement and other freedom struggles appears to be ignored and in its place come controversial struggles in which the communists in Kerala took part,” said Jacob.

He said that before changing a syllabus, the proposed changes must be published in the state gazette and opinions invited from people.

“This procedure was not followed this time. A team of three dozen people were selected and, barring a few, all of them are known to be Left fellow travellers. It was this committee that revised the syllabus.

“It is high time the parents came out against distortion of history,” said Jacob.

The new textbooks became available last week when Kerala schools opened after the summer vacations.

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