Capture

Photo Credit: PTI Files. In Gujrat riots 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed. 100,000 Muslims and 40,000 Hindus were rendered homeless.

 

There is a new buzzword in India- Saffronization. Saffron is the color worn by Hindu sages and the term is coined because the right-wing Hindu Nationalists are glorifying Hindu history and culture.

However, the claws of the Saffronization is extending itself to the text books of students. The Maharashtra Education Board has removed almost all context of the rich Mughal Empire. In fact, the Mughal Empire is shown in a somewhat negative limelight.

“The students, who till last year were told that Akbar was a “liberal and tolerant administrator,” will now be taught that he “tried to bring India under a central authority” and faced opposition from the likes of Pratap.”[1]( Rana Pratap Singh was a Rajput Hindu Ruler of Mewar.)

On the other hand, Shivaji has been portrayed as an ‘Ideal Ruler’ and the textbooks revolve around him.

The Center, consequently also approves the government’s proposal of renaming Mughalsarai station to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya station. [2]In August 2015, the Aurangzeb Road in Delhi was renamed as Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Road[3]. The renaming of the roads, reeks of a political agenda.

The revision of the textbooks makes no mention of the monuments built by the Mughal rulers- Red Fort or Taj Mahal. There is no mention of the first women ruler in power- Razia Sultana. The textbooks have Saffron flags all over the cover. The Indian Coin nomenclature “rupaya” used till date, has no mention of its origin, which was also introduced in the Mughal Empire.

The state of Rajasthan, has not limited its history rejuvenation to schools alone. The condemnation of history is done systematically in the University textbooks and by twisting the facts. The supplement book now illustrates that Akbar lost to Maharana Pratap at the battle of Haldighat. The truth was the other way around.

Gujrat, may have been the pioneer in radicalizing the Hindutva and percolating it to the Indian School System. According to an article published in Aljazeera 2014, “You cannot blame Bhavana Vaja, 12, for telling you that the first airplane was invented during the mythical Dvapara Yuga, when the Hindu God Ram flew from Sri Lanka to Ayodhya in India with his wife Sita and brother Laxman in a Pushpaka Vimana – a swan­-shaped chariot of flowers.”[4]

Uttar Pradesh will follow in footsteps of the other states, where they are forming a special panel of historians, to rewrite the history.

By selectively rewriting the history, the politicians are systematically steering our future generation away from the truth. It is not even about the Mughal empire. The bias and a slight tilt towards a sudden upheld Hindutva can mobilize the hidden hatred towards other minorities. India, which takes pride in the secularism and tolerance towards all religions will lose its essence in the coming years. Where is the unbiased and neutral -plain-old history?

By rewriting the history, we are minimizing the effects of the Mughal culture that India still enjoys-in bits and pieces. By modifying textbooks, we are radicalizing the youth of our nation and telling them in a few words that Hinduism is superior. On the other hand, we are instilling inferiority complex in the Muslim kids by misinterpreting their culture and background.

If religion had stayed true to its purpose, we would be all communing with Gods right now. However, we are sitting in air conditioned rooms and disregarding the very purpose of religion. We are brainwashing our school/university going brothers, sisters, daughters and sons by promoting the harbor of hatred.

The methodical tyranny of proving idealism of one’s own religion can bottle up a lot of emotions. Mix it up with the diabolical religious intolerance that our politicians instill in us, we can all foresee Gujrat riots, happening nationwide.

We won’t be rewriting the history then because history will repeat itself. We will burn, we will get slaughtered, we will get robbed, we will get raped, we will get violated. Everyone will lose.

Each and every one should ask themselves- Is India leading towards a genocide?

We have not shied away before when it comes to demonstrate the ferocity of our violence. There is 2002 Gujrat riots, the 2013 Muzzaffarpur riots, the 1991 Bombay riots to just name a few. How are we forgetting the pain and distrust caused by those? How do we lose memory?

How are we ignoring the signs and just moving on?

 

 

 

 

PS: Article inspired by a discussion with a great friend. You know who you are. Love!

[1] Staff, The Wire. “Mughals Are Out as Maharashtra History Textbooks Turn State-Centric.” The Wire, 9 Aug. 2017, thewire.in/165360/maharashtra-education-board-removes-traces-mughals-history-textbooks/.

[2] Staff, The Wire. “Uproar in Rajya Sabha Over Renaming of UP’s Mughalsarai Station After Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.” The Wire, 5 Aug. 2017, thewire.in/164769/uproar-rajya-sabha-renaming-ups-mughalsarai-station-deen-dayal-upadhyaya/.

 

[3] Vatsa, Aditi. “Delhi exits ‘cruel’ Aurangzeb Road for ‘kind’ Abdul Kalam.” The Indian Express, 29 Aug. 2015, indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhis-aurangzeb-road-to-be-renamed-abdul-kalam-road/.

[4] Kumar, Raksha. “Hindu right rewriting Indian textbooks.” India | Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, 4 Nov. 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/hindu-right-ideology-indian-textbooks-gujarat-20141147028501733.html

Advertisements