BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY Meeting of the National Executive
Mumbai - June 22-24, 2004
1. The National Executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) views with concern the attempts of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to tamper with the contents of textbooks published by NCERT, in the name of "detoxification". The very word "detoxification" is a noxious terminology introduced by the Congress-Communist combine in the academic and political debate in the country.
2. The BJP consider this an assault on the education system. The enlightened people of India who are deeply rooted in the cultural values and traditions of their country will not be a mute spectator to this. The UPA's attempts to thrust outdated and distorted versions of Indian History must be resisted. The formation of a committee to "review" the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) books is nothing but an eye wash. Under the Marxist influence the UPA government is unable to take a dispassionate view and uphold the academic wholesomeness of the textbooks.
3. The BJP demands that the UPA government discontinue with this harmful exercise as the NCERT's books conform to the National Curriculum Framework of School Education - 2000, which was developed through a most transparent and democratic exercise. The Supreme Court of India had, in its September 12, 2000 ruling on a writ petition filed by Aruna Roy and other, upheld the validity of the National Curriculum Framework and rejected allegations of "Saffronization".
4. It is a matter of pride that the books developed during the NDA regime give respect to all communities and religions. They have been greeted with unprecedented enthusiasm - a fact reflected in the three - fold increase of the sales of NCERT books. In 2002, Indian History Congress, a Marxist-dominated forum, had attempted to denigrate the quality of the textbooks but the NCERT's authors gave a fitting reply not only by proving the superiority of their scholarship over that of the Marxists but also by exposing their antinational bias.
5. The BJP expresses grave concern at the attempts to push down the throats of innocent Indians all kinds of inferior and false histories about our great nation. The Delhi State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) recently published a set of low standard text books abusing the history of the Sikhs, Jains, Rajputs and Jats. These books are full of wrong facts and interpretations. The authors have deliberately ejected India's glorious achievements in the sciences, arts, philosophy and medicine. They have also blocked out the contributions of the galaxy of great saints, reformers and freedom fighters.
6. The BJP believes that the only true history of India is one that covers the full spectrum of India's contributions to the march of civilization. "Indian" history is not about the rise and fall of Empires in Delhi but is also the saga of the people of all the regions and states. Along with the heroic sacrifices of national leaders and revolutionaries, the struggles of the oppressed sections like the Dalits and Ezhavas, and most importantly, the tribes must get their due recognition in our textbooks.
7. The BJP is of the firm opinion that the NCERT history books are focused on stimulation in young minds the values of patriotism and Sarva Dharma Samabhav - the twin foundations of India's millennia-old heritage. In the earlier NCERT textbooks, which were discontinued in 2002-03, there were passages which hurt the sensitivities of many communities like the Sikhs, Brahmins, Jains and Jats through willful denigration. A national hero like Guru Teg Bahadur was described as a "robber" who committed "plunder and rapine". The UPA government is now shamelessly trying to reintroduce now these obnoxious textbooks.
8. It is shocking that under communist goading, the new government is displaying rare energy in destroying what has been the positive and progressive contribution during past five and a half years in improving, upgrading and strengthening all sectors of education in India. In fact, such a programme was seen in action when communists came to power in West Bengal. The "Shuddho - Ashuddho" circular of the Jyoti Basu government is still in the memory of the nation. It was a blatant move to purge true facts from school history books and replace them with leftist propaganda.
9. The History and Social Sciences textbooks developed by NCERT provide facts and interpretations that would develop in young Indians a sense of pride and respect for their heritage and also a desire to understand the strength and weaknesses of Indian society. Such an approach would prepare them to meet the challenges of the twenty first century. The new government has no vision, no programme for further strengthening the education system. There is no effort to take the benefits of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to the remote corners. The new academic session is on. The new government is not interested in the future of lakhs of students coming from middle-class families; it is busy in witch hunting, destroying institutions and victimizing honest and efficient officers. Such a precedent would not only demoralize the bureaucracy but would also seriously impair the valuable initiatives launched by the NDA government. The BJP expresses its strong opposition to these politically motivated steps by the new government.
10. The National Executive appeals to the people in general and to the academic community in particular, to remain vigilant and prevent the evil and perverted designs of the UPA government to denigrate the glorious Indian heritage, culture and tradition, distort history to suit its vote bank politics and to poison the young minds. The National Executive directs BJP units to undertake a massive awareness programme for informing people about the dangers of the Congress-Communist combine's designs for destroying the Indian education system.
11. The National Executive demands that the UPA government put an immediate halt to its nefarious efforts to refalsify and redistort historical research and history teaching in schools.