Skip to main content

BJP mouthpiece quotes Modi to say Batra books, criticized for spreading fundamentalism, are "exemplary"

"Manogat" quotes Modi to praise Batra
By Our Representative
The BJP’s Gujarati mouthpiece, “Manogat”, has quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as justifying Dinanath Batra’s controversial nine books, which have been officially introduced as “extra readings” in the state’s schools by the Gujarat State School Textbook Board, as exemplary. The monthly, in its latest August issue (click HERE to download), quotes Modi congratulating Batra for his books first published as Prarnadeep series in Hindi, calling them “exemplary", and adding, he “admires” the effort, and “hopes” that Batra’s “commendable literature” inspires children and teachers.
Seeking to suggest that Batra’s books are just an effort towards “character building”, Modi’s signed message, apparently lifted from a Batra book, says, “The ultimate aim of education and knowledge is to build human being’s character”, adding, “Children are innocent and guiltless and are full of emotions. They by nature try to follow others. They consider parents and teachers as their ideal… It is necessary that seeds of moral culture are sown at an early age, so that at the later stage they acquire the dimension of a banyan tree, and they turn into intelligent and cultured citizens.”
Devoting four pages, which are apparently excerpts from Batra’s books (the monthly doesn’t specify), “Manogat” in an unsigned piece, interestingly, blames the Congress party for seeking to “project” life-inspiring incidents as “saffronization”. The Congress, notably, began criticizing Batra’s books much later after several newspapers and TV channels, starting with Indian Express, exposed their content, with a large number of experts giving their comments on them.
“Introducing” Batra, and offering the list of 11 books which are under attack from experts for seeking to spread superstition among children, “Manogat” says, “Batra went to jail for seven times for taking a leading part in the arena of educational reforms. Recently, he extensively traveled for in order to propagate the values of Indian culture and natural life, which have become symbols of progress over the last two decades.”  
The journal also quotes Gujarat education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma as justifying Batra’s books, calling them “examples of national inspiration”, adding, they provide “graphic evidence” from history about individuals who have become “immortal” through “exemplary courage, polite behaviour, dedication to religion, and achievements.” The tales about these individuals have been told in a “very simple language” and there is “no talk about secularism anywhere”, the minister, who claims to be extremely close to Modi, adds.
Batra shot into prominence following his campaign against American scholar Wendy Doniger’s book on Hinduism, which let the top publishers Penguins to withdraw it from Indian market. Later, he sent a legal notice to another publisher about a book on modern Indian history which led the publisher to begin a review of some of its books, including one on sexual violence during riots in Ahmedabad. The books were released by minister Chudasma for Gujarat schools in March.
Batra, in his books, calls celebrating birthdays by blowing candles “a western tradition”, which should be “shunned”, and instead asks children to “wear clothes manufactured in India,  recite  Gayatri Mantra, take part in religious ceremonies, feed cows” on that day. He says that motorcars were invented in India during the Vedic period (1500 to 500 BCE), that stem cell research was invented in India thousands of years ago, that Indian sages have been using television for centuries, and that the word “shudra” was introduced by the British.
One of the books exposes his anti-black views. It reads, “The aircraft was flying thousands of feet high in the sky. A very strongly built negro reached the rear door and tried to open it. The air-hostesses tried to stop him but the strongly built negro pushed the soft-bodied hostesses to the floor and shouted, ‘Nobody dare move a step ahead’. An Indian grabbed the negro and he could not escape. The pilot and the Indian together thrashed the negro and tied him up with a rope. Like a tied buffalo, he frantically tried to escape but could not. The plane landed safely in Chicago. The negro was a serious criminal in the Chicago records and this brave Indian was an employee of Air India” (Prernadeep-2). 

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.