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

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.