Skip to main content

Adivasis "don't exist" in Gujarati textbooks, one of these "show" American flag and white judge in apex court

Gaurang Jani and Hemant Shah
By Our Representative
In a stark revelation, the word “adivasi” (tribal) does not find mention in any of the Gujarati language textbooks, ranging from classes 5th to 12th. Speaking on the state of textbooks being taught in Gujarat schools, Gaurang Jani, professor of sociology, Gujarat University, said that there are 15% tribals in Gujarat, and their children would naturally feel alienated as a result of this type of discrimination.
“A child studying in the predominantly tribal district of Dahod does not identify herself or himself with the textbooks she or he reads. Yet, the child is made to compete with those who study in a posh Ahmedabad locality of Navrangpura. Is this an equal competition?”, he wondered.
Jani was speaking at a convention in Ahmedabad on inclusive education organized by the Jan Adhikar Manch, an umbrella organization of several grassroots organizations in Gujarat.
Seeking total overhaul of all Gujarat textbooks, Jani further disclosed that in the social science textbook of the 6th standard, which has a chapter on courts, photographs show white men as judges of lower courts, high courts, and the Supreme Court. “Worse”, he added, “The Supreme Court photograph carries an American flag.”
Suggesting that he gave these two examples to showcase the type of education Gujarat’s children are being offered in the state, Jani said, “What is equally shocking is, the very concept of having a caring nature towards the deprived is being erased from schools.”
“Thus”, he said, “The well-known poem by Narsinh Mehta ‘Vaishnav jan to tene re kahiye’ (a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi), which seeks to suggest that the ideal human being is one who cares for the poor, was first removed both from the textbooks and prayers of the primary school, then from the secondary school, and finally from the higher secondary school.”
“In the B Ed classes, the future teachers are not taught anything about social stratification from which the Indian society suffers. As a result, the teachers who come out have little knowledge of how to make children aware about social oppression”, Jani said, adding, “One thing they are invariably taught is, there should be an hour long prayer in schools ahead of teaching. The result is: there is a sharp rise in religious obscurantism among teachers.”
Speaking at the convention, another academic, Prof Hemant Shah, who teaches economics in a Gujarat University college, said, according to his calculation, a large majority of children of the 15.83 lakh admitted in 2007-08 in the first standard, progressively dropped out, despite the big talk of negligible dropout rate.
“This year, 10.8 lakh children of those admitted a decade ago took board examination in the tenth standard. It means that five lakh children dropped out at the secondary level. A further investigation revealed that just 5.3 lakh children appeared in the higher secondary examination last year. Of these, if one considers 70% result, those who are able to go to college would be just around 4.5 lakh lakh”, he said.
He added, “Consider this: A decade ago, 4 lakh children were admitted in colleges in Gujarat, suggesting there is little change despite rise in population.”
Results of a study on discrimination in education system by NGO Janvikas, released at the convention, suggested that 50% of the respondents confirmed that “children from minority community are advised by teachers to take admission in their religious school.”
Taking a view from 131 respondents, all of whom happen to be community level volunteers, the study further revealed that 20% found teachers call students by caste not by name, 21% found that teachers use derogatory words for minorities, 32% found that midday meal is given in plates with numbers written on them, so that the plates meant for dominant caste people do not go to Dalits, and in 14% cases, it was found, Hindu and Muslim students are asked to sit separately.

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”