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

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

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.

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

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".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.