> Educating to Hate
- 17 January 2007
Centre for Study of Society and
Report of National Consultation on Minorities and Biases in Text Books
13 - 14 January 2007
USO Road - Jeet Singh Marg
Qutub Institutional Area
- 10.30 a.m. To 5.30 p.m.
Date - 13th January 2007
Members Present - Mr Hamid Ansari, Dr Asghar Ali Engineer,
Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, Mr Jimmy Dabhi,Vinod Raina, Prof Ranu Jain, Prof
Ashok Anshuman , Mr Khalid Ansari, Mr Achyut Yagnik, Mr Vibhuti Narain
Rai, Prof Hasan Mansoor, Mr Tayeb Khan, Justice P K Shamshuddin, , Ms
Salcha Begum, Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Apoorva Anand, Ms Purva Bharadwaj, Prof
T K Oomen, Mr Hasan Mansoor, Mr L S Hardenia, Ms Muniza Khan, Ms
Suchitra Seth, Mr Chand Peer, Mr Shirish Hardenia, , Mr Seraj Hasan,
Mr Mansoor Ali, Mr Aftab Alam, Mr Rakesh, Prof Qamar Agha, Meera
Mishra, Vyas Ji, Mr Ravindra Roy Mr Munshi, Bader Jehan, Bella
CHIEF GUEST- Md Hamid Ansari - Chariman National Minority Commission.
The meeting started by Prof Qamar Agha welcoming the participants of
the workshop. Following which Dr Asghar Ali Engineer welcomed the guest
and opened the topic of the National Consultation.
He said that education controls the mind of the people and hence was
very important. But unfortunately textbooks were
full of biases against the minorities and were not written
scientifically and objectively and hence bringing about
reform in the text books are very important. Stating the example of
Sarawati Sishu Mandir he mentioned that the scenario of the
non government schools was getting worse. These schools produced
thousands of students with a communal mindset. He also spoke of the
detoxification of the textbooks.
Hamid Ansari in his inaugural speech said that in a diverse society
like India what needed to be addressed is the reality. He said that
society is diverse and hence the concept of group rights have emerged.
In the Indian society there is certain opaqueness. He further stated
that even if we could bring about an improvement in the level of
awareness of the people then we could say we have moved one step
He said that the two point on which we should focus was-
1-The requirement of the secular creed.
2-Requirement of the homogenous society.
He mentioned that the biggest challenge was to bring about a balance in
the group identity and the individual identity. He emphasized the
importance of the federal units and the responsibility that it had
towards making the content of the text books. He also touched upon the
role of the media and the elected representatives. He said that today
the education had become an industry in the country which was very
lucrative and there were no schools without the influence of a
political party and what was also needed was the correction of the
approach in education.
Dr Asghar Ali Engineer
He mentioned that education was the most important intellectual
investment and without with out which it will be come difficult for a
diverse country like India to survive. He highlighted the problem of
the education as how the political condition affected the content of
the NCERT books. The problems at the Centre and the State had
to be dealt with.
Mr Apoorvanand - He said that a lot of complexity were
involved as far as the NCERT was concerned. He also mentioned the
importance of looking into the process of the formation of
the textbooks. He mentioned 1977 as being the landmark period
when the Janata Party came into power when the problem with
the text books increased.
He stated that two spheres where interventions were needed -
Problems related to text books
And discussion on the state specific textbooks
Vinod Raina -He began by talking about how Eklavya got
involved in working with education in MP. He spoke of the
communalization of child's mind through text books.
He mentioned about how only 3% children used NCERT Books and 97%
children were out of the reach of NCERT. He further said that NCERT was
not a statutory body and had played the role of an academic body so
State Govt had the option of not accepting it. He spoke of the national
council for teachers which was a statutory body and hence attention
should be given to it. He said that merely the content was not
important but the pedagogy was important too. Methodology for
child's education as well as adult education were different
and hence the methodology of education was an equally important factor
which ought to be looked into.
He suggested that it was of vital importance to create a critical
thinking of the child and not merely look to the content of
education. He said that it was important to
encourage the children to see for themselves rather
than interpretation of the content.
He said that we should examine the text books in the larger pedagogy by
He also suggested regulatory mechanism by CABE.
Mr Raina said that education was a technical subject as far as the
child was concerned
He also spoke on the report of the 1993 analysis report of Bipan
Chandra and opined that the Gaurav Gatha series ought to be totally
Problems faced were three fold according to him -
1- Within the government system
2- Within the civil society
3- Within the political system
And each had to be tackled at different levels.
He said that the most important was to raise the concerns of critical
Muniza Khan : - She shared information, on the study that her institute
had done in Azamgarh where the team had visited the Sishumandir.
Findings showed that the text books were traditional and were not
progressive and were not communal . Girls did not wear Burkhas but in
the rooms there was a division by a Chaddar ( bed sheet)
between the teacher and the students. In many Madarsas she said that
there existed a feeling of insecurity - mostly of terrorism. Parents
wanted to send the children to the missionary schools because
of this very reason but they could not afford and had to take Madarsa
as an option and not compulsion .
Problems faced by the Madarsas were-
1- Lack of funds
2- Unrecognized status of the
3- Madarsas were run by Zakat
Suggestion- She suggested that teachers training was vitally important
as they did not even know the meaning of Secularism nor did they show
any inclination towards learning about it.
T K Oomen- Mr Oomen said that the future of India depended
upon shaping the contents of the text books. He said that one
should look at the problem from a larger angle. He highlighted the
points mentioned in Zoya Hasan and Gopalguru report
some of which were
Focus on the report on Education by Zoya Hasan and Gopal Guru and the
biases as I categorise them from the report.
Urban and rural - India against bharat,
Patriarchy Vs gender just,
Upper caste, Brahminical vs Dalits, Tribals and other backward
ignoring religious minorities such as Jains, Jews, Buddhists, Adivasis,
and externalisation of Christians and Muslims
Privileging the mythology and therefore driving away the abstract
nature of knowledge.
India having just one singular past history and relegating the medieval
Distorting the Constitution of India and projecting Hindu nation
No recognition of environment concerns,
By and large the text books provide the world view of the high caste
Hindu man. Ooman said that one of the anthropologist said that "Indian sociology is Brahminology".
The root problem of the biases may be said is in our perception of
India as 'nation state' which is very western and
not possible in India as it means one nation, one people and one
culture. We need a notion of national state where diverse people,
diverse culture and diverse regions. We have 24 recognised languages,
no one religion. Pluralism is an attitude we need and we do not have.
We need a national state where diversity is celebrated.
The text books are reflecting the problem and not creating one.
Imtiaz Ahmed :
I read in my text book as a child "Krishna Bhagwan
Hai" and I read it as "Krishna Hinduon ka bhagvan
hai". As a child he translated the text as children and
teachers do it. He said that education is an instrument of
social transformation but it is also instrument of reproduction of
We may replace the non-secular with secular text. The communal bias has
to be replaced by the authors' bias. So do we want texts
replaced or the mind-set replaces?
Text books are not interactive and therefore mediation is missed out.
Teacher could remove the bias and provide alternatives, alternative
He emphasized that one should understand the meaning of a Nation State
where diversity was celebrated. He said that one cannot produce a
textbook in any society where there is so much diversity and the
present text books reflected that.
We should talk of inclusive education today.
1-Develop critical thinking amongst children
2-Development of comparative study.
L.S Hardenia - Stating examples of school like the Sishu Madir he
stated that they projected unrealistic facts eg about Hindu icons like
Govalkar , Savalkar, Shivaji etc. other examples cited
were NCERT books eg- of Gandhi's assassination - Gandhi's killer as Godse but the reason for his
killing was devoid of being mentioned leaving scope for imagination and
interpretation of the children . Ram temple being made by Luv
and Kush in Ayodhya . Unscientific things finding place in the text
books like 'Dooms day' India being the most
ancient country in the world. Myths like- Islam was spread at the point
of sword and Christianity being associated with conversion. He also
spoke of text book supplementary material which ought to be banned in
Madhya Pradesh. He mentioned that he had approached Digvijay
Singh to remove provocative information from the text books.
Jimmy Dhabi - Speaking of his experience with the primary
school text books he said that the biases in text book clearly
reflected psycho social effect on children. He said that two
factors which ought to be looked into were -
1. What is taught
2. Who teaches
3. Who controls the educational
4. Pedagogy - how is it taught
5. In what environment (socio-economic
He said that education should be such which encourages critical
consciousnesses. He said that one should look from the perspective of
Achyut Yagnik : He said that the government in Gujarat was already
communalized so the government intervention in Gujarat are
not needed at all where correction in text books was concerned.
P .K Shamshuddin : Mr P K Shashuddin stated that various
aspects in text books for children were found to be derogatory and was
opposed to the constitution and discussed these with various examples
and stated that these textbooks ought to be banned because it
served as an obstruction national integration . He gave example of
Kerala Shanti Samiti which have evolved some projects for instance the
Gandhi Darshan and the Matri project which gave the values of Gandhi .
He said that interfaith and Shanti clubs be introduced in schools. He
emphasized the training of teachers in schools as important and said
that it would go a long way in creating harmony in society.
He also placed importance to the regulatory mechanisms. He said that
the statutory body to correct the text books was important.
S N Mansoor- He talked about his work in the slum areas in Bangalore
and said that the Corporates also encouraged the
communalization of education in Karnataka by funding the non
governmental schools which were already communalized. He emphasized the
role of the teachers as being very important in creating the positive
mindset of the children.
Speaking about Madarsas he stated how reluctant the Maulanas were to be
progressive where text books were concerned. They stated it was their
job to teach only the Khutba., Namaz and not to look into the changes
which ought to be brought about in the text books.
He said that lot of grassroot level work was needed for
bringing about a change in the text books in Karnataka which produced
biased statements regarding the Dalits and the Muslims.
Vibhuti Narain Rai- He stated that the text
books that he had learnt as a child continued to be
taught till today. He spoke of the fundamentalism
in the Nadwa Madarsas which spoke negative about the non believers and
called them KAFIR and also were anti women( eg Bahisti Zewar a book by
Maulana Asraf Ali Thanvi) , anti backward classes.
He also spoke that there ought to have regulatory
mechanisms to check the irregularities in the textbooks.
Vyas Misra- Spoke about the Musahar community in Bihar who were very
deprived and a backward community. He said that the heroes of
the Dalits, Tribals etc were hardly mentioned in the text books and
hence became alien to children. The text books contained biases in the
text books against the tribals , minorities and the backward classes.
He also spoke about the gender biases in the textbooks and the gender
stereotypes, about the poems in the textbooks which
mentioned and glorified only the kings and the queens and not
the subalterns which then went into making the mindset of children
which is not conducive to the backward or the deprived
Munshi Singh- Mr Munshi shared about the history books of Mewat where
the heroism of the Mewati kings who fought against the Babur was devoid
of any mention. He also criticized the Tablighi Jamaat and
asserted that they concentrated on other worldly issues rather than on
concrete issues of bread and butter.
He lamented on the backwardness of the Meos and said that only 2 % Meo
women were literate and hence he felt that it would be futile to do any
work or discuss about the textbooks when the majority could not even
read or write. This was a startling fact to note specially when Mewat
was only 50 km from the capital city i.e. Delhi.
Ranu Jain - Prof Ranu Jain talked of education
being extremely politicized. She said that local level education was
very important and laid more emphasis on the structure of education as
a whole and also the pedagogy process. She said that education had
become a political process and she suggested strong vigilance in the
field of text books and need for advocacy and campaigns.
Ajay Kumar - He said that the content of text book was important. He
said that the environment itself was communal and hostile and hence
pressure groups had to be formed to pressurize the political powers.
Tayeb Khan- said that apparently there was not much problem in text
books in Bengal. But the other problems exist others teaching mechanism
in the Madarsas.
Apoorva - According to him the question is not only
to produce the substitute for text books but also to know who
formulates these texts. Majority of the population go to the government
schools belong to Dalit, Tribals, and Muslims. It was clear about
Madrasas that only 4% Muslim children go to these Madrasas. After the
debate of NCF 2000 and 2006 there is a need to make
education a pedagogical tool.. He gave the example of
Chattisgarh and said that most of the members in SCRT
Committee were hard core secularist but in the debate what was
important was the process. He gave various examples from the text books
of Rajashthan where communalization of text books were rampant. The
definition of terrorism in these books was that terrorism was spread
by Muslims and they are superstitious because of their
Vinod Raina :- He said that it was of vital importance to know the
process involved in making of the text and it was important to look
into committees. He said that one has to look into the issue with a
larger perspective. The content was no doubt important according to him
but it was also vitally important to take the students out of that
content where the students could challenge the viewpoints expressed in
the textbooks. CABE was not a statutory body. Being taxpayers he said
that we should raise voice against communaliszation- Why should we pay
Mr Ashok Anshuman - He spoke of the history books and the issues in the
Moghul history and the Rajput history.
He expressed the need to intervene in teachers training and help create
a positive mindset among the teachers and the children hence teachers
training was important as they influenced the minds of the
He spoke of the communal elements that had crept in the text books in
Karnataka too which was enhance by the communal mindset of the
Like Bhartiya Mahsagar in Kannada being translated to Hindu
He also suggested that the text book committee should be representative
in nature including those belonging to the minorities .
ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
Members Present :
Dr Asghar Ali Engineer, Apporva, Chand Peer, Achyut Yagnik, Ranu Jain,
Muniza Khan, Jimmy Dhabi, Vinod Raina , Mr Vyas, Mr Khalid, Apoorva,
Imtiaz, Ahmed Prof Qamar Agha , Bella Das, Bader
The national consultation was followed by the advisory
committee meeting on the 14th January at the USO House in which the
above members were present.
Dr Ranu Jain opined that a lot of Public debate on how to deal with the
communalization of text books was important.
Mr Vyas stated that the exploitation element should also be explained
in the textbooks.
Mr Apoorva threw light on the role of research and said that if we
think of representation in simplistic manner then no solution would be
reached at. He emphasized that one ought to look at the process during
the content making , and also laid stress on the debates on the content
of the text as being important. He said that the tools of examining the
text books should be given to the activists also so that it enables
them to analyze. He also stated that de education was important and
supported the idea of representational approach as he mentioned that
the Hindu common sense may overlook things which might be found
striking by the Muslims or the Dalits. Second submission that he made
was the semiotics of text books as being important as the word. The
Pictorial reference etc were as important. it was to be looked into how
and what image of the text books the child would carry.
Jimmy opined that tokenism ought to be avoided and it was important to
look into how representation could be made in the committees which
looked into the formation of the text books. He said that the problem
was of India and not only of the Muslims and the Hindus and
that the committee ought to look into how we could bring in this aspect
Following were the suggestions given by Jimmy were-
Manuals to be made
To take information to the management and the Board
To create institutional networks
To make pamphlets and one sheet indicators.
Mr Vinod Raina however stated that mere numeral representation alone
would not ensure secular mind of the people.
At the end of the meeting two resolutions were drawn. The drafting
committee for the first resolution consisted of two member
committee -Vinod Raina, and Apoorvaanand .The resolution was
read out by Apoorva anand and members made some additions to the
original draft. Later the second resolution was drawn out by
the committee consisting of the Jimmy Dhabi, Imtiaz Ahmed,
P.K Shamhuddin, and Mr Vibhuti Narain Rai and it was read out by Jimmy
The two resolutions are enclosed below.
The committee decided that the two majors were needed -
1. Preparation of the manual
which would provide lenses to the teachers.
2. Making of the pamphlets.
3. Filing of the PIL with the High Court
or the Supreme Court.
Budget allocation 15 lakhs.
It was also decided that the resolutions would be taken by the
delegates to the concerned chief ministers of the States.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Dr Asghar Ali Engineer who
thanked everyone for their contribution and making the meeting more
meaningful and successful.
Bella Das- CSSS- Mumbai
Badar Jehan- PEACE- Delhi
Drafting Committee- Mr Vinod Raina, Mr Apoorva Anand
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY members of the National consultation
on' Minorities and biases in the Text Books held on 13th and
14th January 2006 at USO House New Delhi.
The constitution of India ensures that all activities of the State
would be directed towards strengthening of the fundamental nature of
the Indian state which is secular and democratic. The State
is also directed by the Constitution through Article 45 to inculcate
scientific temper and critical attitude in the society through its
actions. Recognizing the cultural and linguistic diversity of
India , the Constitution states that all religions and
cultures would be accorded equal respect by the state.
Education is a major activity through which the state is supposed to
ensure that these fundamental constitutional Values are grounded firmly
in the fabric of the Indian society.
We have however witnessed distressing action by the Central and State
Governments over the years of violating the fundamental aspects of
nation building, through the preparation of teaching -learning
materials, both formal and supplementary made for our schools
and children. The attempt to impose a particular religion as NATIONAL
and to indoctrinate the young minds which results in promotion
of hatred to other religions,
cultures and communities must be deplored. Apart from textbooks and
supplementary materials , systematic recruitment of teachers espousing
such views has considerably enhanced this condemnable destruction of
Indian composite culture .
Whereas these actions have taken place state after state, and are
continuing still, the immediate example would be what is
happening in Rajasthan right now. The Madhyamik Siksha Board ,
Rajasthan, Ajmer has published School Textbooks from class 8to class 12
in the years 2005-06 which contain highly objectionable content which
are blatantly in conflict with the Constitution of India, especially
the provisions of Article 15, 28, 21, 51A. These textbooks have been
written with an underlying assumption of Indian Culture being
synonymous with Hindu and Aryan culture. Manu ahs been described as the
father of humankind and Brahma as the creator of this
universe. An obsession with religion, an enthusiastic
advocacy of the superiority of Hindu religion over other religions and
defining Indianness in Savarkarite terms declaring those who do not
consider their father land as their holy land as people with no
entitlement as citizens are only some of the objectionable
features of these books which range from History , Sanskrit
to Science, Economics and Social Sciences. Fascism has been described
as significant as it removes the ills of democracy.
Continuance of these textbooks is not permissible as they violate the
Constitutional Right of an Indian Citizen to live in dignity with equal
rights and the Child's universally accepted right to know and
live in harmony and peace with others. They are unacceptable from the
pedagogical point of view as they present themselves as the final,
official version of truth and knowledge.
All secular and rational Indians, in particular Adivasis, Dalits,
Minority groups cannot allow their tax and other money to be used to
propagate and impose a violent world view on their children through
We therefore demand that :
1. Strict guidelines be legislated for
each state and the center regarding the constitution of textbook
committees, substantial representation of all communities in
them, their transparency and responsibilities; with suggested penal
action when they prepare material that violates constitutional values.
The Central Government stop its share of funds slated for school
education to such erring sates, immediately
if they fail to withdraw these textbooks immediately.
Government withdraw these textbooks with immediate effect.
Drafting committee- Professor Imtiaz Ahmed, Justice P K Shamshuddin, Mr
Vibhutit Narain Rai, Dr Jimmy Dhabi S.J.
To demand public scrutiny of Educational Materials of Non-Governmental
The Constitution of India ensures that all activities of the various
States in India should be directed towards promoting and strengthening
secular and democratic ethos, gender justice, equality, scientific
temper, and critical consciousness. The Constitution provides certain
autonomy to the States in various areas and levels at the same time
directing the States to conform to the values, ethos and the spirit of
Fraternity (assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and
integrity of the Nation) enshrined in the Preamble and Articles 14, 15,
21, 28 and 51 (A).
Through various studies, observations and information we have learnt
that many Private, Minority, Aided and Unaided, Recognised and
Unrecognised educational organisations/institutions in various States
violate the secular ethos enshrined in the constitution through their
education content, out reach programmes and organisational processes.
The text books, supplementary reading material, songs, cassettes, CDs,
plays, socio-cultural practices/exercises and symbols are often used to
promote division, hatred among various groups/communities and further
discourage scientific, rational and critical temper among students.
These material and symbols are used to indoctrinate minds of children
and people in and through these organisations.
Therefore without undermining the autonomy of various States in India
and fundamental rights of the minorities, we the participants of
‘National Consultation on Minorities and Biases in Text
Books' who met on 13-14 January 2007, New Delhi, resolve that all the
text books, supplementary reading material, pamphlets, songs, symbols
and socio-cultural exercises and activities carried and used in
Private, Minority, Majority, Aided and Unaided, Recognised and/or
Unrecognized educational organisations/institutions must be
subjected to public scrutiny to ensure that these
organisations/institutions through their educational material, output
and processes within these organisation adhere to and not violate
Constitutional norms and ethos.
Centre for Study of
Society and Secularism
602 & 603,
Silver Star, 6th Floor, Behind BEST Bus Depo,
Santacruz (E), Mumbai:-
400 55. [India]
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> Educating to Hate: The impact of fundamentalist ideas on the school text books in India and Pakistan