It is a well known fact that Indians were mislead not for 10-20 years, but for over 100-200 years by the British who literally wiped off our great history, ancient knowledge with an ill intention of making Indians feel disgusted about their own past. This was the biggest jolt India faced under the British rule. But unfortunately, the same tradition carried even after Independence under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and all his family members who belittled Indian values and promoted colonial mindset.
When the BJP government came in 2014, most of the Nationalist organisations demanded the revision of these books which had absurd lessons in which Bhagat Singh was called terrorist and extremists.
The text books were so biased against the Nationalist ideology and instead praised British rule describing them as catalysts of development in India. Subhas Chandra Bose who sacrificed his life for Nation was described as a man against Gandhian philosophy deliberately to mislead people. They praised those Mughal rulers who had mercilessly butchered Hindus just because they refused to convert to Islam. Much space was given to glorify butchers and murders who destroyed thousands of ancient temples in India while lessons on Vijayanagar Empire, which was the golden age of India had nothing more than a page.
The worst was the NCERT books had lessons and questions on Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi glorifying them as great grand children of Nehru.
Finally after 4 years of Modi government, the HRD minister Prakash Javdekar has announced that the NCERT books will be revised giving much emphasis on Indian traditional knowledge and History.
The books have now undergone revision and will have additional information on Indian philosophy, ayurveda, yoga, teachings of Upanishads and smritis and scientific achievements of ancient India in areas such as astronomy and metallurgy (Times of India). This is the first revision taking place since 2007.
Speaking at a lecture series organised by IGNOU and Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal in August last year, Prakash Javdekar had said that the changes will be soon made in the text books which will include lessons on better understanding of Bharat and its “glorious past”.
“We will replicate such courses with NCERT because we think our true identity begins with the identity of our nation. Without knowing it, we will not continued on page 2 New NCERT textbooks have more space for ancient Indian knowledge and tradition be able to decipher the truth about the world. We are open to discussions about the value of our past,” Javadekar had said.
The Indian Express which compared the old and new text books reported that the revised History books include chapters on six schools of India philosophy: Vaishesika, Nyaya, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva Mimansa and Vedanta or Uttara Mimansa. These are believed to have been founded by sages Konada, Gotama, Kapila, Patanjali, Jaimini and Vyasa.
It also contains chapters on Ayurveda which includes findings and teachings of Sushrut and Charaka. They include elaborate chapters on ancient surgical procedures and medicine which laid the foundation for the modern surgery.
The Geography books include much detailed descriptions on the finding of Aryabhatta, which includes his reseach on earth’s diameter, solar and lunar eclipse.
Lessons on Yoga as an invaluable gift by Indians has been included. It describes the advantages and health benefits of Yoga. The class 8th text books include the ancient knowledge of Ursa Major which is also known as Saptarshi. The Saptarshi describes the how the 7 saints played a major role in preserving the Vedic knowledge and passed it on from generations to generations.
The Class 10 Science text books have been included with Atharva Veda stances which explains how to preserve Nature and how it has been an integral part of Human life since ages. It also describes the values of Nature and how it was embedded in the traditional practices.
So, there has been quite visible changes brought into the colonial textbooks which had completely neglected the Indian past and glory. However, much needs to be done to remove the biased promotion of Nehru-Gandhi family which has become a tradition in India.