Poems by Ismat, Safdar to vanish from Rajasthan textbooks

Poems by Ismat, Safdar to vanish from Rajasthan textbooks

JAIPUR: In its ongoing mission to revolutionize school education, the Vasundhara Raje government plans to omit from Hindi text books stories and poems written by noted Urdu writers Ismat Chugtai and Safdar Hashmi and short narratives that revolve around Muslim characters. The move has drawn flak from educationists.
Sources said the short stories sought to be removed from text books include ‘Ek Din ki Badshahat’ and ‘Ajmer Ki Sair’ in class V, ‘Haleem Chala Chand Par’ and ‘Soot Ka Resham’ in class IV and ‘Chand Ke Khatir’ in class III. All these stories and narratives relate to Muslims.
Sources said the decision to remove these stories has been taken by education department’s textbook redoing committee, which has changed the curriculum in government schools from class 1st to 8th in just two months. The Raje government had undertaken the revamp of textbooks on August 24 with the objective of promoting ‘local cultural practices and beliefs’.
“These chapters and poetries were loaded with Urdu words which we believe are difficult for a majority of students to comprehend. Besides, they were highlighting practices of a particular community which is against our guidelines for redoing of textbooks,” said a textbook redoing committee member requesting anonymity.
In the draft of Hindi textbooks which was sent to the education department, the committee has suggested that the chapters be replaced with a life sketch of revered Sindhi community saints Tauram and Kawar Ram and a chapter on freedom fighter Hemu Kalani.
Educationists say the state government’s move goes against the National Curriculum Framework 2005 which advised states to have multi-lingual content in textbooks to promote national integration. Rajiv Gupta, former textbook committee member of National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT), said, “It seems that they are interested in creating institutionalization of social divide. It will make our country a theocratic state.”

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