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When textbooks term non-vegetarians 'cheaters' and place Afghanistan within India

Raza Naqvi | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 4:18 IST

While India has the largest youth population in the world, the kind of education being imparted to the future of our country is at times, downright scary. Here are some of the strangest things being taught in our schools:

1) Rape accused and self-styled Godman Asaram Bapu had been listed under the category of 'great saints' in STD III moral science books in Jodhpur schools. The books were published by Delhi-based Gurukul Prakashan, which claimed that it was only following NCERT's guidelines. In the book, Asaram shared space with Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekananda and Guru Nanak.

2) Non-vegetarians are liars and cheaters was being taught in Tamil Nadu. The STD VI textbook New Healthway: Health, Hygiene, Physiology, Safety, Sex Education, Games and Exercise explains to students that non-vegetarians easily cheat, lie, are dishonest, forget promises and are more prone to criminal behaviour.

This came to light with NDTV 's report in 2012. At that time, CBSE chief Vineet Joshi claimed that the board only recommended books for Class IX onwards and the rest are chosen by the schools.

3) Birthdays shouldn't be celebrated with cakes and candles, was advocated in a school in Gujarat. Shikhan nu Bhartiyakaran (Indianisation of Education) written by Dina Nath Batra, which is a part of Gujarat primary school syllabus, explains that birthdays shouldn't be celebrated with cakes and candles as it is a 'Western practice'.

It also explains that students should wear 'swadeshi' clothes on their birthdays and play songs produced by Vidya Bharti.

4) A book titled Tejomay Bharat (Shining India) explains that the map of India should include countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and Sri Lanka as they are a part of 'Akhand Bharat'. According to the book, undivided India is the truth, and divided India is a lie.

This is also a part of the current Gujarat primary school syllabus as reference literature, as announced in June, 2014.

5) In a textbook in a Rajasthan school, a housewife was compared to a donkey, as she has to toil all day and at times does so without any food or water! As the matter came to light, the BJP took umbrage to the excerpt, leading to its removal from the book.

6) In a Gujarat school textbook, a chapter titled 'Internal Achievements of Nazism' explains that Adolf Hitler lent dignity and prestige to the German government within a short time, establishing a strong administrative set-up.

The textbook rubbishes the Holocaust and projects Hitler as the true leader. The book implies that the horrifying genocide was in fact only a story about an authoritarian's dignified rise to power.

7) In a reference textbook of Gujarat, Dr Radhakrishnan was presented as a 'racist'. Written by Dina Nath Batra, the book is provided as a reference literature to English-medium primary schools in Gujarat. As an example of 'racism', it cites the following example: Dr Radhakrishnan once went for a dinner, where a British gentleman said, "We are very dear to God."

To this, Dr Radhakrishnan laughed and replied, "Friends, one day God felt like making rotis. When he was cooking, the first one was cooked less and the English were born. The second one stayed longer on the fire and the Negroes were born. Alert after his first two mistakes, when God went on to cook the third roti , it came out just right and as a result Indians were born."

8) A textbook published by the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT), says that after the partition of India, a new nation was born called Islamic Islamabad and its capital was Kyber Ghat.

First published: 8 September 2015, 2:37 IST
Raza Naqvi @Mir_Naqvi

Raza is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and has worked with the Hindustan Times in the past. A passionate follower of crime stories, he is currently working as a Sub-Editor at the Speed News desk.