'History wars' erupt in India

tags: India



A furious debate has broken out over attempts by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to "Hinduize" the educational system, root out liberal and leftist influences and in some cases to re-write history.

KRISHNAN: 85-year-old Dina Nath Batra, a former principal of a school and the founder of the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti or Save Education Campaign sees himself as the saviour of Hinduism and Hindu culture.

In the western state of Gujarat, school children are now reading books that offer the following - stem cell technology should be credited not to the Americans but to the Hindu epic, Mahabharata, that automobile technology existed in India's Vedic times and that Indian culture is not a mixed one and not drawn from different regions.

Eight books, written by Batra several years ago, were resurrected by the Gujarat government and prescribed as supplementary reading across 42,000 schools. All eight carry forewords by then chief minister and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi...




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