A new look at history as India turns 60

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Quietly, with barely a whisper of protest, which is rare in this country, a great upheaval is under way inside Indian high school classrooms.

For perhaps the first time since India gained its independence 60 years ago Wednesday, politics is part of the teaching of political science, part of a broader revision of school curriculum with potentially long-lasting implications for how Indian children grasp the workings of their own democracy.

Shikha Chhabra, 16, offered an example from her new Grade 12 Contemporary World Politics textbook.

She had always been taught that the Nonaligned Movement, in which India played a leading role during the Cold War years, carving out at least a rhetorical policy of independence from both the Soviet Union and the United States, was "a wonderful thing." The new textbook, she noticed, treats it differently. "Now they raise the question - does the Nonaligned Movement really apply in the world today? Was it just fence-sitting?"

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