Resolutions on Minorities & Text books
At a National Consultation on Minorities and Biases in text books, 13-14 Jan. 2007 in Delhi,
problems relating to federal structure, Constitutional mandate of secular culture, group identities & creeping communalization of text books,
of creativity & pedagogy for educating young minds in India were debated.
The Chair of the National Minorities Commission was the Chief Guest.
Members present were:
Mr Hamid Ansari, Dr Asghar Ali Engineer, Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, Mr Jimmy Dabhi,Vinod Raina, Prof Ranu Jain, Prof Ashok Anshuman , Mr Khalid Ansari, Mr Achyut Yagnik, Mr Vibhuti Narain Rai, Prof Hasan Mansoor, Mr Tayeb Khan, Justice P K Shamshuddin, , Ms Salcha Begum, Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Apoorva Anand, Ms Purva Bharadwaj, Prf T K Oomen, Mr Hasan Mansoor, Mr L S Hardenia, Ms Muniza Khan, Ms Suchitra Seth , Mr Chand Peer, Mr Shirish Hardenia, , Mr Seraj Hasan, Mr Mansoor Ali, Mr Aftab Alam, Mr Rakesh, Prof Qamar Agha, Meera Mishra, Vyas Ji, Mr Ravindra Roy Mr Munshi ,Bader Jehan, Bella Das
The Resolutions below were passed.
Drafting Committee- Mr Vinod Raina, Mr Apoorva Anand
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY members of the National consultation on' Minorities and biases in the Text Books held on 13th and 14th January 2006 at USO House New Delhi.
The constitution of India ensures that all activities of the State would be directed towards strengthening of the fundamental nature of the Indian state which is secular and democratic. The State is also directed by the Constitution through Article 45 to inculcate scientific temper and critical attitude in the society through its actions. Recognizing the cultural and linguistic diversity of India , the Constitution states that all religions and cultures would be accorded equal respect by the state.
Education is a major activity through which the state is supposed to ensure that these fundamental constitutional Values are grounded firmly in the fabric of the Indian society.
We have however witnessed distressing action by the Central and State Governments over the years of violating the fundamental aspects of nation building, through the preparation of teaching -learning materials, both formal and supplementary made for our schools and children. The attempt to impose a particular religion as NATIONAL and to indoctrinate the young minds which results in promotion of hatred to other religions, cultures and communities must be deplored. Apart from textbooks and supplementary materials , systematic recruitment of teachers espousing such views has considerably enhanced this condemnable destruction of Indian composite culture .
Whereas these actions have taken place state after state, and are continuing still, the immediate example would be what is happening in Rajasthan right now. The Madhyamik Siksha Board , Rajasthan, Ajmer has published School Textbooks from class 8to class 12 in the years 2005-06 which contain highly objectionable content which are blatantly in conflict with the Constitution of India, especially the provisions of Article 15, 28, 21, 51A. These textbooks have been written with an underlying assumption of Indian Culture being synonymous with Hindu and Aryan culture. Manu ahs been described as the father of humankind and Brahma as the creator of this universe. An obsession with religion, an enthusiastic advocacy of the superiority of Hindu religion over other religions and defining Indianness in Savarkarite terms declaring those who do not consider their father land as their holy land as people with no entitlement as citizens are only some of the objectionable features of these books which range from History , Sanskrit to Science, Economics and Social Sciences. Fascism has been described as significant as it removes the ills of democracy.
Continuance of these textbooks is not permissible as they violate the Constitutional Right of an Indian Citizen to live in dignity with equal rights and the Child's universally accepted right to know and live in harmony and peace with others. They are unacceptable from the pedagogical point of view as they present themselves as the final, official version of truth and knowledge.
All secular and rational Indians, in particular Adivasis, Dalits, Minority groups cannot allow their tax and other money to be used to
propagate and impose a violent world view on their children through school textbooks.
We therefore demand that :
1. Strict guidelines be legislated for each state and the center regarding the constitution of textbook committees, substantial representation of all communities in them, their transparency and responsibilities; with suggested penal action when they prepare material that violates constitutional values.
The Central Government stop its share of funds slated for school education to such erring sates, immediately
Rajasthan if they fail to withdraw these textbooks immediately.
The Rajasthan Government withdraw these textbooks with immediate effect.
Drafting committee- Professor Imtiaz Ahmed, Justice P K Shamshuddin,Mr Vibhutit Narain Rai, Dr Jimmy Dhabi S.J.
To demand public scrutiny of Educational Materials of Non-Governmental Educational Organisation/Institutions
The Constitution of India ensures that all activities of the various States in India should be directed towards promoting and strengthening secular and democratic ethos, gender justice, equality, scientific temper, and critical consciousness. The Constitution provides certain autonomy to the States in various areas and levels at the same time directing the States to conform to the values, ethos and the spirit of Fraternity (assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation) enshrined in the Preamble and Articles 14, 15, 21, 28 and 51 (A).
Through various studies, observations and information we have learnt that many Private, Minority, Aided and Unaided, Recognised and Unrecognised educational organisations/institutions in various States violate the secular ethos enshrined in the constitution through their education content, out reach programmes and organisational processes. The text books, supplementary reading material, songs, cassettes, CDs, plays, socio-cultural practices/exercises and symbols are often used to promote division, hatred among various groups/communities and further discourage scientific, rational and critical temper among students. These material and symbols are used to indoctrinate minds of children and people in and through these organisations.
Therefore without undermining the autonomy of various States in India and fundamental rights of the minorities, we the participants of 'National Consultation on Minorities and Biases in Text Books, who met on 13-14 January 2007, New Delhi, resolve that all the text books, supplementary reading material, pamphlets, songs, symbols and socio-cultural exercises and activities carried and used in Private, Minority, Majority, Aided and Unaided, Recognised and/or Unrecognized educational organisations/institutions must be subjected to public scrutiny to ensure that these organisations/institutions through their educational material, output and processes within these organisation adhere to and not violate Constitutional norms and ethos.