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Monday, June 5, 2023

Islamization of Education Shows Where West Bengal is Headed

West Bengal is being Islamized at breakneck speed under Mamta Banerjee. First came the absolute domination of physical & political space by Islamists – exemplified by a series of small-scale riots targeting hapless poor Hindus and the shocking fatwa against PM Modi by Imam Barkati in presence of TMC MP Idris Ali. Now comes the capture of the core of any culture and civilization – its education system.

The traditional name for rainbow in Bengali is ‘Ramdhenu’ or Bhagwan Ram’s bow. However, the West Bengal Council for Higher Education has replaced the word with ‘Rongdhenu’ or bow of colours in school textbooks, as ‘Ram’ is claimed to upset Muslims. ‘Rongdhenu’ is a completely made-up word as per Bengali linguistic experts.

Not only rainbow, in the Class VII ‘Environment and Science’ book’s ‘Barnali’ chapter, one of the colours of ‘Rongdhenu’ has been mentioned as ‘Aasmani’, an Urdu word for sky blue that is widely used in Muslim-majority Bangladesh instead of ‘Akaashi’ that is used in West Bengal.

After formation of Pakistan, under directions of the government, a committee headed by Md Sahidullah gave several suggestions of change of ‘Hindu-influenced’ words in Bengali language of East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) with that of more Islamised words that were basically loaned from Farsi. The same strategy is now being adopted in West Bengal, a state with 27% Muslims as per Census 2011.

Another example of this Islamization of educational curriculum and language was revealed by a Hindu Samhati activist  –

So Baba & Maa has now become Abba & Amma. Where will this end?

Media quick to compare with Alleged Saffronization under BJP

Of course, MSM reports on even this issue don’t fail to monkey-balance by claiming that the while West Bengal is ‘secularizing’ it education (notice how they fail to use the obvious word – ‘Islamization’), many BJP ruled states are trying to ‘saffronize’ education. This is what a New Indian Express report says  –

“..in an attempt to ‘secularise’ the word, as opposed to saffronisation attempts in texts books of several BJP-ruled states, the West Bengal Council for Higher Education…”

Let us see one example of this alleged saffronization – the label was used against the current BJP Government in Rajasthan when they revamped textbooks to teach children more about historical figures like Maharaja Surajmal, questioned ‘greatness’ of Emperor Akbar (he did after all kill 30000 innocent civilians after capturing the fort of Chittorgarh and caused the death of 1000s of Rajput women who self-immolated through jauhar to escape rape and worse at the hands of the invaders), and introduced local freedom struggle revolutionaries like Hemu Kalani & Govind Guru…all this is ‘saffronization’ for the left-liberal historians and academics who have held a vice-like grip on education sector since Independence.

How Education Was Captured

Let us take a look at the country’s Education/HRD Ministers since Independence –

S.No. Name of Education Ministers Tenure Duration
1 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 15th August 1947-22nd January 1958 10 Years, 5 Months
2 Dr. K. L. Shrimali(Minister of State) 22nd January 1958-31st August 1963 4 Years, 6 Months
3 Humayun Kabir 1st September 1963-21st November 1963 3 Months
4 Mahommedali Currim Chagla (Jinnah’s ex-secretary) 21st November 1963-13th November 1966 2 Years, 1 Month
5 Shri. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed 14th November 1966-13th March 1967 5 Months
6 Dr. Triguna Sen 16th March 1967-14th February 1969 1 Year, 5 Months
7 Dr. V. K. R. V. Rao 14th February 1969-18th March 1971 2 Years, 2 Months
8 Shri. Siddhartha Shankar Ray 18th March 1971-20th March 1972 1 Year
9 Prof. S. Nurul Hasan(as Minister of State) 24th March 1972-24th March 1977 5 Years
10 Prof. Pratap Chandra Chunder  26th March 1977-28th July 1979 2 Years, 4 Months
11 Dr. Karan Singh 30th July 1979-14th January 1980 6 Months
12 Shri. B. Shankaranand 14th January 1980-17th October 1980 10 Months
13 Shri. S.B. Chavan 17th October 1980-8th August 1981 11 Months
14 Smt. Sheila Kaul(Nehru’s sister-in-law) 10th August 1981-31st December 1984 3 Years, 8 Months
15 Shri. K. C. Pant 31st December 1984-25th September 1985 9 Months
16 Shri. P.V. Narasimha Rao
(As a Prime Minister)
25th September 1985-25th June 1988,
25th December 1994-9th February 1995,
17th January 1996-16th May 1996
3 Years, 4 Months +
3 Months +
5 Months
17 Shri. P.Shiv Shankar 25th June 1988-2ndDecember 1989 1 Year, 6 Months
18 Shri. V.P. Singh(as Prime Minister) 2nd December 1989-10th November 1990 1 Year
19 Shri. Rajmangal Pandey 21st November 1990-21st June 1991 8 Months
20 Shri. Arjun Singh 23rd June 1991-24th December 1994,
22nd May 2004-22nd May 2009
3 Years, 6 Months +
6 Years
21 Shri. Madhavrao Scindia 10th February 1995-17th January 1996 1 year
22 Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (as Prime Minister) 16th May 1996-1st June 1996 1 Month
23 Shri. S.R. Bommai 5th June 1996-19th March 1998 1 Years, 9 Months
24 Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi 19th March 1998-21st May 2004 5 Years, 8 Months
25 Shri Kapil Sibal 22nd May 2009-28th October 2012 3 Years, 3 Months
26 Shri. M. M. Pallam Raju 29th October 2012-25th May 2014 2 Years, 3 Months
27 Smt. Smriti Irani 26th May 2014-5thJuly 2016 2 Years, 2 Months
28 Shri. Prakash Javdekar 5th July 2016 (evening)-Till Date 3 months-till date

For 18 of the first 30 years after Independence, the crucial education portfolio was with Muslims – this in a country that had witnessed a horrific partition based on a 2-nation Islamist theory advocated by educated, progressive Muslims like Jinnah! The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty ensured that we lost the opportunity to teach true history to future generations….the mentality which led to partition was never countered, on the contrary it was implicitly promoted. To better understand the thinking behind this Congress/Nehruvian impulse to rewrite history, lets se what Indologist Koenraad Elst writes

“The political context of the first attempts at negationism – i.e. denial of the millennium-long attack of Islam on Hinduism – was chiefly the attempt of the independence movement, led by the Indian National Congress, to eliminate all factors of disunity between Hindus and Muslims….After the communal riots of Kanpur in 1931, a Congress report advised the elimination of the mutual enemy- image by changing the contents of the history-books.

The next generation of political leaders, especially the left-wing that was to gain control of Congress in the thirties, and complete control in the fifties, would profess negationism very explicitly. The radical humanist (i.e. bourgeois Marxist) M.N. Roy wrote that Islam had fulfilled a historic mission of equality and abolition of discrimination, and that for this, Islam had been welcomed into India by the lower castes.

The best-known propounder of negationism was certainly Jawarharlal Nehru. He was rather illiterate concerning Indian culture and history, so his admirers may invoke for him the benefit of doubt. At any rate, his writings contain some crude cases of glorification of Muslim tyrants and concealment or denial of their crimes.”

..A second factor in the genesis of negationism was the penetration of Western ideas among a part of the Muslim elite, and especially the (in Europe newly emerged) positive valuation of tolerance. The Islamic elite was concentrated around two educational institutes, spearheads of the traditional and of the (superficially) westernizing trends among Indian Muslims. One was the theological academy at Deoband, the other the British-oriented Aligarh Muslim university.

The Deoband school was (and is) orthodox-Islamic, and rejected modern values like nationalism and democracy. It simply observed that India had once been a Dar-ul-Islam (house of Islam), and that therefore it had to be brought back under Muslim control. The fact that the majority of the population consisted of non-Muslims was not important: in the medieval Muslim empires the Muslims had not been in a majority either, and moreover, demography and conversion could yet transform the Muslim minority into a majority.

Among the scions of the Deoband school we find Maulana Maudoodi, the chief ideologue of modern fundamentalism. He opposed the Pakistan scheme and demanded the Islamization of all of British India. After independence, he settled in Pakistan and agitated for the full Islamization of the (still too British) polity. Shortly before his death in 1979, his demands were largely met when general Zia launched his Islamization policy.

Outsiders will be surprised to find that the same school of which Maudoodi was a faithful spokesman, also brought forth Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who was Congress president for several terms and who was to become minister of Education in free India. Understandably but unjustifiably, Azad has often been described as as moderate and nationalist Muslim: he rejected the Partition of India and the foundation of Pakistan, not because he rejected the idea of a Muslim state, but because he wanted all of India to become a Muslim state in time.

When in the forties the Partition seemed unavoidable, Azad patronized proposals to preserve India’s unity, stipulating that half of all members of parliament and of the government had to be Muslims (then 24% of the population), with the other half to be divided between Hindus, Ambedkarites, Christians, and the rest. Short, a state in which Muslims would rule and non-Muslims would be second-class citizens electorally and politically. The Cabinet Mission Plan, proposed by the British as the ultimate sop for the Muslim League, equally promised an effective parity between Muslims and non-Muslims at the Central Government level and a veto right for the Muslim minority. Without Gandhiji’s and other Congress leaders’ knowing, Congress president Azad assured the British negotiators that he would get the plan accepted by the Congress. When he was caught in the act of lying to the Mahatma about the plan and his assurance, he lost some credit even among the naive Hindus who considered him a moderate. But he retained his position of trust in Nehru’s cabinet, and continued his work for the ultimate transformation of India into a Muslim State.

Maulana Azad’s pleas for Hindu-Muslim co-operation had an esoteric meaning, clear enough for Muslims but invisible for wilfully gullible non-Muslims like his colleagues in the Congress leadership. Azad declared that Hindu-Muslim co- operation was in complete conformity with the Prophet’s vision, for “Mohammed had also made a treaty with the Jews of Madina”. He certainly had, but the practical impact of this treaty was that within a few years, two of the three Jewish clans in Medina had ben chased away, and the third clan had been massacred to the last man (the second clan had only been saved by the intervention of other Medinese leaders, for Mohammed had wanted to kill them too). Maulana Azad could mention Mohammed’s treaty with the Jews as a model for Hindu-Muslim co-operation only because he was confident that few Hindus were aware of the end of the story, and that better-informed Hindus honoured a kind of taboo on criticism of Islam and its Prophet.

This parenthesis about Maulana Azad may help clear up some illusions which Hindus and Westerners fondly entertain about the possibility of Islamic moderacy. The Deoband school was as fundamentalist in its Azad face as it was in its Maudoodi heart, and its spokesmen had no problems with the horrors of Islamic history, nor did they make attempts to rewrite it. That Muslims had persecuted and massacred Hindus, counted as the fulfilment of Allah’s salvation plan to transform the whole world into a Dar-ul-Islam. As Mohammed Iqbal wrote: “All land belongs to the Muslims, because it belongs to their God.” (Iqbal would, however, end up in the Aligarh camp, cfr. infra) Maulana Azad shared this view of history. He condemned Moghul emperor Akbar’s tolerant rule as the near-suicide of Indian Islam, and praised fanatics like the theologian Ahmad Sirhindi, who through his opposition to Akbar’s tolerance had brought the Moghul dynasty back on the right track of Hind-persecution.

Unlike the Deoband school, the Aligarh school tried to reconcile Islam with modern culture. It understood the principles of democracy and majority rule, and recognized that a modern democracy would be incompatible with the transformation of India into an Islamic state as long as Muslims only formed a minority. The tactical opposition against the disadvantageous system of democracy was underpinned ideologically by Mohammed Iqbal, who criticized it as a system in which heads are counted but not weighed. But Iqbal understood that democracy was the wave of the near future, and, together with more modern and sincerely democracy-minded people in the Muslim intelligentsia, he faced the logical consequence that the Muslims had to give up the ambition of gaining control over all of India immediately. Instead they should create a separate state out of the Muslim-majority areas of India: Pakistan. The ideal of Pakistan was launched by Iqbal in 1930, and in 1940 it became the official political goal of the Muslim League. Aligarh Muslim University has often been described as the cradle of Pakistan.

From their better knowledge of and appreciation for modern culture, the Aligarh thinkers accepted the modern value of religious tolerance. Not to the extent that they would be willing to co-exist with the Hindus in a single post-colonial state, but at least to this extent that they wanted to do something about the imge of intolerance which Islam had come to carry. Around 1920 Aligarh historian Mohammed Habib launched a grand project to rewrite the history of the Indian religious conflict. The main points of his version of history are the following.

Firstly, it was not all that serious. One cannot fail to notice that the Islamic chroniclers (including some rulers who wrote their own chronicles, like Teimur and Babar) have described the slaughter of Hindus, the abduction of their women and children, and the destruction of their places of worship most gleefully. But, according to Habib, these were merely exaggerations by court poets out to please their patrons. One wonders what it says about Islamic rulers that they felt flattered by the bloody details which the Muslims chroniclers of Hindu persecutions have left us. At any rate, Habib has never managed to underpin this convenient hypothesis with a single fact.

Secondly, that percentage of atrocities on Hindus which Habib was prepared to admit as historical, is not to be attributed to the impact of Islam, but to other factors. Sometimes Islam was used as a justification post factum, but this was deceptive. In reality economic motives were at work. The Hindus amassed all their wealth in temples and therefore Muslim armies plundered these temples.

Thirdly, according to Habib there was also a racial factor: these Muslims were mostly Turks, savage riders from the steppes who would need several centuries before getting civilized by the wholesome influence of Islam. Their inborn barbarity cannot be attributed to the doctrines of Islam.

Finally, the violence of the Islamic warriors was of minor importance in the establishment of Islam in India. What happened was not so much a conquest, but a shift in public opinion: when the urban working-class heard of Islam and realized it now had a choice between Hindu law (smrti) and Muslim law (shariat), it chose the latter”

As we sow, so shall we reap. It might already be too late to correct the serious anomalies in our education system that the distorted idea of Nehruvian secularism has created, but every passing year that we shelve this important task, Islamization of curriculum like we are seeing today in West Bengal and Kerala will become more widespread.

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