The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) with a recommendation by the National Council of Educational Training and Research (NCERT) has dropped chapters about the Non-Alignment Movement, the Cold War era, the rise of Islamic empires in the Afro-Asian territories, the chronicles of Mughal courts and the industrial revolution from the history and political science syllabus of class 11 & 12. In the class 10 syllabus, they dropped topics such as the impact of globalization on agriculture from a chapter on food security, the translated excerpts from two poems in Urdu by Faiz Ahmed Faiz on religion, communalism, and politics which include communalism and secular state section. Officials maintained that the rationale behind these choices as a part of the rationalization of the syllabus as reported.
In the process of transforming the Indian education system, the 4th Five-Year Plan combined education with manpower and made education into a production line for GDP multipliers. With traditional rote learning, the Indian education system failed and is still failing to create a social human being instead it went on to create individual egoistic human beings with ignorance of human values. This education system failed in creating an equitable society by not exposing and uprooting the discrimination existing in society, this is evident from the 96% of increase of communal rights in 2020.
The failure of this existing education system to revolutionize the society to get rid of casteism, communalism, and patriarchy, allowed anti-pluralist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to conduct these exercises such as fabricating history and excluding important topics from textbooks to suit their party’s propaganda, ideology, and agenda without opposition from the majority of the population which enjoys practicing several forms of discrimination as part of their religion and culture.
This overall exercise in the higher secondary syllabus is an indoctrination drive by the state authority which is governed by the anti-pluralist BJP. The void left due to the inaction of the previous centrist-liberal regimes to consolidate its vote bank enabled the present electoral autocratic administration of the BJP to take advantage of this void with vocal support from reactionary sections of society.
This fascist BJP which came to power by exploiting the existing patriarchy, religious communalism, casteism, and other forms of discrimination which is practiced by every section of Indian society. Now, BJP efficiently tries to fill the void by the indoctrination of young people starting from their school education. The exclusion of these historical facts and critical theories which are contrasting with the BJP’s ideology makes the students remain apolitical but with all the stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination fed by the Indian society.
Today BJP’s propaganda and conspiracy theories are widespread on social media and various online platforms. The exposure of school students to social media and access to the internet on a vast scale after Covid-19, and with the unavailability of multiple opinions due to exclusion of these critical topics in their formative years of education makes the students devoid of the primary critical thinking on this fascist propaganda which appeals to them because of the already existing discrimination practiced in Indian society which they were taught, observe and practice while growing up.
This control of opinion makes them career-oriented and with the strong appealing availability of fascist propaganda because of its branding of masculinity and misogyny, students tend to cultivate ideological loneliness in their formative years of education. This ideological loneliness in the young minds transforms them to become the reactionary vote bank for BJP and paves way for the inception of totalitarianism in the future.
In a globalized world, achieving totalitarian administration may look impossible, with the whirlwind spread of hyper-nationalism, and jingoism in recent years due to the lack of social knowledge imparted by the inefficient Indian education system and instruments to suppress voices of critiques and dissidents who not only understand and critique the state action but also adds to the discourses and understanding of every citizen through their actions and critiques enables students to adhere to the fascist ideology.
This whirlwind spread can be identified by India’s drop in Press Freedom Index, 2022 to the 150th position because the vast amount of citizens either support or remain silent when critical voices against state authority are suppressed. This adherence is the outcome of the opportunistic and career-oriented characteristics imparted by the education system which lacks in providing critical analyses and quality education even before COVID-19 which is evident from the Annual Status of Education Report, 2019.
When young minds adhere to a single ideology without any choices, they become slaves to ideology, this process enables BJP to become an absolute autocracy as expected and its goal of dictating duties without people expecting or fighting for rights was addressed by Modi too. This indoctrination drive is a futuristic exercise to cover youths of India and make them the vote bank and reactionaries of the BJP which we witnessed in the Karnataka anti-hijab rally by students this drive also tries to purge several facts which shaped discrimination in Indian society. Exposing the existence of discrimination and extremism is an important process to fight against it.
BJP tries to create exceptionalism in existing Indian culture which practices patriarchy, casteism, communal extremism, and other forms of discrimination by excluding topics that are critical of it. Through creating exceptionalism it takes out the liberty of fighting against a known obvious enemy which is various forms of discrimination and extremism instead it makes the victim of discrimination prove that discrimination exists who lacks critical education at school due to exclusion of topics to suit their fascist political ideology. This drive of creating uninformed career-oriented school students who lack critical thinking will help BJP in its goal of eliminating one of its greatest opposition which is student activism in higher education institutions, and it’ll make discrimination a natural order.
- PTI. 2022. CBSE drops chapters on Islamic empires, Cold war from syllabus; Verses of Faiz also excluded. The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cbse-drops-chapters-on-islamic-empires-cold-war-from-syllabus-verses-of-faiz-also-excluded/article65347859.ece
- Government of India. 1969. Fourth Five Year Plan, Ch.16. https://niti.gov.in/planningcommission.gov.in/docs/plans/planrel/fiveyr/4th/4planch16.html
- T. Rajapandian. 2022. Increase in Communal Riots: BJPs Action and Inaction. The Second Angle. https://thesecondangle.com/increase-in-communal-riots-bjps-action-and-inaction/
- Hannah Arendt (1951). 1979. The origins of Totalitarianism. A Harvest Book.
- Special Correspondent. 2020. Annual Status of Education Report Flags Poor outcomes in schools. The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/aser-flags-poor-learning-outcomes-in-schools/article30569671.ece
- Hindu Data Team. 2022. India’s Press Freedom Rankings Slips to 150th, its lowest ever. The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/data/data-the-worrying-state-of-press-freedom-in-india/article65384769.ece
- T. Rajapandian. 2022. Modi, his obsession of dictating duties. Maktoob Media. https://maktoobmedia.com/2022/02/28/modi-his-obsession-of-dictating-duties/
- Karnataka Bureau. 2022. Hijab issue: Protests, Counter-Protests held. The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hijab-issue-protests-counter-protests-held/article38394169.ece
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