Communist Party of India Calls for Multicultural Rewrite of History Textbooks

July 16, 2004

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On July 16, 2004 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "In the past five years, Indian schoolchildren of all faiths have learned quite a bit about the culture of the Hindu majority. With the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party in charge, history textbooks were rewritten to extol the virtues of Indian kings like Shivaji and the Mauriyan and Vijayanagar empires. Hindu values were openly promoted in school, and ancient subjects like Hindu astrology, Ayurvedic medicine, and even the system of mental calculations known as Vedic mathematics were taught alongside more modern subjects such as astronomy, chemistry, and accounting. Last week, the allies of the newly elected Congress government, the Communist Party of India, called for yet another rewrite of Indian history, this time with a broader view of India's many cultures instead of focusing on the religion of the majority. The root of this historical conflict runs deep into the very definition of India itself. Is India essentially a secular country, where many religions and cultures coexist and blend? Or is India a nation formed on Hindu values, where non-Hindu religions must conform to Hindu values and traditions? It is this core question has unwittingly turned Indian schoolrooms into a cultural battleground."