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`Do not approach history from Macaulay or Marx's viewpoint'

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, SEPT. 25. The former Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Murli Manohar Joshi, today said Indian history should be taught in such a way that the entire past of the country was shared by all citizens.

The great Indian culture was common to all and should be shared by all, he said, speaking on the `present education scenario and responsibilities of educationists' at a meeting organised by the State unit of the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti here.

Refuting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government's charge that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime had saffronised or toxified history textbooks, Dr. Joshi said that it was the Congress and Communist parties which were distorting Indian history. The Vajpayee Government only updated textbooks and curricula, as they had not been reviewed for nearly three decades.

Dr. Joshi accused the UPA Government of putting on hold the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's proposal to present an award to the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for its role in preparing textbooks. As the honour to the country was stalled, any government recommendation to the world body in future would be taken only with a pinch of salt, he said.

The country's history should be taught from a proper perspective, he said. It should not be approached from the viewpoint of Macaulay or Marx. The process of "distorting" the nation's history started in the early 1970s under the Congress rule, he said.

`Saffron India's soul'

Stating that saffron represented India's soul, Dr. Joshi cautioned against any attempt to condense the early part of history right from the pre-Vedic era and at giving priority only to medieval history, which was full of defeats suffered by the nation.

He would "continue to vigorously oppose this approach of teaching history." If his efforts at restoring Indian history teaching in the correct perspective were dubbed saffronisation of education, he would continue to do so "for many lives to come".

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