Withdrawal of Social Science Textbook for Std. IX published by Gujarat State

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    Government of Gujarat
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    Concerned citizens of Gujarat
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(Copies of this Petition will be sent to The Education Minister of Gujarat State, North-west India; The Gujarat State Board of School Textbooks; The Governor of Gujarat; the President of India; The Prime Minister of India; The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India; The NCERT and other related education departments at the national level)


The Hon. Minister of Education
Government of Gujarat
Gandhinagar
Gujarat, INDIA

Dear Madam,

We the undersigned wish to draw your attention to the Social Science Textbook for Std. IX published (in June 2005) by the Gujarat State Board of School Textbooks.

This Textbook has been carefully researched and almost every page is filled with errors. More than three-hundred errors have been found in this book. These include historical distortions and omissions, factual inaccuracies, value judgments, biases against minorities, women and youth. All this besides the use of atrocious language throughout the book.

The rejoinder that is normally given by your Textbook Board is that since the original manuscript is prepared in Gujarati, there are bound to be some errors which creep into the translation. This is totally unacceptable because we have researched the Gujarati Textbook too and find similar historical distortions {due to such religious rigidity of the Portuguese, the faith towards religious neutrality and impartiality of Pope in the European states started shaking (pg 4)}; factual inaccuracies {eg. widow remarriage is considered one of the reasons for the rise in population in India(pg 161)}; several omissions {eg. there is no mention of Hitlers role in the concentration camps, the holocaust and the extermination of millions of Jews; in fact, the role of Hitler is seen as always positive (pg 11)}; value judgments {the youth group is a non productive part of the nation. They are simply the consumers of material goods and services (pg 164)}; insinuations {Turkey was defeated in World War I so Indian Muslims were not happy (pg 29)}; and ridiculous statements (wild animals are like our family members (pg 155)}.This is ONLY a sampling !

Besides this, the Textbook (in English) is meant for students who are studying in the higher level medium of instruction hence the teachers, parents and educationists would expect that at least grammatically and language-wise, the Textbook would not have so many mistakes.

Above all, in the Preface, an assurance is given (not once but thrice) we have taken sufficient care to prepare fault free textbook.

The research on this Textbook makes it evidently clear that the children of Std. IX of Gujarat cannot be subject to the burden of going through a course which is not merely substandard but in fact will confuse them, make them prejudiced towards other communities, have an unhealthy impact on them and may also put their careers in jeopardy.

It is our demand therefore, that you withdraw this Textbook immediately and unconditionally.

We await your written response,