Dinanath Batra, author who was responsible for the pulping of American scholar Wendy Doniger’s book, has been prescribed compulsory reading in Gujarat schools.
The State government has issued a circular dated June 30 for six of Dr. Batra’s books to all 42,000 primary and secondary schools in the State, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, told The Hindu .
A local daily reported that Mr. Batra’s books which dished out homilies such as not blowing candles for birthdays as it was against “western culture” and others which spoke of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Tibet, Nepal, Bhtan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar as part of undivided India or “Akhand Bharat” have been proscribed as “supplementary literature” in schools.
“These are reference books and part of the syllabus. The writer Mr. Batra was once a member of NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) an organisation associated with nationalist thought. Mr. Batra’s books are on Indian culture, history, character building, maths and other subjects. We have requested teachers and principals to read and teach the syllabus with these reference books. It may be useful,” Mr. Chudasama said.
Asked if the books were compulsory reading, he said, “Yes, there are a must-read.”
Mr. Batra stirred up a controversy earlier this year when he filed a lawsuit against Ms. Doniger’s book The Hindus: An Alternative History . Publisher Penguin India buckled and decided to destroy all copies of the book.