Dinanath Batra’s books receive support in some quarters

The books will help build the character of students, says Education Minister

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:05 pm IST

Published - July 29, 2014 12:53 am IST - Ahmedabad:

Some educationists in Gujarat seem to be unperturbed by the message that parts of RSS pracharak Dinanath Batra books for schools send out to children.

“Which school did you go to? You went to an English medium school? Did you not have a moral science textbook? When Christian missionaries have moral science books, no one questions them. When the Gujarat government does it, the media raises its hackles. If ethical and moral values are taught, then what is wrong?” Bhaskar Patel of the Ahmedabad Shala Sanchalak Mandal, an independent body of school trusts, told The Hindu .

State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama has said the books, which are prescribed as references, would help build the character of students.

While Batra’s books have many a tale on courage displayed by women, a story on Shivaji’s mother misses the mark, advocating a ‘Hinduised’ form of valour, that is ‘Durga Shakti’.

The story ‘Heroic Wife’ reinforces a patriarchal view of marriage using a historical tale about Shivaji’s mother Jijabai. Once when she is in Mughal captivity, her father Jadhavrao, posted in the Nizam’s empire, implores her to leave her pitiable condition and go with him. Jijabai replies, “The day I married, the day I became part of the Bhonsale family, my tie with your family ended. I am the wife of the valiant Bhonsale family. I prefer the ‘roti’ at my husband’s place than the food at your house.”

Mystifying the story further, Mr. Batra adds, “While speaking Jijabai looked like goddess Durga. Jadhavrao felt a sense of shame to wait there and he left.”

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