Letters

Letters to the Editor — July 18, 2020

State of the INC

What is happening in Rajasthan right now, and what happened prior to that in Madhya Pradesh, indicate that the Congress Party no longer has public-service minded individuals — its trademark during the freedom struggle and the initial years of Independence. Now, there are only selfish individuals hankering after power and pelf and in pursuit of their goals even at the expense of harming the party. Unless there is a thorough overhaul, there may be no hope left for the party.

V. Padmanabhan,

Bengaluru

 

Kerala Act

As far as the report, “SC to examine Kerala Act on animal, bird sacrifices” (July 17), is concerned, readers should know that the progressive Regent, Maharani Lakshmibai of Travancore, had banned animal sacrifice in temples as early as 1929 (Travancore State Manual, Vol.II). The 1968 Act must have been for extension to Malabar too.

Abraham Arakal,

Alappuzha, Kerala

New chairperson

The elevation of Ms. Malini Parthasarathy as the new chairperson of The Hindu Group is a milestone. As a long-time reader of the daily, I recollect her focus and writings on Sri Lanka and Pakistan. I hope that she will guide the paper to the highest standards of journalism.

 

C.A.C. Murugappan,

Kothamangalam, Tamil Nadu

Members in my family have been loyal readers of The Hindu . As Chairman, Mr. N. Ram must be complimented for his courageous, bold and objective stand on many an issue, without deviating from professional standards. He leaves behind a legacy of great leadership and independence. Our best wishes to the new chairperson as she prepares to steer the ship.

S. George,

Thiruvanathapuram

The Hindu was known for its conservatism, which old-timers thought was its strength. Mr. Ram brought about a sea change in the approach to issues, national and otherwise. Ms. Parthasarathy too has made a mark with her in-depth analysis of issues. I am sure the venerated newspaper will continue to illuminate its readers with its diversity and in-depth analysis of current events. I have been a reader for well over 80 years.

S.S. Rajagopalan,

Chennai

Though the appointment of Ms. Parthasarathy to her new role is an internal issue, the outpouring of greetings from various political leaders and political parties suggests The Hindu ’s strong sway over the political class, and its core asset — ubiquitous readers who look forward to its mesmerising coverage of events and of reflecting the collective voice of the people through its impactive Editorials. In such a backdrop, it becomes incumbent upon the new Chairperson to carry forward this rich legacy to even greater heights.

V.S. Jayaraman,

Chennai

Social science

I recently read an article titled “Nurturing citizens in social studies” in The Hindu (OpEd, July 13). I am currently in Grade 12 studying in the ISC syllabus and one of my elective subjects is History. I chose History because I love the subject, and I think it is important to clearly understand the events of the past to know how they have affected our present, and how they will continue to affect our future. But that is not what history has become. Instead of analysing events, we memorise them, write the exam and forget them the next day. So when I was informed that our syllabus was to be cut by around 30%, I, along with many of my classmates, was thrilled.

Then I read the article. At first, I didn’t quite understand it. The slashing of the syllabus seemed quite random to me. So I went back to the old syllabus and compared it with the new one. As I compiled a list of all the topics that had been slashed, a pattern began to emerge.

To a large extent, progressive movements in India’s history, and movements that are not aligned with the government’s agenda had been slashed. The Women’s Rights Movements in India, the growth of socialism as a viable alternative, communalism as a problem in the 1930s-40s, Subhash Chandra Bose and his militant-leftist Forward Bloc, and the embarrassing two years of the Janata party’s rule from 1977-99 have all been removed. The origin of the Kashmir problem and the India-Pakistan wars are also gone, which is highly odd in my opinion. We are on hostile terms with China, and have always been with Pakistan, and how are we supposed to understand the problems in these areas, and work towards a solution, if we don’t know the facts behind their origin? Will we be led to believe a misinterpreted, falsified version of events that will spur us on to hate Pakistan and China in the name of nationalism, and brainwash us to believe that every action of the rightist government is for our good? This could eventually lead to all-out war when peace is the answer that is truly beneficial for our nation.

In World History, the decolonisation of China has been entirely scrapped, as if any mention of our shared history with our communist neighbour shouldn’t be seen, and the role of the U.S. in the breaking apart of the Soviet Union has been removed, leading us students to believe that the Soviet Union fell apart by itself, as if socialism was always doomed to fail. I am not an advocate of extreme leftism, but I know that I have a right to learn about its philosophies and history. How can such an important part of our World’s history be eliminated to make us walk along a path that shows leftism as violent and anti-nationalist? Also surprisingly, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States has been removed. Especially now in the time of the highly important Black Lives Matter movement, which could easily be applied to the marginalised in India, I feel it is more important than ever to understand the problems of racism. Again, how do you solve a problem if you don’t know where it begins?

Some may say I’m reading too deep into this. I say that they’re reading too little. Social science is perhaps the most under-appreciated subject, with all of us rushing off to become engineers and doctors, and it’s high time this has changed. It is society’s job to make sure any attempts at reducing the importance and value of education are unsuccessful, so thank you for publishing this timely article, and giving students like me a new perspective on this action.

Safdar Kilaru,

Hyderabad


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 7:53:10 am | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-july-18-2020/article32118505.ece