16 May, 2021

Test-Tubes In Hastinapur

Myth and epic are being introduced as fact into school curricula of states

Test-Tubes In Hastinapur

The first test tube baby was born in India, 7,600 years ago, and he was called Dronacharya. Ancient sages divined a long time back the leaps in technology we see today, such as stem cell research. Perplexed? This is part of school curricula in India; the first a gem from a Class IX science textbook; the second from Dinanath Batra’s Tejomay Bharat, now supplementary reading in Gujarat. A Hindi textbook for Class VIII students in Kar­na­taka twists a Kannada folktale to have a tiger sermonise beatifically on how eating beef is sinful (see box).

Last year, primary schoolchildren in Punjab were told shehar diyaan kudiyaan (city girls) were husn phuljharian (sparklers). Elsewhere, another girl’s arrival in college was hailed as ‘college wich aaya patola’ (a gorgeous girl has come to college). The books, which were meant for primary class students, were withdrawn after educationists directed that the highly sexist and inappropriate content be deleted. But not before causing a major embarrassment to the state...

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