• Monday, Sep 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Rabindranath on the way out in India?

  • Published at 05:52 am July 17th, 2021
Rabindranath Tagore Wikimedia Commons

The works of a few other noted Indian and English writers and poets have also been omitted

An education board in India has removed the works of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and former President Dr S Radhakrishnan from its English syllabus for students of Classes 10 and 12.

Several Indian newspapers, including Anadabazar Patrika, however, reported that the write-ups of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and yoga guru Baba Ramdev will be added to the syllabuses.

The decision made by the Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad (UPMSP) is meant for the new academic session (2021-22), according to the news reports.

Indian media outlet News18 earlier this month reported that Tagore’s story ‘The Home Coming’ and Dr Radhakrishnan’s essay ‘The Women’s Education’ were dropped from the curriculum of class 12.

The list does not stop here; the works of a few other noted Indian and English writers and poets have also been omitted.

Mulk Raj Anand’s short story ‘The Lost Child’ and RK Narayanan’s ‘An Astrologer’s Day’ have also been removed from the Class 12 syllabus. Additionally, works of PB Shelley and John Milton have also been dropped.

From Class 10 syllabus, Sarojini Naidu’s poem ‘The Village Song’ has been dropped along with works of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, WM Raeburn, and R Srinivasan, the report stated.

The board, which is implementing the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) syllabus for English, said that students would be required to study fewer books.

There used to be four books besides grammar in class 12 till now but with the new syllabus, there will be only two books — ‘Flamingo’ and ‘Vistas’ that will be taught to class 12 students.

Reacting to the move, the West Bengal education minister on Friday alleged that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was making an attempt to saffronise education by excluding chapters on secularism in the party-ruled states.

Bratya Basu said: “The BJP is trying to saffronise the education. If they have excluded Tagore’s story from syllabus, it shows their regressive mindset. 

“Tagore is a secular personality as is evident from his works. The BJP is not comfortable with such ideologies. That’s why they are removing works of Tagore, Dr Radhakrishnan from school curriculum,” he added. 

Adityanath’s book "Hathyoga Ka Swaroop va Sadhna" and Baba Ramdev’s "Yog Sadhna va Yog Chikitsa Rahasya", which extols yoga’s abilities to cure illnesses, have already been incorporated in the philosophy syllabus of a public university in the state.

When contacted, officials of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka declined to comment on the removal of Tagore's work.

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