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LETTER 2 EDITOR - The textbook: Pros and cons

There is an anecdote. A frog is kept in a bottle of water. The frog is comfortable and does not make any signs of discomfort. Nor does it make any effort to escape. The bottle is heated over low flame. The frog continues to remain quiet. Even after hours when the temperature is very high, the frog is quiet, and it remained so till it had a "peaceful" end. There can have many views on the frog's case-- acceptance, inability to respond, dispassionateness, tolerance, detachment, coolness, valour.

Changes in social, cultural and scientific ideologies are not sudden, they take time to gain acceptance. These changes have been continual and perpetual. Contrary to our notion, Europe's many nations have no religion, still they live peacefully, they hold names that are Christian, but do not know what is Christmas or Easter. People who marry people from the same sex and live legally together. All these do not appear to have any ill effect on the quality of their social fabric.

Man has freedom to develop his own views about anything and react with complete freedom till it does not hurt his fellow beings, and the society in general.

Coming back to the issue, I do not have any quarrel, being a citizen of a secular country, with some one who opts for any religion and even to be an atheist according to his conviction, albeit against my own views. Turning away from religion, there is another stage of same sex marriage, which is gaining acceptance. It is distressing for us today, but it need not be so one day, when some thing more distressing surfaces out. Who knows, I may accept this too.

But as person who has a faith of his own, I have a self imposed obligation to bring up my children imparting it to them through my own conduct and character by educating them, and more than any thing else, by being a living example through my way of life. I cannot practice some thing and teach my children some thing else. This is what I believe every religious minded person does and thinks. The seemingly innocuous conversation about the religion in the Class 7 textbook is "slow heating". No sir, let the frog live.

P T Mathew
P.O.Box 329
Doha Qatar


The teachings in the book are very much important in a multi-religious society. The book discusses contemporary social issues and would provoke the students to think critically. Education should help the students become socially responsible citizens and I think this is the right direction. The objection from religious sects is all because of this very fact - "The new text book will discuss contemporary issues and more importantly it will teach students to critically analyze social issues".

I ask the people who are agitating against the textbook to read chapter 3 in the textbook. There is a discussion about freedom and please think whether you are doing the right thing or whether you're becoming a nuisance to the society.

Congress as a party has done great things for the country but now I think they have become a group of thugs and opportunists. They are supporting these religious groups just to get "Secular Vote" in the next election.

Suresh R Nair
sureshrnair@yahoo.com

There are portions that favor the ideology of the ruling government. But we have a history of intolerance. Swami Vivekanada's comment is proof to it.

Politicians are selling religion, religion is selling polities and in the process, the people of Kerala are doomed.

Is there any thing wrong with this book? Nothing
Can we rewrite what is written by Nehru? I don't think so
Do you need an SSLC book to believe in your religion and faith? Religion has to be removed from all Government records.

Ashokan Vattakkattil
Nashville, TN 37209
ashokanv@hotmail.com

The question is: What is the government up to? Do they think the people of Kerala have elected them to pile up controversies? Have you people lost count of the controversies you've created and lost in the court? Learn from your mistakes. Please.

Whatever Mr. Baby may claim the book tries to promote his party by hook or crook. Why bring the untouchable era into the textbook? A passing reference would have been enough. Now it seems a deliberate attempt to politicise the matter.

There are lots of issues in our state, which need the immediate attention of our political leaders, irrespective of their political standing. If I say the Left parties are the main culprits behind the poor economical condition in the state, it won't be a be an exaggeration. It looks as if even God can't save God's Own Country.

Rajan Poonara Sambashivan
peeyes@hotmail.com


Sir
I read the book completely, and at first sight there is nothing wrong. But we should read the hand book given by the educational dept to support this text. It very clearly says that the said chapter (Jeevan) should conclude with t\promoting non-religiousness and encourage the pupils to live non-religiously. In India most people live with religion.

Why didn't it mention politically inspired violence (like in Kannur)
Why didn't it discuss the impact of bandh and hartal on the people?
Should students learn only about atrocities of religion but about political atrocities?
Withdraw the book, it's mixed with politics.

Raheemkodinhi
Sun East tourism LLC
Dubai

Thank you for providing the controversial 7th Standard Book for readers through Kerala Kaumudi.

I have gone through the book. I got the impression that there is nothing against religions in the text but from beginning to end it is talking in the language of communism and there is not much stuff inside to learn.

As a strong communist believer, I felt sad seeing the cheap and narrow ways by which these people are trying to spread communism.

Until 1980s, in the former Soviet Union, religious places were replaced with factories and history suitably changed. If we’re told our first Prime Minister didn’t have any religion, doesn’t it have some impact on the child’s respect for religion? This is a deliberately way of misleading a child and pointing him in the wrong direction. But now parents has to wake up and explain to their children the true history instead of leaving them to vague ideas in the textbook. Teachers also have to get away up from their various quarrels such as TA/DA strikes and assume moral responsibility to fine-tune the new generation. As for the textbook in question:
1 ) Statements which deviate from the actual history in any chapters have to be removed from the book and new text inserted based on the findings of an expert committee

2) Marriage between two human beings is all right initially…but…in order to go ahead with a family with unity, a belief in a way of worship irrespective of religion is necessary.

3) All religions have a motto of “SOS” .(Save our soul – In Sanskrit…Mrithoma Amritham Gamaya). But in the present world, especially in the globalization period, the value of human being has decreased. Inhumanity to teach other has increased. God is no longer feared to others are not respected.

The education wizards should not open the wrong door to the children. Once politics mixes with religion the innocent will suffer. That's the lesson of history.

Benny
Sharaf Group
Dubai
00971508762570

Actually I could not find anything wrong in the book.
I think such books are going to improve the vision of our kids.

Dr R T Narayanan,
Scientist in Neurophysiology,
Germany

I am reading a school textbook after a long time. It seems that the new version is a complete renovation of the learning stuff. They are trying to put up the contemporary social problems and moral standard of the present society in a dimension to provoke the students to think critically. It is a good attempt I say. But whether these things are to be taught through a textbook and that too to the students of 7 standard is a big question. Textbooks in our society are given more respect and authority. We are a multi-cultural society and therefore have to take great care and consideration in selecting the content of the text books. Better we keep away the viewpoint of any party.

The revolutionary reflections given through the text, trying to find some single events and incidents, the authenticity of the history of these we are not sure of, are a prejudiced way of seeing things, viewing the facts only from one aspect and disregarding others.

It is not desirable to involve a government directly to the content of textbooks. That was a system existed in the long past, when the dictatorship and feudalism were on the reign. But the system has gave way to democracy. In a democracy, it is important that we keep always a balance of truth and reality and move to the prosperity. For the good of education, it is better, that a expert committee, other than government instrument, which is built of qualified, well educated people, take the responsibility of choosing and forming a text book. More factors are to be considered, such as social, historical, environmental, psychological aspects.

Most important is that: Introduction of new text book in the last minute should not be allowed. Textbooks should be introduced to teachers and the public a year earlier, to make them available for study and analysis and more over the teachers get enough time to study and prepare the method and material to teach the book.


It may be prudent and the right thing, if the government withdraws the newly released textbooks from schools year and present them again after sufficient discussion and analyses by experts, with necessary.


Jose Naduvilan
"vikarjoseph@bluewin.ch" vikarjoseph@bluewin.ch

I have gone through your article as well as the textbook. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong in the book and no need to protest on this issue. It is unfortunate that the political parties take up unimportant matters and make people's life miserable.

God only can help "God's own country".
Murali Mohan

The book is as good or better than the previous one. It justifies the norms and standard of the 7th standard students.

Bashir Ahmed
Jeddah - "Bashir Ahmed" bashir@alarabiaoutdoor.com

School textbooks should not be the medium to teach communism.Communism is an ideology which failed all over the world (Chinese communism cannot be considered as communism.Moreover, Chinese people are working 10 and 12 hrs daily in offices and factories, for very nominal wages. Nobody can protest - they will be punished - like in Tianenmen Square.)Do we need such communism in Kerala?

Above and all, they have given as reference books works of a few well known communists in Kerala - why?

Why should the Kerala students read such irrelevant books? Remove such portions immediately.

Sherief Kunju - "Sherief Kunju" skunju@saudicable.com

I read the social studies book. The book is very valuable for children to understand our old culture, traditions and heroes of our nation. The book will touch little hearts. In my opinion this book will create a good attitude in children towards the cast differences.

Jayprakash
PB No 172507
Dubai
Cell-00971502023883

I read the 7th Standard controversial history textbook three times but I could not find anything wrong in the book.

Why is the Congress party all these political gimmicks against this book? They claim to be a secular party. What’s the threat they found against their secularism in this book? We all know that it’s time to change the name of ‘Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) to ‘Kerala Pradesh Christian Committee’, since all their functions and decisions are taken from the Bishop houses. The uproar over the 7th standard history book is the latest example.


Ravi - "ravi karayil" ravikarayil@hotmail.com

There is no need to withdraw this textbook. Congress led UDF should stop their political stunts. Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala should realize that Malaylees are well aware of their secularism and what they mean by it.

R. Ravindran,
Kudassanad
New Delhi

The agitation is a political stunt; I couldn’t see any controversial portion in the textbook The government should take strict action against the people who create violence over this.

Raj
narayanan.rajendran@jgcpgtl-site.com.qa

Thank you for providing the controversial 7th Standard Book for readers through Kerala Kaumudi.

I have gone through the book. I got the impression that there is nothing against religions in the text but from beginning to end it is talking in the language of communism and there is not much stuff inside to learn.

As a strong communist believer, I felt sad seeing the cheap and narrow ways by which these people are trying to spread communism.

P.Gopalakrishnan
P O Box 1753
Mwanza,
Tanzania, East Africa

I have gone through the book thoroughly and found nothing wrong. The message given through the book is very good.

Jeevanathan
P.O.Box. 23296
Dubai-UAE

Communist thinking is injected at this early age. When the child grows he can very well learn all these philosophies. There is no need to teach them at this curriculum level. The same thing holds good with caste lesson also; it will only add fuel to the fire.

Lesson on religion seems good.

Markose
03 566 2823 Exn 110
03 566 0698

Hearty congrats for giving an opportunity to someone like me, who is outside Kerala, to read and understand the book.

Reading the book a rational person can find the following points.

1.In my school days (20 yrs ago), the social studies portion was so boring and I usually mugged them up for the exams. This book has a very modern, attractive and interesting way of teaching method. This interactive way of study itself is a good change.

2.This book does not say anything against any caste, religion, or party.

3. In fact it is trying to convey the values of humanity to the young generation.

4. This book tries to remove the discrimination based on caste, creed or religion, which contaminated almost all Indians in to different degrees.

5. It tries to show students how the present is formed from the past (history)

6. As a whole it tries to fulfill the meaning of "Education" itself.

Then why all this protest? Only reason is that a few who are against the above points are trying to stir up the majority of their followers who haven't even seen the content of the book.
It is a shame for "Prabudha Keralam"!!!

M.L. Jayalal
Scientific Officer
Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research
Dept of Atomic Energy
Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu


I couldn't find out any religious matter in this book. We can always make any drastic subject change.

Thomas Varughese
Thomas.Varughese@CansultMaunsell.com

There is more CPM propaganda in the book than I thought. The reference books given are entirely by well-known CPM people. Most of the topics are well above the standards of a 7th standard student. I don't think that the motto of education is to spread inter religious marriage. This book creates that feeling.

B.Thomas,Cochin

I can't understand why the religious leaders got so agitated by this very practical textbook. The book tells the truth and is not against any religion.
This time I agree 100% with Vellappally Natesan, even though I don't agree with him on any of other thing.

Manjulal Nakulan
Business Application Specialist
Philadelphia Gas Works
Phone: 215-684-6462
Email: manjulal.nakulan@pgworks.com

There is nothing WRONG in the book. And there is nothing GOOD in the book as well. Our children learn a lot more from home and from the surroundings, which they observe. When they see their father wearing a cross/cap/sandal paste they also are tempted to do the same, perhaps against whatever they have been taught at school for half an hour a day. Even Minister Baby must be nurturing a culture of Christainity at home for his children and I do not think any other minister has a different life style. Even the authors of this book won't be an exception. Communism is a product of poverty which most of the children do not experiencing now. If we the elders are not living a life to be a role model of our children, then other factors in their life are of little use. The contents of this book are decades old, and few of the children will see any thing of the type as narrated in the book. They will pay little attention or importance to them, since they are exposed to other interesting events to see or experience. The present uproar is either politically motivated or driven by lack of confidence in their beliefs.

Joshy Vypin
Dubai
joshyyee@yahoo.com

The government should withdraw this textbook

"ptbasheer ptbasheer" <ptbasheer2007@yahoo.com

Nokku Kooli, Kalla Vote, Nethakkanmmarude makkalude kozhappaditham, Palatharam Vediyunda, Harthaal, Vettinirathal, Bondukal iva koodi ulppeduthaam.
Innathe sahachrythinu anusarichulla syllabus venam.
Aa bookkilullathu kerlappiravi kalathe issues aanu.
Ethra nethaakkal Misra Vivaham kazhichu.
Allenkil Mathavum Jaathiyum onnum venda, Samvarnam
Koodi vendennu parayaan pattumo. Pavappettavanu vendi
Nilkkumo atho OBC samvaranamaano valuthu.
Kashttam.

"Jacob George" jacobgeorgemail@yahoo.com

I have read the entire textbook and didn't find anything wrong. Rather this textbook is prepared keeping in mind the present day society. The kids should learn progressive things.

There is no need for any amendment.

Retnakaran. R
Universal Cables Limited
Satna (M.P)

I read the social studies book of 7th std and I couldn't find any thing which hurt any religion.

Vipin

I have read the entire text of Saamuhya Sastram of Std - VII. It is clear that this is an attempt by CPI (M) to spread the ideology of communism among the children. A common man with a little bit of common sense can smell it. This party CPI (M) is a curse to our state. The development of this state in all the fields are stopped or delayed by this party. They do not allow anybody to develop this state. They are destroying this state. Now they want to destroy the good quality of education prevailing in this state, which was provided by the missionaries, NSS and other organizations in Kerala for many years. According to CPI (M) development means building big party offices only.

CPI (M) is trying to teach the dirty ideology of communism to innocent children in Kerala. Who wants this ideology? The people of Russia and Europe have dumped it and after more than five elections in these countries the communists could not come back in to power in any of these countries. Just imagine how much people hate this ideology.

In Kerala the basic and major supporters of this party belong to the downtrodden, backward castes and the uneducated. They do not have the commonsense and are not educated to understand the pulse of the world especially that of civilized world. They do not read newspapers and they listen only to the local committee secretary - the symbol of the nasty man. The only way to save this state from this dirty people is to give proper education to these poor people.

But CPI (M) leaders send their children to Europe and USA. Why did not Pinarayi send his son to China or some other communist country for his MBA instead of to England? LET US PRAY……MAY GOD BE WITH YOU ALWAYS……

"joseph.kuncheria@in.henkel.com" <joseph.kuncheria@in.henkel.com




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