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LETTER 2 EDITOR - The textbook: Pros and cons

The book is written with malicious intent and downgrades everything that was achieved by our independence struggle, leaders and indirectly imparts to the mind of children that communism is the only hope and religions have no relevance in life.

1) Impression about Nehru given to children (page 25)

Nehru became great and the world remembers him, not because he was an "atheist" as the 7th std book suggests to the children. (Is there nothing else about Nehru the children should be taught?)

2) Highlighted all the small and irrelevant communist revolts, disregarding the freedom struggle.. In the reference also the4 children are asked to read irrelevant pro-communist books only.

3) We have also learned About All The Superstitions And Atrocities

But Here In Page 17 "A 7th std student is taught that dalits and harijans were burnt alive by upper castes without teaching them that the situation existed in the world and India for the last 5000 Years. This kind of lesson only spreads hatred. This is not what children should be taught in the classroom. Gandhiji, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Nehru, Annie Beasant and many others fought untouchability, superstitions and bad practices. In Kerala the first popular government brought land reforms, (which even the exponent of land reforms K R Gouri says is a failure.) governments in all other 27 states also brought land reforms and direct payments in education. Communists should not take all the credit. Land to the tiller is a democratic principle not a communist theory. (Page 7)

4) Page 22 states that in Christiani Sabha there was/is discrimination by upper caste converts to lower caste converts.

What message does it give to the child? That Christianity is bad, it practises discrimination, keep away from it or view it with suspicion?
Christianity actually tried to do away with discrimination that existed for 5000 years and which governments did not do much about..

5) 27th Page, It is written that "people from the same religion quarrel/kill each other, people from different religions quarrel/kill each other." What is the message? That religion teaches to hate and kill each other? In Kerala what kills more people – religion or politics. In Kannur 600 have been killed in political violence and still the killings go on. All religious killings have politics behind them. This is true for the world. In communist countries hundreds of thousands of anti-communists were slaughtered.

6) In reference also children and teachers are asked to read books by communists books only.

7) Why is there a chapter on "Jeevan without religion." since 99.9% of the children are religious.? In India religions have huge following.

Thomas Panicker
Kuwait
Advpanicker@Gmail.Com

Thank you so much for publishing the book online, so the reader could make up his/her own mind. I am not an educational expert, but I honestly couldn't find anything that demands such a huge uproar. Part of the book may be revised. For example where the book suggests the students to identify JENMIES in there village. I really do not see the educational benefit of such an exercise. As many of your readers agree that the OLD JENMIES are no longer enjoying their life as their fore fathers did. This exercise could even create a hateful attitude towards them for no fault of their own. May be our education should focus on preparing the next generation for competing in the 21st century instead of wasting time on what happened 100 or 200 years ago. A I am not saying not to teach history, but a combination of past and techniques to deal with the future is what our kids need in order to succeed in their life.

Santhosh George
Kulathupuzha.
joegeorge1207@hotmail.com

I have read the book. It is an excellent book. No need to withdraw the book.

Aboobacker M. A.
Sultanate of Oman

There is absolutely nothing wrong in the textbook. First few chapters deal with social discrimination in Kerala and it is a known fact that communist party had a big role in the fight against it. That may be the reason for the current crisis, as some people don’t want to accept it even if later chapters deal with the national freedom fight.

Socail studies should be aimed at teaching the young about the earlier times. In this case all the information in the text is true and informative.

Sajith Purayil
Research & Development
Comtech Automotive Industries
76 Ebbern St Darra Q 4076
PO Box 3079 Darra Q 4076
Ph: +61 7 3376 5552
Fx: +61 7 3376 6808
s.puthiyapurayil@comtech-ai.com.au

Why are the opposition parties creating a hue and cry over the book? Just to fool the public. If they continue their agitation, they will lose credibility.

Rajan, Trivandrum

I don't think so the chapter on Jeevan will create any problem in a civilised society. But talk of jathi can create complexes among students. They can teach Gurudeva’s words and enlighten the students of the social setup that existed in those days.
Lisy K.C.
9321572934

I am a Catholic who does not go to Church and am an anti-communist and anti-capitalist Keralite living happily in Austrlia.
This book is sub-standard. Look at the cartoons. (Kaumudi cartoons are classics compared what’s is in the book). Comments like the "British rule was much better" is an insult to people who died for freedom.
Gandhi, a genius who is ignored in India, is completely ignored and this book is teaching about violence and class-wars. (Indians won't understand the goodness of Gandhi, until they live in an African country, which achieved independence by violence. What is the condition of Zimbabwe now? What’s the status of Angola?
I was in South Africa for 9 yrs. If you walk on the road, you are killed for nothing. This is because they killed for independence. Now they kill each other. Gandhi knew this before anybody else. So he advocated non-violence. Communists killed more people in the world than any other organization or natural disaster. Thankfully we achieved freedom due to Gandhi and not due to the communists who opposed Quit India movement.
When there is a job application or admission, who’s going to say ‘no religion’ when reservation is based on religion? Religion is part of Indian culture providing a sense of community belonging. There is nothing else to replace it. A communist will be expelled from his party if he acts against the party leader. Religion does not do that even to a person like me who is a non-believer. Even Baby married a Christian lady because he knew the problems of inter-caste marriage.
If this is a plan to brainwash students in some "ideology", it’ll fail miserably because, all sorts of information is available on the Internet and unlike in Cuba, or China, India is a free country (thanks to leaders of the past like Nehru, Patel and Azad) and most of the students in Kerala have access to Internet and libraries.
Education is messed up in Kerala. Everybody including the media play caste and politics. It is sub-standard compared to rest of the states in India (Still we think we are the cleverest just like "pulavan in pottakulam"). If you don't believe me; compare the University of Poona or Bombay with Kerala university. Come and see how Australian universities operate. No students are killed, no college is destroyed by student unions. What is the research output of Universities in Kerala?
Religious groups and communists are wrong for our education. We need someone sincere to correct it. I don't see that happening in another 20 years.

Thomas Kallukalam
"Thomaskutty Kallukalam" <tkallukalam@yahoo.com.au>

I don’t see anything wrong in this text book. If the religious leaders and opposition leaders want to inject religion in little minds they shouldn’t look for the social studies textbooks published by the government for achieving their objectives. The objective of education should be to make the children understand the importance of human love and to make them respect each other irrespective of the religion. If some political parties are more interested in bringing up a society of bigotry and discrimination based on religion, then they should look for other ways to achieve their sinister aims.
Philip Mathew
USA

I wonder why anyone is making a big deal of the book.

Mathamillatha Jeevitham: It does not say every one should live without religion. Religion is a belief that should be decided by the person concerned. Not by his parents, teachers or priests. If his parents make the decision, it is their decision not his. In the example of an inter-caste it is left to the child. Now the child being at class 7, he is not mature enough to make a decision. I do not see anything wrong. Parents can teach their children religion
2. The book talks about untouchables. Isn't true that there are still untouchables in Kerala. If you are from a higher caste, just talk to yourself. Does your grand mother serve food to a low-caste guy in your house? I am in USA, but I do have some friends of upper caste still maintain relations based on religion. So there is nothing wrong in how Kerala was in the past. People who are not supporting this book are high caste, religious people. The government should go ahead with the book.

Shellas
"shellas mahad sahib" <shellaskms@gmail.com>

I see a ‘baby’ attempting to become bigger by smearing the name of his own community. He is using the tactics of Antony who became a leader by opposing Christianity.. CPM and CPI and other left parties will not rule or have no hope for a future. They want to destroy everybody’s future. They are afraid that if development comes they will lose their following. So ‘baby’ tries to teach children not to study and remain semi-literate taught as he and his party men are. Baby has followers in the SFI and hopes they will make many future babies!

Kerala. Needs to be saved. The opposition parties are no better. They too are a destructive lot, earning money for doing nothing!

Sudhakaran
Kollam.

Opposition to social studies and opposition to the N-deal are all politics. There is no need for a discussion. China told CPM to oppose so they are opposing the deal. Similarly there are people opposing the book. Cherian Philip is opposing the clergy because he is paid to oppose. He was the conscience keeper of Congress and when he did not get a ticket he joined with the communists.
I support the deal because Dr Manmohan Singh is not a scoundrel and he loves his country more than the third rate communists who supported China when it invaded India. These communists are now talking nationalism Even EMS was not an exception.

V.P.Prathap

I am a 35 year old living in Singapore, with my mother. Our response:

1) Poor kids! The book is soooo.... Boring and unsuitable for the simple reason that this is the equivalent of a propaganda pamphlet and does not have the qualification to be an academic textbook.

Chapter 1: Rice shortage. There are a few points to mention in this book.

1) Zamindar system: It is still prevalent in those states, which are feeding us now.

2) 1957 act which removed ownership from Zamindars: broke up big lots into small pieces of land which were then lost in personal loans. Now that Zamindars who were once the financiers for the crops are no longer around, farmers depend on banks for emergencies and either lose farms to them, sell them for pittance or commit suicide. Tough call.

3) Adharam analysis: Words fail me... I am a graduate, reading this along with a postgraduate beside me. We are unable to make head or tail of that 1982 stamp paper. I cannot answer the question posted in the book (Who is the Zamindar?). What can a 12 year old possibly make of this?

3) Subsequent growth and destruction of area under paddy cultivation: People cultivated land when it was economical to do so. For a period of time after 1957, when they were still used to the austerities learned during Zamindar system, farming flourished. Subsequently it became unviable in the presence of heavy labour costs and communist-driven obstruction of mechanization. People started selling once the first generation was no longer around. The reduction in area covered by paddy does not mean that Keralites are not cultivating. We have just changed into less labour intensive cultivation of cash crops.

4) What can 7th std children do about this? Are they expected to start paddy cultivation? Convince their parents that they should convert back to paddy? This lesson does not belong in a 7th std book. There should be a balanced discussion of how economy has driven the change, if the idea is to raise awareness.

Chapter 2: The casteless society. 1) Caste awareness: In the current situation, there are few children who are exposed to this level of casteism. Most children barely know what caste another is from. This lesson is a surefire way to start kids asking one another - What is your caste? Many years of effort from generations of people to remove this difference will be destroyed due to this section. It does not help to remove the difference; it will only drive it in further. Perhaps that is the true intention.

The only time caste comes into play nowadays is during entrance, job hunt etc, when it works against you if you belong to a high caste.

2) Dress code debate: True meaning of fascism is increased awareness of differences among people. To a very large extend, the improvement and unification of clothing developed throughout the world is due to the popularity of western education. People have changed their mentality towards distinctions. Again this lesson looks like it is designed to grow fascist thought process rather than remove it from children's mind.

3) Religion after growing up: I have been to China where a whole generation of youngsters grew up without any religion. Now they are free to choose their own, but they have lost those precious childhood years when most of our brain capacity growth happens. I met a few who were searching for a teacher to tell them more about their ancient (Taoist) beliefs, but have no guidance as the leaders are also few and far in between. Faith grows and takes root in childhood. Miss out on that, and you miss out on something very fundamental in life.

Chapter 3: Freedom fight. 1) Meaning of freedom: We need to teach everyone some economics. Fundamental economics is missing from our curriculum and that is half the problem with our state. Freedom includes the right to not cultivate if it is not worth the effort to do so. The question that legislature should be asking themselves is, why do people choose to leave land barren rather than bother to cultivate. That should be a project for both ruling and opposition parties.

2)Patriotism : I do not think we lack patriots in India. People still love the land. All I can say is, show by example that grown ups value hard work, helping one another, and 12 year olds will follow.

3) Child soldiers in a textbook? Shanti and Sunita: Really, what are they trying to tell the kids? That it is ok for 12 year olds to shoot people so long as it is against oppression? Naxalites are justified? Is that the role models they want kids to associate with?

4) 1990 illegal brewery in Vellarada : This is a law and order situation. The government should have handled it. Why should it come down to people to resist a clearly illegal, immoral and dangerous activity? What are children supposed to learn from this? Our police is useless? How does this fit into the topic of discussion anyway?

I would be very concerned if my child were to study such sheer propaganda. Social discussion is good, but balanced discussion is a must. This text is as bad as the US law, which prohibits teaching of Darwin's laws without corresponding theological discussion in the same class.

Hima and Geetha

Why should anybody fear the content of the text? In school curriculum we teach every student about truth, non-violence, hard-work, social and moral life, the impact of alcoholism, social evil of dowry system etc etc. But after years
of teaching, we cannot even control society’s evils. There is dramatic increase in evils like alcoholism, violence and such.
Communism is not a crime. I belief that Communism is not only a political idea, it is something higher than that, such like a social-economical and political living
style. I have no doubt that, the intellectual development of Kerala is mainly due to the communist impact on the state. It has played a role in social and political events. Since, education is a continuous process, teaching some communist history or idea in one standard is not a mistake. There is no "Congress history" and
"Communist history" in India, only "Indian history" as a curriculum.
The suggested curriculum enables the young generation to analyze social, economical, political, scientific, logical and personal problems and make good decisions. It
is very essential to promote this type of curriculum to challenge and make young generation think.
___A_D_E_R_S_

I can see a hidden agenda to attract the student’s thoughts to the "previous" communist government’s achievements and policies. Policies of the present communist party and the government are in name only and no different from those of other political parties including Congress and BJP. If every government tries to promote their achievements/policies through textbooks, then with the current situation in Kerala we can see changes in "textbooks" every five years!!!

Sunil Divakaran
P.O Box 33593
Dubai, U.A.E


Thousands of Keralites living in other states and abroad must have read the controversial textbook thanks to you. After going through the entire book I wondered why the opposition and church leaders are against its contents.
In our school days I could not get a chance to see the copy of any legislation or act. But now we’ve the gazette and notifications.

P.K.Viswambharan
No 35, Vaishnovy apartment
7th cross Street.Shenoy Nagar
Chennai 30.

Life without Religion is a wonderful and thought provoking story! The message it gives to everyone is quite deep.
Opposition is trying to mix religion with politics—nobody wants to know what the common people or even kids have to say about it. If LDF was in opposition, I bet, they too would be doing what UDF is doing.
I can understand the feeling of religious fundamentalists who see such open views as threat to their survival. They will always like people to believe that this universe and life in it is the work of some Creator.
Religion, at some point of time, really helped to shape this world. But these days it is becoming a burden and doing more harm than good—all the violence we see today in the world has something to do with religion.
It is very difficult to make adults to open their eyes and the beauty of life. Schools are the best place to start and we can hope for a generation where people loved each other.
Biju, Kolkata

We need only knowledge. The book mentions that the students have to enquire about the "Janmi" in their area. If a student finds out that one of the classmates is from "Janmi” family but, now they are poor and studying in the same class and sitting on the same bench, what will happen? This is very dangerous book. Keralites’ blood is the same -- there is no caste, no religion. Outside Keralites are sleeping and eating in one room because we are Malayalees and bonded together. This chapter only serves to divide the students. Give students high level knowledge. Nobody is asking about ancient history. The student needs peace, politeness and love. Not politics.

Mohan Nair
Mumbai
mkn001us@yahoo.com

This is an excellent book especially as it teaches the importance of agriculture, love of nature and such.

We should beat the brain washing by the media. People have right to judge things by being presented with facts. Pubish 'Hyde Act' and 123 agreement.

Jais Joy

<jaisjoy@in.ibm.com>

The book is well presented but it does try to inject certain beliefs in young minds. Why are they silent about today's criminal politics. In Kerala politics is killing people every day, not religion.

A simple question: Is a powerful Marxist party member willing to marry a powerful Congress party leader? If the government wants to promote mixed religious marriages let them promote mixed political marriage too.

James
Dubai

As I read it, there is nothing in the book which hurts religion. The agitation seems to be a bad political game with the hope of achieving something hidden. This kind of activities should not be encouraged in a civilized society in the larger interest of the people.

Raghunathan
Malvi Ranchoddas & Co.
Advocates & Solicitors
Yusuf Building, III Floor, M.G. Road
Mumbai 400 023, India .
Phone: 6633 1801
Fax: 6633 1802
e-Mail : raghu@malvirco.com

I found nothing against religions or sects. The lessons in the book are important in a multi-religious society. The book discusses contemporary social issues and would provoke the students to think critically. Education should help students become socially responsible citizens and I think the book provides the right direction. The objection from religious sects is because of this.
I request the people who are revolting against the book to read chapter 3 in the book. There is a discussion about freedom. Think whether you are doing the right thing or you are 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

I don't understand how this lesson became so controversial in modern, educated Kerala. I‘m ashamed the state has become a place for insane people and hypocrites; a real Brandhalaya. Why should someone be afraid of teaching the truth to children
Almost 10 years ago, I had the same situation of 'Mathamillatha Jeevan' when I enrolled my kid in 1st grade of a Government School in Kerala; the school staff was quite annoyed with my answer that my son is a religionless/casteless Indian citizen.
There is bias in the extra readings recommended for teachers. There are better books and resources other than Chintha and Parishathu publications that children can understand and use to critically analyze their observations.
Prasanna.

"Prasannakumari v" prasanna_68@yahoo.com

There nothing controversial in this. It’s a revolutionary step in the history of our education movement to modernise and innovate the curriculum. The story of "Jeevan ", " Echil ", and Nehru's words from his will etc.. Can put a spark of thought in young brains .
Premlal Karun

premlalkarun@gmail.com

I found nothing against any religion. On the other hand ithebook will push one to think rationally.

It also does not neglect or sideline the importance of religion as it presents the good teachings of blessed thinkers from major religions in the world.

In my opinion this textbook is not going to do any harm to the beliefs of our students. They will understand religion in a better way than their peers. The message here is loud and clear: religion is not everything in the world when we have common problems like unemployment, poverty, epidemics, natural calamities which do not spare anyone on the basis of their belief or religion. It is stupid to think these children will become communists when they grew up!

The lesson can help to slow down the intensity of religious hatred by helping students to accept that no system in this world is perfect and we all belong to common humanity. We all need both religion as well as rational thinking for good cause, yes a middle path is the best way as long as we find science and all religions are not capable of giving you answers or solutions to each and everything in this world. Who knows what truth is? None! Our explanations of truth are based on our five senses!
Charly
Lux Real Estate (050-2564797)

There I s a hidden agenda of the polit bureau to influence youg minds with the fundamentals of communism. Jeevan is a symbol of the principles of Sri Narayana Guru. Nobody is discussing the sayings of GuruA. Let the children prepare themselves to become good citizens and not politicians. Otherwise Kerala will become a vast Kannur.
Princelal
Transport supervisor
Galadari motor driving centre Dubai, U A E

If people want to follow western ways they should remember there is no place in their textbooks for religion or caste. These leaders who protest at this book won’t think about caste or religion when approaching a girl for sex or when they go to a bar. In 1957 M N Govindan Nair was elected from Mavelikara. I then saw some homes burned down by their landlord. Do these leaders want to bring back those days? I do not find anything wrong in this book

Anirudhan K.P
U.S.A

I don’t know what the problem in that book is. What is included in that book happens every day, round the year. This is a good lesson to everybody, not students alone. Those opposing it want to exploit caste. Politicians are trying to bar youngsters from education. In colleges they are doing the same thing. So don’t consider any political influences against this book. Go ahead.

Ranjith, Thriprayar

I couldn't see anything wrong with this textbook. Nowhere is relgion mentioned as bad or that one should follow a religion.

Why are the priest are against this ? They should be spending time educating the people about the importance of religion than wasting their time.

They shouldn't act like puppets in the hands of the politicians.

The protest against this text book is actually a boon in disguise.

Almost all people are aware of the contents of the book and the students have already learned the portions through serious discussions.

Politicians know there is nothing in this text book and it is not going to make any impact.

Murali
Sharjah

There is nothing in the book to ban. But I noticed a comparative study about upper caste and lower caste people. It should not be there because casteism in Kerala is nothing compared to other states like U.P., Rajasthan, Orissa, Gujarat etc. Why should we highlight things happened many years ago?

From Class one onwards we are studying about Gandhiji. Do you think any body follows him? Why should we worry whether the children will follow Jawaharlal Nehruji or Communist Party?

Creating controversies of every subject and calling strikes and destroying public property are a hobby of Keralites. May God help them.

Jaya Alex
D.S. Group
Noida (UP)

It is really funny that, Congress, Muslim League and Christian fathers
Are striking for the removal of 7th standard book.
Most of the 7th standard students have already read that chapter more than 7
Times because of this controversy.
I don’t believe that any of the student read that book will go against
God or they will join Communist Party.

Rajeevan
Sharjah

I carefully went through the most controversial subjects:

1. Mathamillatha Jeevitham: Hey, anti-government supporters. The book does not say every one should live without religion. Religion is a belief and you should decide it. Not your parents, your teachers or priests. If your parents make the decision, it is their decision not yours. In the example of an inter-caste it is left to the child. Now the child being at class 7, he is not mature enough to make a decision. I do not see anything wrong. Parents can teach religion to kids. However being born from the parents of religion A. Doesn't mean that the kid has to follow religion A.

2. I have seen the book talking about untouchables. Isn't true that there are still untouchables in Kerala? If you are from a higher caste, just talk to yourself. Do your grand mother serve food for a low-cast guy in your house? I am in USA, but I do have some friends of upper class who still maintain relations based on religion. So the point is teaching our guys how our Kerala was in the past is nothing wrong. My opinion is people who are not supporting this book are high-class, religious people.

Shellas

I feel ashamed of our religious heads and political leaders.
This is a well-drafted textbook. I sincerely appreciate those who prepared it. Those who agitate against this textbook are playing with fire.
Even the secular parties do not realize that similar demands are made on
CBSE textbooks by religious fanatics.
Someone in this feedback form has wrongly translated the chapter.
(He translated as Life without Religion). People like him who do not read
Or do not understand the methodology used in this book and its essence are agitating against the textbook. I am sure he has not read the textbook. It must be translated as '' Religionless Jeevan " Jeevan is name of the boy not 'life' in this context.
Please stop meaningless agitation against this text book. This book is very good, secular and neutral.

Jessmon Joseph
29/2131C, AKG Road, Cochin-682 019, India

My observations:

Contents of the first chapter have an obvious tilt towards the accomplishments by the Marxist leaders during that time. Even if it was they who fought for the cause, I wouldn’t’ agree that this should be part of a book taught in the school where people from all religious and political background learn and live together.
The second chapter is full of facts. However, is it really relevant and important for students to know them?? Though I myself am from a backward community, I found this detrimental to some communities. This I feel only will help remind the Dalits and other backward communities like mine the atrocities that were committed towards us in the past and might widen the gap between us and the so called “upper casts” at a time when we’re trying to forget and forgive the past and learning to live together. What attracted me the most is subsection 24 “Mathamillatha Jeevan” brilliant idea and this is what we are aspiring to one day…..!!
Sabu

R. Sabu,
Director of Human Resources and Training,
Soneva Kiri by Six Senses

It is very unfortunate that our educational system has been degraded to this extend. Schools should not be a place or a grooming place for any political or religious philosophy. The textbook glorifies the communist or socialist system and even makes assumptions that every family needs to have cultivable land. I guess this book is written on the assumption that communism is the only accepted way of living in Kerala and every kid should follow this. We live in a world where individual rights and private ownerships to land is not only accepted but guaranteed by international laws. This book is fit for the seventh standard dropout beedi rolling comrades. It should not be taught in schools.

Dr. Mohankumar P, J.D, Ph.D
Harvard, Boston, MA

I couldn't find anything wrong with it. The people against the " Book " should think about their kids and help them to learn about secularism which is very essential in a secular state like India. Nowadays everybody is thinking about their own religion. We respect the priests in Kerala for their generosity and simplicity. But the present situations in Kerala highlights that some clergymen are thinking about a specific group of people and their response reveals that they are encouraging violence. We do not expect this kind of behavior from them.

The government should be careful not to slip into controversies, as we are expecting more from this government. I congratulate the education minister for the steps taken by them.

Binu Janardanan
Kingdom of Bahrain.

Read the controversial textbook. The word controversial is highly inept here. It is a wonderful book, which depicts our current social environment in a very justified manner. The present turmoil is just politically motivated. Shame on you UDF!!!

Dr. Deepak
Dammam
KSA

I don’t find anything supporting communist ideology in this book. Students must learn history without dilution. This is the responsibility of the government.

Printi media like Kaumudi should staunchly support the book. Agitation against the text book is anti constitutional also damages the secular fabric of our country.

Rajan
Riaydh

I have not seen anything wrong in the textbooks for std 7. Christian priests have taken to the streets for other reasons. Perhaps to cover the shameful activities of the priests and the Sabha?

People of Kerala including common Christian people now understand the commercial activities of self financing institutions run by Christian management. All God fearing Christians know that self financing institutions are not for community development but to enrich the priests only.

They are protesting against Vanitha Commission for their opinion about nuns.

If they are concerned about nuns why did not they protest against the brutal killing of sister Abhaya. It almost proves that she was killed by priests.

Anil Mannumkal
Sharjah,UAE

This book has nothing controversial. All parts of books cover only reality in a systematic way and I do hope it would lead our young generation to the right path

Sarun Savith
Post graduate student
Delhi School of Economics
New Delhi savithdse@gmail

I am not a politician or a party man of any type. Personally, I am not a fan of communist ideology either. I have read the book and specifically the controversial lesson.

I don’t see anything wrong with the lesson. If anything I would applaud the idea of a society where one has the freedom to chose the god of his liking. This may be a bit too much for someone who is sold on a religion or God, but for a civil society religious freedom is paramount.

H.Kalatardi.Ph.D

The contents of this textbook need thorough overhaul. I fully appreciate the need for context-based education and more discussions in the classroom than quiet classrooms.
Following basic aspects needs to be understood before finalizing a textbook:

1. Inclusive education to accommodate all views and should in no way hurt any one’s feelings.

2. No thought given to how a 7 std child would think. I feel sympathy with the authors and editors of this book.

3. Context selections were very poor and not neutral situations.

4. Take example for “Uppu Satyagraham”. What is it conveying? It is providing very vague surface level interpretation and again how the teacher will initiate the discussion would be the way students understand it. Very poorly done.

5. It seems it was done in a hurry; I do not see any worth or depth in this textbook.

6. I don’t have any political inclination and I am against the way in which our political parties express their views. I pity both fronts. I see this only from educational point of view. If I am asked to give an honest opinion I would say this textbook is very poorly done. It should not be taught.

Prem

I don't like some of the acts of Left parties. But in this contest, I don't think the book needs to be re-written. There is nothing wrong in the book, except the question "Which religion will be most affected by this?". Most of the people who are getting angry are either ardent opponents of Left parties or upper castes (landlords) of Kerala. Swami Vivekananda called the place "lunatic asylum". We should be broad minded to accept it. There is no point in hiding our bad past.
At the same time, the Left should show similar spirit to show the present situation in the book. Most of those customs are not present in our community. So the present situation also needs to be detailed. Otherwise I can foresee a clash or another division between the students in the class room and in society in future.

Praveen V K
University of Alberta
Edmonton
Canada

I am a resident of Houston, Texas for about 20 years, and was in the Gulf for about 7 years prior to that. So you can imagine my personal knowledge about Kerala politics and atmosphere. Still I try to keep some minimum information about my home place. These days the arrogance of some religious groups has got or exploded out of control. Let me mention that I am a Catholic and a practicing one, as much as possible.
Recently I had the opportunity to talk to some Catholic priests and heard their voice regarding this VII grade social studies book. I was very curious to know what is so bad that’s written there. Every one said that it is too anti religious and intolerant of religion. However no one had seen the text and couldn't answer me as to what bad things were written..

I want to thank you for providing the whole book so people like me can see for myself.

Let me state that the passage in the book regarding the religion is absolutely "wonderful passage"/that clearly suggests and pass the message of friendliness and tolerance to other religions. What else should one write? I really appreciate this passage and certainly believe that the protesters are simply motivated by political gains. Shame on these religious leaders who encourage people to take to the streets.
I wish all the luck to the current Kerala Leaders in their effort to bring some changes in our society
Jayachan

Often, people react to what they heard or assumed, instead of solid facts. I think the controversy on this book is also like that. I do not subscribe to any particular ideology and consider myself 'independent'. Given all that was going on recently in Kerala and the reputation of the CPM to ideologically influence people, I thought this book must have something that ticked off people. After reading through the book, honestly, I could not find anything objectionable. I do not think any historical events mentioned in the book are also inaccurate. Actually, I am very much surprised that there are much more respect given to different religions and social organizations in this book than CPM would normally give.

Current agitation going on in Kerala by opposition parties and different religious groups is based on false premises. Please stop this destructive behavior. People agitating either did not read this book or have ulterior motives.

Suresh Nair

I do not believe that any one who can read and write Malayalam can see any anti God or anti religion in this text. At the most, you may question the relevance of some suggested reference books. But this does not mean that the whole text should be withdrawn. If you start scrutinizing the textbooks in the past you may find many of the lessons in the main texts or supplementary reading were irrelevant or inappropriate. I do not believe that Marxism or Communism grew in Kerala by teaching at schools. Even if there is any such “hidden” agenda, students in Kerala are capable of absorbing what is good and rejecting what is not.

What UDF is trying to do now is ignite the sentiments of people against the LDF government by using the God and relgiion. They failed to make any other serious opposition to the LDF Government so far (all the UDF agitations against LDF Government on issues like ISRO land, viral fever, HMT land, Travancore Devaswom etc. died off due to lack of public support as these were not related to common man. It is time UDF started thinking why people are going after leftist parts in spite of the religious edicts and learning fed by the “Sunday Schools” and “Friday Schools”.

E.S. Balachandran
Sheldon Ltd.
P.O. Box 610110
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971-4-8816416
Fax:+971-4-8815534

This book is not in favour of or against of any religion, caste or custom. If anybody disagree with any content of the book it can be sorted out through negotiation. The problems we are facing today are the creation of our netas (political as well as religious). We the public are the sufferers. Hartal in Kerala is a cancer and the Keralites seems happy to stay home during hartal. So the political parties claim popular support and create issues where none exists.
Result: Hartal against 7th std book. Who cares about the feelings of the children of 7th Std? Vote bank politics is destroying our country, especially Kerala.
M.S.Pillai,
Sr.Technical Officer
Indian Agricultural Research Institute
New Delhi-110012

I found nothing wrong with the text, no hurting peoples and religion. I think this book has a good lesson. We Malayalees are the best in the world to strike work and start agitations for nothing. This and political corruption are stunting Kerala’s development. What a shame.
GKJ, Denmark.

I could not find any fault in the same. The textbook paves way to purify the rusted ideas about religion in our mind. It highlights various religious quotes also. Actually the government has tried to stop the dangerous influence of religion at least in our state. And it is admirable in all sense. Kerala has the highest literacy, and our students can thoroughly understand the text if somebody can direct them correctly to make them aware of the merits and demerits of religion.
Mahesh
Abu Dhabi

I am a research scholar. I went through the 7th standard book and I did
not find any part which is objectionable. The language could be improved
definitely and the structure also. I fully support the contents of the new
book.
Narayanan

I am writing it in Manglish as i don't know how to write in Malayalam font, and I can express better in Malayalam.

Eazham classile samoohya sasthram book vayichu. Athile padya bhagam aa reethiyil nalkiyathu shariyalla. Thalasthanathu janichu valarnnathu kondu mathramalla, sahajeevi snehamullathu kondum, palappozhum Idathu pakshathinodu alpam chayvu enikkundu. Valathupakshathile, pereduthu parayukayanenkilu, V.M. Sudheeran polulla chila (ennuvechal 'ONNO RANDO' viralil ennavunna CHILA) nethakkalodu bahumanvum aadaravum illathilla. Ennirunnalum, Ippozhullla padapusthakam thikachum thettu thanneyanu. Kunjungale ethenkilum prathyaya sasthrathilekku thirichuviduvanullatho, mattulla prathyaya sasthrathinethire pravarithikkuvano alla vidyabhyasam upakarikkendathu. Marichu, manushyane sahajeevi enna nilayil thanne pole kanuvanum sneham, daya, sahakaranam ennithyadhi moolyangal kunjungalil valarthanumanu school vidyabhyasam upakarikkendathu. Sahajeevisneham avanundayal, samoohathile prashnangal avan swayam manassillakkukayum athanusarichu avantethaya chinthayum sahayavum sahakaranavum vyakthi enna nilayil pouran cheyyum.

Hinduvayi janichu, pathirimarude schoolil padichu, ippol oru islam rashtrathil sevanam anushtikkunna njan Sree Narayana Guruvineyum, Christuvineyum, Allahuvineyum, Budhaneyum ellam shariyaya vazhikattiyayittanu kanunnathu. Pakshe, oru kaariyam urappichu parayam, nethakkal, avar rashtreeyakkarayalum, matha / samooha (samoohathe, ippozhum jathi ennu parayunnathanu shari) nethakkalayalum shari, nanmayum nerum shariyaya daiva viswasavum sahajeevi snehavum alla parachirippikkunnathu, marichu avaravude swartha thalparyangalanu. Manushyane manushyanayi kanuvanum "loka samastha sukhino bhavanthu" ennathinte shariyaya arthathil ulkkondu jeevikkuvanumanu manushyane padippikkendathu.

Knjungale orikkalum viswasngal adichelppikkaruthu. Shariyaya School vidyabhyasam thiricharivu undakkuka ennathanu. Ithu lokathinu manassilakkikkuvanayi puthiyoru pravachakan adhava guru iniyum lokathil janikkendiyirikkunnu ennu paranjal - angane parayuvan ee noottandinl lajjayundenkilum - athorikkalum thettavukayilla.

Vivada padapusthakam thettuthanneyanu.

Gurudas S.


There is nothing objectionablein the book. All the strikes and violence over this issue have no positive approach.
Cherian & Abduljaleel.

Cherian Mullan
Schlumberger Well Services,
Udhaliyah base.
PO: Box: 2847, Al Khobar-31952,
Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia.

I read this book first time in 15 Minutes...second time in 10 minutes. I’m quite surprised that the experts’ committee of 18 Members wanted 90 days to read and submit a report. What a paradox!

In the Book most of the lessons are crowded with thoughts and discussions on religion. Though it may have been given with good intentions, the way it is taught is very important. If taught wrongly it’ll create sharp divisions and impact badly on the students. For example, a Nair student will justify his position in the class with an Ezhava boy taking the opposite view. Here the role of the teacher also will be subjective. The role of the parents with whom the student discusses such matter will also be subjective...and ultimately it will create a division among the students!

About the National independance struggle. Bits and pieces of the incidents will not give the real picture the struggle. It should be in chronological order. A particular period can be taken for 7th std and it can be depicted serially, so that the student will get a full idea of all incidents and not a few sensational incidents only.

About Communism. Nobody will turn communist by reading this book. I understand why Smti. Gouri Amma supported this book. But the book could have been presented differently and allegations avoided. Communist slogans (though Party men have a different lifestyle) are based on farmer, land and revolution; we cannot fault those who oppose the book.

I feel that the book may be re presented in the same Format but with a diffrent vision by considering the 12 year child. Don't make his mind struggle but keep it in peace and calm.

Hrishikesh
9847240456
MD & CEO
India Destination Tours
(A division of Travel Destination Promoters of India Pvt.Ltd)


Before going into the contents of the book, one is amazed at the low quality of the print and paper! Long back in the 1960s when I was a student, textbooks were printed in quality paper and ink. As good or even better than the Mathrubhumi Weekly, the highest standard magazine at that time!

Nowadays, textbooks look like some third rate street book with drawings, pictures and print of lowest quality! In comparison, even daily newspapers are printed with color pictures and some weeklies are even printed on glossy paper! What an inversion of the standards in our free democratic India! We have high quality books in the market from DC Books etc. So the aberration is only for the government controlled textbooks!
The books starts with cartoons on rice price! What is it? Is it a textbook or a city evening newspaper?
Then the article on "Janmi" and "Kudiyan"! Again an issue overtaken by time and events! Why now? Why waste time on outdated issues?

Then articles on caste system and monopoly of education etc! These issues were addressed and handled by Narayana Guru and others a hundred years ago! Reading the book, one gets the impression that we are facing these issues in an acute way now. Even if it is the case, the references in the book are not the reasons for the current problems. Once again, the treatment and presentation unsuitable for a school textbook!
Also the books' preaching against 'religion' is out of place, because any reformation we had until 1947, is lost now. Any progress we achieved until 1970, had been wiped out in recent years! What is happening is a counter reformation! Both the left and non-left governments were utter failure in this area. Why use a 7th standards textbook for propaganda?
Also blaming the British for everything, that too now 60 years after independence! Any accountability for officials we had in 1947 has been totally lost after our popular governments! Corruption is at astronomical levels. Still the book spends pages blaming the British!
The book also contains the reference to current events like 'manal mafia' etc. Yet again, unsuitable for a school textbook!
Sitting thousands of miles away, I could not locate the page which the Christian managements were opposing! Most NRIs get nausea when we hear about protests, counter protests, bandhs and hartals! They all have lost their meaning!
I will sum up by saying that what we see is an example of the debacle which the Kerala has been going through since 1970! The government and the people are wasting time and energy on counter productive activities. There is a deterioration of standards in every field. This book issue is an examples. When there are thousands of cases like this, the poor man in Kerala doesn't bother, though he puts up with noise generated from all these.

Gopi Nathan, BS/S212 Projects
Accenture Norway




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