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Education in India Part 2: Holes in our History books

Some of the most crucial, history-defining events from our past have been de-emphasized or even completely omitted from our textbooks. These are important events that have had an influence in shaping India in the 20th and 21st century. Why are we lying?

Source: Memecenter
  • When WW2 was more than just Germany

Most students using Indian textbooks don’t know that India fought in World War 2 and the extent to which we participated in it. We cover a lot on the World Wars in class 9 and 10 but hardly do we see how much Indian soldiers and the Navy, in particular, did towards fighting in world war 2, leading up to India’s Independence in 1947. Heck, we had over 2.5 million soldiers in the then British-Indian Army who participated in WW2, which was the largest all-volunteer force in history.

Source: Wiki
  • Silk route to world power

China is a dominant power and India’s neighbor. The region has been populated for over tens of thousands of years with a rich history and heritage. Today, China is seen as a competitor in terms of military, economy, labor, etc. Yet, we are taught very little on China in school and in our history books because of the Sino-Indian war in 1962, and other invasions in the past. The Art of War by Sun Tzu, is a brilliant book on strategy written 2500 years ago, and the principles of this book are used and applied by Governments, businesses, individuals, politics, sports etc. Under Luiz Scolari, Brazil’s football World Cup winning team (2002) had to study the Art of War, which contributed toward their success (They had a kickass team too).

Source: Twitter
  • The operation with holes. Operation Polo

Right after Independence, Hyderabad State (Andhra and Telangana) wanted to remain as an independent nation within India. A year later, under a military operation (Operation Polo), the Indian armed forces annexed Hyderabad State. How? The Police Action took 5 days and involved the massacre of 40,000-2,00,000 civilians (not the armies) and this was followed by communal violence and rape (as always). This report was released in 2013 (65 years later). Another missing link in most of our textbooks is the State Reorganization Act of 1956, which was a reform for dividing States by boundaries along linguistic lines. This was done to modernize the Princely States into 14 States and 6 Union Territories.  A little information goes a long way, considering how less any emphasis is given to the Southern states with respect to the creation of States.

Source: Nationalist Online
  • Operation Vijay. Worth it.

Another minor part missing from our textbooks was the annexation of Goa and Daman and Diu from the Portuguese by the Indian Armed Forces under operation Vijay (Victory) in 1961. This war lasted for two days and put an end to 450 years of Portuguese colonial rule in India. The number of deaths on both sides was at a grand total of 52 and all for a good cause. Yes, we were a Nation that always practiced peace and nonviolence, which are the principles of the UN charter. But, when push comes to shove, we have to look after our own, as any successful and developed nation would.

Source: Twitter
  • Oh, Indira! Operation Blue Star

We know that Congress had suppressed a lot of events during its reign. In this instance, let’s look at Indira Gandhi. She was the one responsible for operation Blue Star in 1984, which saw the Indian Army invade the Sikh Temple, Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. This led to her assassination by her own bodyguards who were Sikh. All in all, she had 30 bullets in her. Apart from the failure of the Soviet Union (Indian policies were based on Soviet policies), under her administration, several events were responsible that led to the bankruptcy of India in 1991, right before privatization and globalization. Ever covered these in school textbooks? I think not.

Cover Pic Source: Flickr

2 thoughts on “Education in India Part 2: Holes in our History books

  1. Balaji Vishwanathan says oh, did you know that the last Sri Lankan king Sri Vikrama Rajasinha of Kandy was a Nayak born in Madurai and mostly practiced Hinduism and died in Vellore prison.

    The Marathas who led one of the most fascinating armies of India, simultaneously battling in all 4 corners of India – with none matching such a feat ever – gets very little mention – not even to the level of some smaller sultanates from Delhi. They have been simultaneously winning in Trichy [Siege of Trichinopoly (1741)], Bengal, Orissa, Delhi and Peshawar. I’m a native of Trichy and nobody told me about those battles, although our ancestral house used to be right in the middle of it.

    The Chalukyas get very little mention and the Rashtrakutas/Satvahanas almost not at all. And Palas who ruled a large chunk of India – a student might ask Pala, who? And the Cholas whom you might have heard in the passing, what kind of navies did they have? Oh and most importantly what do you know about the Republic of Vaishali? Why do you think our passports carry the word Ganarajya right in its front?

    How about the North east empires? Any empire? How about the Ahom or Kamarupa? How about the Nagas who stopped the unstoppable Japanese? How did the Manipuris all of a sudden become Vaishnavites and stand out in the rest of the north east? What about the Kalingas who stood up to the biggest powers? Or the Kakatyas or the various rulers of Gujarat?

    Nothing. Nothing at all.

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