It looks like the Rajasthan government wants it students to
learn regional art as it has omitted poems by the likes of John Keats, Thomas
Hardy, William Blake, T S Eliot and Edward Lear from the revised Class VIII
English textbooks. In place of these, work by lesser-known authors who have a
regional flavor have been introduced.
Works like Hardy's 'When I Set Out For Lyonnesse', Eliot's
'Macavity: The Mystery Cat' and Blake's 'The School Boy' have been dropped,
works such as 'My first visit to the bank', 'The Brave Lady of Rajasthan',
'Chittor', 'Sangita the brave girl' have been included in the first lot of
revised textbooks that have arrived at state textbook depots in Ajmer, Udaipur,
Dausa, Bharatpur and Jaipur.
The idea behind this move is to include content that evokes
a sense of pride in the state and the country. Rajasthan had rewritten
textbooks from Class I to XII last year. The books that have arrived include
those for Class VIII (Hindi, English, Sanskrit, maths) and Class VI (English,
Hindi, maths). They have been confined in the godowns of state textbooks
Apart from regional
additions, other work includes that of Swami Vivekananda's 'The song of the
free' and Rabindranath Tagore's 'Where the mind is without fear'.
Not only this, Hindi textbook of class VIII has undergone a
change as Urdu author Ismat Chugtai's short story 'Kamchor' and Hari Shankar
Parsai's 'Bus Ki Yatra' have been omitted.
Another work that was dropped includes Veteran journalist P
Sainath's 'Jaha Pahiya hai'(Where there is a wheel), which talks about bicycles
becoming a symbol of women emancipation.
A member of the textbook committee stated that Hindi
chapters that were dropped included those which had Urdu words and difficult
for students to understand. Others dropped included based around a particular
President of Swayamsevi Shikshan Sanstha, (a body of private
schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Board) Satyavrat Samvedi
said that if all new books include the regional work then students would lag in