Just Another Day In Kerala

I don’t have anything new to write about what is happening in Kerala. Its strikes and protests happening there, along with a student strike yesterday.

Just another day in Kerala !

Now the latest reason why the so called students are protesting is because of a controversial textbook introduced this year for Class 7. Yes you heard it right Class 7.

So what does this text book contain that makes it controversial? The first chapter contains lessons about “”Life without religion” . The opposition is arguing that this is communist propaganda and the Marxist party in kerala is trying to inflict communism and atheism in children. The ruling party argues that the textbook was approved by a board comprising of all party members.

Now I wouldn’t say that the ruling party is right about adding a lesson ‘Life without religion’ for the 7th Std Student text book (”Life without religion” for bunch of 13 year olds?), nor I would support the opposition on how the protests are being carried out.

The seventh standard students are not protesting, nor are the teachers. Its the ‘so called students’ from KSU(Kerala Student’s Union), MSFΒ and Youth Congress that are protesting, well not peacefully. They are on a rampage across the state, destroying public property, burning school books, beating up policemen and media persons, disrupting traffic and destroying government vehicles.

Now these are not something new in Kerala, if you tune into any Malayalam news channel, the half hour program will contain news only about strikes, hartals, bandhs, protests, and more protests. Well its the only place in the world which observed a hartal when Saddam was hanged.

Hey, all is not wrong in kerala. The people of kerala however can breath a sign of relief about one thing, the bus operators association had postponed their planned strike for today to next week.

Welcome to God’s own country.

Related Reading.

80 Shut Downs in 18 Months

[CROSSPOSTED]

Update : Post updated with aΒ link to the news site.

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43 comments

  1. Don’t know hwere our country is heading! if i go on reading such news today (have read a lot and myhead is now badly hurting, am surely going in for depression.

    Sometimes i wonder whether our outburst and views which we share here is really making any sense or deference where it actually hsould make!

    I have written this some where else earlier, am writing again, “the whole recent breed of politician should be wiped out”. probably the newer ones wuld be better! Probably!

  2. //if you tune into any Malayalam news channel, the half hour program will contain news only about strikes, hartals, bandhs, protests, and more protests.//

    TRUE !!!!!

    about this protest, of course this is not the way to protest… children learning how to run Harthals and how to burn books, .. better let them learn about Marx !!!

    I read the book, and I am convinced communism was too much in that book πŸ˜‰ like, ” We communists did everything” line and Congress, and India’s freedom fight explained in one sentence or two

    and the best part ….

    They printed picture of a frog where it was supposed to be Gandhiji’s picture.. on a lesson about Gandhi Jayanthi πŸ˜‰

  3. These ppl are really mad!..i have learnt something bat Karl marx in my smaller class, well this is nt a big thing, learning about a great leader ! ..well dats all about it ! , i wonder how did these protesting group came to know abt the lessons of text book πŸ˜‰
    so this was cause for the educational bandh of last friday.. unfortunately there was 2 hartal on the same day 😦 , missed one holiday πŸ˜€

  4. @ Rekha

    See, how we have changed our attitude towards Hartals !!! ” Missed one Holiday”

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  5. People take the “right to protest” too seriously

  6. @Sakhi,
    yea, it wud be our anger out there on these posts, but then its does little(nothing) to make any change.
    @Dinu,
    yes if the children wud have learnt about Marx, it wud have done less damage than than what is happening now.
    Frog !!! yes I saw that in yest news. ! There is also one lesson with a story of a kid whose dad is a muslim and mom a hindu…and in the story the teacher ask the kid which community does he belong to… the parties say that such stories are inflicting atheism in children.
    Rekha,
    Missed one holiday? ha. No wonder the politicians are so happy to declare a bandh. we lazy lots take that as an extra holiday.
    we are just plain lazy. and they take advantage.
    Vijay,
    You are right. The right is now being misused to the core. They take that right as an excuse to destroy public property which is tax payers hard earned money !

  7. and its not yet over …there is another picture of monkey, with a face Similar to the CM .. VS .. I saw a TV report where the Journalist was asking few students if they can find any similarity with anyone you know.. and even the small kid there said monkey looks like our CM !!!!!!!

  8. As an Atheist, I believe that lessons about life without religion should start at the same time lessons about life with religion starts. And the fact that a strike is called against it is absolutely disturbing.

  9. well what can we do ? religion or no religion,no god can ever hep us!

  10. This seems to be a story all over India. I too wonder at times where our country is heading. Protests and violent and disturbances. It’s as if people are unhappy and wanting to find some excuse to go out there and create a ruckus!

  11. @ Nita

    This is Cultural violence happening here !! Future is being crushed…. history is being tortured …. come on .. this is not Cuba or China …

  12. @Dinu,
    haha, that wud have been funny.
    Baphomet,
    I think it wud have been better if they wud have not included the topic on religion at all, than debating on religion vs athesim etc etc.
    Vishesh,
    You are right there.
    Nita,
    Kerala leads in that, of all the states in India.

  13. Life without Religion? For Class 7 kids?? Hmmm… I think this is taking the tag of “100% literate state” a bit too far!! πŸ˜€

  14. Nikhil,
    Yes that is pretty bad I would say. Lets stop talking about religion in school at least. give those kids a break πŸ™‚

  15. Such protests on textbooks is v common nowadays. I think the ruling party of any state tries to put their beliefs in textbooks to influence kids’ unbiased minds. In my school life we never had any such controversy regarding anything in textbook. This is a recent tactic of politicians. Abuse of power!

  16. Oh well, at least your news channels show news about strikes and all. You should see Aaj Tak. Now they’ve taken to solving family issues on television. The other day, they had a husband in their studio and his wife on the telephone and they were fighting like cats and dogs. It was really stupid. I’m sure the news channels are gonna become the new settlement courts.

    And as for objectionable content in textbooks, it keeps happening here all the time. It’s a favorite past time of people to burn effigies. It’s there in the local news everyday.

  17. Reema,ish,
    Thanx for ur comments, I think I shud change the post title to Just an other day in india. 😦

  18. Hi All
    Suggest going through http://www.keralatips.org/2008/06/26/more-on-the-seventh-standard-textbook/ and his earlier post on the same issue to get a better picture.
    Also, http://tvmtalkies.com/archives/474
    and http://tvmrising.blogspot.com/2008/06/storm-in-teacuperrrtextbook.html

    (Posted the same comment in mutiny)

  19. I think protesting and destroying public property is the “IN” and the “YO” thing in India now a days. We can have a state-wise competition and the winners would be judged on the basis of the amount of monetary damage inflicted. 😐

  20. I read the whole book and here are my comments/observations:

    Having an excerpt from AK Gopalan’s (auto)biography is not expected. He is a well known communist leader of yester years. This is like bombarding commie thoughts in class 7.
    The style in which “Kudiyozhippikkal” and Karivellur Samaram are introduced indeed has a commie angle.
    Too much stress on Land Reforms, unwanted.
    Would a 7th standard kid understand Smt KR Gouriamma’s response to a bill, as told in the assembly?? Why are they doing this?

    Pages on Human Devlopment Indices of Kerala, good, acceptable.
    I don’t understand-what is being taught? Time line of the social changes?
    Why is there an excerpt on how lower caste women used to have food left over by Antarjanams(Namboodiri Brahmin women)??? What are the commies trying to convey?

    Channar Revolt-unwanted , again selling commie ideology.
    Vaikom and Guruvayoor Satyagrahams-These should have been the ONLY one to be included in the text book, rather worth including.

    Pratyaksha Rakshasabha-why get into every single point of social equality.
    Wouldn’t the mention of Vaikom or Guruvayur be enough?
    Same with the mention of Muslim Ikyasangham.

    After going through all these portions, a 7th standard kid reaches a chapter that says, say no not only to caste, but religion. Should these things be taught in school, that too at this level?

    Having the lines from all holy books-accepted.

    But, I still haven’t understood the relevance of a question that asks which religion would be affected the max by inflation, water scarcity, contagious diseases and earthquake..!!!
    May be they wanted the answer, people of all religions would be affected. sigh!

    Chapter 3
    Iniyum Muttott-the mention of Palm Oil rates was unwanted, rest accepted.
    The next page that mentions a “rich guy” who says he will do whatever with his land while a passerby comments why are people protesting? These two kinds of people are painted a shade of ENEMY;yes, the commies what more jobless people for DYFI , SFI whatever.

    The text says, “As discussed in a class, these were the meanings of Freedom”; instead this should have been an open discussion in every class. Shouldn’t that been a better way to do it rather than already having 4 meanings for freedom.

    Parts of the British coming in-well, good! But comparing it with today’s situation? Do they expect an answer of the lines of communism?? Please, gimme a break!!!

    Parts on Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries-acceptable.
    Throwing light on the revolt of 1857, Jalianwalla Bagh massacare-yes, much needed at this level. If not in class 7, when?

    Other parts on Indian History like pages on Khilafat,Dandi Satyagraha,Quit India-acceptable.

    This chapter ends with a note to start a discussion on Land grabbing, caste/gender based discrimination, accumulation of wealth–is this an NDTV debate?

    News clippings on Forest Guards/Excise attacked,or Sand/Liqour mafia attacking people-UNWANTED.
    Then why not include DYFI/SFI vandalising,killing people in Kannur??? HUH!

    Asking the students to compare the British discipline to India’s prgress(ie Mukesh Ambani’s wealth)-Weird, useless

    Portion on length of day/night-acceptable.
    Other geography portions, parts on civilizations and the rest of the book seem fine to me.

  21. When did laws govern this country, especially the communist fiefdoms ? and what is new about socialist writers imposing their thoughts to socially engineer the young and gullible minds of this country(they were there right since nehrus times)?

    on a humorous note
    how many mallus do u need to have a successful strike ?

  22. // I think protesting and destroying public property is the β€œIN” and the β€œYO” thing in India now a days.

    amit
    it is never new- has been there since ages – only facing a revival – the communists especially in maharashtra in the 70s 80s were expert at that game infact the sena followed their methods of rioting
    the sad thing is that the police force have to wait for instructions from the top and the cops on the top have to wait for instructions from the politicians – their duty is not to follow the rule of law but the diktat of the politician
    and if they panic and shoot their careers are screwed like in the ramabai nagar case
    http://www.indianexpress.com/res/web/pIe/ie/daily/19970712/19350173.html

  23. @Amit,
    as long as they are not losing any money they wudnt care.
    @Prax,
    i agree. they keep on trying to impose those thoughts. thats the reason why they dont want new colleges, or english to be taught in schools. because once the young learn english and start gathering knowledge, there wudnt be anyone to shout slogans at their party meet.
    may be 1 mallu, to call the strike. πŸ˜€

    @Nikhil,
    Thanks a lot buddy for ur comment. the comments to my post give more detailed info on what the post is about.
    thanks again.

  24. thats not surprising ..thats what these parties can do properly … πŸ˜›
    not just in kerela …every where in the country there are protest…when their is no unity in the government running the country how can we expect the natoin to be united..
    a protest that too for a silly reason..
    i am sure most of those protesting wouldn’t be knowing whats written inside that chapter

  25. Protests over skirmishes is not confined only to Kerala but happens all over the country. Recent Gujjar protest caused lot of havoc and also cause lot of public property damage. It is not the first time textbook are being politicised. Remember, they changed NCERT textbooks again and again.

    Though I must concede, after living severla years in WB, the communist ruled states have really more bandhs than others.

  26. arvind,
    that is true. I doubt if those who are protestin have completed their 7th grade.
    @Poonam,
    yeah west bengal and kerala are comrades in protests

  27. Okay,

    Its second day of Harthal in my hometown ( same as Rekha’s )
    one killed
    media persons attacked
    bike, auto,statue of Srinarayanaguru, attacked
    around 60 people together molested a women
    shops attacked

    ETC ETC ……….

    and this is weekend, I need to go home !!!! I will be crossing this area and driving another 6Km to reach my home !!!!!!!!!

  28. @Dinu
    where did 60 ppl molest a women ???..i dint hear that 😦 ..
    btw the first day hartal was sponsored by DYFI n the second day hartal by the merchants association coz of the first day destruction to their shops πŸ˜†
    n nt dont say etc etc…they have destructed all the bus stops in my street n looks like they have signed a deal wid a glass company they r breaking all the glasses 😐
    All the best hope to cu see u back πŸ˜€

  29. Dinu, rekha,
    so u guys are enjoying a biiiig weekend holiday ! πŸ˜€

  30. @ Rekha

    Take Manorama and read the news …… I forgot the name of the place.. newspaper is @ the office

    @ Xylene

    Its for shcool Children buddy !! I am working here @ cochin and US poeple don’t give leave for Harthals you know πŸ˜‰

  31. I think I forgot spelling of school and people .. !!!!

  32. dinu,
    oh, u at infopark?
    when i was in technopark, we used to get police protection for company vehicles.

  33. @ Xylene

    I am not @ infopark

    police protection ‘?? cool buddy πŸ˜› I like it ……….
    well, I have shift today also

  34. @Dinu
    hmm u dont need to be worried to go back to ur home, u go only through those pocket roads na n never use to touch the city πŸ˜› ? coz..u dont have a ……….

    @Xylene
    im sitting silent only for the reason i dont want ur crap book be an adipidi form ? 😦

  35. Pradeep Kumar · · Reply

    The name of the contoversial lesson is not “Life without religion” but “Jeevan, the one without religion”; Jeevan being the name of the student who is charactised in the lesson.

    See the scanned image of the lesson at
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3824149/Controversial-textbook-Kerala

  36. see this blog on the textbook controversy in Kerala. It is time political parties behaved properly:

    http://trivandrumlive.blogspot.com/2008/07/kerala-text-book-controversy.html

  37. dinu,
    oh. okay. But thankfully in Bangalore we get least affected.
    Rekha,
    Pavam. πŸ™‚

  38. Grammss, Pradeep,

    Thanks for ur comments.

  39. @ Rekha

    I don’t go to the town, coz, the other way is much easier for me, I come to the town whenever I want, even though I dont have a ……….

  40. air…water…rice and fish…controversies…hartals…

    Some of the things Keralites cant live without…:)

  41. […] an idea sirji !!! kill a teacher to protest against the textbook […]

  42. […] to proliferate in West Bengal and Kerala (75-80 already in Kerala this year) and at times they happen for trivial reasons (controversy over a 7th grade […]

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    Following is the website of the above said agency.
    http://phoenixcareersolutions.com/

    Thanks

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