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Bengal's education czars all set to revise history

Bengal's education czars all set to revise history

Author: Jaideep Mazumdar
Publication: The Hindustan Times
Date: May 2, 2002

Even while crying themselves hoarse over the Sangh parivar's efforts to saffronise history, the Marxists in West Bengal have launched a fresh move to explain recent developments around the world from their own perspective.

The education czars of West Bengal have started the process of revising history and social science textbooks. According to sources in the school education department, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and overthrow of repressive Communist regimes in eastern European countries since the mid-eighties would be interpreted from a purely "people's [read Marxist] point of view". At present, such developments find little or no mention in the history books at the secondary and higher-secondary levels.

The revision process has been sparked off, ostensibly, by the realisation that in this age of satellite television and communication revolution, it is no longer possible to exercise thought control.

"Schoolchildren are not getting to know much about the Soviet Union's break-up from their textbooks, but they gather totally wrong notions of this from other media. This is because imperialist forces of the West control the media. The media will never put such developments in the correct perspective. Hence, it is imperative for us to explain recent developments properly in the history books," said a CPI (M) leader who's behind the move to revise history textbooks.

What, according to the Marxists, is the "correct perspective"?

Take, for example, the break-up of the Soviet Union. The Marxists will have the students believe that it was an elaborate game plan of the US and the NATO that led to it. Gorbachev acted at the behest of the US while allowing constituent states of that country to break away. The people of Russia and all the states that made up that "great country" have been suffering ever since. But communism, they would tell the children, is staging a comeback in Russia and all the other former Warsaw Pact nations.

Schoolchildren would learn that the Soviets went into Afghanistan at the invitation of the Afghan people to establish "people's rule" there. But criminal gangs were propped up by the Western nations, primarily the US, to thwart this and the Soviet troops left Afghanistan since they did not want more bloodshed there.

The downslide into ethnic strife and the eventual destruction of the country happened after the withdrawal. The US and the West is only reaping what it has sowed (reference to Osama and September 11).

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