“...It is surprising that no systematic evaluation has so far been made of these textbooks, though they suffer from major flaws which should have drawn the attention of scholars and educationists. 

This lacuna has now been filled by a most through and comprehensive review of these textbooks by two dedicated young scholars, Neeraj Atri and Munieshwer A. Sagar. They have meticulously examined these books and even resorted to the RTI to elicit information on claims made in these works from a reluctant NCERT. Brainwashed Republic is the result of several years of painstaking work. Atri and Sagar deserve to be congratulated in presenting such an incisive analysis. 

They commence their study by exposing attempts made in the NCERT textbooks to break the sense of geographical unity of India. They expose the crude efforts of the NCERT authors to pit language against language, caste and caste, sect against sect, religion against religion. The misrepresentations on the medieval period of Indian history have also been systematically exposed.  Their observations on the distortions of many other facets of our history make very interesting reading. 

This is a most thorough review of the NCERT history textbooks attempted so far. It deserves to be read by all those interested in school education, and the study and writing of Indian history...”

The NCERT history textbooks have long been a subject of heated debate.  The earlier books, authored by Professors Bipin Chandra, Satish Chandra, R.S. Sharma, and Romila Thapar among others were commonly perceived as being inimical to indigenous culture and tradition; and excessively dependent on imported models for analysing India’s past. The labelling of freedom fighters as terrorists, a term used by the colonial powers to describe young nationalists, was just one of several objectionable assertions of these textbooks.   

The replacement of these books during the previous NDA regime in turn invited its share of criticism. The new texts were subjected to minute scrutiny and faulted for being excessively nationalist in tone. Unlike the decades long sway enjoyed by the earlier textbooks, these new ones did not remain in circulation for long and were replaced by yet another set of texts. 

This third set is still in use in schools throughout the country. It is surprising that no systematic evaluation has so far been made of these textbooks, though they suffer from major flaws which should have drawn the attention of scholars and educationists. 

This lacuna has now been filled by a most through and comprehensive review of these textbooks by two dedicated young scholars, Neeraj Atri and Munieshwer A. Sagar. They have meticulously examined these books and even resorted to the RTI to elicit information on claims made in these works from a reluctant NCERT. Brainwashed Republic is the result of several years of painstaking work. Atri and Sagar deserve to be congratulated in presenting such an incisive analysis. 

They commence their study by exposing attempts made in the NCERT textbooks to break the sense of geographical unity of India. They expose the crude efforts of the NCERT authors to pit language against language, caste and caste, sect against sect, religion against religion. The misrepresentations on the medieval period of Indian history have also been systematically exposed.  Their observations on the distortions of many other facets of our history make very interesting reading. 

This is a most thorough review of the NCERT history textbooks attempted so far. It deserves to be read by all those interested in school education, and the study and writing of Indian history.

[Dr. Meenakshi Jain is a historian formerly with the Nehru Memorial Library, presently Associate Professor in History at Gargi College, University of Delhi.]

  • Young and impressionable minds of the children are being hijacked to be more prone to accept the narrative of breaking India forces… The current NDA government is committed to look afresh the issue of history writing. This book can be certainly an important one for such an endeavour.
    Subramanian Swamy, Hon’ble Rajya Sabha MP
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