State-friendly Textbooks and Other Versions of Truth

By Vishnu Basnet on May 29th, 2005 in Bashnet Ko Guff

Is Nepal adopting ‘personality-cult’ oriented education system?

Nepali textbooks are being changed to fit the interest of particular persons and families. Is that okay for the future of Nepal?

Take the truism â??Knowledge is Powerâ??, and turn it on its head. It becomes â??Power is Knowledgeâ??. The latter is truer than the former, according to the French scholar Michael Foucault. Truth and Power are complimentary to each other. To be powerful you need to impose your idea of the right, or the true, on the majority. Intimidation, torture and killing are not sufficient to control people. Dictators try to impose, by hook or crook, their own brand of truth on people to legitimize their rule. From truth comes real power. Now what the self-appointed guardians of nationalism in Nepal are up to is introduce new school-textbooks, by means of which they will create their own version of truth, impose it on the people and become powerful. They plan to turn the students into mental slaves rather than freethinkers.

A few weeks ago, UWB reported about changes in school textbooks in Nepal and new pictures of royal family being added in the books. Last week, the government formed an eleven-member committee for the preparation of drafts of the new school-textbooks. The committee has received an instruction, which states that the motto of these new textbooks is to make education â??state-friendlyâ??. Confusion here is with the term â??state-friendlyâ??. In all its likelihood, the â??state-friendlyâ?? education will unnecessarily teach students to extol the unwanted virtues of one particular family and caste, and whitewash the already-tarnished images of some people. There will be pictures of King, Queen, Crown Prince and Crown Princess in these new textbooks. It will spread the regimeâ??s ideology and impose false conscience on the people.

Instead of introducing an education system that can be friendly to the overall Nepali society and democracy, the government is coming up with personality-oriented books under the â??nationalisticâ?? cover. This kind of education system can’t and won’t make our children nationalistic but they will be obeisance to the autocratic regime. The chapters on multi-party democracy and its fighters, it is expected, will be removed. Autocratic Panchayet system will again be termed as a system suitable for Nepali environment. In fact, authorities have already issued verbal orders not to teach some chapters of books like social science that deal with Panchayat system. And, students will be taught the lesson of â??one language, one nationâ??.

This clearly indicates that the direct rule of the king will not come to an end within three years. King needs three years not to bring the country back to normalcy, but dismantle all the democratic structures that have been set up in twelve years. See, the regime gags the media like Stalin and creates an illusion of peace. They are also creating illusion that nationalism is synonymous with the regime.

There is also â??Hindutvaâ?? to support the regime. It is evident in the remark of Bharat Keshar Singha, an honorary ADC to the King, that a Hindu king had no need to follow a constitution as he was bound by higher norms of his religion. Now, you can understand why they honored the king as HINDU SAMRAT. They are dangerously politicizing religion to legitimize their rule. They want to rule the nation by giving people false information and notions. The sad and funny fact is that these people are keeping the King himself in the dark.

Efforts to brain washing the innocent children will have lasting consequences. That will lead to the absence of independent imagination, vibrancy and pluralism in the society.

Related Blog:
1. This Is What Is Nationalistic For Us

12 Responses to “State-friendly Textbooks and Other Versions of Truth”

jhyapulle Says:

May 29th, 2005 at 4:58 pm
vishnu: you quoted fu-ko. but, jhyap’s wondering, if the statement (or conclusion?): “The sad and funny fact is that these people are keeping the King himself in the dark” makes the fu-ko-quote redundant or vice-versa.

jhyap wants to be fully assured and requests you to help her by answering the quo: do you really believe that g shah is being kept in dark and is led by the sycophants in wrong direction?

jhyap thinks the other way round. ie sycophants say what the mailk wants to hear. they gauge the mood, idea, vision or whatever of the malik and do accordingly. jhyap wonders if tail wags dog. or is it the dog that wags tail. you seems to suggest the first. pls help jhyap in understanding you.

Vishnu Says:

May 29th, 2005 at 5:47 pm
Jhyapulleji, reality has been reversed. It is not that King has no desire to rule the country directly ( I agree with your metaphor). But the role of the sycophants has become greater nowadays.
It may be redundant to quaote Fu-Ku. But what I mean here is that these sycophants are circulating a new discourse in the country which will, they think, draw public support. Second, they are giving boost to the confidence of the king by their frequent assurances that King has enough public support. These sycophants are more royalist than the royal himself. They have become real hurdles for the democratization of Nepal. I dont mean that king is innocent.

Raksha Says:

May 29th, 2005 at 9:55 pm
Now, this blog site has nothing more to offer to the readers. This is an old, old, old news. Just close down the site, its becoming boring, useless, increasingly biased and worthless. I will now never come to this site again. Bye Bye!!

suraksha Says:

May 29th, 2005 at 10:07 pm
Bye Raksha, truth is not only bitter, it bites. Who loves truth???

amused Says:

May 30th, 2005 at 1:12 am
hamro yuvaraj ta kya kartoon hai photo ma? Baru tyo golf kheldako photo rakhe huneni.

Rekha Says:

May 30th, 2005 at 7:33 pm
If Rakshya’s departure from the site is a reminder to Mr. Dinesh Wagle, he better change the content, style of presentation of this blog site soon otherwise it will pass on to oblivion.

suraksha Says:

May 30th, 2005 at 7:49 pm
See you Rekha too. Let’s meet when KG brings back Panchyat…when we will have peace and posterity like during those old days.

The sooner royalists bugs leave this site or any public forums, the better for the country and people (not for the king).

raj Says:

May 30th, 2005 at 11:20 pm
why woman are so supportive to king? and forget all senses?

anita Says:

May 31st, 2005 at 12:49 pm
Raj, ask your sister or wife or mother.

raj Says:

June 5th, 2005 at 11:50 am
anita, they are far from kathmandu and working on farm! not lucky as
u r

anita Says:

June 5th, 2005 at 12:17 pm
Raj, u r sending your sister, mother and wife to farms and here you are on the internet? Why don’t you go to farms and graze the greens? At least you have farms. maybe ur grandfather got is as Birta from King….?

Manish Says:

June 7th, 2005 at 2:45 am
The king’s photos on textbooks? If that’s true, then its the worst news I’ve heard in a long time. I personally, would not allow my child (if I had one) to read a book like that. Or I would just tear the picture and………..well, the content of the book might also be suspicious.

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