A Bit of Irony Perhaps?

Dravid, Ganguly can’t be ideals: Rajnath

New Delhi: Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid can be sources of entertainment for the youth but never their ideals, says BJP President Rajnath Singh.

“Earlier even students of primary classes knew about freedom fighters like like Bhagat Singh, Khudiram Bose and Baba Jatin but today they can only recall the names of film stars and cricketers like Ganguly and Dravid,” Singh said.

The BJP President was addressing the national executive meeting of the party’s youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).

“Film stars and players can be sources of entertainment but never ideals. It is people like Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh who should be the ideals”, the party Chief said.

He said while the youth were interested in film heroines, they should not forget the people who fought for the nation’s self-respect.

I checked the Rediff version of the same PTI newsreport and yes there was the same mistake. So that means either Rajnath or the editors who are responsible for checking for “typos” at PTI/ CNN-IBN/Rediff or perhaps all of them don’t know that the name is not Baba Jatin but Bagha Jatin. [The “Bagha” comes from the fact that he killed a tiger with a knife—his real name was Jatindranath Mukherjee.]

A bit ironic…ain’t it ?

Am sure if Dravid was spelt as David, someone would have noticed.

44 thoughts on “A Bit of Irony Perhaps?

  1. I bet my bottom dollars tht its the editors who screwed up. Baba Jatin sounds more like a typical gandhian non-violence preaching desi freedom fighter than bagha jatin. Atleast they got the jatin part right and did not sunstitute bagha jatin with baba amte.

  2. He said while the youth were interested in film heroines
    Whatever gave him that impression?? I mean Amar Singh is hardly young!

  3. I am sure the reporter/editor had never heard of Bagha Jatin, or they would at least have inserted a [sic]. During a high school trekking trip through Orissa, we actually went to the exact spot on the bank of Buribalam where he had fought the Brits. There was just one small nondescript stone there with a few lines engraved on it, describing what had happened there in 1915. It was a bit of a letdown after walking miles to get there. Now looking back, it seems quite appropriate. I also vaguely remember reading a Bengali poem “Buribalamer Tire”, but can neither recall the poet (Satyendranath Dutta?), nor any lines.

  4. Lemme tell you a small story. I was in this introductory particle physics class where the Prof. (he’s American) was telling us about “this brilliant Indian guy called Bose- whose paper nobody would accept, because he was from India-(Who the hell is from India ? They’re brown !) and so Einstein thought- I’ll write my name on this and get it published and- Bingo ! Very important lesson as to where you find real smart men.”
    While we were coming out of the class- one of my desi classmates- a PhD candidate asked me- “what about this guy Bose ? Is it real ?”

    If you share my misconception that newspaper editors are not necessarily people of outstanding intellectual credentials- what chance does “Baba Jatin” stand ? He was never with the Congress, after all !

  5. @Jhantu: Speaks wonders for the editors doesnt it?

    @Anil: Compared to the average age of Indian politicians, Amar Singh is a sprigtly teenager.

    @Dipanjan: Some freedom fighters are more equal than others…and dont let me start on why that is so.

    @Anonymous: The problem is that I had assumed that you dont need to be a man of outstanding intellectual credentials to have heard of Bagha Jatin.

  6. In an age where kids are more interested in knowing the intricacies of Age of Mythology than who Sardar patel was, such a thing is hardly unexpected. But my gut feeling is the same as Dipanjan that neither the minister nor the copy editor knew about it. But its not known if the fault of the copy editor or the minister. If the minister would have said David, the copy editor would have corrected it.

    More about Bagha Jatin here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagha_Jatin

    In the cricketing domain, here’s an interesting analogy. Read this fine article by Michael Atherton about his dismay when Virender Sehwag said that he didnt know who Vinoo Mankad was.Here.
    Also read this nice relevant piece which sums up the trend across the society in India

  7. have the youth heard of bhagat singh, Khudiram Bose and ????? Jatin?
    Bhagat singh-yes. khudiram bose huh?? jatin?? no not at all. i have never heard of these two names. went to wiki to find out who they are.
    May be arnab u haven’t heard of bharathiyar. isn’t it??
    asking who Khudiram Bose is a tad too much i wud say. To test the youth v cud ask the historical events like quit india (oops today’s youth might understand it the other way :)), dhandi march etc.
    Leave the past. V easily forget the sacrifices of the soldiers who r fighting for us even as i am typing this sentence in a safe cosy environment.

  8. @yourfan2: Sehwag I can excuse. But copy editors—who I presume have some basic knowledge of Indian history? But as I said, all freedom fighters are not equal. 

    @Ram: Yes I do know of Subramanium Bharati. And the fact that you never heard of Khudiram Bose and Bagha Jatin and you are so flip about it….all I can say is…whatever.
    And excuse me—why should we leave the past?

  9. huh ..offffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff !!!
    Bhagat singh-yes. khudiram bose huh?? jatin?? no not at all. i have never heard of these two names. went to wiki to find out who they are.
    May be arnab u haven’t heard of bharathiyar. isn’t it??

    ignorence is a bliss !!! but hiding ignorance through assumption or non-challence is crime !!!

  10. When I read such stuff (as what Rajnath says), its quite funny to me. I wonder if even Rajnath Singh knows properly about Bhagat Singh.I guess,then,he would not have been talking thus about this man in public gatherings. Bhagat Singh is regarded by many,as one of India’s first Marxists.Rajnath and his croonies probably have not read as much history to find out(and will probably never read).
    slightly off topic,but could not help pointing this out.

  11. Some one should make a movie on Khudiram Bose or Bagha Jatin to raise awareness among the Gen X about these great martyrs! Why not make 5 movies…after all Bhagat Singh got as many! Possible candidates to play 16 year old Khudiram would be Ajay Devgan, Aamir Khan, Bobby Deol, SRK, Salman Khan…:-)

    On a serious note, I was directed towards this website some time back http://www.missionnetaji.org (one of the contributors is related to me). Yesterday Rediff did a pretty big article on them. Huge conspiracy theory…or not! But 60 years after Netaji’s disappearence the intrigue still lingers….amazing!!

  12. About the “outstanding credentials” thing -are you convinced from Ram’s comments that you have to ? (Even I used “outstanding” in a much milder sense- wiki for Khudiram ! This takes the cake !)

    Dipanjan’s comments bring back a few memories.

    As he mentioned, this place is really nondescript (miles and miles of nothing and nobody- just a few fishermen with heavy nets slung over their shoulders)- the nearest proper road is quite some distance away- it’s almost eerie to think what the place must have been like around 1915.
    I made some mention of Chittapriyo Ray. (Chittapriyo was Bagha Jatin’s assosciate who died on the spot at a tender age of 19) That’s when my father told me about his childhood days (around 1950-60s)- Chittapriyo’s relatives were his next door neighbours. The family almost lived in social isolation because of the long dead son- who had gone off to be a “dakaat”. Mind you, this was after independance- so there was no element of fear in the way people behaved with these men.

    Up there, “????? Jatin” must be smiling in satisfaction at having finally made it to the same news alongside such luminaries as Dravid and Ganguly.

  13. I was not aware of a revolutionary named Bagha Jatin, until I read this post. To add a little irony to what Rajnath said, I might have known about Jatin, if there were a bollywood movie depicting his life.

  14. Off topic here, but GreatBong, what do you think of Sachin being booed off by the Mumbai crowd? Endulkar? 🙂

  15. Noticed the same thing that day and did show it to some of my colleagues!

    But strangely enough , most Indians dont know at all about armed revolutionaries of bengal, they think the only Bengali freedom fighter was Subhas Bose ( this impression I have received from the guys with highest regarded of Indian professional education (IIMs and all) and coming from a gamut of places( B’lore, Delhi, UP, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan and B’bay)

  16. Seriously, the reason why Bagha Jatin was misspelt was bcause he was a revolutionary rather than a Congresswaddi satyagrahi. Hell, I got to know of him thru Amar Chitra Katha (thanks a lot, Mr. Anant Pai) rather then our history books. Seriously this whole attitude of ignoring a whole lot of martyrs just because they do not belong to your branch of thinking sucks big time.

    Why are these brave men being ignored. And the comment abt Dravid being misspelt sums it up. Depressing.

  17. Wasn’t Baba Jatin the guy who sang “Thanda Thanda Pani”???
    Oh no wait! That was Baba Sehgal….Oops……

  18. Hawk eye does work……. well spotted
    I too didnt know abt Bagha Jatin and now I do……a step in the right direction .. thanks rajnath!!!!

  19. A ‘bit’ of irony, indeed. 🙂

    I wonder what is wrong with us, Indians.
    Do we Bongs teach our kids a tad too much about Bengali heroes and not as much about heroes from other states? Or is it just that non-Bongs just refuse to accept the fact that there indeed were significant contributors in every sphere of life from Bengal, too…. at par with other states, if not more?

    It’s really hearbreaking to learn that Khudiram Bose, a household name in Bengal and possibly the youngest and one of the very first martyrs of Indian freedom struggle is not even considered worth-mentioning in at least the history text-books outside Bengal.

    And, as far as calling Bagha Jatin ‘Baba Jatin’ is concerned, although I’m not too sure about whose mistake it was, I won’t be surprised if it proves to be what Rajnath Singh had pronounced and not a typo. We are very much aware of the average IQ of Indian politicians, ain’t we? So, these mistakes are not exactly very rare.

    All said and done, I want to thank Arnab for raising this issue and at least pointing out something which as an Indian I too believe needs to be corrected. Otherwise, questions like ‘khudiram who?’ will keep coming from every possible corner outside Bengal forever.

  20. Just in case there are people who don’t know much about Khudiram Bose, here is a link for you all…
    See Here…

  21. u guys r suggesting a movie series wud do. I guess Gen-X, who doesn’t come to play in the field rather prefer to play video games, wud like a game console dedicated for freedom fighters. something like moral combat.
    Revolutionaris Vs Freedom fighters
    Mission – blowing up the govt. building when there is no one inside.
    Believe me the kids wud have the history details in finger tips.
    V can have all the freedom fighters covering all the states. this wud address the issue putforth by dev.
    anybody game for it??

  22. Greatbong, I grew up outside West Bengal, and in my experience, nobody knows of Bagha Jatin. I only heard of him after I moved back to Cal for my graduation. It may not be something to be proud of, but it’s a fact.

  23. Ekbaaar bidai daoo Maa….

    Well would Khudiram want to come back again? to this land?

    I am born & brought up outside Bengal (Bombay) but my parents gave me the necessary information regarding our freedom fighters. Even though my knowledge is limited…was never bright in studies you see 😦 I am shocked to know that so many people dont know about Bagha Jatin or Khudiram Bose.

    Gosh how do people prepare for their Quiz contest then? Bournvita Quiz Contest anyone? 😀

    I too read the article but didnt pay much attention as the article had anything to new to give till you opened up this pandoras box.

    Arnab, this is why I asked you to write about Netaji (Netaji who ???) the other day. OMG, if only I had known about the ignorance around I wouldn’t have done this sin.

    Sue, totally understand you but wasnt this taught in history? Never???

  24. The spelling thing sucks partly because these are among the “lesser known” freedom fighters. But Rajnath Singh made a important point – Ganguly, Dravid or even Sachin “boo boo” Tendulkar can’t be “ideals” for the youth. Not because their achievements are not big, they are, but it would be unfair to them and unfair to those who typically are our “ideals” or “role models”. The cricketers and actors can be role models to those belonging to similar professions, but at a global level, they just don’t make the cut.

    I am interested in knowing though, who Rajnath Singh thinks are “role models”. I hope he isn’t thinking about Atal “pause” Vajpayee (who captured the imagination of the country by being the “right man in the wrong party” whatever that means but to me it means opportunism) or L.K “yatra-special” Advani (not possible since the Jinnah comment) or god forbid, people who founded the R.S.S. And no, I don’t think the Imam is a role model.

    As for the ignorance about the names and spellings of our freedom fighters, a lot depends on who gets how much airtime. People like Gandhiji, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel, Netaji Bose, Bhagat Singh, etc. have been seen in our history books much more prominently than Khudiram Bose or Bagha Jatin or Ashfaqullah. Can’t do much about that unless someone comes up with a TV series on these people, not jingoistic stuff but well-researched non-documentary-looking History channel quality programs.

    Makes me wonder, last I saw the History Channel, it still went on and on about WW II, the Nazis and their atrocities, and contemporary world events like 9/11 (catering mainly to the West), but there’s not much on the Indian freedom struggle. There are a few programs on the Gandhi dynasty, Gandhiji etc but nothing definitive on the freedom struggle in the way WW II has been covered. Wonder why no one is interested. And no wonder we don’t know much because our traditional sources of information (history books and AMAR CHITRA KATHA) have been less and less important, and television has become dominant. No one watches Doordarshan and Saas/Bahu sagas bring more TRPs.

  25. hmnn…A good and a sad observation..
    Well, it is a fact that many people dont know about the revolutionaries and the people who have sacrificed a lot for our country.
    And it has nothing to do with Bengal/no-Bengal…It is just plain ignorance.

    And someone took Baba Amte’s name casually..Well, I would be surprised if enough ppl know about him too..Baba Amte’s work is also exemplary..So no need to demean him to glorify Baagha Jatin.

    I have studied in Maharashtra and I do know about Bhagat Singh and Khudiram Bose. But , no sir, never my history book mentioned anything about Bagha Jatin. I came to know about him from the many books I used to read.

    And to tell you something really interesting, let me recount an experience. I was a student of Science after my 10th Std. And, I attended a inter-collegiate quiz history competition organized in the month of Auguts. It was spread across the whole month with some of the rounds being held in Mani Bhavan and the final rounds being held in the organizing college. And all three of us who were representing our college were students of Science. And to top it all, we won the Quiz. The finals included students of History at the graduate level but still. guys who studied history officially till the matriculation level were able to beat them. And here I have to add that I am not the brightest of the lot but still the other guys were not upto the mark we expected them to be. Maybe, we won coz we didnt read the offical version of the history?

    Thanks for the post!


  26. I was talking with a Benglai, who went to school and college in Caclutta and had no idea what I meant when I referred to the Battle of Palashi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Plassey

  27. I’ve grown up outside Bengal and studied in ICSE board. Our history book had several chapters on Gandhi and his followers, and half a chapter on Subhash Bose. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were mentioned just as a passing comment. Naturally, there was nothing on Bagha Jatin or Khudiram. I learnt about them from books at my home, and from my parents.
    Coming to the present issue, I think that the copy writers are more at fault. They would have either corrected the error or pointed it out had they noticed it in the first place. So it is obvious that they too had never heard that name.
    And I also do not fully agree to the statement that cricket players like Dravid and Ganguly cannot be role models for the present generation. We cannot compare them to the freedom fighters, of course, but I still think that we could learn a few things from good sportsmen.

    Probably we should ask Rajnath Singh… If we want to choose an Indian role model from the modern times, whom should we choose?

  28. I will be honest. I hadn’t heard of Bagha Jatin till I read a book by Ashis Nandy last year. I think the point Hariprasad Poojary makes is valid. It has something to do with plain ignorance rather than Bengal/non-Bengal angle. I mean of course the Congress and non-Congress angle is a valid assessment. But for most of us who studied under state boards, the focus usually is on local freedom fighters. For instance in Maharashtra Lokmanya Tilak’s role was given a prominent place in the text books but the role of Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal was explained only in a few sentences. I am sure each state will have its own version of Tilak’s and Agharkar’s who are extolled at the expense of freedom fighters from other states. Going by Joy Forever’s comment it seems ICSE too had this problem. So for those who haven’t read history apart from what is taught in the textbooks I think it is understandable that they might not have heard about all the prominent figures. That is ofcourse no valid excuse for any copy editor to overlook such a crucial error. The first lesson journalists are taught is to verify that every name is spelt correctly before it goes in print. A wrong name can damage someone’s else’s reputation for instance in a criminal case.

  29. @Partha: It is one thing not to know. And it is another thing to be proud of it. Well said Partha.

    @Sourav: Agree—I doubt if Mr. Rajnath knows who made “Inquilab Zindabad” a part of the Marxist vocabulary. However Mr. Rajnath also knows that most people also dont know—so its all right.

    @Nautilus: I will write on Netaji—yes it does deserve to be talked about. Possibly the biggest mystery of modern Indian history is Why? Why this deception?

    @Anon: Could it have been some kind of generational fear handed down through the times?

    @Manoj: True.

    @DeepThirdMan: Have posted about it.

    @Dodo: Speaks wonders about our education system doesn’t it?

    @Dhananjay: Exactly. Long before Bagha Jatin entered our history books, I had read about him from Amar Chitra Katha ( a true Indian institution) and was thrilled by his life—this wasnt dry history: this was an adventure story, of conspiracy, betrayal and heroism.

    @SpyderMann: Yes and he was also one half of Jatin-Lalit.

    @Rahul: Okay that’s one way of looking at it.

    @Dev: It is indeed sad that parochialism/regionalism prevents us from recognizing heroes who were so far above such feelings. I studied in Bengal Madhyamik board and there we were taught about the armed resistance movement in Maharashtra and of Subramanium Bharati. I don’t say that we learnt everything about everyone but the topics were by no means contained only to Bengali freedom fighters.

    @Ram: Yeah right.

    @Sue: Amar Chitra Katha is the only way out….kids should read more of these gems…beats the pants off Indian Idol and Nach Baliye.

    @Ashit: Not only have people forgotten about Netaji the ones who remember call him a traitor.
    Read this

    @Comics Project: I agree with Rajnath. Sporting figures are not meant to be role-models, its unfair to them too. I think we all know what the answer of Rajnath would be: V R Savarkar, Guru Golwalkar….

    And again hooray for Amar Chitra Katha.

    @HP: Maybe the syllabus was such that being students of History, they had come to hate it. I was very much into history till Class 9 when our Madhyamik (West Bengal board) syllabus totally killed my interest in history.

    @AndyS: Rather pathetic that.

    @Joy Forever: Role-models in a very limited way. But the way people are they tend to take the whole package as a role model—they would more easily take to heart Sachin’s fondness of Ferraris rather than his self-discipline.

    @Chetan: This tendency of teaching only local heroes achievements is rather disturbing. But then how does everyone know about Bhagat Singh? And as to copywriters…I am sure they did a Word spellcheck and that was that.

  30. “Maybe the syllabus was such that being students of History, they had come to hate it. I was very much into history till Class 9 when our Madhyamik (West Bengal board) syllabus totally killed my interest in history.”

    Ajit Das’ firebombs, eh Greatbong ?

    Well, I certainly hated it while I had to go through it, but having done that, I somehow feel glad I did it. The Madhyamik Board history we read was not a 100 percent unbiased or clean- but at least that massive load of information helps a reasonably intelligent guy figure out a lot of things.

    Trust me, having seen plenty of people from other boards (CBSE)- the history they are taught is appaling, to say the least. They have no idea that certain things- like the the Kol, Santhal uprisings or the Deccan Riots- actually happened ! You ask them about the “Indigo Revolt”- they’ll give a good hard frown and say- “haan, haan- ab yaad aa raha hai- something Gandhi did !”

  31. I also learned about Bagha Jatin from Amar Chitra Katha…still that photograph of his killing that tiger is vivid in my memory.

    its time we as Indians learn more than what is dished out from classroom books.

  32. Arnab,
    I too have studied in Bengal Madhyamik and Uchcho Madhyamik boards. I had science in plus-two but till class X we had to study History. I’m sure you too remember how big volumes the History text books used to have, for it contained an evenly balanced account of GREATs and their deeds from all parts of the country. Not that it had big big chapters on Bengali heroes and less on heroes from other parts of the country.
    True, because of this the syllabus became so vast that students like me used to have nightmares about the subject. But it was designed from a neutral perspective. That probably is the closest thing to a text book on Indian history. Whereas in other states, even in ICSE and CBSE (being central boards they should be more neutral, unbiased and impartial) the length of each chapter is very much dependent on which part of the country the GREAT hailed from, or, on the way he took – Gandhiism or otherwise. If he was a follower of Gandhiism, there would be a couple of chapters on him and his peers. Otherwise a few lines would be enough.

    This is sad. But this is the truth and nothing but the truth.

  33. Hey, cool. The comments section welcomes me back. Thanks.

    Just wanted to note that in our time (some years after your own) Tinkle had pretty much taken over Amar Chitra Katha.

  34. babu genu anyone? A freedom fighter who died on mumbai streets.

  35. @ Greentooth:

    Yeah I have heard of him. I think he was opposing the import of clothes from Britain and ended up getting beaten by the Police and dying on the roads in Mumbai. It was most probably in the early 1930’s….may be 1930. Isn’t it?

  36. Arnab,

    How can a syllabus kill your interest in history? Maybe the teaching did it?

    Also, some have mentioned that the history books try to ignore Bengal and all. Well, reading the history books in my school, I got the impression that the freedom struggle was mainly led by people from either Bengal,Punjab,Gujarat,Central and Maharshtra.

    I rarely used to read about the people from the South in our history books. I mean apart from Rajaji , how many freedom fighters from the south one can recollect. One of my cousins who is very closed to me won a statewide essay contest for an essay on the freedom fighters from Karnataka and I was like were there any freedome fighters from there? She almost slapped me and that shows my ignorance of the freedom fighters from the southern part of the country.

    And yes, @greentooth, I do know about the supreme sacrifice of Babu Genu…Really remarkable people were those…


  37. Arnab, was shocked to see the comment on Netaji. Till now he was ignored but this post about him being a Traitor is totally unexpected. Well what else can you say if you grow up listening to “De di hame azadi bina khadak bina dhaal. Sabarmati ke sant tune kar diya kamal”.

    If India has won its Independence by Non-violent means, are Khudiram, Bagha Jatin, Bhagat Sigh, Veer Savarkar terrorits?

  38. @Anon: Ajit Das’s firebombs—you bet !!!!

    @Arin: Same here….

    @Dev: Despite the fact that I cursed the huge history syllabus, I can see the merit of being taught the contributions of states other than West Bengal to the freedom struggle. The problem with the Bengali history syllabus was the undue emphasis on the achievements of Chandragupta Maurya and Sasanka—I fail to see how such detailed study is relevant for someone whose specialization is not going to be history.

    @Sue: Well we had both Tinkle (Samanataka, Doobdoob, Supandi) as well as ACK…..when did Tinkle get into history and mythology?

    @Greentooth: Sure.

    @HP: No it was the syllabus—the essay type answers, the memorized “notes” and the sheer lack of imagination on the part of the white dhotis of the Board.

    @Ashit: Yes I was shocked too.

  39. @Anon:

    A slight disagreement with you. You said,
    “Trust me, having seen plenty of people from other boards (CBSE)- the history they are taught is appaling, to say the least. They have no idea that certain things- like the the Kol, Santhal uprisings or the Deccan Riots- actually happened ! You ask them about the “Indigo Revolt”- they’ll give a good hard frown and say- “haan, haan- ab yaad aa raha hai- something Gandhi did !” ”

    I myself was a student of ICSE board and I find your reasoning a bit skewed. I personally think that Madhyamik board history sucked. Those 10 page Akbar essays served no purpose whatsoever. Frankly all my cousins were from South point and seeing the machine like manner they were roting their history for Madhyamik made me cringe. In ICSE board, Class 9 , in my time, dealt with Ancient India , the relevant parts, and both in Class 9 and 10 there was a portion called Civics which every citizen of India should know. It was about the parliament, the constitution and its salient features and the functioning of the government. There was a third part about very modern history, after the second world war…about the United nations and the recent developments like the Bay of Pigs invasion. I think it was a fair and beautiful mix. If you look for depth, you can go till minus infinity. But even though Ive never read about Bagha Jatin in my history books , I know about him. Its not exactly incumbent on history courses therefore to imbibe all the information on the students. There are books, magazines, newspapers and now the internet. So the mix we were taught in ICSE history was actually very relevant. I dunno about CBSE board, but if you say that the history we learnt was appalling, then Id rather say that much of what you learnt in Madhyamik was quite redundant.

  40. @yourfan2: Point taken. (Trust me, nobody appreciates what you said more than me- those “onion-juice-in-the-eye-pre-Madhyamik-mornings” are fresh in my bad/sad memories.) But the 10 page problem isn’t really history specific. It’s a common “Bengal Board malaise” that makes people quote poets and give allegories to “ellucidate” 2 lines in a poem. More about that later….

    “In ICSE board, Class 9 , in my time, dealt with Ancient India , the relevant parts……..”

    See, that’s what my point is. If it’s Romila Thapar and Bipan Chandra deciding what’s “relevant” and what’s not- you very often get a history textbook that looks potholed like and old lady’s gums (the teeth marking times when Gandhi decided to do something). The events whose absence from CBSE textbooks “pained” me- were pretty important to say the least.
    I would rather wade through all the rubbish and try to pick up the relevant than to miss certain very important stuff like it never happened.

    I agree one should not depend on textbooks alone for knowledge of history. One could learn a lot from external resources and contemporary literature- more than anything else. At the same time, if certain types of events are purposedly snipped out regularly, even the keenest of people could miss a lot. More so because proper documentation and restoration has been for long, not one of our strong suits.

  41. I got your point anon. “More so because proper documentation and restoration has been for long, not one of our strong suits.” Completely agree with you there.

  42. Must confess did not know about Bagha Jatin and thanks to Greatbong that now i know. And I am sure there are hundreds and thousands of people who worked towards freedom in different means, with different ideologies, some that one would not appreciate, but all these contributed in one way or another and about these thousand probably history did not even write a couple of words. Like a flyover that is built and no one cares about the hundreds of workers who spent years toiling for it. We only see a marble with a MLA’s name etched on it.

    And about Subhash Chandra Bose, if this is what he really believed in
    “In spite of the antithesis between Communism and Fascism, there are certain traits in common. Both Communism and Fascism believe in the supremacy of the State over the individual. Both denounce parliamentary democracy. Both believe in party rule. Both believe in the dictatorship of the party and in the ruthless suppression of all dissenting minorities. Both believe in a planned industrial reorganization of the country. These common traits will form the basis of the new synthesis.

    – Bose, The Indian Struggle (1935)”

    then personally I wouldnt appreciate his ideology. That doesnt mean u can write off his contriibution. (i will have to read a lot more about Bose before i say anythign more about Bose. commenting ignorantly about anything makes u a fool)

  43. would like to add with a quote of Albert Einstien

    “As our circle of knowledge increases so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.”

    not adding this to apologise for ignorance but to say that we will constantly be learning till the minute we die.

  44. @Sriram: There is much not to appreciate in Bose’s philosophy from the quotation given. But if you look at the way he ran Azad Hind Fauj, you would see a multi-religious fighting force, a strong role for women and anything but ruthless suppression of any kind of dissent (which is why his fellow soldiers in AHF remained so loyal to him even after his “death”).

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