Trinamool justifies axing Marxism in syllabus

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 10, 2012 18:01 hrs

New Delhi/Kolkata, Apr 6 (IBNS) Trinamool Congress has justified the decision of a higher secondary education panel in West Bengal to cut down on Marx and Engels in the syllabus in the state that was till last may ruled by the communists for 34 years uninterruptedly.

Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Derek O´Brien told a TV channel that "history doesn´t begin with the Bolsheviks and end with the Basus & Bhattacharyas."

"History preceded them and will survive them. Marx should be studied as a historical phenomenon but not at the expense of Mahatma and Mandela. Bengal after three decades is redressing balance, not doctoring history," he told NDTV after there were reports that higher secondary students in state-run schools in West Bengal may no longer have to study in details subjects such as the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels - founders of Marxism - and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

O´Brien said the history was not being distorted in West Bengal but corrected rather.

A committee to overhaul the decades-old school education syllabus in the State has prepared a final draft of new syllabus cutting down on the topics in the history textbooks in which Marx, Engels and Bolsheviks will make way for democratic movements across the post-Cold War world.

Even though the proposed change comes within a year of the Trinamool Congress' (TMC) victory against the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front in state elections, the committee has vehemently denied a political link.

"It is a complete misconception that we are doing away with Marxist movements or communism from history. In our recommendations, we have only suggested to include democratic movements, invasions by various explorers and the 20th century history.

"We have brought in Latin America, China as well as various movements in India. Also, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have been included keeping in mind their significance in the post 1947 era," Avik Mazumdar, chairman of the reform committee was quoted as saying.

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